iha ‘:st1`li4itgltfOliiilll.. .%JW.b.0f4 ~1+~111Qy1 R’ ceptional situation which the Observer, and Texas liberals, must respond to, even perhaps if it means delaying capture of the state’s Democratic party and the Capitol, goals that long have been the keystone of Texas liberals’ work. I fear that far more radicals than liberals will be at the conference. That would badly damage the prospects for a meaningful exchange of views. I believe you will profit by attending and hope you will consider it. G.O. DIALOGUE What’s Right with LBJ? –11 A Minor Annoyance I have read with interest the article by Walter G. Hall [What’s Right with LBJ?] in your Feb. 16 issue. I was somewhat amused and reminded of that famous line: “Other than that, Mrs. Lincoln, how did you enjoy the show?”Jesse H. Oppenheimer, 1540 Milam Bldg., San Antonio, Tex. 78205. Freedom and Bravery On Feb. 9, 1938, a young fellow of 18 was asked to be at the American consulate in Stuttgart, Germany, for examination for emigration to the United States. Afterwards, as he stepped out of the office 1,000 eyes looked into his face to see if he had made it; many of those eyes were closed later at the gas chambers of the concentration camps. I was that 18-year-old. I served five years in the US Army during World War II. I have voted in all elections. Democratic and liberal was my voting record. I served two years on the Travis County Democratic executive committee and was active in electing Sen. Ralph W. Yarborough and President Lyndon B. Johnson. I also was a delegate who helped elect Mrs. Frankie Randolph national committeewoman from Texas. So I feel bad when I see my two friends, Fagan Dickson \(Obs., and Walter G. Hall, on different sides. I think Mr. Hall’s “What’s Right with LBJ?” is closer to reality. The question I like to ask my friend, Mr. Dickson, is can we be free without being brave? Or can we be brave without being free? Did America ask for the Berlin airlift, the Cuba situation, the Vietnam situation, the Pueblo incident, the Korean situation? Regardless of who will be our president he will face the problem of defending the liberty of the world. Mr. Johnson did the best job anybody could have done and he deserves to be reelected. Louis Hirsch, 4702 Chiappero Trail, Austin, Tex. 78731. The Disarray of American Society Walter G. Hall’s defense of President Johnson can be reduced to a neat paraphrase of the “Ultimate Reflection” in Quotations from Chairman LBJ. “Johnson is the only President the liberals have got.” Are such arguments, in the perspective of 1964, likely to appeal to those liberals who see the disarray of American society produced by the Johnson Vietnam policy? I think not. Lewis L. Gould, 1713B Enfield Rd., Austin, Tex. Concentrate on Don I would no more cancel my subscription to the Observer, which I love, than I would to the Dallas News, whose editorial page I loathe. All I object to nowadays in the Observer is the obsession with the Vietnam war, which is as tragic but as inevitable as the strangling of Desdemona by Othello. Just look at it as a tragedy that had to happen. The villain , is not LBJ but destiny. Let’s concentrate on electing Don Yarborough and quit cussing LBJ and the war. That is our No. 1 job, else we are spinning our wheels. It’s not too difficult to read Walter G. Hall and applaud. Don deserves our undivided attention. Archer Fullingim, editor, the Kountze News, Kountze, Tex. Aiding Communism While I disagree with all of Mr. Hall’s article in general, I should like specifically to challenge his statement that “by maintaining our commitment in Vietnam the United States has greatly reduced the likelihood of future communist aggression in Southeast Asia. . . .” As I view the Vietnamese situation the exact opposite occurrance is more probable. . . . Something besides political ideology accounts for North Vietnam’s survival and continued support. I submit that much of it is the Vietcong’s struggle to expel a foreign, arrogant United States from all of Vietnam. I submit, further, that additional US escalation of the war will be met with a corresponding escalation of nationalist and Vietcong will to resist. Finally, other nationalistic Asians should be expected to identify with the Vietcong rather than the United States. The United States must he regarded as a distinctly foreign power in Vietnam. We are killing Southeast Asians, specifically Vietnamese nationals, not foreign intruders. . . Wayne Oakes, Shelby, Tex. At Last Re Mr. Hall’s article: at last a liberal and sane estimate of President Johnson. P. H. Gratton, 1511 N. Washington, Roswell, N.M. 88201. America 1968, Germany 1938 I thought I had finally outgrown letterto-the-editor impulses, but I found Mr. Walter Hall’s defense of our Leader so compellingly emetic that … oops, here it comes. Dodge! Mr. Hall’s performance was, of course, very sophisticated \(in the sense of being have been more readable if he had filled out its hero-image generalizations with supporting detail. For instance, when Mr. Hall praised Lyndon for “diverting America’s attention from pleasant living to a suffering minorityblack and whitewho have lived forgotten lives,” I felt that it would have rounded out his thought if Mr. Hall had added a few details about how Lyndon thus diverted public attention by personally triumphing over a host of other individualsfrom Sargent Shriver and Martin Luther King to Rap Brown and Senor Tijerinawho were concurrently trying to shush up the whole minoritiescivil rights matter and re-divert the public attention to “affluence and pleasant living.” Details add color. And while Mr. Hall’s generalizations were rather completely colored, I felt a stronger, brighter coloring with such details would have heightened his effect. Similarly, I felt that praise for our Leader’s achievement in the War on Poverty would have been strengthened by a detailed supporting case history of two perhaps best of all by the persuasive rhetoric of a first-person case history. Friends who keep track of such things tell me that Mr. Hall himself was hard pressed to find one million to rub against another until one of Lyndon’s anti-poverty projectsreferred to locally as the “NASA complex”was plumped down in the very middle of the community where Mr. Hall’s little string of banks eked out an existence. Now Mr. Hall can walk into the very midst of the Great Society with a real sense of belonging and his personal insights could deepen public understanding of the realities of Lyndon’s triumph. With his argument supported by such detail, Mr. Hall could then have arrived at his climactic rhetorical question, “How can a liberal not support Lyndon?” with a readership better prepared to respond with emotional fervor. Even as it was, being the sort of reader willing to flesh out a bare-bones argument from a writer with requisite detail out of my own personal knowledge, I was able to respond with quite sufficient emotion by echoing his question with an analogue out of my recollections of recent history: “How could a socialist not sup March 1, 1968 13
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