Readers Write on Election, Bremond, Politics the name “St. Mary’s” that is ers because of their religious faith I carved in the stone over the en.. . may be believed by some, but trance to the elementary school I choose to believe to the conbuilding. We do not agree with trary. This group and their ilk you at all regarding this; howare, I believe, dedicated to one ever, we respect your right to purpose only, and that is to de ‘Amazing Analysis’ Sirs: In the November 11 issue of the Observer you make an amazing analysis of the election returns. In virtually one breath you say or imply that Catholics in south central and south Texas voted for Kennedy because he was a Catholic and that Baptists went for him in other parts of the state, too. Does this mean that Catholics voted their religion and Baptists did not? Aren’t you confusing the facts in the case? The balance of power in this election was the “Mexican” vote, both in Texas and in California. For once, this vote united behind the promise of a liberal party represented by a vigorous young man. Where, in the past, the machines and the Shivercrats would cause a split in the “Latin American” vote in Texas, and where party affiliation controlled the California “Mexican American” vote, this time, by the grace of diligent work on the part of their own leaders, these people repudiated the “we never had it so good” Nixon thesis. You have the American of Mexican descent sized up wrong if you think that he will vote his religion. Look at the vote in New Mexico, for example. Or in Mexico, in elections there. This time, glory be. the Mexican American voted for his own best interests and he would have voted the same way if Kennedy had been a Unitarian. Had the “Mexican” leadership been similarly encouraged and recognized four years ago, that vote would have been just as solid for Stevenson. Had the quarter of a million or more “Mexican” votes in Texas and more than half that number in California split, as in the past, both of those states would have been in the Republican column this year. It is to the credit of the Kennedy strategy and to that of the mexicano leadership that California and Texas were carried for Kennedy. And, remember, LBJ had nothing to do with this crucial vote. Again, this was not a Catholic voteand the politicos better awake to the fact that this minority, almost two million strong in Texas alone, is rapidly coming of age, politically. It cannot be off handedly compartmentalized on any basis, except that it is increasingly sensitive to what is in its own best interests. Puerto Rico should make it more than amply clear that the HispanicAmerican Catholic is not under the political thumb of the Church, if we have not learned that lesson already from the Mexican Revolution for Jndependence and the Revolution of 1910-1920. If you will read back into the history of the Spanish Catholic Church you will learn why Spanish-Mexican Catholics can worship one way and vote another. The fact that, this time, they for a Catholic is coincidental. Do not mistake the independence of this vote. George I. Sanchez, Dept. of Education, University of Texas, Austin. Bremond Response The writer is superintendent of schools in Bremond, Texas. Sirs: . . . In your Oct. 28 issue you state that we should remove have an opinion in this controversy . . . it would be ridiculous for us to chisel out that name and to deface rented property while the large sign we have placed on the front campus identifies the school as a public school. We have never made a secret of the original ownership of the school, nor do we wish to cover up the manner in which it was used prior to our leasing it. After all, a nameplate makes no difference, for the actual use made of the building will determine whether or not it is a public or private school. In the same editorial, you stated positively that the trustees have “permitted” the “wall of separation” to be breached. You did not state this as an opinion but as a fact, and therein you accepted a burden of proof The Bremond controversy is deep-rooted in the Constitution, and it is rather tragic that so few people know the whole story. It is distressing that the complainants are mostly Protestant ministers who do not live in the Bremond district, who do not have children attending the school they condemn, and who, other than in their desire to destroy, have not the slightest interest in the welfare of the Bremond people. I maintain the non-resident petitioners do not have a justifiable interest in the affairs of the Bremond independent school district. Neither you nor other editors have given this issue attention, and I believe it is more important than all other issues in the controversy . . . the American way of life is established upon basic freedoms that register an abhorence for harassers and meddlers in affairs that are not their legal concern. Is it not significant to you that none of the 17 complainants has ever had a child attend the school . . .? If you or I were to enter suit against the Dallas school trustees . . . we would be laughed out of court. . . . The Dallas ministers . . . have sought a scapegoat for their own pleasure and hope to slaughter it in a display of their power. prive every . . . Catholic . . . of his lawful right to seek employment in public offices without being subjected to a religious test. Why did preacher Allen make a positive statement that the elementary school wherein matters grieve him has never had a “fulltime teacher who was not a nun”? Mr. Allen knows, and you have so indicated in print, that of the six teachers in the elementary school, two of them are males, one of them Catholic and one Protestant. . . . We know nothing short of the complete destruction of the board’s arrangement to rent a building from the Catholic Church will please the petitioners that trained, qualified, and certified public school teachers who happen to be Catholic nuns should be “fired” because of their religious faith . . . They might give some thought to other portions of the Constitution than those they quote when they seek to degrade people of Catholic faith, solely because of that faithto mention a few: “no person shall be denied the equal protection of the law” and “no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office of public trust under the United States.” J. W. Baker, Bremond. ‘Tainted or Unfair’ Sirs: It seems to me we are witnessing a repetition of the NixonMcCarthy numbers game and guilt by accusation in the “voting irregularities” charges. The charges made before the election are repeated daily in the papers in three, five, or eleven states. Our victory is somehow tainted or unfair. In an election so close, is it really possible to credit the “Dallas Mob” and their “brainy leader” with pure genius in thus having snatched defeat from the jaws of victory? “Never have so many owed so much . . .” A monument? John E. Simmons, 7618 Hume Dr., Dallas. Issues Back Home Sirs: For several years I have read with interest the only newspaper in the state of Texas which bothers to cover what is going on behind the scenes in Texas politics. While I am away from the state for a three-year hitch in the armed service, I consider it part of my responsibility as a citizen to keep up with the issues back home . . . Thank you for your coverage and insight . . . Sam Warner, 2656 N. Van Dorn, Alexandria, Va. Philosophers’ Debate Sirs: Professor Morgan’s amusing parody provides an excellent example of what all of us have noticed: the tendency of a brilliant analogy to get us nowhere. It will provide amusement of another kind to explain the reasons for this. Professor Morgan appears to argue that we should have greater breadth of choice in political matters, but if we ask the terms of the recommended choice we find them curiously elusive. Now, the notion that greater breadth of choice makes for a more satisfactory choice is appropriate in conditions like those obtaining at a vegetable counter. We rather expect the best of ten apples to be better than the best of five. But, in a grocery store, one’s choice determines what one gets. Not so in politics, for if there were several serious candidates for the presidency, the effective selection of a president would fall to the House of Representatives, and quite other people than ourselves would then determine what we got. To have more than two candidates always is to run the risk of some kind of minority rule. We are prepared, however, to. take Professor Morgan’s argument in another sense. The notion that greater breadth of choice makes for a more satisfactory choice is also appropriate in conditions like those obtaining in a clothing store. For every preference in size, cloth, and cut there should be a pair of trousers, since all preferences can, and should, be satisfied. But all our first preferences in presidents cannot be satisfied; that is, after all, why we hold elections in the first place. Professor Morgan’s argument’ denies its own relevance, an altogether frequent result of arguments from analogy. Why, then, should we wish to be deceived? Here, we can see why. Abstraction has proceeded only far enough to distract. We are induced to imagine very different contexts of choice simultaneously. Distracted, we tolerate a ‘conflation of their features. Though the talk of choice naturally still seems familiar, it has in fact become so unfamiliar that our knowledge of the realities of political choice is not engaged. Nor, of course, is our mature concern for the principle of majority rule. We are left only with the childish feeling that, somehow, things should be better arranged. Martin A. Kramer, Department of Philosophy, University of Texas, Austin. Resiionse Morgan, asked to respond to Kramer, sent the following letter to the Observer: Sirs: My wry apercu has been subjected to more subtle analytic exegesis than it deserved. I sought not to program any reform of democratic political procedures, but simply to vivify a systemic distortion in our culture. Evidently, a more nearly rational democratic society will be achieved only when its citizens become less smugly and contentedly irrational than our own. Equally evidently, I have not pretended that multi-party electoral choices will resolve all our problems ,of public irrationality. Dr. Kramer’s counter-analogy is apt: He and I can indeed choose the cut of our respective trousers, each to his own taste and waist, while he and ,I cannot respectively choose a president, tailor-made to our individual specifications. Socially, we can either sacrifice effective action in the interest of multiple choice \(witness postwar Practically, we meditate. Dr. Kramer implicitly reduces my wistful wish for broader political choice to the absurdity of each voters individual taste. Will he permit me, in turn, to reduce the present tendency toward narrower ranges of political choice to the absurdity of apathetic, monolithic mediocrity? A majority choosing between A and A is not even a majority, but a trivially logical unanimity. Suppose that Americans could in fact choose this fall among four candidates instead of two: one of the extreme right, one of the moderate right, one of moderate left and one of extreme left. Admit that such a choice might not result in any majority decision. Ask: would America’s citizens have enjoyed a fuller, freer avenue for the effective expression of their political beliefs? If ti uncritically identify “democratic procedures” with mechanical computations of majorities, we beg the issue by definition. If, on the other hand, we conceive “democracy” as involving responsible determination by the citizens, a more open electoral pattern could be considered “more democratic” than our present almost closed one. Why, after all, must a majority of uneasily compromised consciences forever be “more democratic” than a plurality of relatively confident but more widely distributed decisions? What magic inheres in the number 51r; ? Finally, if it be thought childish to wish that things were better arranged, I gladly join those children of history, far wiser than I \(like Voltaire and Mandeville fathered thought with their wishes and work with their thoughts. My modest hope was that, in America today, we can learn to take our very separate selves more seriously than we do, for we need more open apprehension of distinctive, crucial values, and more willingness to create than to copy. Are our feelings that things should be “better arranged” then childish? To be sure they are, for except we be as children, we shall not enter the kingdom of reason.” Douglas N. Morgan, Dept. of Philosophy, University of Texas. Suggestion Sirs: Willie Morris’ editorial on the press in elections \(Obs. Nov. ber several good editorials in past issues calling attention to the tie between big dailies and the wealthy special interest group. I cancelled my subscription to the big dailies and started taking the Temple Telegram in 1954. It is delivered to my door every morning before I get up, and it has all the AP and UP news coverage and sports. And furthermore, it is always for the candidates who are for the best interest of the most people, and I always love that editor more after each political campaign. I have sold many of my friends on this friendly paper, and I think many others would do the same with a little publicity . . . S. W. Nichols, Rockdale. Groan Sirs: Now is the time to start to work to keep Jack Cox from being governor next race. King Smith, Breckenridge. CLASSIFIED WILL PAY reasonable price for old but usable typewriter. GL 38873, Austin. Is MMMMMM Emu UUUUU UUUUUUU Judy Horton In reference to your report Jimmy Allen, Baptist Christian Life director, we are disgusted with the untruths reported and the false conclusions he has given you. We must assume that the Baptist minister actually stated that our trustees “offered” to make adjustments . . . if the Protestant complainants would not take them to court. This false statement and another untruth that the offer was made to a Dallas area committee consisting of 30 Protestant and Jewish “leaders” is nothing short of an insult to the integrity of the trustees of the Bremond independent school district. Until your report was published, we had never heard of the selfstyled “Free Public School Cornmittee” in Dallas. It is ridiculous that we have offered to compromise with this unknown organiza
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