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My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt

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MADISON, Wis. ,Monday—Even as one looks over the newspapers in this Midwestern city one gathers the change in the pace of interest.

On the front page here is carried the story of a meeting in Chicago at which the Governor of Utah, J. Bracken Lee, was cheered by 2,000 people when he declared that the Eisenhower Administration had not been loyal to the Republican party.

Governor Lee is not only an ultra-conservative Republican but he is an isolationist. He has refused to take any interest whatever in the United Nations, and so it is not surprising to find that he would suggest that if his type of Republican does not "recapture" the party in 1956, they should start on a third party.

It always seems to me that when someone begins to talk in this way they have forgotten the basic concepts of our government. We believe in a two-party system but we always expect the minority party to struggle to have some influence over the majority, and we expect the minority in time again to become the majority.

This change is one of the things we believe essential to our form of government. There always must be a brake exerted by the minority opinion to keep the majority from going too far, and the President is always expected, when once elected, to be the President of all the people. All citizens must respect him and, while the minority party knows clearly that he stands for the things he spoke for and worked for during the election campaign, they expect him to give consideration, to some extent at least, to the point of view of the minority.

In the case of President Eisenhower he has to deal with a majority in Congress which at the moment is composed of members of the opposition party and one would think that the right wing of his own party would realize that this majority has to be considered by any administration in power.

It might be well for certain Republicans to ponder when they oppose the President on what might have happened if their extreme views had been accepted and presented by the Administration. They might have lost much more in the last election than the present Administration lost.

As a Democrat, I suppose, I should be glad that some Republicans talk of a third party. But to an American who believes that it is vastly important today that our foreign policy should be on a bipartisan basis and that both parties should agree on the main lines of that policy so that it will be clear throughout the world what we stand for as a nation, such meetings and criticisms as came out of Chicago the other day are rather disturbing.

Not to believe in the U.N. or to be willing to strengthen it so that it will be of service in a time of crisis like this seems to me so stupid that I regret that 2,000 people could be found to cheer the gentleman who has such shortsighted and reactionary views in the field of foreign policy. We need more bipartisanship, not less, if our voice is going to be strongly and clearly heard in the world situations confronting us.

E. R.


Names and Terms Mentioned or Referenced

  • Madison (Wis., United States) [ index ]

About this document

My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt, February 15, 1955

Roosevelt, Eleanor, 1884-1962
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Digital edition created by The Eleanor Roosevelt Papers Project The George Washington University 312 Academic Building 2100 Foxhall Road, NW Washington, DC 20007

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MEP edition publlished on June 30, 2008.

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Transcription created from a photocopy of a UFS wire copy of a My Day column instance archived at the Franklin D. Roosevelt Library.