Since 1866 The Place in Austin GOOD FOOD GOOD BEER 1607 San Jacinto GR 7-4171 MARTIN ELFANT Sun Life of Canada 1001 Century Building Houston, Texas CA 4-0686 /######## Are We Extremists? that this presumption be changed. For a long time, I have objected to preconvention caucuses by special interest groups. They seem to me to embody the unit rule at its worst. Why go to the convention if you are bound, strictly or in effect, by a smaller caucus meeting? Now we have also the black caucus, the brown Austin Some letters and in-person comments have led me to believe that the Observer and, more particularly, I myself have not expressed the views we hold about late national political developments as well as might have been the case. In particular I am concerned that the good will and hope we on the staff feel, basically, for our nation is not coming through of late, that the abiding dedication and optimism we hold for American democracy is too befogged by our dismay about the presidential choice before us in November. We on the staff have been accused I have been accusedof being extremists of the left, the sort of persons who must rule or ruin. Eugene McCarthy didn’t get the Democratic nomination so to hell with that party and to hell with the nation. That is not representative of what I feel, nor does it, I think, express what I believe my colleagues on this paper feel. We cannot support Hubert Humphrey, as we could have in 1956, in 1960 and in 1964not because HHH has changed but because he has not. Humphrey is still the same good and decent man, the same sort of genuine, forthright liberal he was in previous years. The trouble is exactly that: Humphrey has not changed but the times and liberalism have. What I say further down in this column about Sen. Ralph Yarborough applies in this case. I believe Senator Yarborough is seeking to move with the times, to stay on the frontier of liberalism, yet remain mindful of the great mainstream 14 The Texas Observer caucus, the white caucus, and the youth caucus. All this expresses needs that are real and if this is the way people want to do, this is the way they will do. I, for one, do not intend to participate in any meeting based on race. Just so we won’t be too lonely, some of us are thinking of organizing a human beings’ caucus. R.D. of American politics in the center. Humphrey, trapped by his service as LBJ’s vice president, has not been able to develop his liberalism, to continue to extend it as I believe he otherwise would have. Thus my, and the Observer’s, doubts about him. Liberals of my persuasion doubt Humphrey’s suitability to govern our republic because he has not sought to impede our tragic course in Vietnam; quite the contrary, he has become head cheerleader in behalf of that cause, largely I think out of grossly misplaced loyalty to President Johnson and the Democratic party which he loves. I am mistrustful of such short-sighted loyalty; I believe the key commitment of any human being, and certainly of any political leader of this powerful nation should not be to this nation or to the Democratic party, both worthy objects of loyalty, to be sure. Rather, I think the ultimate loyalty for an American politician must be to mankind, the cause of man. We are killing men, women and children in Vietnam and in other countries to impose our version of freedom upon them. This must stop. I do not see evidence that Humphrey realizes this. I fully expect, should HHH somehow be elected, that he may well step down, too gradually for my taste, the war in Vietnam. But I do not believe he perceives the full range of the horror we have visited upon fellow human beings in Southeast Asia. He might therefore launch other, similar atrocities elsewhere. Nor does he realize the dismay and apprehension that American imperialismand it is just that, imperialismsires throughout the civilized world. The cold war concept is an anachronism in a world sick of ideological struggle overlain by militarism. We, this nation, represent the last significant body of opinion that has yet fully to realize this crucial fact. Russia does, imperfectly. China is coming ’round. The so-called Iron Curtain countries are wearying of the contest. The world is ready for peace. Never more so than now. The chilling rhetoric that is filling the American political climate these days simply fails to take into account the anguished yearning for peace the world over. Nations are eager for self-determination, not to be drawn to one side or the other of the old cold war, which may have ended with the Cuban missile crisis, an event that sobered the world more profoundly than we in this country realize, I think. Neither Humphrey, nor Nixon nor, certainly, Wallace, seems to realize that the cold war is over, nor to realize that nations are more interested in improving the lives of their own people than in scoring points in some global ideological struggle. That is Humphrey’s failure. He does not realize the international yearning for peace. Nor does he fully understand the anguish of America’s dispossessed, that our impoverished and disadvantaged want not to extend American imperialism 10,000 miles from home but want desperately to work here at home to have to say in their own lives, to come to share in the America that most of us know. Those of us who call for Humphrey’s defeat in November do not do so gladly or with any malevolence. We have loved Humphrey for these many years. I well recall that in my deep despondency immediately following President Kennedy’s murder the first surge of hope I felt was the sight of Humphrey on the TV screen, his black, sad eyes reflecting so poignantly and so truly the grief I felt so ineffably, in such a personal way. Humphrey, after Stevenson, enthusiastically was my choice in 1960 for the Democratic nomination, not Kennedy. It saddens me to turn my back on this champion of human rights. But he was nominated by and so is beholden to the worst sort of people in the Democratic party the Daleys and the Connallys. It is said, by good men and some of the truest and best sort of American liberals such as Maury Maverick, Jr., of San Antonio, that Humphrey wants to be liberated from the Johnson yoke. If so, that liberation must be proclaimed now. Now. By Humphrey. So the American people can ratify that proclamation on Nov. 5. There are far too many Democrats, far too many Americans, who are not going to vote for Humphrey lest it be thought they have been taken in by the callous, cynical men who today run the national Democratic party; that we have been taken in against our will to support a carbon copy of LBJ, as many of us now regard Humphrey. Sadly we turn from Humphrey. We do so, however, because of a higher loyalty to the anguished in Vietnam, the Dominican Republic, Biafra. Mankind, not the Democrats, is the party that commands
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