The Eleanor Roosevelt Papers

Excerpt, My Day

-- And now President Eisenhower has had his ticker-tape parade in New York City, accompanied by Mr. Nixon and Mr. Lodge.
Mr. Nixon's expression, as I see it in newspaper photographs, is almost like a fixed expression that says: "I will smile but I am frightened." It was evident that the parade was a hail and farewell for the President and, to my way of thinking, had little bearing on what the outcome of the campaign will be.
Mr. Charles P. Taft, the chairman of the Fair Campaign Practices Committee,[1] said the other day that any issue brought up at this late time should be looked at with suspicion because they were brought up to achieve special aims. This is true, for at this late date we cannot bring in new issues and have them properly discussed.
The picture is already very well set. Both candidates say they want to achieve the same ends, for instance, in foreign affairs. But the one says that "Mr. Lodge and myself have all the experience." and that the people will not have to do anything at all. The other says: "We are in a worldwide struggle and I will need the greatness of the American people to help me to meet and make the decisions which will have to be made."
If this nation is as great as I think it is, it will rise to the call of the great leader and ignore the one who thinks that he and one other man have all the experience in foreign affairs.
I have still to hear the Republican candidates even say they are interested in the depressed areas of this country. I have a letter from someone who asks me if it can be true that there are hungry children in our country, which shows how little a number of people know about our country.
There are hungry children and there are children not getting the proper education and who are not properly clothed and who do not get proper medical care. And this situation is not because their needs could not be met. It is because nobody has cared enough to try to meet them. It takes cooperation between states, as well as localities, and the national government to do this job really well.
It is nice to close our eyes to it. It is even nicer to say: "Well, if this is true at home, why should we be giving aid to foreign countries?" The answer is that the foreign children are going to grow up and they are going to be dealing with our children. The future at home and abroad lies with children, and our children will have a difficult time if they have to deal with children with warped and bitter personalities. We have the means to help abroad and we have the means to do what needs to be done here.
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It was interesting to find that the Republicans bought radio time in and around Pittsburgh where I was the other day, telling the people if the Democrats are elected a loaf of bread would go up two cents, milk would go up two cents a quart, and so on through a whole category of items that average people have to buy every day of their lives.
This may be considered clever, but I doubt very much if it is true. I would think the real picture was not actually as it is painted by the Republicans or even by the Democrats because the Democrats do not wish to say in detail how they will accomplish certain things.
My surmise would be that they know enough about the dangers of inflation to realize that if they want to do certain things they must be able to pay for them, and payment must come through taxation. The point will be: who will pay the tax. Mr. Nixon has come out frankly and said that he would reduce taxes on high incomes, as this would encourage investment and increase employment. But there are other ways of increasing employment, and investment is going to have to take place in the face of automation.
So, it would seem to me likely that the Democrats might have an opportunity to look over the structure of taxation and find more equitable taxation than that proposed by Mr. Nixon. And with an increase in the use of our productive capacity this would bring no hardship to anyone.


(Copyright, 1960, by the United Feature Syndicate, Inc.)
     [1.] The Fair Campaign Practices Committee, a nonpartisan, nonsectarian organization founded, directed, and funded by Charles P. Taft, monitored campaign literature as well as material supplied by campaign affiliated groups and special interest organizations to determine if the materials complied with federal election law. In 1960, the committee focused on the exploitation of religion by supporters of both Kennedy and Nixon, provided documents to justice department personnel investigating civil rights violations, and urged voters to reject "false accusations of bigotry." ["False Bias Charges In Election Decried," The New York Times, 18 October 1960, p. 34; John Wicklein, "Vast Anti-Catholic Drive Is Slated Before Election," The New York Times, 16 October 1960, pp. 1, 56.]