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“I SAID LET’S HAVE LUNCH TOGETHER AFTER .THE PARADE.” KENNEDY’S FIRST YEAR AUSTIN The women’s clubs are presently very much exercised about their crusade for equal rights for women, but this is just a gambit to worm a few more concessions out of the old man at .home. Women actually enjoy their men beating them up. If a man doesn’t care enough to slug you, he doesn’t care much. Besides, it feels good to hurt. Women don’t want equal rights. As Senator Lane so cogently says, they’re smarter than that : They know that along with equal rights they’ll have equal responsibilities, and who wants equal responsibilities in such a world as this? Women, actually, are cowards. There’s nothing so rare as a woman with courage. These things must be true. How otherwise can you explain the fact that women have left politics to men? Men usually have other work to do. Their quite needy egos lead them into comical posturings and absurdly pretentious slogans that mean nothing real. They are more interested in hiring secretaries who will lionize them than in solving problems. Men politicians are the most absurd of all the fork-legged creatures. And look at the messes they keep the world in ! War, war, more war. Norman Cousins counted more than three thousand wars in recorded history. Disarmament never comes about because men need to be heroes. They can’t have children, so they have to have conquests. A man without his bomb is like a woman without her womb. Men have always fought, and women, weak and dependent, have yielded to them the mindless adulation they fight for. Men made nations and then went home to bed with the waiting women. Men made weapons and then went home and gave a few of their valuable moments teaching children how to play war. Men fought World War II and then they were in the dilemma just before Hiroshima : drop the bomb, or lose perhaps a million soldiers invading Japan. Men dropped the bomb on Hiroshima. And then men dropped the second bomb on Nagasaki. It was a different kind of bomb, and they wanted to know if it would work. Now men have invented a single bomb that can kill ten million people. New slogans that can kill hundreds of millions. Holes for $150 or less for everybody to crawl in. THE MIND RACES back to the scene in Hersey’s Hiroshima: the girl in the office at the tin works when the white flash came, the factory fell in, and she was horribly crushed under books and bookcases. “There, in the tin factory, in the first moment of the atomic age, a human being was crushed by books.” Generally speaking, \(that is to say, imprecisely, the only way some kinds books and nations and war and bombs; women made children and meals and beds. And they left the politics to men. Consider Texas politics. Behind the scenesyou probably do not know this, but it is truewomen do the work. Remove seven women from the politics of the state, for instance, and you would have had only a shadow of a liberal movement for the last decade. They are Mrs. R. D. Randolph in Houston, Mrs. Jean Lee in Austin, Mrs. Latane Lambert in San Antonio, ‘Mrs. Cordye Hall in Dallas, Mrs. Margaret Carter in Fort Worth, Mrs. Minnie Fisher Cunningham in New Waverly, and Mrs. Lillian Collier in Mumford. Yet what they are doing, really, is electing men. They do not run for office themselves. Except for Judge Sarah Hughes, they have left it to men to hold the offices. In office, women might be no better than men, or worse, but we have tried everything else, so unless it is true that women are inherently and organically inferior to men, surely the time has come now–in between sonic booms that shake the windows, revolutions that shake the sugar market, and government pamphlets that shake the soul. \(“If you are inside, dive under or behind the nearest desk, table, sofa or other piece of sturdy furniture. Try to get in a shadow .. . Lie curled on your side with your hands over the back of your neck, knees tucked against your chest. . . . If you are outside, run into a building and assume the same curled-up posily now the time has come for women to run for office. Specifically, in Texas, women should run for Congress on platforms of peace-making. It does not matter whether they run as Democrats, in primaries, or as independents in the general elections. One important thing is that they pay no attention to men who tell them not to run because it will upset the. Democratic Party. Another important thing is that they be women who know the facts of modern war and foreign policy and have some sound ideas about what the nation can do to avert nuclear war but is not now doing. A third important thing is that they run, not necessarily to win, but to educate the people. It will also help if they are pregnant. Imagine the impact of a photograph of the candidate, reaching over her bulging maternity blouse to drop her ballot in the box. It is a little late to time such fortuitous circumstances, so two or three children will do in lieu of this requirement this year. Men will not run against Albert Thomas, or Bob Casey, or Tiger Teague, or a number of other no-good or little-good Texas congressmen. Baxton Bryant is running against Bruce Alger, so we who are enthusiastic about, say, Louise Wells of Dallas as a congressional candidate will have to bide our time. But there are at least two women in Houston who know about war and peace and are beautiful and have children all over the place. They should run. It is time, in other words, for people who do not believe our national policy is adequate to the world situation to apply the direct action principle Gandhi used against imperialism and Thoreau against slavery taxes and King against segregation to American politics, itself. Women have started doing this, on a small scale. The Mothers’ Marches for Peace have had important effects. \(See, for example, “Mandate for Kennedy, Women Speak Out for Peace,” in Nation Dec. ers are placarding the country with news of the “Women’s Crusade for Seat-Belts.” 1962 is the time for the beginning of a Women’s Crusade for Peace by direct action in American congressional politics. CONSIDER the dilemma of the John Birch Societyeven of the professional Republicans. How do you call a mother a crack-pot? How do you deny that a mother has a personal right to be angry about Strontium 90 in the bones of her new born child? How do you call a mother who is against war that kills all her sons and daughters a pacifist? How do you call a mother who suggests that Russians are also human beings a communist? How can you be sure how the women will vote? Women have less courage than men because in this world it takes more courage for a woman to have courage than it does for a man to have courage. But just a few women with courage, in this state, in every state of the union, could change the temper of the world’s mightiest nation and therefore the history of the world. If something gets going, men will no doubt shove into the scene and hog the glory. That will be all right. All women have to offer that men do not is women’s experience of the perfect, entirely unselfconscious, selfless love of the mother and the child. This is the only great force left in the world which has not been applied to politics, at least since the Lysistrata. Women, arise! You have nothing to lose but your husbands. R.D. WASHINGTON The Gallup Poll and other surveys of public opinion tell us that President Kennedy is more popular than President Eisenhower at a similar stage in his first term. When this great popularity was pointed out at a recent press conference of Americans for Democratic Action a sharp newspaperman asked, “Doesn’t that worry you?” What did he mean ? The President’s popularity needs analyzing to determine if it is solidly based. Is the President popular because the issues are blurred ? Is he popular because he does not stir even a mild domestic controversy? That did not bother him during the campaign when he telephoned the Rev. Martin Luther King. Is it his handling of the German crisis? Is the President popular because there is, for the moment, no other national figure who challenges his popularity? All these are possibilities and there is, at least, one morethat the President and his close advisers believe the national mood continues to be one of relaxation and contentment and he responds to it. In 1960 we were told that this was “complacency,” officially induced by General Eisenhower, who was pictured as a rather amiable old fellow living in a state of euphoria. Now we are being told that, in view of the external threat of communism, we must make haste slowly at home. If a Republican administration counsels taking the “middle-of-the-road” that spells stagnation. But if the Kennedy administration abandons nearly its entire domestic program, what should it be called ? HAVE NEVER been entirely convinced that President Eisenhower did misread the signs of his times. The nation was tired after the years of depression, Hitlerism, and war. It needed enough time to digest the social reforms of The New Deal. The increasing economic prosperity did not contribute to any domestic sense of urgency. But a nation cannot stand still indefinitely on such a social plateau, without losing ground. While there is no doubt the Democrats exaggerated the inadequacies of the Eisenhower administration, this is not automatic proof that the Kennedy appraisal of the situation at home is now correct or adequate. The reports coming from Palm Beach during the recent holidays sound almost as if the Presi dent himself yearns for the good old days of Eisnhower “complacency” when to do-nothing was considered doing enough. Using the word “progressive” as a substitute for “liberal” hardly conceals the fact that the administration has decided not to push for its public school aid bill, including teachers salary increases or school construction. A college aid program is needed, but that does not meet the problem at the secondary and elementary level. To further delay the federal school aid program means that another group of children from the ages of 6 to 16 will continue with inadequate school-. ing from inadequately paid, undertrained teachers in over-aged and overcrowded school structures. This could become the monument of the Kennedy administration. THE PUBLIC school issue is only one of many areas in which the administration has sounded retreat. The list grows longer almost daily. Perhaps of equal consequence is the manner in which The White House remained aloof from the leadership fight in the House of Representatives. Congressman Richard Bolling of Missouri deserved better of the administration if only as a reward for the yeoman work he did last session, at Sam Rayburn’s side, in trying to curtail the power of the House Rules Committee. But Bolling is by no means the only victim of White House ingratitude. The case of Chester Bowles, to whom the administration was deeply in debt, comes to mind. The apparent maneuvering to make McGeorge Bundy Secretary of State is also a subject of some fascination among the Capital’s hostesses and must bewilder Secretary Rusk. The administration has also managed to make many of the Senate and House “New Frontiersmen” feel as if they were not wanted. Popularity is a sometimes thing. Franklin D. Roosevelt remained popular with the majority for 13 years. But his popularity was based, at least in part, on the accomplishments of the early days of his administration, not alone on his personal charm. ROBERT G. SPIVACK THE TEXAS OBSERVER Page 5 Jan. 13, 1962 NOTHING TO LOSE . . . Lysistrata: 1962