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The Democrats Prepare a New Model WHAT NOW? THE LION AT MORNING 5h e Convention cnte000n Juarez Democrat The Democratic state convention in El Paso once again demonstrates to liberal Democrats that they would do well to reconsider the extent of their fidelity to a Texas Democratic Party which shows no loyalty to the historic principles of the national Democratic Party. In the selection of committee chairmen and party officials, in the adoption of a cautious and largely disinterested party platform, John Connally evidenced a desire to appease the seething discontent on the party’s Republican-oriented . right while toss ing the liberals the bare minimum of morsels to keep them in line. The new chairman of the SDEC is a Dallas executive who served as Connally’s state campaign manager against Don Yarborough. The vicechairman is the daughter of George Brown of Brown & Root. The secretary and chairman of the platform committee is Frank Erwin, a wellknown Austin conservative. The platform itself, though sound in isolated areas like higher education and industrial safety, is noncommittal on most pressing problems. But it is quite specific about retaining the sales tax, without the merest mention of taxes on corporate incomes or natural gas pipelines, the main tax issues of the next legislative session. It is specific about paring the costs of state government while neglecting our tragic state services to the migrant laborer, the mentally ill, the aged, to those who cry out for attention from an anachronistic and halfhearted government in the nation’s sixth largest industrial state. It calls for “party unity” without so much as a nod to the national Democratic administration and the New Frontier. There was, in fact, no mention of President Kennedy throughout the whole proceedings. Are we wrong in interpreting Connally’s brand of unity as the unity of the old Shivers forces, the Connally-Johnson wing, the corporate lobby, and the unusually gullible? The platform of the Democratic Party, the traditional home of organized labor, was indeed specific on one other point. It favored a straightforward retention of our Texas rightto-work laws, a direct and, in our opinion, an unwarranted insult to the working people of Texas. Even the Republicans, while approving paranoiac resolutions against everything from the United Nations to medicare, at least had the grace and courtesy to avoid a direct slap in the face of labor by adopting a generalized labor plank. It should also be noted that the Republicans, taking time off from their deifications of the junior senator from Arizona, approved measures upholding academic freedom and advocating separate legislative districts in multilegislator counties. The Observer, along with most liberals seriously and honestly concerned with revitalizing our Texas political culture, will continue to weigh all aspects of this general election, by far the most crucial in our state’s history. The Democratic convention does, however, reveal several important factors which cannot be overlooked. First, the Connally-Johnson forces remain in strong alliance, as E. B. Germany so accurately interpreted the party nrimary, with the Shivercrats and the business lobby. Of this there can be no doubt. A Connally administration would be staunchly conservative on taxation and economics, moderate on race, strong on higher education. Second, Connally will retain dominant control of the party machinery for conservatives, but unlike previous governors he will allow the liberal wing romething of a small minority voice in party decisions. Third, the basic ideological differences which separate the GOP and Democratic platforms are relatively insignificant. Fourth, Texas liberals should continue to examine the merits of an operative two-party system, with its possible effects on governmental responsibility, on .a growing conservative exodus into the Republican camp, and on a more progressive state Democratic Party better attuned to the demands of a modern age. \(Dime Magazinethe only ten-cent weekly in the U.S. which still sells for a quartercovered the Democratic convention in El Paso in great detail, but the story its reporters compiled was not considered newsworthy. An enterprising Observer reporter snatched it from a wastebasket late Tuesday evening and it is reproEL PASO-JUAREZ JOSEPH B. GOOCH rolled his tongue around groggily on his underlip, scratched under his pajamas for almost a full minute, opened his eyes, and in a thick Texas drawl, said “Gawd.” Gooch, like many other Lone Star Democrats, was just regaining consciousness after a week-end of revelry and political in-fighting in the sunny oasis on the Texas-Mexican desert, El Paso-Juarez. Still sitting in his matted and tangled by sleep, he picked up the telephone receiver \(a Princess of hot, black coffee \( 1/9 spoon of granulated sugarthe only way Gooch took a swig of his coffee, cursed twice \(the first time silently, as his vocal cords were still not of the cup into the lavatory-bath-tubswimming pool with which his room was equipped, pulled a bottle of bourbon from a hollOwed-out Gideon Bible, and took a long draught. “Gawd,” he said, after wiping a few drops of bourbon off his whisker-blue jaw. Similar reactions to the bright El Paso-Juarez sunlight were observed by the 2,000-odd other Dime reporters planted in the 2,000-odd motel and hotel rooms in which the 4,000-odd convention delegates were housed. There were variations, of course, on the central theme of “Gawd” “Jaysus” and “Arrrggg” for example but the essence of the reactions were similar. To a Texan conversant with the lore of his state’s politics, the simple exclamation, “Gawd” \(roughly transunquestionable, if slightly ambiguous, significance. One such Texan, a reporter with the Dallas Morning Nil, claimed that the exclamation was the audible portion of an otherwise inaudible prayer. “Our democratic delegates, many of whom are public officials are extremely religious, and offer up a prayer in behalf of the state and its adjunctsthe out-of-state oil and gas interestsevery morning upon waking,” he explained. Another interpretation was given by a newshen on the Houston Mess covering the convention’s fashion innovations. Ida Mae “Heddie” Heddington, the Mess’s fashion editor for 48 years, and one of the Mess’s foremost political analysts, said : “I think the word `Gawd’ in’this context is a refernot present at El Paso bodily, is here spiritually.” A third interpretation of the engimatic expression was offered by Guiellermo Lopez, a busboy in one of the swankier motels who lives in nearby Ysleta. “Those fellows weren’t praying,” he explained, “They were just clearing their throat. A lot of our customers make the same sounds on arising. Published by Texas Observer Co., Ltd. Entered as second-class matter, April 26, 1937, at the Post Office at Austin, Texas, under the Act of March 3, 1879. SEPTEMBER 21, 1962 Willie Morris Editor and General Manager Chandler Davidson, Associate Editor Sarah Payne, Office Manager Ronnie Dugger, Contributing Editor The tequilla they drink in the Florida Bar leaves a thick mineral deposit in your lungs, throat and sinus cavities, which can only be removed by acid or by violent exhalations of air. These exhalations usually sound like the word `Gawd.’ Sometimes, however, they also sound like ‘Hawk,’ Urg,’ `Aggh,’ and `Ggggg.’ ” As the convention got under way later in the morning, 321 of the delegates straggled into the huge \(30 blocks high, 60 blocks long, 50 blocks hymns, swap jokes, give speeches, and compliment one another. THEME of the convention was “Sweetness and Light,” referring to the absolute harmony which has spread like a glow of sunshine through the Texas Democratic ranks. Among the more forceful planks adopted by the convention were: V A brighter future for the state. V More encouragement, where poSsible, to those who need it. V An all-out war on extremism, which was vigorously deplored. V A concentrated effort in all vital matters. V Absolute honesty of public officials, where practicable. V More and better tourists. At day’s end, the delegates \(whose ranks, by 11 a.m., had risen to 324, left the coliseum in high spirits, and headed straight toward the Santa Fe Street Bridge for another night of reveling before their scattered exodus the following day into their provincial provinces. Said the editor of the ailing \(circ. it actively supports diSconsolately on the fender of his picturesque foreign-built sportscar, and watching the delegates fall in droves from the International Bridge: “Gawd.” C.D. An Example The Texas Education Agency and the local school boards that have come under pressure from right wingers to indoctrinate students against communism in required courses should take a leaf out of the book of the California State Department of Education. That department has recommended, after many Months of struggling with the question, that local school districts take a “scholarly and objective” approach to the subject of communism. The statement warned that although much material is available on the subject, not all of it is appropriate for school use because its purpose is “not instruction but propagandizing of a , highly emotional level.” One is reminded of the cheap color pamphlets of the Christian AntiCommunism Crusade which the Dallas school board actually announced for use in its curriculum on communism, then withdrew under fire. The California educators recommended that teachers select material that is factual and written by acknowledged authorities “whose purpose is to present the information required to understand communism, rather than by groups or individuals whose principal objective appears to be the production of propaganda.” Published once a week from Austin, Texas. Delivered postage prepaid $5.10 per annum. Advertising rates available on request. Extra copies 15c each. Quantity prices available on order. EDITORIAL and BUSINESS OFFICE: 504 West 24th St., Austin, Texas. Phone GReenwood 7-0746. HOUSTON OFFICE: Mrs. R. D. Randolph, 2131 Welch, Houston 19, Texas; THE TEXAS OBSERVER 7401D=