Saturday Review Alger Gives Warning Texans Picket, Argue, But Nixon Has Way CHICAGO-AUSTIN Texas Republicans played a bluf fing game in Chicago and lOst. With a telegram, picketings, declarations of principles, and finally a desperate decision to disregard state convention instructions to vote for Richard Nixon, the Texans labored to resist the liberalization of the Republicans’ platform under the pressure of the Nixon Rockefeller entente. Scoring a few, but nominal, concessions, they decided they might lose more than they would gain by a floor fight and gave up the ghostdemonstrating for Sen. Barry Goldwater, Arizona, but voting for Nixon for president. When he arrived in Chicago, Texas GOP chairman Thad Hutcheson said Lyndon Johnson had “swallowed and vouched for a platform repugnant to his section of the country . . . the most radical platform in American history.” John G. Tower, Johnson’s Senate opponent, was named to the civil rights subcommittee of the platform committee and immediately began a fight for a civil rights plank couched in generalities. About 60 Southern Republican delegates caucused twice in secret and elected Tower their chairman. Early Sunday, Dallas Republican Congressman Bruce Alger wired Nixon, “If you capitulate to Rockefeller in platform you will lose the entire South, which was within your grasp.” AUSTIN Miss Ima Hogg, a distinguished civic leader, and The Post, a newspaper in Houston, have just come up with the idea of a strong, well-organized American Youth Movement to counteract the subversive forces now gnawing away, in this very county, on American boys and girls. They got the idea from J. Edgar Hoover, the FBI man, in his recent warning against increasing communist infiltration of Sunday schools, fraternity dances, and teachers’ colleges. Miss Hogg suggests we should bring together the Boy Scouts of America, Boys Clubs, the YMCA, Little League Willie Morris baseball and other activities doing so much to maintain Americanism into as The Post would have it”a great national force that would aggressively uphold and strengthen our democratic institutions, defending them against subversive assaults . . . “Youths,” the Post continues, “are receptive, pliable, enthusiastic, and aggressive. The important thing is to mold them in the right image, not the wrong one.” This, we agree, is a good point. As Miss Hogg and the Post further suggest, such a youth movement in order to develop its full potentiality would require “some competent central direction and strong forces working through state and local branches. The most feasible form of organization would be an agency of government.” The Post says it might be an agency attached to the Department of Justice, or better, an auxiliary of the FBI. Director J. Edgar Hoover, the Post concludes, is the man to lead the American Youth Movement. He is the man because he knows the field and the problems better than anyone else. He could “crown an illustrious career by initiating the cause. What about it ?” the Post asks us. WELL, there is that knotty little problem of increased federal controls which keeps cropping up everywhere, and all those nosey Eastern Alger thought ‘Goldwater’s position at the convention had been strengthened by the New York meeting. Maurice I. Carlson, former Dallas county GOP chairman, said, “Rockefeller is a liberal Democrat masquerading as a Republican.” Tower, responding to the NixonRockefeller civil rights proposal, said approvingly that it was “vague and ambiguous” and “doesn’t really say anything.” Particularly, it did not endorse sit-ins, he said. Over the weekend Tower and the other Southerners labored to produce a toned-down rights plank. Well-heeled Texans picketed the platform committee. “Pickets, that’s what we are,” said Hutcheson. They carried signs, “You write the platform, not Rocky,” and “Don’t go clown the Rocky road to ruin.” Said Texas national committeeman Albert Fay : “We want protection for our minority rights.” WHEN the plank was reported Monday, it was a moderate one. “We won,” Tower said: the plank was “reasonable.” Hutcheson agreed. “This was a tremendous victory for conservatives in the GOP and in the country. It was a wonderful job of leadership by Tower,” he said. “It represents the rejection of unreasonable extremes in this field advocated by Nelson Rockefeller.” But then Nixon madea firm, open move : he demanded the civil rights intellectual type federal-aid-to-education bureaucrats trying to give us money so they can come down here and give the axe to the rights of our states and then start controlling the way our boys and girls think. But all this is idle reluctance, and we concur heartily in Miss Hogg’s unique plan. Every member of the Observer staff has been a youth at one time or another. We know a good thing when we .see it. Clint, who runs the cafe across the street, is a former Youth and onetime Star in the Boy Scouts, the only man in his county -Who got Dog Care. Clint says if we bring the scouts into . this thing we should dress them up in leather hip-boots and put red-whiteand-blue arm bands on them, to make them look snappier. Clint is a little worried over this central direction business. When we told him we were trying to get J. Edgar Hoover, though, he said fine, provided we e could get him to serve without pay. We phoned Parnell Posey, a former youth now working down at the Capitol. Posey has been keeping files on subversion in the Austin Little Leagues. He says communism has 6c} -one so far there the kids are more interested in converting opposing pitchers than hitting them. He says a ten-run inning is no longer a tenrun inning but a “rising of the proletariat.” A strong, virile Youth Movement would spread like wildfire, he says, especially among left-handed outfielders under the age of 11, who are more pliable and aggressive. Mary Grubble, chairman of arrangements for the ‘Houston Minutewomen, says the Minutewomen want to get in on this right from the start. She says the Minutewomen have been more patriotic than the DAR, and suggeqs that a den-mother for every battalion of the Youth Movement should come from the Houston chapter. Hortense Randolph Washington, of plank “‘commend” the sit-in lunchcounter demonstrations, pronounced the approved plank “unsatisfactory,” and called for “a strong civil rights plank.” He let it be known that he would throw his forces into a floor fight to liberalize the-plank. This was the development which threw the Texas delegation ‘off balance. How were they to bring pressure to bear on Nixon? The platform committee voted to reconsider the civil rights plank. Tuesday afternoon, in an angry, closed-to the press, two and a half hour caucus, the Texas delegation Poinier in Detroit NeWs Let’s See Your Union Card!” the Central Texas DAR, told the Observer the Minutewomen are rift with subversion and don’t have the necessary background to participate in a Youth Movement. She also believes American youth aren’t as patriotic as the revolutionary generation. My nine-month-old son David, who was brought into this world by sub: verted English socialized .doctors and hence is interested in getting Americanized as soon as possible, believes that fascist ends to carry out capitalistic ends may be a little machiavellian, but would work. He says the Peron Youth Movement ,never got off the ground in Argentina because Peron got chased out. THE OBSERVER would submit a few suggestions for the Post to work on: Take up Clint’s idea about the hip boots and arm bands; and possibly add field-grey uniforms with light steel helmets if the money holds up. How about some sort of fancy marching style, say a stif f-legged gait combined with an occasional hip-wiggle? Consider the feasibility of having FBI agents in charge of every regiment and battalion, because “they know the field and the problems better than anyone else.” Teach the kids how they can most courteously and without undue violation to the Fourth Commandment inform on recalcitrant and sneaky parents, as well as baby-sitters, friends, and double-dates caught reading subversive books or eating red popsickles. The Minutewomen could help here. Read carefully the unabridged version of the memoirs of Dr. Artur Axm.ann, Reich Youth Leader, now deceased. Come to think of it, a good idea would be to start this thing in Texas first, to get it off the ground as soon as possible. Would the gentlemen of the Post .care to join the Observer herewith in endorsing a Texas Department of Puberty Safety? With the sole qualification, of course, that since youths are indeed pliable, receptive, enthusiastic, and aggressive they be directed in the right, rather than the wrong direction. This thing could snowball, you know. voted, 73-23 by one report, 73-26 by another, to free itself of the state convention instructions to support Nixon for the presidential nomination. “This is not a repudiation of Nixon but a rejection of a course of action he took,” Hutcheson said. “. . . it does not mean we think Kennedy is a better man than Nixon.” “We are not rejecting or abandoning Nixon,” said Alger : “We are freeing ourselves as a warning to the Republican Party that we intend to champion the conservative cause by every possible means at our disposal . . . Each delegate is on his own.” As TO what happened in the caucus, there were only secondhand reports, since reporters had been barred. Bob Hollingsworth, political writer for the Dallas TimesHerald, described the ensuing situation as a cross between the Battle of Bull Run and a saga of the Keystone Cops. Reporters listened through a partition, were routed by a house detective, re-formed at points in a service corridor, were routed again by detectives, insisted on their rights to stand in open hallways, were beset by one guard, son of Hutcheson, rattling keys, coins, and badges so they couldn’t hearit was generally agreed it was a mess. One reporter did overhear Hutcheson call the civil rights plank “most severe and most extreme.” Tad Smith, El Paso county chairman, explained the caucus action as an attempt to change platform policy. The Texans were opposed to federal aid for school construction, a bureau of government aid for domestic planning, aid to the aged, urban renewal, and a strong civil rights plank. In a formal statement issued by Hutcheson and national committeeman Albert Fay, the delegation said it was “tremendously disturbed by the pressures brought to bear upon the platform committee . . . and by the unanticipated effort to meet the platform views of Gov. Rockefeller” and had “voted in caucus that it now considers itself free of instructions on the nominees for the presidency. Each delegate will ‘be considered free to vote his own convictions , ..” This had little visible effect on the platform committee. Alger said he felt the platform “will abrogate states rights on schools, voting, employment, housing, public facilities and services, and legislative procedures.” Tower, more conciliatory, said there were things in the platform they could not endorse, but ‘they could live with it. Seeing they had lost, Wednesday the Texans caucused and decided, 4730, not to carry the civil rights issue to the floor. Tower explained, “If we we file one and they file one, I think they will beat us.” He did not like to compromise, he saidbut there it was. He would not endorse the plank in his campaign against Johnson, he said. The Texans decided tohave a floor fight against federal aid to school construction. Later that day Alger said he had not been able to organize such a fight. There was .a report Goldwater asked him to drop the idea. “Time was just too short to organize for a maximum of fort,” Alger explained. “It would be foolhardy at any time to show erroneously, through lack of organization, conservative sentimen ., against federal aid to education by not having enough floor support.” The delegation decided not to decide how to vote on the presidency until the balloting that night ; but a straw poll showed sentiment about 39-14 for Nixon. Alger was one of four Texans. seconding Goldwater’s nomination Wednesday night, and the Texas standard was carried in Gold. ‘water’s parade, but on the roll call, Texas went along with every other state except a faction of Louisiana. and voted for Nixon. Round and round the Texans went and lost and lost and lost. Houston Post, Texas Observer Push , an Idea A Virile Youth Force
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