L tv u -wnt 3 Vv AKt LLIFF T T A NA g WASHINGTON After the Democratic decision to press for a liberal legislative program, party chairman Paul Butler telephoned Senate leader Lyndon Johnson with the news. It was a polite way of .telling Johnson that he wasn’t running the Democratic Party. Butler reported that the executive committee had voted unanimously to seek speedy action On a “liberal and enlightened” program. This vas exactly opposite to the don’t-rock-the-boat policy Johnson himself had announced. “You are splitting the Democratic Party to pieces !” Johnson exploded over the phone. It was a mistake, he warned angrily, to come out with a Democratic program ahead of President Eisenhower’s legislative recommendations. The tall Texan also wanted to know who was responsible for challenging his leadership. “Who introduced the resolution?” he demanded. “Paul Ziffren,” replied Butler, referring to California’s national committeeman. Johnson muttered something about reading Ziffren’s views in the paper. After Johnson cooled down, Butler calmly invited him to join the 17member committee that will “coordinate and advance” the liberal program. Johnson grudgingly replied it was all right with him, but he would have to talk to House Speaker Sam Rayburn first. The executive committee’s action represents a triumph for the Northern liberals over the Southern conservatives. Both wings have been bat \(The author is minister of the Unitarian Church of Austin. AUSTIN What do you mean, “liberal ?” The opposite of liberalism is not conservatism. The true liberal is concerned that certain values be conserved ; he is not opposed to the past or the present order as such. The opposite of liberalism is instead authoritarianism, or absolutism ; the liberal combats any such enslavement of body or mind. Liberalism means liberation ; the liberal seeks to set all men free. He who believes that mankind should be free from tyranny and oppression, free from dogmatism and bigotryhe is to that extent a liberal. He who strives to make it possible for all persons to give fullest expression to their inherent possibilities, fully sharing in the life of the community of humanityhe is even more a liberal, for liberalism means not merely freedom for all men from enslavement, but freedom for creative living. In fact, slavery of spirit remains as long as a member of any group in our society is not free to use his abilities in any occupation, in any place of residence, in any school for which he can qualify. Liberalism and liberation are words which give dignity to the free spirit of man. Yet how confused are many of those who attack liberalism, and, I am sorry to say, how confused are some of those who defend liberalism. It is little wonder that we hear such definitions of the liberal as this : “One who very earnestly disbelieves in almost everything and has a lively, sustaining faith in he doesn’t exactly know what.” The liberal is caricatured as a weak, wobbly, fence-sitting person, lacking deep convictions and swayed by every passing gust of Thought. He satisfies neither the extreme right nor the extreme left, for the liberal moves too slowly for the radicals, who term him a reactionary, and he moves too rapidly for the conservatives, who label him a subversive. No wonder Frank Sullivan’s description is so apt: “A liberal is a man who is constantly and simultaneously being kicked in the teeth by the Communists and in tling backstage to determine which should flap the Democratic Party. Harmonious Lyndon As the Southerners’ fair-haired boy, Johnson is striving to upset no apple carts. In the name of Democratic unity, he had persuaded Northern Democrats not to agitate for civil rights and other liberal legislation. For four years he had argued this would antagonize the South. He had also been the chief architect of a don’t-criticize-the-Presi’dent policy, on the theory Ike was too popular to tangle with. Johnson’s policies, however, didn’t win any votes in the South. In fact, he lost his own state of Texas to Eisenhower. As a result, liberal senators felt they had been led down the garden path by the soft-soaping Texan. They have now come out for a militant, 16-point program in outright defiance of Johnson’s leadership. The executive committee clearly sided with the liberals against Johnson. The committee’s action ran up against only token opposition during the closed-door session this week. The resolution, calling for speedy action on a liberal program, was introduced by Ziffren and backed by two big-city leadersMayor Dave Lawrence of Pittsburgh and Col Jake Arvey of Chicago. the pants by the National Association of Manufacturers.” LIBERALISM does not ineav an exact midpoint between extreme views in politics, economics, or religion. Liberalism does not mean a wavering now a little to the left, now a little to the right of center, with a feeble motto of “nothing too much !” Liberalism should mean liberation ! In the world’s history, liberation has often meant revolution. Yet liberalism may also mean a . defense against revolutionists, the kind of revolutionists who seek to impose the shackles of an ancient tyranny under the guise of a humanitarian revolt. The reactionary ‘revolutions of the communists and the fascists are obvious examples. Socalled liberals who cannot recognize authoritarianism are sometimes deceived into supporting such pseudoliberation movements. James Henry Breasted, the noted historian, once declared, “What we of this generation need more than anything else is confidence in man.” Liberalism is based on a confidence in man’s rational powers, in the supremacy of intelligence as that which makes a human being human. This includes a devotion to objective inquiry, involving respect for facts and integrity in dealing with them. In contrast, the non-liberal. or authoritarian fears reason and is apprehensive of the power of the human mind unless it has been enslaved from childhood in a rigid mold of dogmadogma religions, racial, nationalistic, economic. This attitude is but a step removed from Hitler’s dictum, “We think with our blood !” Such “blood-thinking” has only been too well illustrated in certain small towns recently in the news. The liberal has faith not only in his own intelligence, but in the process of discovering truth together with others. He thinks of society as a living organism, in which change is a necessity for growth, a continuous remaking of individuals and of society. The essential condition or atmosphere for creative growth is the free interaction of differing views. The liberal believes that any group, nation; or ideology which attempts to impose a fixed way of life on individuals is committing a crime against human nature and the spirit of man. HUMAN LIFE is the one thing that really counts in the universe. Liberalism judges every institution by whether it liberates and ennobles, or whether it weakens and degrades and enslaves and impoverishes life. Life counts, not institutions, no matter how ancient or powerful. Intellectual freedom to judge institutions is not therefore a luxury, but a social necessity in the growth of the human spirit. GEORGE W. MARSHFIELD Is Anybody Popular? DREW PEARSON on The WASHINGTON MERRY-GO-ROUND \(Continued from Page fine if he does not report the accident to the Industrial Accident Board in a given number of days, but that is a joke. I have reported to the Industrial Accident Board two firms which did not carry insurance, employed more than the stated number of employees, and who were insulting when asked to pay the medical fee for a fracture in one case and a severe cut in the other. The Board took no procedure in either case. J. G. LITTLE, M.D. James Street Clinic, Cleburne What Can Be Done? To the Editor : Your editorial on injured workers as related by Dr. Sam Barton is pathetic but true. But what can be done about it ? Organized labor and other liberals have worked for years to get a fair workmen’s compensation law passed in Texas … S. W. NICHOLS Rockdale Kind Words To the Editor: We’re still getting requests for copies of Sam’s workmen’s compensation study from all parts of the state which we know could come only from your fine reviews It pays to advertise in the Observer. MRS. SAM B. BARTON Denton Louisiana National Committeeman Camille Gravel, Jr., speaking for the South, protested that Ziffren’s resolution would dg what the Democratic convention had refused to do. He referred to the fact that the convention had turned down a minority proposal, calling for “implementation” of the Democratic platform civil rights pledges. Gravel acknowledged, h o w ever, that Zif fren’s resolution was both “legal and logical.” In the end, he voted reluctantly for it. The executive committee also decided to meet with the 17-member advisory committee Jan. 4 to lay down a legislative program. This meals the Democrats will come out with their program before Ike’s State of the Union recommendationsanother slap at Johnson’s wait-for-the-President policy. In short, the executive committee took every possible step to head of f Johnson from taking over leadership of the Democratic Party. Two backstage moves to oust Democratic Chairman Butler didn’t even get inside the door at the executive committee meeting … Pittsburgh’s Mayor Dave Lawrence wanted to replace Butler with Adlai Stevenson’s campaign manager, Jim Finnegan. This was spiked by Finnegan himself, who refused to run for the job … Senate Leader Lyndon Johnson was supporting two candidates Kentucky’s defeated Sen. Earle Clements or Ex-FDR aide Jim Rowe. Johnson sounded out Democratic bigwigs about both men … but the executive committee unanimously endorsed Butler. WHAT DO YOU MEAN, `LIBERAL?’ …. Washington Co r r e s pondent Elizabeth Carpenter observed this week : “Politics may make strange bedfellows in some places. But in Te:tas this political season, it makes NO bed fellows. “Everybody is mad at everybody. Allan Shivers is mad at Price Daniel and Lyndon Johnson. Price Daniel is Mad at Allan Shivers. Lyndon Johnson is mad at Allan Shivers, Adlai Stevenson,. Mrs. Frankie Randolph, Kathleen Voigt, and Dean Johnston. “Mrs. Randolph is mad at Lyndon Johnson and Sam Rayburn. Kathleen Voigt is made at Lyndon Johnson, Sam Rayburn and Byron Skelton. Sam Rayburn stays mad at Allan Listening Post Shivers and Richard Nixon. Jerry Holleman is mad at Allan Shivers and the Texas Manufacturers Association, Lyndon Johnson, Sam Rayburn, and the Dallas News. “The big interest lobby is mad at Price Daniel for suggesting more . taxes. The labor lobby stays mad at Ben, Ramsey. The big gas companies are mad at Elmer Patman and Superior Oil Company. Elmer Patman and Superior Oil are mad at Senator Francis Case. The NAACP is mad at John Ben Shepperd.” The Honey Grove Signal-Citi zen and Ladonia News,. both edited by Joe T. Morrow, endorsed James Hart for senator, withdrawing an earlier endorsement of Ralph. Yarborough. The newspapers said with six or so Democrats and only one Republican running, the Republican could win with the Democratic split. “For that reason we are backtracking on our previous endorsement,” they said. …. Hart, incidentally, was one of three Texas signatories \(the others were Dillon Anderson of Houston and Charles statement by prominent U.S. lawyers calling attacks on the Supreme Court “reckless … heedless … dangerous,” defending the Constitution as the supreme law, and expressing concern for “the tradition of law-observance and respect for the judiciary.” The Texas Council of Churches News Bulletin reviews state laws against the kind of mob action that took place at Mansfield and Texarkana against Negroes seeking to enter white schools: Art. 439 of the penal code says Meeting of three or more persons to illegally deprive any person of any right or to disturb him in the enjoyment thereof is unlawful assembly; Art. 5154,d prohibits mass picketing by more than two people within 50 feet of any entrance being picketed “for the purpose of inducing, or attempting to induce, anyone not to enter the premises in question …” …. The Independent, a New Yorl weekly newspaper with national cir culation, commends the Observer says “a large portion of its readers art articulate, and are powers in their communities,” and adds the Observer “represents a iiare thing in Texas : independent journalism.” .. . H. L. Hunt, Dallas oil billionaire, discontinued his massive Facts Forum operation, saying he “just got tired of useless and lost causes.” . . . . In his “Washington Report,” Robert S. Allen says that President Eisenhower has been given the decision on what will be done about natural gas legislation during the next session of Congress. “If he expressly recommends it, a bill will be considered. Otherwise it won’t. It is highly Significant that Speaker Sam Rayburn and Senate Leader Lyndon Johnson participated in the backstage conference that formulated this important plan.”
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