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The enemy is apathy on May 2nd Austin I believe Senator Ralph Yarborough can defeat Cong. George Bush, the Houston Republican, handily enough in the fall. Nixon, Tower, Yarborough, and the Democratic tradition in Texas will be too much for Bush to overcome. If anybody beats Yarborough this year it will be Lloyd Bentsen on the second day of May. Last Sunday’s Houston Chronicle reports that its poll of political dopesters shows that Yarborough will defeat Bentsen by only 52-48%. It is my own feeling from traveling around the state that Yarborough will win if his people go to the polls. The real danger is that they won’t. There is a palpable apathy among the Yarborough people, a kind of forgetfulness. In the last six or seven years, we have lived through a churning of values that has left us shock-drunk and exhausted. Yarborough people, assuming that their man will win, have spoken to a few friends, but they have not had the extra conversations, they have not made the phone calls to their cousins or uncles or whatever, and they have not put stickers on their cars or signs in their yards. Nothing would more damagingly undo the progress we have made in Texas than the defeat of Senator Yarborough. In this campaign it does not look like there will be any of those supersmashes that make the more progressive citizens mad and turn them out to vote. The only solution is for them to use their heads and realize that Yarborough needs their activity. It woule be a social and political disgrace if, while liberals dozed and leftists opted out because of their boredom with electoral politics, this brave and decent senator was ambushed on May the 2nd. ILISTENED TO a few of Yarborough’s speeches this spring in North Texas. To a young crowd at a breakfast in Arlington he said, “We have not brought health care to the people of America. The only health care we have in America is for old people.” Speaking of our failure to educate enough doctors, he said, “We ought to be educating doctors to send them to the underdeveloped countries of the world. It’s a lot cheaper to educate doctors and send them out there than to drop $36 billion worth of bombs on one little country every year.” All the yak whether electoral politics is worth the time cannot withstand even the returning Yarborough to the Senate will mean that the chairman of the Senate’s health subcommittee will be a crusader for medicare for everybody. To Young Democrats in Fort Worth, Yarborough said that in a few more months we will have lost as many men in Vietnam as we did in World War I, and Observations twice as many as we lost in Korea. He pointed out that Nixon’s veto of health and education funds applied to a sum of money equivalent to the cost of a mere eleven days of the war in Vietnam. To Negro precinct workers gathered in a church, he spoke about an hour, extemporizing with example after example of how fights in the Senate in which he has joined have helped low-income people and the oppressed racial minorities. It was the anniversary of the death of Martin Luther King, and tears started in Yarborough’s eyes as he remembered the killing of John Kennedy, of King, the services he attended for King in the Baptist Church, the killing of Robert Kennedy. “In my opinion,” he said, “Robert Kennedy would have been nominated and elected President of the United States. I was at that funeral … only three Texans were invited from my state. It’s tragic so few Texans would fight for these great leaders.” ONE COLD SPRING night I went to a rally for Lloyd Bentsen in Corpus Christi. About 150 people came for the free tamales and cokes and the speech. Bentsen makes a forceful speech, but it is nothing but sloganeering. There is no substance. He lights first on one push-button, then, quickly, onto the next one. Yarborough “rassles with Strom Thurmond,” wants to “spend, spend, spend more of the taxpayers’ dollars,” by supporting the moratorium “helped stiffen the resolve of the men in Hanoi,” and besides, “there’s a deep disease in our society, it’s an ultraliberalism about things like narcotics,” and even worse, Yarborough has blocked “postal reform.” Bentsen does not tell you what he is for; that you are supposed to wait and find out. No thanks. One thing he is not likely to be for is cutting back on military spending, since he has been a corporate official in the military-industrial complex. Nor is he likely to go along with tax reform that would, for instance, require insurance companies to pay their fair share of income taxes. Dean Rindy Do what you can, citizens, this last, important week talk, phone, put on bumperstickers, help call voters and get them to the polls do what you can. Liberal State Sens. Oscar Mauzy of Dallas and Joe Bernal of San Antonio are in hard-fought contests for re-nomination, too; Sen. Mike McKool of Dallas has mounted a hopeful challenge to the conservative Dallas congressman, Earle Cabell. And let me call particular attention to a race being made by a young man named Dean Rindy for the state Legislature. Rindy is running in Austin. When he was in college he was the enfant terrible of the campus conservatives, an articulate, Buckley-like defender of the right. Something happened, I don’t know what. He got to thinking, I guess. For whatever reasons, he changed. His candidacy, in a field that includes conservative Wilson Foreman trying for a comeback, strikes another chord that is resonant, I believe, in refutation of the idea that good men don’t bother any more with electoral politics. He opposes political meddling with higher education, defends freedom to teach and dissent, and advocates “a special tax levied on the volume of effluent spewed out by each polluter,” more state taxes on the great corporations, state assistance for cities in planning and financing parks, greenbelts, low-cost housing, and mass transit systems, public health insurance, and adequate consumer protection “against unfair utility and loan rates.” I telephoned Rindy and asked him to send me some of his speeches. He hadn’t written any, so he wrote me a letter instead, and this is what it said: “Sometimes I think it would take an atom bomb or a depression to blast the average voter out of his lethargy, and the educated voter is almost as lethargic as the ignorant one. For a few, brief months the McCarthy campaign was magic. People were stirred in the depths of their time to a cause. But defeat dampened the sparks. It’s almost impossible to rekindle such energy for state races. But I truly believe I must inspire such fervor in at least some people. If I don’t, I can’t win. “So among young or sympathetic audiences I spread one message with missionary zeal that we are in a struggle for the mind of this country, that our WITH THE HELP OF OUR FRIENDS The Observer’s street-corner news racks located in San Antonio and Houston are in need of a little loving care and attention. And a home has been found for two additional racks in the student center at Texas Christian University and at UT-Arling ton. Friends of the Observer who may be interested in servicing these newsracks on a commission basis please write The Texas Observer business office, 504 W. 24th, Austin, Texas, 78705 for additional information. May 1, 1 970 15