The Pittsburgh Press (July 22, 1944)
To the editor: In a few months the people of the United States will reorganize its political map. They will march to the polls and cast their ballots – not bullets. For this we ought to be thankful.
But we have a great responsibility. We must learn what our present government is, what it ought to be and what individuals are the most competent to serve us in the future.
We are offered a choice of two candidates by the two major party machines. We know very little about these men aside from what the propaganda machines turn out.
But there is one element of the voting public which both parties have seemed to ignore; a voting power which may decide the election. I am referring to the foreign-born element in this country.
There are 22 million people in this country who are either foreign-born or of foreign parents. An estimated 11 million of these people are voters. Out of this 11 million, five million cannot be reached by the press because they cannot read the English language.
California, Illinois, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey and Pennsylvania are the states which have cohesive blocs of foreign-born voters. According to statistics, two-thirds of these voted the Democratic ticket in the last election. President Roosevelt carried Pennsylvania by only 281,000 votes.
During the past few years, Mr. Roosevelt’s popularity has taken nose-dive so far as the foreign-born are concerned.
But the most essential thing to remember in this election is to exercise our right to vote. For only by expressing our will through the ballot will we remain a free and democratic nation. On election day we should put aside personal hatreds and political bickerings. We should go to the polls and vote for the man who is best fitted for the office he seeks – be he Democrat or Republican.
53 S 17th St., Pittsburgh, PA