Saturday, August 25, 1962 . . . Page 10
'Let Us Act, as a Nation,
With Straightforwardness and Purpose'
By PAUL MILLER
Many Americans ask, "What are we going to do about Russia?"
That is not the question.
The question for us is, "What are we going
to do about the United States?"
One reason we have so many problems
today is that we have spent too much time
reacting to Russia and not enough time acting to keep and build America.
For too many years, too many major U.S.
moves have been made under the handicap of
having only one eye on the job at hand; the
other has been on the Soviet Union.
True, part of the job, in business, sports
or in government, is to know and understand the competition.
But for us the main job is to develop our
own capabilities, perfect our own skills, pursue our own goals.
. . . 'Pitiful by Contrast'
President Kennedy told his press conference this week that we will surpass Russia
in space by 1970. This probably is conservative.
But what the American people also need
to know is that the United States can surpass Russia in any field, any time it wants to turn on the pressure.
Soviet Russia is making great material
progress. Americans applaud that and hope it
continues. But tourists who come home from
Moscow only to wring their hands about asserted Soviet leads in science and education
have a completely unbalanced impression.
As a country, as a place to live and rear
a family with hope for the future, the
U.S.S.R. is pitiful by contrast with the
United States, for all our own weaknesses and problems.
The many points of contrast are well
known. They need not be rehashed.
. . . 'Pride and Dignity'
Let us work anew to encourage individual
self-reliance from childhood onward, resisting
as a plague all official means and measures
which threaten and erode that traditional American quality.
Let us continue doing all in our power to
promote better understanding between the
peoples of our two countries, difficult as the
Communists make it through their self-conscious clamps.
Times-Union Photo—Peter B. Hickey,
Curious Russians inspect an American-
built limousine in Leningrad — "The
United States can surpass Russia in any
field, any time it wants to turn on the pressure."
Let us give the Soviets credit where credit
is due, in science, in technology or whatever.
But let us steer with pride and dignity
a resolute course for America and Americans; make and stick with our own decisions
based on what we independently believe to
be right, and shun any appearance of "strategic expediency," another term for the
little compromises that historically lead to total surrender.
. . . 'Stand Straight'
A newspaperman hears now and then of
late of diplomatic talk about "the necessity of
our giving Khrushchev something" to get him
off the spot with his people who (we are told)
demand that he make good on promises to
run the United States out of Berlin.
"Give Khrushchey something!" This is the
sort of diplomatic finagling that can kill us.
It is reacting instead of acting. It is reflecting instead of initiating. It is wrong-headed-
ness. It is wrong—period.
Let us act, as a nation, with the straightforwardness and purpose from which, in
this century, we have often strayed. That is
what the world learned to expect of the
United States. Anything less is demeaning,
out of character—and foredoomed.
Stand straight, America!
(This editorial concludes a series of articles and editorial columns by Paul Miller during and following a 23-day tour of the Soviet
Union and a later visit to West and East Berlin.)
Moscow: Red Square, Lenin's Tomb and
Washington: The Capitol and the Washington Monument.
"We have spent too much time reacting to Russia and not enough time acting to keep and build America"
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