The Good Neighbor
THE SENSE OF LOSS when Roosevelt died was global. He was the only statesman of his time (indeed, of history) who was, literally, a world leader. Ordinary people, whether European, Asiatic, African, or American, felt that he understood their problems and sympathized with them.
What was the philosophy and policy that made him a world leader? Some of his appeal was due to temperament and personality-his light touch, optimism, and courage. But to millions around the world, he represented more than a gay smile and cheering words. He stood for ideas and practices which promised a better, more decent life for all peoples. In his First Inaugural he declared, "In the field of world policy I would dedicate this nation to the policy of the good neighbor -- the neighbor who resolutely respects himself and, because he does so, respects the rights of others -- the neighbor who respects his obligations and respects the sanctity of his agreements in and with a world of neighbors." He hoped that, by example, America could lead the way for other nations-to make mutual trust and aid the core of international relations.
He believed in first things first, and after becoming president he gave