March 24, 1943 (Wednesday)

“Button,” Espiritu Santo

Saw a very wonderful movie this evening. “Random Harvest” with Greer Garson and Ronald Coleman. It moved us all very much.

It’s very discouraging to read in Time and Life magazines of the mess being made of everything in Washington by the petty politicians and selfish blocs. Poor Rickenbacker, who realizes what we’re going through out here, and who is trying to bring labor to a realization of it, has become the target of most of the political “pressure” groups. I am beginning to believe that if Roosevelt gets in for another term, we’ll lose the war. The man has become a positive evil genius, who seems to brew one political brawl after another. He picks inadequate administrators, whose indecisions further muddle up an already critical situation. The nation seems to be dominated by a bunch of squabbling old ladies, all blithely unaware of the rumbling avalanche descending on them. Our foreign relations amaze me. We neglect and ignore, to the point of insult, two of the world strongest future powers — Russia and China.

Russia is neither consulted nor considered in Anglo-American strategy and policy planning. She is winning the war, more than any other power — yet we are deciding issues and making promises concerning future national political issues and boundaries which lie wholly within her realm. As the years go by, the conviction grows stronger than that in Russia’s future lies much of the world’s good. The same applies to China, whose intrinsic honesty and civilized philosophy make her our hope for future peace with the Asiatic millions. Yet we neglect her shamefully, all the while making meaningless promises upon promises to her imploring emissaries.

And when it comes to handling French affairs (both Vichy and Free) the State Department needs a kick in the ass. Never have I seen such muddleheaded planning. What claim has a nation, a beaten nation, of 40 million corrupt and unmoral political madman upon the world’s third largest empire? An empire which for years has been outstanding in its corrupt administration and maltreatment of native races. An empire bled white by the leeches sent out as administrators by “la belle patrie.” We should take over immediately all French colonies and after the peace set up a system of education of native populations for self government, if practicable. But in no case should they be allowed to revert to France.

I wonder how good a president Rickenbacker would make? I’ll bet that he would swing a lot of votes. He’s already proved his executive ability as president of Eastern Airlines. And the people are getting tired of professional politicians.