Beebe’s Bombs 1 Distorting Jefferson DALLAS Read the objectives of the Harris County delegation to the 1962 State Democratic Convention and wonder what breed of Democrats they are. Harris County has taken a great reversal. Once it was the hotbed of Texas liberalism. It was the home of liberal delegations to the state legislature. It promoted Mrs. R. D. Randolph to national committeewoman from Texas. It appears that when Mrs. Randolph went out, the loyal, liberal Democrats gave up the ghost. At pre-convention caucus in Houston, the delegates decided to fight the Democratic Party. THEY insisted on a sound fiscal policy and prevention of election frauds, which even liberals might agree with, but they also demanded a repudiation of the KenhedyJohnson New Frontier programs. They firmly avowed their dedication to the proposition of freeing Texans from the grasping hands of an overgrown “government of one-world promoters” and said forthwith : “Failure to do this will permit rampant socialism and unchecked godless communism to strangle our traditional freedoms one by one.” The Harris delegation declared that they intended to lead a fight for true Jeffersonian principles to stern the “tide of bureaucracy.” They even quoted Jefferson as saying: “I have sworn upon the altar of God eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man.” What the Harris County delegates miss in their sworn allegience to the genius of Thomas Jefferson is that Jefferson was himself considered the left-wing radical of his day. Jefferson admitted that government, to rule the people, must change every 19 years to meet the demands of its age. Even Jefferson changed many of his views before he died. At first, he was against any political parties, but before the end of his day, he admitted that the only way the new democratic Republic could be successful was through a party system. TUDENTS of the Jeffersonian philosophy point out that Jefferson stood almost alone in insisting on incorporation of the Bill of Rights in the U. S. Constitution when he discovered them missing from the document. Jefferson, you know, was in France as ambassador when the Constitution was framed. He was not pleased with its total result because it left out freedom of the press, freedom of religion, and the right of habeas corpus. Some religious groups opposed Jefferson until he began insisting on the freedom of religion. Then even Baptists rallied around. He found them his greatest allies. The Constitution was amended. J EFFERSON believed in strong state governments and state rights. That’s the way it had to be in an era that lacked ‘communications. It’s the way it would be today if states would accept their responsibilities. Cities and states now look to Uncle Sam for help in their problems and refuse to take care of themselves. Jefferson was liberal all the way. To charge otherwise is a desecration of history. He insisted that America keep out of European affairs on one occasion, but, after all, it was a sixweeks journey by slow boat to the old country. Aeronautics have changed that forever. ELTON MILLER SAN FRANCISCO In a column in Monday’s San Francisco Chronicle, the dourly witty Lucius Beebe advanced a novel solution to the nuclear arms race. It is not the Bomb we should ban, but the Bed, he saith ; it is better to annihilate than to propagate. Dr. Jerome Frank once suggested in Atlantic Monthly that the mutually accusative cycle of suspicion and hostility into which the great powers of East and West are now locked bears a surprising resemblance to psychotic disorders in personal life. Erich Fromm, another mind doctor, more recently inquired whether rationalizers of nuclear war such as Herman Kahn are not in some special way morbid, compulsively discussing as they do how many hundreds of millions of people will perish in this kind of nuclear war, as against that kind. MR. BEEBE is not merely morbid ; he is macabre. As a Texan, I grant I am unaccustomed to conscious farce in the newspapers, although we are entertained with a good deal of the unconscious kind; It is possible, I must therefore admit, that Mr. Beebe was indulging a preposterous spoof. I doubt it, though ; he was entirely too earnest. Khrushchev, he informed us casually, “plans to drop the bomb in his own good time and when he imagines it can be done to his own advantage.” The chances the bomb will be used, he acknowledged, “increase in geometrical proportion with every ticking of the clock.” Privy to the Russian premier’s plans, \(a suspicious circumstance the John Birch Society in Texas would not let pass uninvestinuclear disaster is nearly certain. And what was his response to this prospect? Contempt for the human race, and delight that most of it will soon be wiped out. California is crowded, and traffic jams in Los Angeles and San Francisco irritate me, too, but even in Texas we won’t go as far as Mr. Beebe. Perhaps Texas, with fewer people and more land, will be spared the fate that is apparently awaiting the great population centers, such as the one in which Mr. Beebe’s column appears; I think I shall hie myself back to my native wilds, as soon as I complete my collections of Contact, San Francisco Review, Beatitude, and Underhound. Not since Westbrook Pegler discovered that William Randolph subversive have I seen in a newspaper such sensual misanthropy as Mr. Beebe’s. Every second, he says, “there are three more people born into the world, two million surplus undesirables a week.” One might hope that he has allowed the human race a few decent specimens per two million per week, but for the fact that three people a second for one week totals 1,814,400 people Mr. Beebe not only means that everybody being born is a surplus undesirable ; somewhere along the way, perhaps through miscarriages, another 185,600 who are not born every week are also undesirable. He might at least have excepted Jacqueline Kennedy’s next from his spectral denunciation of humanity. To the usually liberal Chronicle’s columnist, prospects of nuclear war are “reasonably chilling,” ranging from “mere hundreds of millions” of grisly deaths to the end of life on earth ; but, he says, “they aren’t a thousandth as hOrrifying as the statistics of human reproduction.” We can be grateful that it is the statistics and not the mechanics that horrify him. Nor should we, fair and gentle readers, lose heart, for Mr. Beebe sees a way out : “. . . the natural order of things will presently assert itself and the prospect now seems to be that this will be accomplished by a wholesale purge of the human race.” This cleansing prospect has become necessary, he continues, because medicine has reduced the purgative effects of “the benevolent agency of disease, famines, calamities of the elements and reasonably self-contained warfare.” The world, he says, “would be in far better shape . . . without the medical science that has eliminated large scale pestilence and disease where they did the most good” in maintaining a balance between population and resources. Why yes, Mr. Beebe must be serious; he is in favor of bubonic plague, syphilis, malaria, and outhouses; he is against health and welfare. Nuclear war will effect the same useful eradications within what Mr. Beebe calls “the population pestilence” which epidemics caused before those smartaleck doctors went to tinkering with “the ordained pattern of life on earth,” that is, “wholesale” poverty, sickness, misery, and early death. ONE CAN SEE that Mr. Beebe is applying the notion that there is a “balance of nature” in the jungle the problems of human civilization. However, he does not intend that the United States fall within “a wholesale purge of the human race.” That would be too wholesale ; besides, we are a nation of retailers, are we not? No, Mr. Beebe has particular areas in mind, perhaps “the maggot breeding bins of Asia and Africa where it Nothing merely economic, he says, can keep pace with the procreating of “their malevolent millions” who are “demanding ‘as their right’ the country , club existence of their more prudent betters.” His solution, to be sold with “the altogether sensible and sanity slogan, ‘Ban Babies,’ ” is that “Before talking of banning the bomb, the artifact that will have to be far more universally banned is the bed . . .” If this is the kind of prudence required for membership in the country club set, I am afraid I am lost forever among the lower classes; but what perturbs me most about this welcome for fun-seeking tourists from Texas in this largest newspaper in Northern California is the intense feeling of Mr. Beebe’s language. “A wholesale purge of the human race,” “the population pestilence,” S “the maggot breeding bins of Asia and Africa”this is a language of very deep feeling, and the very deep feeling is hate. It is hate of foreign peoples ; of the poor, the sick, the helpless ; of life, itself. Let us hope neither Mr. Beebe nor someone who agrees with him gets control of a nuclear push-button. The ostensible point of the column in question was excoriation of those “septic creeps,” the ban the bomb marchers in California. A tourist disguised as a tourist, I drifted down into North Beach the other night and by chance met one frif these peace cats. She spoke calmly of a march around the bay to the base where they are making Polaris nuclear submarines. She was not going, though, because she had a cold. She seemed to be an ordinary pretty girl. She liked Ayn Rand’s books, so she was hardly a stereotypical “septic creep,” in Mr. Beebe’s virulent idiom. Indeed, since she works as a bus girl in a restaurant, her function is antiseptic. She, too, believes nuclear war is likely, but her response, I dare say, would not be the banning of beds. Now and then she takes up a sign tacked onto a stick and walks quietly to a base to protest Polaris. Mr. Beebe’s mentor seems to be Westbrook Pegler ; hers, Thoreau, who called on individuals to throw their whole weight against wrong. One wonders whom Jesus would have sided with. Is Polaris wrong? That, of course, is a complicated question, but one may doubt Mr. Beebe’s wisdom if he thinks it is “the natural order of things” that this one submarine carries sixteen nuclear warheads, every one of which is 25 times more destruc Republicans Resigning! AUSTIN The Observer learned from semireliable sources this week that a large number of Republicans plan t6 hold mass “renunciation rallies” in public squares throughout the state, turning in their Republican membership cards and burning them in huge bonfires. This surprising action reportedly has resulted from the platform voted upon in the recent GOP and Democratic state , conventions. One irate Republican, talking to an Observer reporter through the rolled-up window of an air-conditioned Cadillac, said; “This is a hell of a note. I just attended one renunciation rally last year, leaving the Democratic Party because it had gone liberal. Now, I’ll be damned if the Democrats haven’t gone further to the right than the Republicans. You don’t know which party to be in any more.” FOLLOWING’ this electrifying rumor of discord within the Republican ranks, Texas political analysts immediately began to revise their calculations of voting percentages in the November gubernatorial race. The Belden poll upped its earlier estimate of a 99 percent majority for Connally to 115 percent. “COX TO WITHDRAW BEFORE NOVEMBER,” was the banner headline of one central Texas daily. Only hours later, however, it was learned that the Democratic Party was having its own problems as well. High-ranking labor officials have hinted that the AFL-CIO will bolt the Demo ranks within a week. “If we can work it right,” one labor chieftain said, “we can bolt simultaneously with the Republican resignation rallies. It may be possible that we can merely exchange party cards with the in-coming Democrats, and thereby obviate having new cards made for both factions.” On the basis of the possibility of a GOP endorsement by labor, the Belden poll slashed its estimate of 115 percent for Connally to a mere 97 1/2. “Labor’s sabotage is not as serious a blow to Connally as it might seem prima facie,” a Belden man said. “You’ve got to take into consideration that labor doesn’t vote-as a bloc. Actually, just Hank Brown and a couple dozen of his cronies are all I expect to bolt the party.” FIGURES were again due for a change, however, when a news release from the Harris County Democrats went on the wires later in the day. The release told of the resignation rally which had been planned to take place soon in the municipal stadium. The insurgent right-wing Democrats contend that the Democratic platform betrayed them to the communists, liberals, left-wingers, one-worlders, and diabolical revolutionaries. Asked if they planned on joining the GOP, one irate member wearing tennis shoes and a moth-eaten top hat, and little else, said, “Definitely not ! We’re resigning from the United States, and possibly from the human race.” By nightfall, the Belden poll again estimated Connally’s percentage as “One hundred and fifteen . . . or possibly higher.” C.D. tive than the bomb that killed 100,000 children, women, and men at Hiroshima. One Polaris sub can sure enough clean out “the maggot breeding bins of Asia and Africa,” and if Mr. Beebe and his ilk think that’s best, it’s a free country. ONE CAN CARRY even toleration too far, however. I want Mr. Beebe to know that if he comes snorting around Texas, calling our beds artifacts and proposing to ban them, he can expect an individual dose of the disaster he visualizes for humanity with such strangely inflamed anticipation. R.D.
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