REAGAN, Ronald (1911-2004), President. Autograph letter signed ("Ronald Reagan"), as president of the Screen Actors Guild, to Velma L. Marsh, Hollywood, California, 24 March 1947. 2 pages, 8vo, on stationery of Mrs. Ronald Reagan, with original autograph envelope.
"THE 'LIBERAL' CAUSE HAS AT LAST TAKEN A UNIFYING STEP IN THE FORMATION OF AMERICANS FOR DEMOCRATIC ACTION"
"Don't be discouraged," Reagan writes a fellow liberal, "there are more people who feel as you do than you think. I too have felt as you feel but right now it is my belief that the 'liberal' cause has at last taken a unifying step in the formation of Americans for Democratic Action (A. D. A.). You have perhaps read of this organization which was started by Mrs. Roosevelt & others. It has taken a firm stand favoring liberal action but at the same time has served notice on the Communists that they are not wanted. Personally it is this realistic attitude which has appealed to me. It is just getting started so I can't give you any particulars as to address, etc. but you will soon hear of it yourself & can take any action you like."
Founded in 1947 by leading liberal politicians and intellectuals like Arthur Schlesinger, Jr., John Kenneth Galbraith, Hubert Humphrey and Eleanor Roosevelt, the A.D.A. committed itself to steering the Democratic Party away from the racist, Dixiecrat path of Southerners like Strom Thurmond, or from the pro-Communist line of Soviet apologists such as Henry Wallace. It's interesting that Reagan mentions only Mrs. Roosevelt when praising the group. Reagan thought of himself as a liberal as long as he felt the Democratic Party was carrying on the principles of FDR. During the 1950s, however, he saw the GOP offering a stronger anti-Communist line during the Cold War, and he switched party affiliations. "I did not leave the Democratic Party," Reagan quipped on many subsequent occasions, "my party left me."