JULY 29, 1960
HYDE PARK—President Eisenhower was greeted with such enthusiasm in Chicago that he left little doubt of his own popularity. He is a lovable human being and somehow has been able to remain aloof from association with policies of his Administration that people might disapprove of.
Those who love him resent any criticism of him. They find excuses for anything a President ordinarily would be held responsible for. One woman chided me the other day for criticizing him for certain situations that have developed in his Administration, saying that he had been held down by a Democratic Congress.
So Congress is forced to take the blame as we ignore the fact that the President sets the policies and Congress does not. Our lawmakers in Washington ratify and implement what the President wants, but if he is a strong leader and can hold his own party together, even with the majority of the opposition against him he usually can win over enough members of Congress to carry what legislation he really feels is essential.
This has been done by Democratic governors; they have put over their programs in the face of strong opposition from Republican legislatures. It can be done more easily by a President.
In the case of President Eisenhower, however, I feel that many people are attracted by the "father protection" that he exudes. He is a good man, a simple man, and many of us would like to revert to that period of history when we demanded nothing more than that from our top national leaders.
The Soviet Union must be very much afraid of what would be discovered by an impartial United Nations investigation or it would not have vetoed the Security Council resolution calling for an inquiry into the shooting down of the RB-47 in the Barents Sea.
The American Legion, in a long letter to me, has tried to persuade me that I am incorrect as to the Legion's attitude on the U.N. It said:
"While the American Legion opposes certain subsidiary bodies of the U.N. and at times has been critical of the U.N. itself, it has consistently and officially supported participation of the United States in the U.N."
I was delighted to get this official statement, and I hope that in the future there will be growing support for the U.N. within the official governing body of the American Legion and less critical an attitude than in the past.
The Legion assures me that it has not charged UNESCO with being Communistic. I am delighted to hear that, but it says it did ask the Congress of the U.S., to investigate UNESCO operations, particularly with a view toward ascertaining whether or not there has been interference with the educational systems of UNESCO member nations.
Also, the Legion asks for the discontinuance of dissemination of UNESCO educational material advocating "world citizenship and adherence to a nebulous world government." So far as I know, such materials do not exist, nor is there any interference with educational systems when it is not desired by the particular governments.
It is interesting that the Legion does not feel that its membership as a whole read its own report on the U.N., though it feels that "the properly constituted bodies of the American Legion charged with the obligation of doing so, did their job."
I am grateful for the information and am glad to pass it on to my readers.