“I have been very depressed about this damned atomic thing,” he said in the Observer interview. “I have had almost as many positions in my mind as there have been days of the week the last five or six months.” “As far as I am concerned climbing into a hole in the ground is completely unrealistic. It represents neither the kind of country in which I want to live before or after I go into a hole in the ground. I see that it has only one value, the part it plays in the defense structure. “I’ve just given up on what a liberal should do. I want to say three things to the President: “One. Look on bomb shelters as purely a tactical part of the defense of the nation. “Two. If he feels under any moral restrictions because of me and my familyI’m turning the entire operation of negotiating for a better place to live in over to him. It this means he’s got to push a button, don’t hold up on my account. “Three. The third thing I want him to do is just send me a suicide kit, a painless way of taking care of my family. I just don’t like the idea of shooting ’em. “Now if that sounds to you like the language of a rational human being, then you’re just as far gone as I am,” Mullinax said. “I’ve thought very seriously of going to South America or the safest place, to be among the last of the survivors. Have you? My family agrees that before we’ll spend $1,500 to build a hole in the yard, we’ll just damn sure spend it to go to South America. If it comes to that, anything I want to contribute to as a way of life within the confines of this country is just flat gone. “It’s my notion that neither Kennedy nor Khrushchev has got the gut& to push that button. think they’re ‘both lying in their teeth when they say they’re ‘gonna push that button. /Mr. Eisenhower said that while he was President, no chance explosion would precipitate the war. He never even said that while he was Presidentbut there it was, big as life, in his mind.” Mullinax presses to the question, Should the country ‘be willing to surrender rather than face the nuclear catastrophe? “What would happen beyond unconditional surrender?If everybody said, ‘Well, if you’ve got the lack of sense to push ‘the button, come and get us.’ What has he got? What has he got? It doesn’t seem to me he’s got much. In one generation beyond total surrender, I’m not sure we haven’t got everything Hitler had at the peak “I don’t think you necessarily make me a Red just because you force me to have a particular allegiance to an ideology. I may have to hide my ideas, but I have a chance to live and make ’em real again,” he said. Trying to reduce tensions raises the question “whether the democratic process can work in this country when the military is com DALLAS LAWYER Imagine’ pletely organized against it. I’m not sure that when it came,” that is, a situation of declining world tensions, “the military would allow it any more than they do in South America. This runs so counter to our present resolution, the chances are the President would be impeached who tried it…. The masses can’t have a movement because by the nature of the situation they can’t have the information.” Decade Behind Adlai Stevenson and Chester Bowles ‘favored tension reduction before entering the government but do not appear to now, Mullinax said. It appears to him that from the information they have, reducing tensions is not possible. In Kennedy, Mullinax said, “We got as much as we could expect. This is probably the historical fact. Moral judgment is always a decade behind developments. With technology it may now be a thousands years behind. And so I just can’t take the responsibility for all these ‘problems,” Mullinax said. Mullinax believes federal spending should be increased 10 to 20 times in every area “because I think that built into the public sector is the economic salvation of our country. You encourage investment in the private sector, and you also make a tremendous investment in the areas where we desperately need it, which is in the people who represent our future.” His grandfather could not imagine the radio; his father, the TV; he, radar; but men have invented these things and now take them for granted. “I don’t think there’s any limit to this except men’s inability to imagine,” he said. R.D. Political Intelligence What are the values common to human beings? “I can’t say it, because here I think my imagination’s completely limited,” Multinax continued. “Nothing in my education, nothing in my government has permitted me this’ freedom of inquiry. The whole idea of national sovereignty, the whole idea of sectional prejudices, the immediacy of problems, have just flat denied mehave denied everybodyan opportunity to think on this area. “But I suspect . . . I suspect .. . that one of these values . . . is this . . . “. . . that such an education would give me the capacity to understand adequately the motivations of any other human being in the world, and if I understand his motivations I’m not very likely to despise him or hate him or shun him. “Until I can get to the point where I could adequately appreciate any other human being’s motivations, I am going to have in some degree the capacity to hate him, to fear him, to despise him, or to shun him. Am I not? “You know, there is a great section of our brain we don’t use. The frontal lobe. The doctors call it ‘the silent area of the brain.’ Evidently they can cut it off and we do just as well. “There’s always a question as to why on earth is it there? Nature or God is supposed to have some reason for everything. “I’m one who suspects that it’s there to house those areas of knowledge of which we are completely ignorant. “Once we can eliminate all the things that inhibit us, the human being who has lostd those inhibitions and can utilize all these drives will probably be using the silent area of the brain. “Now this fourth ‘branch of government should be something that will have latent within itself the ability to help us get ‘beyond the nation, back to our individual relations.” East Texas Lad `No Limit Except Man’s Inability To he wanted to meet them, and Mullinax remembers breakfasting with Allred at the Mansion. Montgomery in those years had a close tie with Allred, who was advocating the state public utilities commission in which ‘Montgomery deeply believes. In 1936 Mullinax ran for the legislature on a platform that was radical in those days: abolish the poll tax, tax natural resources, enact a strong lobbyist control law, and “no sales tax.” J. Frank Norris, the Baptist preacher in Fort Worth, had called him a radical on-campus force in a pamphlet, and this was used against him the last two weeks of the runoff, which he lost by a narrow margin. A student who had lived with Mullinax and others at the Progressive Democrats’ House lifted a box of their private correspondence and took it to legislators who decided to investigate communism at the University. Mullinax was subpoenaed, and “For a while they were making headlines, but we were, too.” Then a stranger approached Mullinax and his friends and reveated he, the stranger, really was a communist, and that there was a cell of six or seven students who had taken to meeting in a hollow underneath the physics building auditorium. Alarmed by the investigation, they had moved their records to the attic of the faculty woman’s club! ” ‘So what shall we do?’ ” ‘Mullinax remembers the communist youth asking him. He remembers the reply: ” ‘We’ve got two pieces of advice. If you can’t drop dead, for God’s sake just sit still and wait till this thing is over.’ ” One of the young Reds was apprehended putting leaflets in cars on the Capitol grounds and thus the existence of the cell was brought into the hearings, but, Mullinax remembers, none of the students the committee had been after in the first place was involved, nor was the faculty. Mullinax ran for county judge after a few years in Winnsboro, but by that time there had been too much damaging publicity and he ran fourth in a field of five. He does not regret his rejections at the polls. “I hated trying to make people think I care anything about people I don’t care anything about,” he says. Then, Mullinax says, “I did the two worst things a man could do. I joined the Army and married. They were both my salvation.” In 1947 he formed his law firm in Dallas; there are now seven member lawyers. They represent, most consistently, the teamsters, machinists, electricians, and operating engineers. \(The teamsters in Texas, he says, “are the most bona fide and democratic labor union . that I know of,” and the last 15 years in Dallas “have had more organizational effort than any other element of the labor move49-year-old Otto Mullinax was born on a farm near Winnsboro, Texas. His grandfather had to flee the South during the Civil War because his sympathies were with the North. He heard the wife he’d left behind died, so he remarried; then he learned she was still living, so he went back to her. All the while he was fathering children. Mullinax laughs and says that” inthe family “we’ve always been just a little bit illegitimate.” When Mullinax laughs his whole torso participates in the convulsions and peals of sound that bring all conversation and thought to an end until they subside. An East Texas boy, he used to say “nigger,” of course. He started wondering when he went home from the University of Texas in 1934, saw a Negro friend on the street, and shook his hand: by the time he reached home his father had heard about it. But he really got religion when he playfully called the Mullinax’s Negro maid “nigger” and she lost patience and chased him around the kitchen table with a butcher knife. “I’m tellin’ you, I got me around that table and from that moment to this I was completely converted to the notion that there was some things you kidded about and some things you didn’t,” Mullinax said, the laughter rising from him again. In 19341Mullinax and his student friend, Clay Cochran, took over the South Texas Young Democrats with a program of progressive reform. Gov . Jimmy Allred told their mentor, Dr. Robert Montgomery, THE TEXAS OBSERVER Page 8 Nov. 17, 1961 Year from Now? Mullinax is a member of the national board of Americans for Democratic Action. He is a key person in nearly all liberal projects in Dallas. He was Henry Gonzalez’ North Texas campaign manager in the 1958 gubernatorial campaign, but did not take any part for either Gonzalez or Maury Maverick Jr. in the 1961 Senate election, believing it was senseless for both of them to run and a waste of time to support either of them under the circumstances. At an organizing meeting of the liberal forum of Texas, Mullinax, losing patience with discussions of state tax policy, patronage, politics, and the like, rose up and said the real question, with war threatening, was whether they would even be around a year from then. and state chairman of the Latin organization PASO, called on VicePresident Johnson this week to thank him for his activities on Gonzalez’ behalf. He said LBJ “made a real contribution to our success in electing Gonzalez.” Pena, along with Dr. Hector Garcia of Corpus Christi, national PASO president, attended President ‘Kennedy’s White House dinner and reception Monday. Pena later went to the Pentagon for a conference with Navy Secretary John Connally, but remained mum about what was discussed . .. Observer sources in Washington say the cocktail ‘party .gossip is that Connally will run for governor Connally carried along 14 Texas publishers with him on the aircraft carrier Lexington when it left San Diego for a cruise to Hawaii. The Texas Press Assn. formed the group at Connally’s invitation . . . Cong. Jim Wright will have a fund-raising dinner at the Driskill Nov. 21, $10 a plate to help pay off his Senate campaign deficit. frog Rep. Menton Murray of Har lingen has agreed to introduce a bill at the next special session to make part of Padre Island a state rather than a national park. Land Cmsr. Jerry Sadler, who vigorously favors this course, says he will help prepare the bill. fro/ A hot partisan controversy has developed between Clyde Johnson, executive director of the state Democratic Party, and Mrs. Dan Moody, the Democrat-turned Republican who spearheaded a rally of conservative Democrats for the GOP’s Jack Cox a couple of weeks ago. Johnson charged that 45 of 67 persons reported to news media as signers of a peti tion urging Cox to run for gov ernor were not present at the ‘Cox rally. He called the meeting “the worst political flop and the biggest piece of false political propaganda in Texas politics.” One of the signers, Sen. Hubert Hudson of Brownsville, was in Europe, Johnson said, and three “prominent Democratic Party leaders” who were listed have “vigorously denied” any part in the petition or the meeting. Mrs. Moody blazed into Abilene and fired an angry telegram ‘ to the AP in Dallas charging that Johnson’s statements were untrue. She said: “Have just seen statement from AP out of Austin Nov. 10 put out by political pee-wee Clyde Johnson, concerning the conservative meeting last week in Austin which backed Jack Cox. Because such a little man puts out such a statement does not make it true. Every name on that list was contacted and indicated approval of Cox; and because a few reneged due to dirty pressure from ‘higher ups’ in the once good old Democratic Party does not make the meeting a flop nor cancel its import. “I charge that little Mr. Johnson put on TV yesterday facts that were absolutely untrue and Tv and ‘press gave weight to these unsubstantiated statements. I sincerely ask you as a decent news agency to give us equal coverage to combat these regular underhanded practices. This little man is scared because outstanding citizens over Texas, many former Democrats, resent Democratic black mailing and are turning to Cox to rid us of this crew.” Since the meeting, Mike Butler of Austin, Gene Hendrix of Alpine, and Hugh White of Dallas have disclaimed any part in it. goof Cox, in a City Coliseum rally
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