Page 5


A ” – 4,4 ,,rtcr t , ‘ ‘; ‘,”” MAULD03 “He does better in kitchens with guys who don’t speak English.” An Ex-Governor’s Plaintive Cry SHIFTING CONTEXTS THE TEXAS OBSERVER t z ,e \(e c lat 7 Let those flatter who fear, it is not an American art.Jefferson Checkers Again Or .. . _4 Si. &ward? As we go to press Thursday night the $200,000 loan to the Nixon family from Howard Hughes, reportedly followed by favorable treatment for Hughes in Washington, has yet to be fully reported. However, we gather from the press and from California sources that it is a very serious matter. Should this be so, we could not refrain from suggesting to the Vice President that many children watch these presidential campaigns and tend to imitate the examples set by those in high office. We await with a kind of eager anxiety the 1960 Checkers speech, should a revised replay become nee Queotionahte We are disgusted by an ad paid for by the Kennedy-Johnson headquarters asserting that Jimmy Hoffa has “teamed up with Nixon.” Placed in the Dallas News, the ad obviously is designed to smear Nixon by association with Hoffa. The Democrats can win without such throw-backs to McCarthyism. Hoffa is for Nixon; let it go at that in the name of common decency. We think the question first asked about Nixon at the Democratic convention”Would you buy a used car from this man?”is a fair and appropriate one. When there is a question about the character of a man running for President, it is no smear to raise it. But we regard as unfair a card being circulated by some Democrats accompanying this question with a deliberately-blurred picture of Nixon. There is no excuse for such malicious doctoring. There have been sneak attacks on Kennedy’s religion the bogus “oath,” the falsehoods cloaked in Protestant piety. This week Mrs. Styles Bridges, the senator’s wife, said Kennedy is “very, very soft on communism,” a contemptible use of a woman for a McCarthyist attack. Nixon himself has attempted to make Kennedy seem soft on the Reds. We find in Texas the Dallas News calling the Democratic platform “Marxian socialism,” the Houston Post calling the Kennedy position on QuemoyMatsu “a retreat, a concession to communism,” and the Dallas News again distorting the Korean war as “a cowardly policy that slaughtered American boys . . . they had to stand n eedfeJJ The explosion this week in the Dow glycerine plant at Freeport killing four men and injuring a dozen others occurred only 300 feet from where a similar explosion killed a worker and injured eight last spring. How long is Texas going to be a party to such needless disasters? Industrial safety experts say a great proportion of on-the-job accidents can be prevented. Legislators have been fighting for an industrial safety code for years. The Texas Manufacturers’ Assn. and other short-sighted businessmen have fought it. Next session, we trust, the combined efforts of the Governor, Reps. Charles Hughes and Bob Eckhardt, and the growing number of widows of the dead will bring about this perfectly obvious, desperately needed reform. 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. OCTORBER 28, 1960 Ronnie Dugger Editor and General Manager Willie Morris, Associate Editor Sarah Payne, Office Manager essary. No doubt the Vice President, who argued in 1952 that his $18,000 slush fund had been exposed because the communists were after him, would take tremulous note this year of the even more remarkable advances of the international communists in their crusade to smear him. What, however, would he use for a dog ? Was the strain too much for little Checkers? Would anything less than a St. Bernard save him this time? We may rest assured, in any case, that he will not expose those around him, nor those looking up to him, to any careless language. 5echniueJ up and be shot in the chests or retreat.” These attacks simply cast their bile upon Kennedy’s war record and his intelligence and patriotism. But Democrats lose the right to indignation about such things when they stoop to the same level themselves. Loan Reform We are sorrywe have tried to reason our way through the pitfalls but we cannot join those who, by advocating it, accept responsibility if the people approve the proposed constitutional amendment to lift the present 10% ceiling on interest rates. The loan sharks prevented the legislature from passing an enabling law for a 36% limit, admittedly a reasonable, facts-of-life ceiling. Instead, they had the legislature ask the people to lift up the lid, leaving the sky the limit for the enabling legislation. Those who argue that there can be no reform without the amendment ignore the fact that the legislature in 1961 can show its contempt for the approval of the proposed amendment to the constitution. That is the proper way to go about the reform. Of course, we strongly urge voter approval of the proposed annual pay raise of $4,800 for members of the legislature. e rerriond Caoe In the Bremond church-state case, the school board trustees have made various conciliatory repairs in the wall of separation they had permitted to be breached. They will permit nuns to teach in the public classrooms in religious garb, which has a pro-Catholic religious impact on their students. They also decline to remove the sign, “St. Mary’s School,” from a now-public school, which they should do, even at considerable expense. We find even more suggestive of the implications of church-state separation the remarks by a Houston Christian prayers and holidays prejudicial to the Jewish faith. If the state’s taxes and educational authority are not to be used to the detriment of Jews, members of other nonChristian faiths, or skepticsand they should not be so usedthe rabbi’s point is well taken. Published once a week from Austin, Texas. Delivered postage prepaid $5 per annum. Advertising rates available on request. Extra copies 15c each. Quantity prices available on order. EDITORIAL and BUSINESS OFFICE: 504 West 24th St., Austin, Texas. Phone GReenwood 7-0746. HOUSTON OFFICE: Mrs. FL D. Randolph, 419 1/2, Lovett Blvd., Houston 16, Texas. AUSTIN . It makes one’s blood run two shades of sea-green to hear these conservative Republicans who style themselves Texas Democrats declaring, as before, that the Democratic Party has “deserted” them and their kind. All over the commonwealth the plaintive cry can be heard, at the country club cocktail hour, the Monday morning board meeting, the fancy luncheon and rousing rally for propertied iconoclasts and stand-pat individualists. The Dallas News, which would have stood only slightly to the left of Ras. putin and considerably to the right of the ninth century kings of Wessex, now leads the chorus. It has been joined, to everyone’s amazement, by one of our former governors. Ex-Gov. Shivers, perambulating across the state to help defeat “that boy” who has so presumed to place himself in the reforming tradition of Jefferson and Jackson, Theodore Roosevelt and Wilson, Franklin Roosevelt and Truman, acknowledges himself as a man of rare courage and principle. Riding from airport to luncheon engagement in long, thin Cadillacs emblazoned with NixonLodge and Tower stickers, . Shivers upbraids his fellow Texas Democrats for having been conned out of a heritage. This is Shivers’ third consecutive intervention on behalf of Republicanism. For this reason, as well as for the fact that Shivers’ brand of Republicanism is considerably less bold and imaginative than Nixon’s and Lodge’s, many members of the conned-out party are not taking his lectures-on history too seriously. It strikes this writer, as indeed it may have struck others, that Shivers’ alleged individualism, principle, and courage have been somewhat overplayed by our zealous gentlemen of the Republican press. For is this not a man who lacks the simple political fortitude to enjoin his deepest convictions and cast his lot with his true ideological kindred? When will he cease making these self-righteous platitudes about the Democratic Party’s “betrayal” of its own past? He should admit, honestly and forthrightly, that the Democratic Party became alien to him only a few days after March 3, 1932or perhaps nearly two decades before that, when Wilson’s New Freedom emerged as protector of the people against ocial injustice and economic imbalance. Time and again Shivers and his people tell us : this is no longer the , party of Jefferson and Jackson and Wilson. We can only wonder where men like Shivers would have stood in the shifting political contexts of those times. How devotedly, we may speculate, would Shivers, a propertied conservative businessman of 1798, have supported Jefferson in defense of majority rule over Federalist oligarchy, or against governmental allegiance to the mercantile and investing classes? Would he have barnstormed for Jackson in his fight against entrenched political privilege and economic vested interest for the sake of his “rural capitalists and village entrepreneurs”? How would he, the right-wing conservative, have stood in 1913 on Wilson’s progressive reforms : on the income tax, on securities regulation, on the federal reserve system, on the first effective beginnings of pro-labor legislation, on the broad experiment of arresting the exploitation of the country and the distressing concentration of wealth in an unregulated economy? FDR, of course, does not make Shivers’ select rosterthe man who galvanized the party as Wilson and Jackson and Jefferson before him, turning on the backlogged social ills of the age as his Democratic forebears had done, establishing principles of social security and economic justice in a complex industrial culture. These innovations, we are told, were not merely unDemocratic, they were unAmerican. Shivers and his people will never acknowledge that society cannot remain static and embalmed, least of all in America ; and that political parties cannot remain insensitive and unmoved before the changing moods and shifting demands of new ages, least of all the Democratic Party, traditionally the party of innovation, of experiment, and of reform. While they are evoking the spirit of Jefferson, let them ponder this passage, written not long before his death: “. . . I know also that laws and institutions must go hand and hand with the progress of the mind. As that becomes more developed, more enlightened, as new discoveries are made, new truths disclosed, and manners and opinion change with the change of circumstances, institutions must advance also, and keep pace with the times. We might as well require a man to wear still the coat which fitted him when a boy, as civilized society to remain ever under the regime of their barbarous ancestors.” WM