Reinhold Niebuhr Timeline: Chairs founding committee of Americans for Democratic Action

Reinhold Niebuhr Timeline: Chairs founding committee of Americans for Democratic Action

Letter from Niebuhr to Joe Rauh of the ADA

November 6, 1967

Dear Joe:

Thank you so much for your letter and for your affectionate postscript. I have already sent my check to Kenneth Galbraith. I just want you to know that I am very proud of the fact that the ADA is giving leadership for the opposition to this rather horrible and futile war in Vietnam. I was always proud of the ADA. My services to it as charter member were more modest than you graciously assume. But such as it was I counted among the great achievement of my political life that we were helped to organize this organization of liberal democrats. I only wish our old friends the Vice President Hubert Humphrey had remained faithful to our convictions and is not in the pathetic position of following the big man in the White House 110%.

Some of my friends have suggested to me that I might write him, but I don't see that it would do any good. There is nothing that I could say to him that he doesn't know already. I can only marvel, as we all must, about the perplexing mixture of motives, which we all have in our public and private lives.

With affectionately regards.
Sincerely yours,
Reinhold Niebuhr

Reinhold Niebuhr Papers: Library of Congress, Manuscript Reading Room

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Paul Elie

is senior editor at Farrar, Straus and Giroux and author of The Life You Save May Be Your Own: An American Pilgrimage.

Jean Bethke Elshtain

is an author and Laura Spelman Rockefeller Professor of Social and Political Ethics at the University of Chicago Divinity School.

Robin Lovin

is Cary M. Maguire University Professor of Ethics at the Perkins School of Theology at Southern Methodist University, and the author of Reinhold Niebuhr and Christian Realism.