LBJ Barnstorming for Gonzalez on Election Day Photo by Jerry Hayes EAST, WEST SIDES UNDERGIRD VICTORY RHYTHMS OF THE BIBLE A Conversation with Dancy started by stressing bread-andbutter issues, but Goode’s hardhitting stance on foreign policy generally he favored a tougher American stand internationally forced Gonzalez to make his parries. Goode assailed Gonzalez’ membership in Americans for Democratic Action, “an extreme leftwing group” that favors Red China’s admission to the UN. did not support the recent Amerdid not support the recent Americanism Seminar in. f_ m Antonio. The race grew progressively more bitter as Gonzalez demanded that his opponent explain his relationship with the John Birch Society. In his speeches the last three, days, Johnson told voters to prove that a person of Mexican ancestry could be elected to high office. His and Gonzalez’s statements drew charges from the GOP that the race issue had been raised. Commented the Dallas News: “Issues had been c -.rly drawn between a liberal Democrat . . . and a ‘militant’ conservativeuntil Johnson arrived Thursday night. Promptly, in his first speech, he pointed up the racial and political implications ., . . There was cast into the hearts of San Antonio businessmensome wholly dependent on the military for the bulk of their business the implied threat of economic reprisal if they sent a critical Republican to ongress.” Said Goode later: “. . . our vice president irritated me by bringing in the racial issue: It was a very irritating thing. No one had ever accused me of being a bigot before. Mr. Johnson gave credence to some of the wild, false charges that there was a ‘whispering campaign’ and I couldn’t quite understand the theme: ‘Let’s prove we’re not bigots.’ ” Republicans were also angry when Johnsen and Gonzalez asked that the latter’s Mexican ancestry not be an issue in the election, then used Cantinflas, the famous Mexican comedian, and a former Mexican congressman on the stump. Goode’s Analysis Goode gave this analysis of the election: “Right after the Ike visit they were demoralized. It didn’t look as if Kennedy was coming in and there-was no assurance LBJ would be here. “Johnson’s three-day closing drive had the effect of solidifying the Democrats. It gave them the punch they needed to get out the vote. I would call it the biggest single factor against us. “Another big one was the large vote Gonzalez got in some of the North Side boxes. That’s where we were supposed to be strongest.” Gonzalez said later that when the GOP brought in their “fifty megaton bomb,” Eisenhower, the Democrats solidified under the threat. Democratic leaders in Washington took the position that the conservative assault on the New Frontier had been turned back. They pointed out that Sen. John Tower carried San Antonio in the Senate election. John Bailey, Democratic national committeeman, called it “a clear-cut test of strength between the President’s supporters and his foes.” Cong. John McCormack of Massachusetts, House Democratic leader, called it “a vote of confidence” in the administration. GOP chairman William Miller countered that the Republicans made an excellent 45 percent showing in a constituency that has sent Democrats to Congress for the last 28 years. State GOP chairman Tad Smith said the election “indicates that never again to take any race in Texas for granted. The Kennedy administration had the pants scared off them.” Four Factors Democratic strategists in Washington listed four decisive factors in their victory: one, the big outpouring of Democratic votes that went far higher than the GOP anticipated; two, an early peaking of the GOP campaign with Ike’s visit; three, the healthy minority vote that Gonzalez mustered in the silkstocking districts; four, the unity and hard work of Gonzalez supporters and the massive vote-getting drive carried on right up to election day. A huge turnout of Gonzalez people lined the streets and front yard of Democratic headquarters Saturday night. Gonzalez, clad in a dark suit with a carnation showing; shouted: “I am glad my opponent has conceded,’ but I wonder if Paul Thompson \(News and yet.” The victor took off the next day to campaign in the New York City mayor’s race and in the New Jersey gubernatorial election. Later in the week he and Johnson visited President Kennedy in the White House. 1909, with my wife and four babies. Another was born after we came. “I raised three boys and two girls. All the boys are in the grave. Within a period of a little over three years I lost my wife and my three boys.” One of his daughters lives in Austin, the other in Houston. “I’m a Democrat,” \(he pronounces it “because it’s the party of the peopleit’s for a fair deal for the common, everyday man. “That Homeowners’ Loan Corporation, for instancethe Republicans say it cost the country one billion dollars. You know, they took loans the banks wouldn’t take, they took loans business wouldn’t take, and they made $21 million.” The first time he voted for a president was 1904, when he voted for Alton B. Parker against Teddy Roosevelt. The post office where he voted was Transou, North Caroline, a French Huguenot community. “Franklin Delano \(pronounced est American leader of this century, because he did more for the common man and for humanity. He was the greatest humanitarian of his age.” At the merest whim he would interrupt the chain of talk with a chuckle and a mischievous movement of the brows, as with the Primitive ‘Baptists. “The ‘Primitive ‘Baptists believe in the final perseverance of the saints. They believe what is to be, will beeven if it ‘never happens. “They wash each other’s feet, they pay their debts, and they vote the Democratic ticketand if you can’t get into heaven on that ticket, there just ain’t no heaven at all. “They wash each other’s feet, like Christ and the disciples at the Last Supper. If you’ve never seen it performed, you might make fun of it, but I can tell you it’s a ceremony of great reverence. Remember, ‘they came to scoff, .but they remained to pray’? “They tell me Sam Rayburn was baptised in the Primitive Baptist Church three years ago. His father and mother were Primitive Baptists, just like mine. “You know, I think Sam Rayburn is just about the greatest man in the world. Ralph Yarborough and I shook hands on that the other day. He’s a man of unquestioned integrityand any public man ought to be that. “But you know, I think that little fellow Kennedy is gonna be a wonder.” Yarborough, on a swing through the Valley, had visited him in the hospital: only a few days before. “now, I’m a great admirer of Ralph Yarborough,” he said. “I’ve supported him every time he’s run. ‘Me and one other lawyer were the only two people who met him at the train station the first time he campaigned here.” The Judge supported Lyndon Johnson’s nomination for president last year. “When Kennedy got it, I sent Lyndon a telegram. It said: ‘Stoop to Conquer by Accepting Second Place.’ “If Johnson had led the ticket, he’d have been slaughtered. He could’ve carried the South, but none of the North. With ‘Kennedy and Lyndon it was a ‘ perfect set-up.” Fairness and Courtesy “I guess maybe I got in a rut as county judge and don’t want to get out,” he said, with some whimsey. “But it’s an opportunity for constructive work. There’s no greater opportunity in the county workin’ with people, hearin’ their problems. “I took one involuntary vacation, in 1932. Judge A. W. Cunningham from down at Harlingen beat me. He’s one of the smartest men I ever knewand the closest of friends. Folks blamed the depression on Hoover and me. But I won again in ’34. “You know, this poor devil of a Mexican really needs help, and nobody in the world appreciates fairness and common everyday courtesy more than a Latin. He hasn’t had too much of it in the past. “But my, haven’t they gone forward? You go to these high school graduations these days. There’s more Latins in the graduatin’ classes than Angles.” What does he consider his greatest accomplishment as county judge? Without a pause he answered: “Promoting good race relations, and I think you’ve got the best race relations here as anywhere. I don’t claj the credit, but I think I’ve helped just by treatin’ the Latins courteous and fair.” ‘A Jungle Almost’ When he first came to the Valley, “it was a jungle almost. It’s the greatest country under the flag, as beautiful as those North Carolina mountains are. And as much as I love goin’ back to my rel-i-tives, my brothers and nephews in the mountains, I just can’t be there 48 hours without missin’ it so much. “And I think the Valley’s got possibilities that you can hardly imagine. We’ve just scratched the beginning. “Fifty years from now Cameron County couldand possibly will be the leading county in Texas. That sounds like I been smokin’ marijuana, but with Padre Island beach, and the River, and the climate, and the border next to Latin America . . .% Texas has the broadest boundry of any state with Latin America, and we’re the county that penetrates Latin America like no other county. “Saywe got a proposition down here, the Falcon Dam. The federal government not only put up the money to build it, all we put up down here was the lobbyin’. I believe the two counties put up $10,000 each, and that’s all. “This Texas has an outstanding future.. We’ve got to get tourists. I don’t know how it is or why it is, but when you get tourists, everything else seems to follow, especially industry. Take California. It started .gettin’ those rich Midwestern farmers, who came to look and stayed. Flor-i-di is just about leadin’ the nation in industrial developmentand in tourists. “If we get this Padre Island beach, we’ll move at a pace down here that’ll startle the nation.” What is politics like in the. Valley? “Oh, to a large extent like politics everywhere. It ain’t what it oughta me, but I guess it’s the best there is. A person that’s got a thin skin’s got no business in politics. In politics they’ll charge CORRECTION In a Political Intelligence item in a recent Observer, it was stated that Rep. Dan Struve of Campbellton opposed the Americanism Seminar in San Antonio. Struve was not opposed to the Seminar itself, but to the participation of the Fourth Army in it. you with anything under the sun and then they’ll succeed in provin’ it on you.” If a young man asked for advice on going into politics? “I’d say, Go. It’s still the greatest opportunity to help your fellow man, the greatest calling to help your fellow man you could select.” Five People Q”This may be a very foolish question, but if you had the chance to talk with any five people who ever lived, an afternoon each, who would you choose?” The judge paused a few seconds. “That’s not a foolish question at all,” he finally replied. “First would be the Humble Master,” he said. “Then I think my second choice would be the Apostle Paul, then Robert E. Lee, then George Washingtonand you may laugh at this, but I’d almost say George Washington Carver, that Negro over there. “Now there was a great man. There wasn’t a selfish bone in his body. They offered him $100,000 to be a chemist, and he turned ’em down. And what great things he did for the South. And he found more things in the peanut than what was in the peanut before he started, didn’t he? “You take that fellow ‘Paul, wasn’t he a spellbinder? They turned the beasts on him, the snakes bit him all over, he got tossed into the Mediterranean Sea .and he just kept right on gain’. “Robert E. Leedo you know he turned down a job as president of a big insurance company to go back to a small college for $125 a month?” “I sure would like to work Thomas Edison and Benito Juarez in there somewhere. Wrong Czar “I think we should push adult education to the extent there’s not a single person in Texas or Latin America who doesn’t know the three R’sreadin’, writin’, ‘rithmetic. One of the great ways to fight communism is to educate the masses. “That John Birch Society, ain’t that one, hell of a society?. “Communism is the greatest menace that’s ever been in the worldand I think societies like that help make communists. “You know, it’s the way these people’ve been treated that makes communism. Look at the way the czars treated those poor people in Russia. Not so much the last czar as the ones before. I think they killed the wrong czar.” The Judge likes to lace his talk with quotes from Burns and Goldsmith and Sam Johnson. But to him Shakespeare was the greatest writer of them all. “Why? Well, he touches–it’s just full of human nature, human nature in the raw, full of the truth, that’s what it is. “How could one man know all he did: and he died in his ‘fifties.” ‘Excellent Company Tom Sutherland drove the car on the way to the Judge’s home. The Judge pointed to the old houses and landmarks of the city, and some of the new ones as well. He lives in a simple frame house on the outskirts of Brownsville. The shadows of late afternoon were lengthening, and there was the sound of children across the street and down the block. “We moved into this old house in ,1914,” he said. “My wife and I raised five children here. Now I’m alone, and I tell you, brother, it’s pretty sad.” He opened the screen door and waved goodbye. “Judge,” said Sutherland, a lover of the Valley and its people, “you’re in excellent company even when you’re by yourself.”
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