Page 10


Observations 44.114########~######~4~######* Do W e Get the Message What most impressed me about the salute to Ralph Yarborough was the intense, unmistakably personal conviction With which other U.S. senators there urged that he be re-elected. These were men with working, daily knowledge of his integrity and his fearlessness: his honesty and his dedication. And this is what, collectively, they said to me that night, through their speeches: “Look, Texans, you may think you’ve got to re-elect this man for your own sakes, and for the sake of the Democratic Party ; what we want to tell you is that the nation needs him, and we need him, in the United States Senateneed him to fight the good fight, to stand for principles no matter how hard it is to do, to uphold the rights of the people day and night in and out. We must have him back!” And we must send him back. Kefauver’s gone, and God knows the South needs statesmen. As a practical matter, this is probably the one most important thing we can do in our own state for our country in 1964: give this man Yarborough six more years in the Senate, there to keep on growing in wisdom and influence; there to keep on fighting the good fight for us all. Aid, Race, Peace I have been concerned about Yarborough’s wanting to “cut the fat” out of foreign aid, but let us admit that most liberals tend to respond reflexively on this subject, even though we do not have in hand the data on which to base intelligent decisions about how these billions are being spent. Surely it is not an idle circumstance that such liberals as Wayne Morse and Yarborough are calling for a profound second look. We have seen how federal money can be mis-spent inside the United States, enriching millionaires many times over, because the people cannot watch closely, and they are not helped to watch by the mass media. Why then should we disbelieve it when we are told by the likes of Yarborough and Morse that the foreign aid program has become a haven for corrupt profiteeringand maybe for reactionary policies, too? I for one am ready to listen to the evidence. Okay, gentlemen : what is it? By his vote for equal access to public accommodations, Yarborough dragged what was no doubt his struggling East Texas conscience into the bright and painful lights of the twentieth century. Considering the accumulating evidence of a racial reaction against the civil rights movement, I for one do not blame him for keeping his own counsel on the merits of the matter. Just as the lawyers say an original document is the best evidence of a transaction, Yarborough’s vote is the best evidence of his convictions. If he declines now, by statements, to make himself a public symbol of civil rights crusading, one cannot fairly say that he is behaving improperly or contrary to principle. He voted according to high principle. He also has a specific duty, in his situation, at this place and time, to do his level best to get re-elected, without compromising principle. I’d say that in his case, in view of his historic vote, a public statement on civil rights now is a question of tactics, not of principle. On civil rights, he’s right; on testing, he’s also right, and better and better. Listen to this from his statement on the Senate floor during the oratory on the test ban treaty: “We must base our legislation on our hopes, rather than on our fears. We must have faith that mankind has the intelligence to march into a better future, and not, like a mass of lemmings, plunge over a cliff of no return, to a place of self-destruction. “The treaty is a very tiny light in a very dark woods; let us see if it will light our way through these woods before we put it out.” In October he made a speech to the Air Traffic Control Assn. in Dallas. “The airplane was given its first great boost in World War I as an instrument of destruction,” he said, “and its development was given another great boost for exactly the same reason in World War II. Like the nuclear bomb it has served a major role in national security. We have made little progress in making the atom a weapon for the good of humanity in time of peace, but at least in [safety control in] the air lane we are moving ahead like people with a concern for the future of civilization.” An Inner Directed Journal I don’t want to be suspected of being other-directed, but I did feel good when I read this paragraph in the Daily Texan, in a story about sociologist David Riesman’s remarks during his visit to the University of Texas: “He described the Texas Observer as ‘one of a small group of papers, old-fashioned, free swinging, almost like in the Nineteenth Century, with its spirit of independence and liberated character.’ ” A student who attended a joint meeting of sociology classes to hear Riesman tells me that Riesman advanced this interesting theory about the Observer: that once Texas-bred liberals break away from their parents and peers on such a question as race, they tend to feel free to do their own thinking on everything, and the result is a kind of “free-swinging liberalism” Riesman said he finds in the Observer. Clas s ifi e d INTERNATIONAL PEACE / Disarmament Directory. Third edition, fall 1963. 1750 organizational and 450 periodical addresses. $1 per copy; 6 for $5, 10 for $7.50, 50 for $25. 711 South Duke St., York, Penna.. U.S.A. While this is probably sound theory, I am more inclined to this explanation: that the Observer has a free feeling because the owner, Mrs. R. D. Randolph, believes in and practices the idea that newspapermen ought to run the newspapers. The editor has always run the Observer, and made all the ‘decisions about its contents and its editorials. Mrs. Randolph would assert her prerogative as owner only by firing the editor. A. J. Liebling told a Neiman Fellow of my acquaintance that the Observer has a role in the future development of journalism, that it is some kind of return to what journalism ought to be. If this is true, it is true because the Observer’s newspapermen and writers have found here a journal through which they can report and speak with the kind of freedom that a community of scholars is supposed to have. Goldwater in 1984 There’s something unfunny about the deluge of orders we’ve received for our “Goldwater in 1864” stickers. Here is a letter from Amarillo, written from the man’s place of wqrk: “Please rush me a dollar’s worth of `Goldwater in 1864’ bumper stickers. I must cut this short, but I feel I am being watched. You know how it is here in Amarillo, with a John Bircher behind every bush there is no room for any communists.” Well, it is funny. Isn’t it? The Dallas Times-Herald thought it was joking when it ran a cartoon in advance of Adlai Stevenson’s visit to Dallas to speak on the U.N. Lyndon Johnson, who was mobbed by a raucous, insulting crowd there in 1960, is patting Adlai on the shoulder and saying, “Be Brave.” But Stevenson did need courage: 75 or so people demonstrated loudly against him, and the press reports say a lady hit him over the head with a sign; two men spat on him. One of his Dallas hosts quoted him saying that nothing like this had ever happened to him anywhere; that he was shocked. November 1, 1963 13 EUROPE An unregimented trip stressing individual freedom. Low cost yet covers all the usual plus places other tours miss. Unless the standard tour is a “must” for you, discover this unique tour before you go to Europe. EUROPE SUMMER TOURS 255 Sequbia, Dept. JPasadena, California #rlytiz Since 1866 The Place in Austin . . . the students and the professors, the politicians and the lobbyists, dine or drink beer in rather unfamiliar proximity.” Willie Morris in Harper’s. 1607 San Jacinto GR 7-4171