At another point he saidalways speaking in a very low, quiet voice: “The most important thing to all of us is to live in a world of peace . . to learn to live together . . . and we are going to go down any road that can possibly lead to peace. We’re going to do our best to do our part.” In the Senate, he said, every senator wanted to do right, but there were differences how to do it. “I don’t think that I know any of the leaders of the world who wouldn’t like to have peace,” he said. “We are going to be conscientiously, genuinely searching for that road.” After visiting with the press a little longer, the President mounted a Tennessee walking horse and rode off. The photographers became frenzied; some of them temporarily lost their composures completely. “Are you getting this in color?” one asked another. “Yes, Its incredible!” said the other. Like a Sancho Panza, Salinger mounted a horse beside the President, and the photographers eddied after them like wake. At one point Johnson put his mount through a fancy high-stepping walk along a fence-line. Then they rode together, Johnson and Salinger, to the house, and worked their way through press and photogra phe’rs and went inside. Such were the new scenes in Austin and the hill country over the holidays. R.D. Observations It Is a Question of Mettle Austin Should Don Yarborough run for governor? That is very much his own decision, and it shall be known shortly. If he does, as he very well may, well and good, and let liberal Texans get on with their work for the improvement of society. In my opinion, the most necessary work for Texas liberals this year will be the re-election of Senator Ralph Yarborough. Were he to be replaced by someone of Allan Shivers’ ilk, or by someone who is like the pre-presidential Lyndon Johnson, the deleterious effects on the causes of liberalism would be statewide but could also become world-wide. Texans cannot more directly contribute now to a liberal future for the United States than by returning to Washington their liberal Democratic senator for service throughout the next six years. President Johnson could not be substantially less liberal than Senator Yarborough without national remark. Not to say that he would be; just to say that he could not be, without such remark. The circumstance that Governor Connally was shot with President Kennedy does not argue in a logical way for Governor Connally’s re-election. Questions of the general welfare are larger than any man’s personal welfare. Emotionally, of course, the scene in the President’s car has greatly improved Connally’s political standing, and it is my opinion that if Texans voted on Don Yarborough and John Connally now, the governor would be reelected overwhelmingly. After the assassination there were weeks during which it was undeniably the consensus of the political community that Don Yarborough could not run against Connally, that if he did he would surely be clobbered. This consensus still obtains in the daily press; but as the days have slipped by, more and more knowledgeable and not unwise liberals have seen that he might not lose; he might win yet. N THE FIRST PLACE, Connally may not want to be governor any more; he may want to go to Washington again. The gentlemen associated with protecting the corporations’ control of the Texas statehouse are foxy predators; one need be foxy in their entrapment. It would be plausible that the governor might seek renomination and re-election and then resign, appointing his own successor. Yet what if Don Yarborough announced against Connally, before Connally himself had announced? One need only visualize the contest that would ensue to realize that President Johnson might not relish such a contest occurring. The President’s overt acts of friendliness toward Sen. Yarborough have been designed to make amends for the reputation he had earned as an enemy of the liberals within his own state. By long political association, Johnson and Connally are linked as close compadres. Yet Connally is on record against medicare and public accommodations and federal aid to education of most kinds; beyond this, the governor has laid himself open to liberals’ criticism on many legislative subjects. In such a contest one can foresee most serious implications for the President, should in fact or by mischance he be associated with Connally’s defense. The governor behaved, under fire, with laudable concern for President Kennedy. He himself sustained grievous wounds, and his lovely lady conducted herself gallantly. In his nationwide television interview with Martin Agronski, Connally refrained from a temptation Allan Shivers would have yielded tonamely, to turn the tragedy against the far left and by association against liberalsand instead, the governor derived from what had happened its true and profound instruction, that we must all reject and effectively oppose hate and violence from the extreme right and the ex treme left, both. In these matters the governor comported himself admirably. The facts of his failure to serve the people as governor were not altered, and remain. The assassin changed history, but he did not relieve any citizen of the duty to do what he thinks right, and pursue the general welfare as he best sees it. His first term Governor Connally served the corporations in the legislature; eased taxes on them while increasing them on the people in general; ballyhooed education while in fact simply carrying on as before; let the special interests have the stage that he had won, and then defaulted. Sympathy, which we all feel for him and his personally, cannot intelligently become sentimentality that forgets that he in effect torpedoed repeal of the poll tax ; that he in effect impugned the integrity of two federal judges because they had ordered redistricting he feared would hurt conservative Democratic control of the Texas delegation to Washington. These things remembered, as from some previous time, we need recall, too, that they all happened in 1963; yes, all in that one year that ended with its terrible ending. Just as the American Republic carried on continuously, so also must the State of Texas, and the politics of the people’s concerns; so also must the political contests that correctly embody the genuine political tensions of of the society. The consideration that militates against Don Yarborough running is the obvious conjecture that he would lose. He would, now; he might, in May; but he might not, in May, and if he is man enough to try, since when have liberals devoted to an improved society been deterred by odds against winning an election? The day Texas liberals start letting the daily press do their thinking for them, the day they permit sentimentality to intimidate them, January 10, 1964 5
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