senior Texas senator, whose re-election in 1964, incidentally, is the most important single objective of all real Texas Democrats. We consider real Democrats those who support the national Democratic principles. When Shivers broke his implicit pledge to back the Democrat for president in the name of reactionary principle, the gathering Democratic forces more and more expressed themselves in the lasting humanitarian principles of their party. People wanted to hear issues, not platitudes. By 1961, so many Texans had rejected the Shivers idea, they elected a Republican rather than elect a conservative Democrat, Bill Blakley, as Yarborough’s companion senator. The two-party system in state elections was getting closer. Texas politics today is utterly exciting and utterly unrecognizable from the politics of four to six years ago. Then, the Negro, the Latin-American, and labor were made anathema : the conservative Democrats said that to be identified with thefn was to be politically dead. Today in Texas the leading politicians are courting them, because their votes are swing votes. That means the politicians are coming to terms on issues. The two-party system has made Texas politics a politics of principles instead of a politics of personalities. In the  Democratic primary we came within one percent of winning the statehouse. As Senator Yarborough said, “the people almost won.” We did so almost unbeknownst to you who are supposed to share the burdens of our collective national conscience. Meanwhile the Republicans on November 6th extended their political authority in the state. They won every one of the nine offices they sought in Dallas County, heretofore the stronghold of the Shivers-type Democrat. They received 45.6 percent of the total vote in the governor’s race. They can count 28 officeholders in Texas. They are here to stay and they mean business and that means trouble aplenty for politicians who do not have the vision to expressor at least the ability to adjust tothe new shape of Texas political life. -HERE IS WHY this can happen now also all over the South. The. South, like east Texas that’s a part of it, is liberal. Only a man who has forgotten Populism, only a man who does not read presidential election returns by states, can fail to see that. We are tired of the flow of change coming at us from the North. We are ready to become a force in our own right. As long as the Dixiecrat-Republican coalition continues unaltered, the New Frontier will have more basis in rhetoric than in substance. We have broken that coalition in Texasthat is the news I bear to youand the Texas experience can and will be applied to the Souththat is my belief and my faith. When that happens the New North and the New South can pull up together that anchor that keeps us from moving forward. 8 The Texas Observer Great changes pend in the South. The Negro is getting the franchise. He is not the subservient Negro of the stereotype, he is the human being whose skin is dark. In Texas, he, and the Latin-American minority also, have been a vital part of the political revolution. They were militants who were maligned, but now they are militants who are courted. The voices of reason are standing up in Texas and the demagogues have fled. This example will be repeated throughout the South, and it must be hastened by poll tax drives among depreseed people and a frontal attack upon the poll tax itself. The poll tax has caused the South regionally to have the smallest proportionate vote of any area in the country. This restriction of the ballot is the South’s, and thence your, most basic problem. It protects unreasoning minds who have held political office with the purpose of impeding progress and defending the status quo. The people of the South are ready to break away through their right to vote. . . . The court’s decision on rural overemphasis in political districting will make a great difference, too. But the court’s great strides toward social justice will not be allowed to become, in their necessarily gradual implementation, an excuse for procrastination. Neither are economic monopolists going to be able to get away, this time, with the trick with which they broke the Populist movement, turning Southerner against Southerner on race. The Southern whitemore and more urban, more and more national in his valuesis not a fool, gentlemen,’ he understands. The Negro is not going to be fooled by a one-issue pitch from a man who is really out to cut his throat in jobs, in equal public services, and in the contents and contexts of his daily life. The Southern white and the Southern Negro alike want a fairer share of the national abundance. We have been treated as second class citizens and as a second class region, but now the Texas experiencethe open-hearted liberal fight for principle, the emergence of the twoparty system, the presence now of a politics of principleshas shown the South how to move forward so the country can, too. For this and nothing less than this is what we are talking about. You may be as liberal as you like in New York state, but brothers and sisters, we sink you with our Southern Democrats in the Congress. You may make the best laws you can think of in New York City, but brothers and sisters, you cannot repair the damage done to our whole country by a stepchild region run by enemies of human values. If you would jettison us you could not; television has made us one land as never we were before. I am here to say, the great fight has begun, we will not abate, whether you listen or not we will not let our loyalty to America and the liberty she must defend in the world be sullied by the work of schemers in our midst who pervert what we truly want and believe. We know as well as you do that national legislation in this country since 1938 has been the half-measure, the no-measure, the patch, the dodge, the deception, unresponsive to urgent needs and restricted by timidity and shortsighted leadership. DO NOT TELL YOU it is certain that the new young generation will win in the South because it is not. We have had fewbut frighteningly fewwho have had the moral originality and the simple courage to see their country’s true situation and charge in. Now we know that the only solution to the Negro problem is exact and unremitting justice, and now we know that the only solution to the Southern problem is a two-party system and a politics of principles. And now also we know that we need a new kind of Southern leader, willing to bear the reproval of his friends and neighbors for a time to illuminate the times with a saving vision. There is a time in the course of eventswhen the men of principle must fall back and say to the compromisers, all right, we fall back, but there is a time also when the men of principle must say to the compromisers, no, you fall back, and this is such a time. Will they come forward, they, these new men of the South, will they offer themselves in enough numbers in the races where it most countsthe Democratic -primariesto unseat those who do not represent the spirit of Southern people and who in fact betray it in action? I think they will and that when they do the conservatives of my region will more and more move to the party they belong in. Then look what will have happened. The Southern Democrats will have shown the way in the country toward a politics of principles instead of party slogans and platitudes without performance. Then the country will not be dragged back from the New Frontiers of John Kennedy and of the world but can really get moving again. Then we can have from the congress laws of substance and reality.
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