OBSERVER NOTEBOOK On Teachers Politicking And Pacifists Picketing I TEACHERS SHOULD not be denied the right to participate in politics, Jack Cox reportedly told a group of University of Texas faculty members in Austin last week. The Republican gubernatorial candidate met informally with several professors of conservative persuasion and answered questions related primarily to his views on higher education. When asked how he felt about academic freedom “in cases such as the Koeninger case,” Cox, according to our source, said he did not know the specifics of the Koeninger case because the trustees discussed it behind closed doors. But, as a matter of principle, he said, “I strongly believe in aca demic freedom . . . When I was in the legislature, I sponsored a bill which now gives public school teachers the right to participate in political affairs. I certainly believe the faculty of our institutions of higher learning should have the same privilege. If any felt inclined to publicly speak and work against me, I feel he should have that right.” Cox also said that he was opposed to closed meetings by public boards. * * SPEAKING OF REPUBLICANS \(which we find that we do quite often these daysperhaps because they are becoming increasingly human ? Or is it that we are simply becoming accustomed to seeing them around ? It would be difficult to argue convincingly, however, against the hypothesis that North Carolina Republican Chairman William E. Cobb has exhibited some human frailties. \(We are inclined, in fact, to think of him as just that Dennis the Menace of U.S. conservatives, recently allowed a full page in his National Review devoted to an advertisement pitched for Barry Goldwater sweatshirts. “BE THE \(The Observer has not endorsed anyone for governor as yet. H. M. Baggarly, editor of the Tulia Herald, has this to say on the subject in his Some supporters of Don Yarborough declare they will not support John Connally in November. \(Both Don and Ralph Yarborough have inOn the surface this appears to be simply poor sportsmanshipbut it goes much deeper than that. Many Democratic supporters of Don Yarborough have felt the heel of the Texas conservatives. They have been slandered, libeled, called communists, associated with every ugly-sounding organization in Americajust because they are thoroughbred Democrats. This 49 percent knows it will be kicked in the face all over again by the faction which John Connally will head. This 49 per cent knows that Connally canno win without its support. Yet it has received no assurance from Connally that it will be considered anything but a splinter group of “radicals,” labor liberals,” “left wingers,” “pro-communists” and a lot more insulting and defamatory epithets. FIRST IN YOUR PRECINCT TO OWN A BARRY GOLDWATER SWEATSHIRT,” challenged large blocky letters at the top of the page. The ad continued: “You’ll delight in watching Liberals recoil in terror .. . The B.G.S.S.made in genuine sweat shopsdisplays a life-sized head of Barry Goldwater . . . Suitable for all occasionspolitical rallies, indignation rallies, stockholders meetings, etc.” Testimonials included : I dreamt I was allowed to make a profit in my Barry Goldwater sweatshirt.’ Steel Exec., Pitts., Pa. ; `I’m sweating more now but enjoying it less.’ JFK.” * REP. CHARLES N. WILSON of Trinity wrote the chairman of the board of the Texas State Teachers’ Colleges, C. Smith Ramsey, on the Koeninger case : “There seem to be many individuals who believe Dr. Koeninger was separated because he exercised his right of personal political action in a manner which was distasteful to you and the board. “It is beyond imagination that a responsible body of Texas public officials in the United States of America in 1962 would arbitrarily use their authority to maliciously take revenge upon a respected citizen because he exercised his basic political freedom.” WilFon told Ramsey that telling the public why the firing happened “would restore the prestige of the board . . . in the eyes of many citizens and would disprove the accusation that your body is now prescribing adherence to your own political philosophy as a prerequisite for a professor to hold a job. “It would be a disgrace for our state’s great tradition of individualism and personal freedom for such an accusation to go unanswered.” Ramsey again refused to make any comment. * * PERHAPS THE CURRENT gathering at Helsinki will be the last of the Communist Youth Festivals. The enjoyment the Finns’ protest demonstrations have given conservative U.S. editorial writers \(such as those on the Dallas News, the Fort Worth StarTelegram and the Austin whatchamag h to dampen most Soviet enthusiasm for the event which is supposed to get the youth of the world together for friendly The Yarborough supporters on June 2 have absolutely no assurance that they will have any voice whatsoever in party affairs. Are all these Texas Democrats expected to get out and work for Connallythen be either ignored or kicked in the teeth, suffering all the indignities that come from being labeled a hundred synonyms for disloyal Americans for the next two years? The next move is up to you, Mr. Connally, if you want the support of all Texas Democrats in November .. . Candidates interested only in good and fair government are not afraid to wage a campaign on issues alone. They aren’t afraid to debate on television such subjects as taxation, higher education, and the real problems facing their state. They are willing to tell the people how they stand, because they believe in the justice of their cause. Candidates interested in grinding an axe, in seeking favoritism for those who are contributing huge sums to their campaigns, must necessarily be evasive, must take the spotlight off the real issues. In order o keep persons’ minds off such things as education, taxation, and a lot of other real issues, they ideological discussions, a bit of folk singing, and maybe an international romance or two. Not all the 15,000 or so delegates are communists, of course. Some come from countries the USSR is courting, others are attracted by the prospect of fun and games, still others, from the United States, go to present the side of our brand of government to the pncommitted or wavering. One group from the U.S. which is publishing a pro-West newspaper during this year’s festival, is rumored to have the off-the-record blessing and sponsorship of our state department, although the state department says, rather obliquely, that it is not involved. “The department,” A spokesman recently told newsmen, “used to urge that no one attend these meetings. Now we say it’s all right to go, but to be careful. We hope these kids will handle themselves, but the festival is so blatantly controlled by the Soviets, it will be hard to get a word in edgewise.” The Finnsa notably stubborn people despite their proximity to the armed might of the USSRseem to feel the festival was forced upon them this year. Protest demonstrations by local students have marred the tranquility of the event, which goes by the official name, World Youth Festival for Peace and Friendship. J.M. * * SAN ANTONIO Dick Meskill, in his column “In the Shadow of San Fernando” in the July 27 Alamo Messenger, the official Catholic newspaper of the Archdiocese of San Antonio, defended pacifist demonstrators against nuclear testing. Excerpts: “Initiating a defense of today’s pacifists will probably be answered by blockbusters of indignation. Yet, somewhere, somehow, in the light of the totality of today’s weapons, the pacifists seem a little bit like righteous martyrs. . . . “Like little boys at their games, the United States and Russia each lay the blame on the other, claiming that if the one tests the other must test also, in self-defense. “The pacifist rightly claims that each such test adds to the danger of cumulative fallout and its resultant dangers, and that each such test increases the danger of eventual nuclear warfare because it makes more efficient the weapons of mutual destruction. drag into the discussion such irrelevant and prejudicial expressions as “liberal-labor”, “socialism”, “reds”, “pinks”, “people planners”, “spender”, “NAACP”, “AFL-CIO”. All these ugly words confuse the slow and nonthinkers, the emotional. . . . Until the conservative Democrats learn to disagree without smearing those with whom they disagree with all kinds of slanderous tags, they can expect large segments of perfectly good Texas Democrats, without prefixes, either to go fishing on election day or perhaps vote Republican. We are going to support Connally in November, as we have said many times, because we think he is a better man than many of his supporters. He is not a John Bircher. We doubt tha he is as anti-administration as he appeared to be during the campaign. He was out after the “conservative” vote and he knew he couldn’t get it without damning Kennedy. We certainly do not hold it against Connally that he is a friend of Lyndon Johnson. Certainly we cannot afford another John Tower in high office. And that is what Jack Cox is. If the Republi cans want to make a serious bid for office in Texas, why, oh why, can’t they offer the public men of stature? H. M. BAGGARLY “I have heard the silly arguments of various branches of the Armed Forces that people who argue against nuclear testing are the same kind of people who argued against the bow and arrow, or against the use of gunpowder, or against the longbow. The Armed Forces claim that each weapon was a weapon of ultimate destruction at the time of its manufacture. They thereby minimize the destructive power of nuclear weapons, and thus justify the insane course of nuclear progress toward total destruction of every living creature. “In all the arena of world geopolitics there is no more serious threat than that posed by counting nuclear testing, and in all the palaver that is going on about nuclear testing, there is no area which seems less susceptible to mutual accommodation. “When you read that pacifists sailed out into a storm-tossed Pacific in an abortive attempt to protest the nuclear testing On what should be the least-likely testing area in the world harsh in your judgment. These protesters might be in the minority. But they might also be quite right.” The Poll Tax Guest editorial from the Hays County Citizen in Kyle: Our brethren down at the San Marcos Record and up at the Austin daily have managed to find a reason for supporting the continuance of our $1.75 poll tax. They argue thatt he small fee is no hindrance to voters who really want to exercise their franchise. They may be right, although a dollar six bits is a lot more money to some folks than it is to rich newspaper publishers like the Fentresses and the members of the Colloquium. Their real argument seems to be that abolition of the poll tax would necessitate the collection of money from other sources to replace the revenue now raised via this antiquated tax. Perhaps they would hate to see a tax levied on some of those out-ofstate owned gas pipe lines or oil companies when i is so easy to stick our citizens before they can go to the polls to vote for the man of their choice. We wouldn’t. In choosing to back the move to abolish the poll tax we find ourselves in the company of President Kennedy, Vice President Johnson, both gubernatorial candidates, and a majority of the Texans who voted in the recent primaries. Subscribe to The Observer GUEST EDITORIAL Connally And Liberals
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