Press and Sun-Bulletin/March 16, 1945
A few years ago Henry Wallace declared that the people had made a mistake in a congressional election which went against his party and since then the Political Action Committee has agreed that they were in error on that occasion. In fact, one stated purpose of the P. A. C. was to educate the citizens against repetition of the lapse in which they returned a batch of Republicans.
I am forced to agree with them that the people can be wrong but I am almost sure they will disagree with me when I say the people were wrong last fall in electing Mr. Roosevelt to a fourth term.
Still, I think it would have been wiser to elect Tom Dewey because I believe that in that case the President of our great republic would not have gone to Yalta but would have made Premier Stalin come at least halfway for once, which would have been important to our national prestige and a gain for Christian morality in the world.
You may argue that this is a small point and the discussion of it mere quibbling but my idea is that the peoples of the world who looked to us for leadership have now turned their eyes and thoughts to Moscow because Premier Stalin always makes Mr. Roosevelt and Mr. Churchill go to him. That is bad for morality in the world at large because, after all, the world knows that Premier Stalin is just about as bad as Hitler and we deceive ourselves if we refuse to give it a thought.
Once they said Premier Stalin was too busy chasing Germans to go farther than Tehran. Mr. Roosevelt and Mr. Churchill had a few little concerns of their own at the time but off they went, nevertheless, to meet Premier Stalin. The inconvenience to Mr. Roosevelt must have been awful, much as he loves travel and much as he seems to enjoy the ostentation of such bull-sessions in the old world.
I think an awful lot of good people in many countries who hate and fear Communism would have taken hope if the people of the United States had elected Mr. Dewey. Naturally, he would have cooperated with Premier Stalin in the fighting war and, in the face of an inherited situation, he could not have refused to discuss and plan peace.
On two points, in my judgment, Mr. Dewey has been wrong. I think he yielded to a condition when he said, in Portland, Ore., that the Wagner Act was a good law. As a lawyer, he knows it is lopsided because it makes the employer the defendant in a government court which is not only the judge but the plaintiff, prosecutor and court of appeals.
Possibly he intended, once elected, to educate the people to the evil of this law, acquaint them with its European character and revise it, step by step. The other fault that I find with his political wisdom is his endorsement, since his defeat, of the New York anti-discrimination bill.
Mr. Dewey never has shown the slightest racial or religious prejudice. As district attorney and as governor, he has been either utterly unfeeling or studiously correct in his appointments of Jews and Negroes, the two minorities to whose favor the anti-discrimination bill was directed. But he had been so placed by propaganda that, had he opposed the proposal, the other side would have called him a Jew-baiter and Jim Crow Republican. Not only he but his party would have suffered unfairly.
I insist that Mr. Dewey is a better man than Mr. Roosevelt on every count and would have continued the war just as successfully as Mr. Roosevelt has, a point of doubt in the hearts of many voters last fall which may have been the deciding factor. He takes government seriously. not flippantly.
He governs by law, not by fear and by prejudice. He is against special privilege not only for the other side but from his side and for himself and his family. And his moral courage is such that if he had been elected he would not have been afraid to discard the devious and dubious term “democracy” and substitute “Christianity” or “Christian ideals” from time to time.
Finally, I believe Mr. Dewey would have established Washington. D. C., and not Moscow, U. S. S. R., as the moral and political capital of the world.