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‘Take a Letter . . . On Senate Stationery! Bolshevized Medicine Department Washington In My Turncoat From The Harvard Crimson I/ The enemies of Lyndon Johnson, and they are legion, are rapidly discovering that the time has come to reappraise their nemesis. For six years, L.B.J. has been effectively sole ruler of the Senate, in which capacity he has been responsible for the enactrhentand the emasculationof more liberal legislation than in any era since the Hundred Days . . . . The role Johnson has played in the Senate he has also played within the convolutions o _f the Democratic Party. He has been the embodiment of the price which that party has always paid for Southern votes : seniority, the filibuster, and above all No Liberal Legislation. Since the nomination for VicePresident, however, there has been a striking change in the demeanor of Mr. Johnson. First there was his support of the Democratic platform, which earned him the hatred of his Texas constituents, and almost lost Kennedy the Texas electoral votes. Four days before the election, he was greeted in Dallas by an angry mob, with signs reading “I dreamed I went to Washington in my turncoat.” Then, the night before the election, there was the “Austin-to-Boston” speech : ten minutes that must have puzzled a lot of people, especially Northerners, who saw Johnson throwing away Southern votes by the carload. “In the first week of the campaign,” he began, “the grandson of two Confederates went to Boston. One week later, the grandson of two Irish immigrants came to Austin. The walls are coming down. . . .” It is likely, it is more than likely, that this was the same old L.B.J. who would do anything to get and keep power. But it is possible, it is just barely possible, that freed from the Texas constituents that had molded him for thirty years, Johnson had broken loose. He spoke this week at a NATO parliamentarians meeting in Paris. The speech was not terribly important, but it was read closely by many, here and abroad, who were looking for some indication of the tenor of the Administration-elect. “We are all,” he said, addressing legislators of the Atlantic Alliance, “ultimately accountable to history. We are accountable less for the individual approval we may win at the polls than for the responsible leadership we provide, whether it means popular approval at the moment or not.” And a little later he spoke of “the courage of the parliamentarians to lead the way, each among his own constituents.” And there was a second remark, far from the essential subject of the speech, but intriguing because of its almost-irrelevance : “I am proud that in our own American elections the electorate has shown the courage to lower the walls of old divisions which too long stood in our midst.” He was talking, in all probability, to himself, especially about courage. But while it is difficult to believe that L.B.J. is actually turning into a liberal, it is hard otherwise to account for his wordS. He didn’t have to say them, any more than he had to throw Boston in the face of Austin. Time, of course, will be the arbiter. But if the turncoat fits, we hope Mr. Johnson will continue to wear it; with which, we welcome him again to Washington. I AUSTIN With much sympathy and a mutual sense of impending woe, we heartily commend t h e American Medical Association and many of the Texas doctors who belong to the good brotherhood for their vigorous, forthright stand against bolshevized medicine. As we all know, the president-elect has again proposed placing medical care for so-called old people under the so-called social security program. This most pernicious scheme, dressed up by the labor-radical dreamers of the Democratic Party after considerable prompting from figures like, Chester Bowles, Arthur Schlesinger, Jr., John Kenneth Galbraith, Walter Reuther, Alexander Kerensky, and Little Beagle Johnson, could very well be the death-knell of our American values of individualism, incentive and fair play. The American Medical Association has not been found lagging, however. “The surest way to total defeat” an important AMA official declared this week, “is to say we should sit down and try to negotiate something reasonable.” In ringing philosophical tones that will surely echo down through the ages of man, he added: “I tell you gentlemen, we have to fight with all our resources. No one should underestimate the strength of American medicine.” The nation’s “outstanding general practitioner” spoke more to the point when he said the whole project sounds like blackmail to his antiseptic ears. THOSE OF US seriously concerned with the survival intact of American doctors must emphasize that this is not just a battle for the doctors’ inherent right to buy Jags, hunting lodges, Cessnas, and streamlined houses. That is only part of it, for there is a principle involved here infinitely more valuable and enduring than the Jags and hunting lodges almost as important, indeed, as the Cessnas and streamlined houses: namely, free enterprise, unmitigated and inexorable. Why, if the idea of medical security for these old people under such half-baked social schemes gains a foothold, then what will happen eventually to underwriting and undertaking, as well as to dentistry in all its off-shoots? We can easily envision somebody agitating f o r medical care for aging fox terriers under social security, and that is where the humble veterinarian comes in. This proposal, in short, touches many segments of our society besides the old aged, as you can see. This is also a fight, as we have suggested, for individual respect and initiative, as well as against keeping us from playing into the hands of Soviet Russia. THIS BATTLE is one more example of the AMA’s consistent and creative opposition down through the years. In hard and trying times, often deserted by its friends and associates, the brotherhood has bravely stood by its guns in resisting the gnawings and nibblings of the enemy. Who can ever forget, even after the passing of a generation, how the AMA with its characteristic foresight and vigor opposed that perilous proposal to report tuberculosis cases to public authority a practice which gradually and relentlessly, after the fashion of all social demoralization, became the basis of TB control in the country? Then, refusing to yield to pessimism, the AMA fought against the National Tuberculosis Act before it passed the United States Congress without one solitary soul of sufficient courage to vote against it. Next it fought the good fight against other deadening programs like compulsory vaccination for smallpox, immunization against diptheria by public health agencies, and federal aid to combat infant and maternal deaths. We all remember, no doubt, how the AMA continued to wage battle for individual respect and human freedom against the Social Security Act, old age and unemployment insurance, public venereal clinics, Red Cross blood banks, free diagnostic centers for TB and cancer, federal aid to public health, school health services, federal aid to medical education, and government medical care of sailors and soldiers. On each occasion the brotherhood warned an unwary republic of the consequences. Old age and unemployment insurance was a step toward communism, as only a handful of people realized at the time. Government medical care of men in the armed forces would be “harmful to national defense,” but how many representatives of the people in our Congress ,could then foresee where this unusual program would lead us? Two of the most admirable stands the AMA has ever taken are now largely forgotten by our citizens. The brotherhood worked to the bitter end against Blue Cross, “a half-baked scheme,” and against voluntary health insurance, which indeed was “inciting to revolution.” And now, in the same heartwarming tradition, the AMA is taking its case to the people. Will they listen before it is too late? W.M.’ Election: Poignant Aftertales A N EXECUTIVE in the business hierarchy of Houston tells this story. A fellow junior executive in a manufacturing company there was asked one day by a. superior to run for precinct chairman as a conservative. He replied that he could not, as he was a liberal. “Well,” said the superior, looking him flush in the eyes, “don’t give me your final answer now. Think it over a few days. Give me your final answer Monday.” Talking it over with his wife during the weekend, the man decided he needed the job and Monday said all right, privately resolving to do nothing on his own behalf. Then,’ however, he began to receive calls, as he put it, from everyone in his precinct who might be subject to business pressurewhat could they do to help? The liberal running as a conservative defeated one of the leading liberal precinct chairmen in Houston. There is, in another Houston company noted for its overtly conservative impact on Houston politics, an outspoken liberal. He really speaks up. A fellow sufferer in the corporate life asked him what he does when “they put the heat on.” “Well,” he said, “when it gets real rough, I ask them, ‘how old are you? 55 ? 60 ? In five more years you’ll be out of this. You’re thinking of the short run interests of the company. I’ve got 25 or 30 years more here. I’m thinking of the long-term interests of the company.’ ” That, said the liberal executive, seems to satisfy them. A YOUNG WOMAN of distinguished Republican parents had advised me that she was one of the Nixon girls during Nixon’s visit to Texas. When I talked to her again after the election, soon she told me, “I voted for Kennedy!” This was a surprise. “It was eleventh hour sort of thing,” she said. “I realized that all of my reasons for voting for Nixon wer cynical, and I had decided to stop being cynical.” THANKSGIVING, after the feast with my father and mother, my father, who is a Republican and a Catholic, said, “Well, I voted for Kennedy.” “You did!” I exclaimed. “It was against my principles,” he said at once. “Why’d you do it?” I asked. “To counteract one other bigot’s vote,” he said, raising his forefinger firmly. “If they had left religion out of it, I’d have voted for Nixon. But when somebody tells me that because I’m a Catholic I can’t be president …” He ended that sentence with his raised, tightly clenched fist. MY BOY GARY \(age eight, to the print shop the other day. A well-groomed young lady in a slick, shiny-rich sedan pulled up alongside us at a stop sign. As sometimes will happen, we exchanged a glance which ended in beginning. Gary, however, tlirew his arm over the window-sill of our. somZwhat dusty ’55 Chevrolet and asked, “Who’re you for? “Who’m I for?” she asked. “You mean, who did I vote for?” “Yeah, that’s right,” Gary said. “Oh I voted for Nixon,” she said and drove off with a smile. “Pooey!” exclaimed my child, , my babe; “everybody in that kind of a car is always for Nixon.” R.D. THE TEXAS OBSERVER Page 5 Dec. 2, 1960 Too Late Now?