`Maybe I Should Start Using a Cigarette Holder’ Bartlett Appears Exclusively in the Texas Observer The Farm Surpluses Let those flatter who fear, it is not an American art.JEFFERSON Winter and S p rin g Ahead We now prepare to endure a winter and spring of unendurable cant. Gasping from the opportunism, drowning in the headlines, suffocating in the defections, we shall, we must, survive past July. Woe to the people, warned Francis Bacon, \(who of cunning for a man of wisdom !, Smiling portraits on the news-mag covers, glittering accounts of speeches glittering with exhausted and contentless figures of speech, the dauntless adulations of men in whom the endorsement of greatness is a means to an end, cannot turn us from what we know is true. What can, save our own collapse as knowing human beings? Even were we all susceptible, as provincials, to the absurd insistence that Senator Johnson should be the Democrats’ presidential nominee, we would surely be miffed somewhat by Senator Johnson’s insistence on the same point. “Oh!’ \(speaks up the chairman of the Johnson for President Club of hundred thousand times that he is not a candidate, you ingrate !” Ay, ay. Only he ranks his supporters by how many times daily they genuflect toward Hyde Park on the Pedernales, and when his Dallas leaders ask his other Dallas friends to join the movement to make him president, and if they won’t to send back their charter membership cards, we can hardly believe it’s a case of economizing on printing costs. Surely Ben Wooten or Fred Florence would be glad to help out with a little extra for the cards sent by accident to the unpatriotic. This is the message, men : Texans are for Johnson, like Texans are for Oil, or they’re traitors to their state. The Johnson boys don’t come right out and say it, but give Sam Wood a little time. The hot thrill of the oncoming conventions will inflame his imagination, and Texans with the temerity to favor Adlai Stevenson \(of \(of be associated with Walter Reuther and Santa Anna. If Texans prefer Nixon that will be all right since Eisenhower is a Texan, but they must not say sountil November. For the nonce we must sing “My Johnson, right or wrong,” or lose our citizenship. This is a shrewd play, because only by such an emphasis can sane men be induced to overlook the plain facts, as those liberal Democrats who are getting picked off are doing. Senator Johnson’s civil rights record does not begin in 1957, it begins Published by Texas Observer Co., Ltd. Entered as second-class matter, April 26, 1937, at the Post Office at Austin, Texas, under the Act of March 3, 1879. DECEMBER 25, 1959 Ronnie Dagger Editor and General Manager Sarah Payne, Office Manager Published once a week from Austin, Texas. Delivered postage prepaid $4 . per annum. Advertising rates available on request. Extra copies 10c each. Quantity prices available on orders. two decades before that, during which lamentable period it was consciencelessly Southern. Even if the facts were as elastic as the arguments and it began in 1957, when he became the chief Senate negotiator for the Southern bigots, his nomination would cost the Democrats the millions of intense partisans for civil rights in 1960. Merely consider the Gallup PollJohnson is the favorite Democrat in the South, where 31 percent favor him ; he runs fifth in the East, where three percent favor him. Johnson’s unrelieved record of defending the major oil companies which straddle the economy of the Western World \(compromising U.S. foreign policy as well, incidentally, as depressing the ‘Texas alienate millions of voters who think that the Democrats are supposed to be for the people. Johnson’s excuse is that he is a Texan, and everybody knows he has to vote that way. This would be a good argument only if we conceded that there is no such thing as separating the voters from the economic interests which hold their state in a strangle-hold; only if we denied that a public leader has a responsibility, not to the biggest industries in his state, but to the people of his state and country. A Texan can become presidentas soon as a Texan becomes worthy of the standards of the national life. There are other issues : labor, foreign policy, public housing, knuckling under to Eisenhower ; pluses and minuses. Johnson’s campaign strategy is aimed, not at the Democrats, but at the people who elected Eisenhower, “the American middle” as he conceives it. The Democrats did not elect Eisenhower, and they will be in charge at Los Angeles. It would be mindless for Texas liberals to support there, as an ostensible favorite son, a man who proposes to lead the South out there and who cannot even conceal his contempt for his own party’s liberals. This is what we have been, are being, and will go on being told until the play is done. Few will ask of the daily papersthey come every day, they are a steady stream, who can remember to ask every day who they were for in 1952, in 1956. Eisenhower ! Ah, yes. But the newspapers will not remind the people. Each time a liberal leader goes over, there is one less liberal leader to tell them. Each of us, through the winter and the spring, must do what we think is best for the country and the world and hope we are right. We can do no more and certainly no less. 7 EDITORIAL and BUSINESS OFFICE: 504 West 24th St., Austin, Texas. Phone GReenwood 7-0746. HOUSTON OFFICE: 1010 Dennis, Mrs. R. D. Randolph. We will serve no group or party but will hew hard to the truth as we find it and the right as we see it. We are dedicated to the whole truth, to human values above all interests, to the rights of man as the foundation of democracy; we will take orders from none but our own conscience, and never will we overlook or misrepresent the truth to serve the interests of the powerful or cater to the ignoble in the human spirit. AUSTIN Farmers own land, buy or rent equipment and materials, hire workers, plant, harvest, and sell their harvest. The processors and distributors, the middlemen, buy the harvest from the farmers and sell it to the people. There is so much harvest, the middlemen play farmers against each other and get it too cheap. Then they sell it to the people too high. The government decides to try to protect farmers from producing so much that the prices they get fall and they go broke. The government pays the farmers not to produce on part of their land. The farmers produce more on the land they still plant than they used to when they planted all of it. The government buys some of the harvest and stores it to get it off the market to keep prices up. Since none of this works, and the farmers go right on pridducing as though each one is charged by God to stock and re-stock the Horn of Plenty, the government guarantees farmers a minimum price, “parity.” This keeps the farmers going, but the government still doesn’t know what to do with the enormous harvests. Americans simply cannot eat and wear all of them. We let the Indians starve during their great famine. OMEN? We grow an acre of rice with seven man-hours of work. In Japan it takes 900 man-hours. We began to wonder. : Then the Republicans discovered Ezra Benson. He said, and meant to say, and really believes, that what this country needs is fewer farmers. Now the government not only pays farmers to let their land lie unplanted, the government also refuses to guarantee farmers enough income to keep them going: , Naturally, many small farmers have had to sell out. Who could buy their land? Big farmers. Banks. Investment groups. Now we have more and more “factory” farms and fewer and fewer family size farms. Farming is big business. . One smart thing you can do now, if you’re the speculative type, is go buy some farm land, forget it, and live on the checks from the government. The government is especially enjoying giving the big business farms millions of dollars extra profit every year in return for their doing nothing with whole valleys of land. But there are still enough farmers and farm workers to produce too much for Americans to eat and wear. We are still the most abundant nation on earth. We have failed ! PLEASE, gentlemen: Farmers, produce all you can, every year, on all your land! Taxpayers guarantee farmers a fair income. Subsidize them! Congress, require farmers to pay their workers a minimum wage, and subsidize this, too ! Middlemen, sell Americans all they can eat or wear, at the free domestic market price ! GovernmentCongressAmericasend the rest abroad ! Sell it ! Lend it ! Give it away ! But let the poor of the world have it! The politicians must see farm surpluses as what they are ! Yes, they create problemsprice levels ; upset foreign markets ; costs of storage; costs of transport. But farm surpluses are pod.. They are clothes. The people of the world need them. R.D. THE TEXAS OBSERVER 11.U.44.c .J.X…7.2.31. I
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