The Eleanor Roosevelt Papers, Digital Edition > My Day
My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt

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HYDE PARK, Friday—I read with very great interest General Eisenhower's speech on "the middle way," which he made in Boise, Idaho.

No one will quarrel with the paragraph: "Neither the jungle law of every man for himself nor the false theory that only government has the wisdom to solve group problems is applicable to our life."

A little further on he says: "This means that, as a people and a government, we accept certain specific goals for all our people. Let me name some of them; they are part of our political creed; adequate security for old age (If I remember rightly this was begun under a Democratic tenet): equal treatment and opportunity for all, regardless of race, color or creed (This is not fully implemented, but the start toward making it a reality has been made during the past 20 years); improving education; better housing; protection of the right to earn and save; stability for an expanding agriculture."

These last statements could be made by a Democrat or a Republican. General Eisenhower says these tenets should not be made political footballs; nevertheless it is historically interesting to discover what political party is really responsible not for talking about these things but for actually beginning to get them done.

General Eisenhower says that the present Administration is just trying to have handed over to the Federal government the obligation to find all the answers to all the problems of government in order to enlarge bureaucracy, take away the initiation and incentive of the people, and allow us to sink into slavery.

This is a rather frightening picture of what the Democratic party has been doing during its years in office. But the curious thing is that it has been in power almost 20 years and yet the people are free enough these days to make the decision as to whether to continue it in power or not. This does not seem to me to indicate that the Democratic party has set up too much regimentation.

The general, of course, picks out the field of health in which he says the present Administration would like to start a scheme "to nationalize medicine, thereby once more expanding the government at the expense of freedom and making our health subject to the decisions of a Federal bureaucrat."

I have seen no such plans. I have heard from the various interested sources that the government plan suggested was of little value, but in spite of all the requests made of the American Medical Association to come up with a better scheme it has not been forthcoming.

Still, General Eisenhower, who knows better than anyone else how the draft law has proved to us that the general medical care is not adequate and that our people are not receiving the kind of medical attention that is necessary for the improvement of the general health, suggests nothing positive to be done.

I like the "middle way," but after reading the general's speech in full I am left wondering how much this middle way really differs from the way the Democrats have been trying fairly successfully to pursue for almost 20 years.

E. R.


Names and Terms Mentioned or Referenced

  • Hyde Park (Dutchess County, N.Y., United States) [ index ]

About this document

My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt, August 23, 1952

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.