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considerable body of dissent from this conclusion within the community of the Texas left. The Observer suggests that write-in votes be cast for Sen. Eugene McCarthy for president and New York Mayor John Lindsay for vice president, or for whichever two candidates the voters prefer to the Democratic ticket. It is not at all easy for the Observer to suggest such a course; the effect of such voting is to add to the support Richard Nixon will have in Texas. So be it. The reasons for our advocating such a course among supporters of the progressive movement in Texas are complicated but, we believe, persuasive. This election, more so than any other in at least this century, will be affectedand probably decidedby factors other than which candidate is favored by certain types of voters. There are other issues at stake this year. There is a large body of the electorate who believe the question is not which candidate will come the closest to running the government the way they want but, rather, how can the Democratic party be restored to its 20th century role of being the key instrument of American social progress? This concern is precisely why many progressives are not going to vote for Humphrey in 1968 and why the Observer recommends Humphrey’s defeat. If the choice is merely: which man, Humphrey, Nixon or Wallace, most nearly approaches embodiment of the liberal and progressive values, the choice for those on the left in Texas and nationally is simple. Humphrey, of course. If, as the Observer believes, the choice is more complicated than that, then deciding how to proceed is a source of complex anguish. “Consider the alternatives.” These are the slogans the Humphrey campaign has centered on. These are slogans that have had much effect on liberals in the nation; Humphrey has gained ground by their use; he is looking better and better to those on the left as election day nears. Many McCarthy and Kennedy and McGovern backers who, before Chicago and immediately thereafter, said they would not vote for Humphrey have changed their minds and now freely say they will back him. Others, who remain silent, will find, in the voting booth, that they just cannot vote for Nixon or Wallace and will, reluctantly and sadly, vote for Humphrey. These are people, these liberals, who are worried about the next four years in America and in the world. They do not want Nixon to decide nuclear equations, to name Supreme Court justices, to determine the future of domestic social legislation, to set the tone and tenor of American society, social justice, intellectual pursuit or cultural advance in the years just ahead. We cannot, these liberals say, have Nixon until 1972 or 1976. The poor must be seen to, the inhabitants of the ghettos and barrios liberated, the Vietnamese given peace, the nu 2 The Texas Observer clear sword removed from suspension above the head of humanity. Humphrey best can do this, Nixon will not, Wallace will not. So it is said. THE OBSERVER is worried less about the next four years than about the next twenty-five. If the Democrats are kept in power under present circumstances, then hope for restoring the Democratic party, the nation’s key instrument of social progress and justice, to its historic course of progressive reform will be grievously undercut. The cynicism and cruelty of Chicago exemplified the nature of many of those who currently run the party and this nation. That party must not be rewarded by Humphrey’s succession of the discredited Johnson ad “Sorehead!” ministration. If Humphrey is elected the men who now run the party will remain in power; they will influence the new president as they have influenced the present holder of that office and Humphrey has shown himself a good deal less able to resist the entreaties of powerful men than has Johnson. As Jack Newfield has written in the Village Voice, Humphrey, after four years in the White House is a “moral eunuch.” “If he couldn’t stand up to Mayor Daley, how can he deal with the joint chiefs, the CIA and the Pentagon?” Humphrey has shown himself to be a man of crucial moral weakness. If truly he doubts the wisdom of our Vietnam policy, as his apologists tell people who yearn for peace, then why did he not use his influence as vice president towards that end? He could have resigned; he could have demurred; he could have remained silent. He did none of these. On the contrary, he became perhaps the most outspoken, enthusiastic advocate of American murder and atrocity in Vietnam. His mushiness on the issue to this day bespeaks a misunderstanding of our nation’s tragic role in Asia. Humphrey sought, in his September 30 TV address, to assuage the feelings and ease the concern of those who want us out of Vietnam. In substance, however, he said nothing that Johnson has not been saying since 1965: we will deescalate if the other side makes some step in good faith to deescalate. Specifics as to what would constitute good faith deescalation by the Viet Cong are not forthcoming. Moreover, while Humphrey has remained publicly silent on the matter, we have not stopped the bombing while the Paris peace talks drone on, though many sources tell us that such a stoppage would greatly enhance the chances of the negotiations. Why has not Humphrey urged a bombing haltnow? Lately, there is word that instead of stepping down the US military effort in Vietnam our country is preparing a final push before Johnson leaves office; the piesident appears yet intent on winning military vindication of his murderous policies. Tristram Coffin, in a newsletter he publishes from Washington, advises that the Pentagon now plans to put some rear-echelon troops into combat in Vietnam. “This was revealed,” Coffin writes, “when a source on Capitol Hill ‘leaked’ the import of a letter from Defense Secy. Clifford to Chairman Richard Russell of the senate armed services committee. . . . Under the Pentagon plan, perhaps as many as 90,000 additional Americans will be in combat.” What is Humphrey doing to stop this? Surely he has heard the talk of a final American push in 1968. Humphrey has done nothing. HAS HUMPHREY really changed his mind about Vietnam? Has he departed from the Johnson administration policy? His September 30 address has been represented as a departure from the LBJ policy, as an appeal to people who want to get out of Vietnam. But as Mary McCarthy \(no relation to the senin the New York Review of Books recently, “You can read anything you want into Humphrey’s recent remark about stopping the bombing if elected; it is like a big Rorschach blot.” Other commentators have agreed. And, just three days before that address, Humphrey wrote one Texan, a man who wants us out of Vietnam, saying, “You ask that I modify or change my policy on Vietnam. There are two reasons for my not doing so. First: we are having trouble enough in Paris, Hanoi and Saigon without complicating it further by suggestions from presidential candidates. Second, my position has not changed and I will not change it to gain political advantage. I believe we should conclude the war as soon as possible but that we cannot simply fold up our tents and go home. The detailed arrangements are not in my hands at the moment. When they are you can count upon my concluding the hostilities as soon as possible.” \(Italics supspeech which HHH people have represented as Humphrey’s moving away from