An American Program

An American Program

An American Program

An American Program

Excerpt

The seven articles included here on what seem to me the most important problems before us today were written before the conventions in the hope of stimulating discussion that would affect the party platforms for the 1944 presidential campaign -- particularly the Republican platform. For I believe that party platforms are important indications of the collective will of the party, both in their omissions and in their professions. And this is a time in our history when we need to choose our leaders with full knowledge of their purposes.

Later, I embodied the gist of the seven articles in a suggested platform in the event that I might have the opportunity to fight for the ideas I believed in at Chicago. The opportunity never came.

When the editor of Collier's asked me to analyze and comment on the platforms adopted by the Republican and Democratic Parties, I at first hesitated. There seemed little to be gained by post mortems. But when I realized the vast disappointment of millions of thoughtful men and women in these platforms-a disappointment which I shared-I decided that on at least two points I might help to arouse and make articulate a body of public opinion that would demand clear statements of purpose, not only from the presidential candidates but from the vice-presidential and congressional candidates, instead of the evasive mockeries put over at Chicago. The two subjects were our international obligations and our attitude on racial minorities.

As the campaign goes on the importance of candor and straightforward thinking on these subjects becomes increasingly clear. It is not enough that we should be offered the mere forms of international cooperation. That is shadow building. For it is the economic relationships between nations that will determine the real possibility of peace. And pledges of wider social security with just treatment of minorities are largely . . .

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