What should liberals do? Sen. Ralph Yarborough insists that he will not consider running for the Senate as an independent, leaving liberals in a quandry about what to do with their votes in the fall. Some Texans are attempting to organize a write-in campaign for Yarborough on the Democratic ticket, despite Yarborough’s demurrers that he will not be a candidate. The write-in movement so far has not elicited much response. In letters to this journal, Observers readers have recommended voting Republican, writing in Ralph, starting a Liberal party, abandoning electoral politics, and simply dropping back and punting with hopes of a better chance on the next play. Following are excerpts from some of the letters we have received. Rebuild the Democrats Any post m o rtem of the Yarborough-Bentsen primary must contain something that all your past articles on the 1968 elections failed to include, an analysis of the underlying pathology of Texas politics. That underlying pathology is the one-party system … On May 2, over 94% of the Texas voters who went to the polls voted in the Democratic primary; less than 6% voted in the Republican primary. This is the significance of the one-party system. That is why Ralph Yarborough was defeated, and that is why liberal candidates have been defeated for Congressional, legislative, state, and local races in the past in this, the largest one-party state in the nation… . In my opinion, this prime obligation to build a two-party system is so obvious and so fundamental that it cannot be turned on and off like a water faucet, to be allowed to function in one election year and to be ignored in another, when a certain short-sighted expediency or bankrupt loyalty to the national Democratic Party seemingly compels that we pursue “party loyalty.” I challenge anyone to contradict the assertion that Ralph Yarborough made his primary defeat this year as a foregone conclusion when by his endorsement of Preston Smith in the 1968 general election he once again shored-up the decaying one-party system. Had Paul Eggers been elected governor in the 1968 general election, there would have been a Republican primary vote of perhaps 400,000 or 500,000; as it was, we had about 100,000 votes cast in the Republican Party. To those liberals who want to vote the Democratic ticket in November, a course 16 The Texas Observer which is suicidal and will only lead to strengthening the one-party system, I suggest you follow closely the editorial line of the Dallas Morning News, because you are adhering to it. To those who worry about the caliber of people Texas sends to Congress, I suggest that the Dowdys, Fishers, Caseys, and Burlesons of this world are peculiarly the product of a strong one-party system, and I challenge you to show me any other state which has a larger number of ultra-conservative Democrats on its Congressional delegation. To those who pretend concern about sending another conservative Republican to the U.S. Senate, let me challenge you to address your concern to sending another conservative Democrat there. If Bentsen goes to the Senate, he becomes another Southern conservative polluting the Senate Democratic caucus, another voice for the major oil companies inside the Democratic Party; another rung on the ladder of seniority…. If Texas must send another conservative to the U.S. Senate, for mercy’s sake, let it be a Republican conservative, and let us not strengthen the hand of conservatism in the national Democratic Party.. .. This is the end of an era, not the end of the world, and not the end of the liberal movement of Texas which is made of pretty stout material, and whose solid roots of indigenous discontent run in a direct line back to Sam Houston. The new era which we are entering can be one of great challenge and great opportunity for the liberal movement of Texas, if we will but gird outselves for the battle to build a viable two-party system. Dave Shapiro, 1959 Sabine, #201, Austin, Tex 78705. Start Liberal Party Now that the Democratic primary has shown that one can buy one’s way into the office \(with the aid of a poorly organized bloc of liberal voters and an even larger for the political liberals to do some hard thinking before the coming November .. . I believe that Texas liberals should agree to deny their votes to both Bush and Bentsen in November.. .. As in the case of Mayor John Lindsey in New York, who lost the Republican primary but who won the election by building a new coalition, I should like to suggest that a massive write-in vote be organized for Senator Yarborough in November despite any disclaimers from the senator. I should like to see the Texas liberals separate themselves from the conservatives who control the Texas Democratic Party… . With a functioning Liberal Party already in existence in New York State, who can say that the formation of another such party in Texas may not signal the beginning of a trend which might spread to liberal voters in other states who are also tired of having their votes count for nothing …. Texas is more than 80% urban and has only recently had to face some of the acute LES AMES 4 Afidedealk cap ist ileathe oft 24 4a#:41 coatimeatat 46140de 6eet, atiae, riaceefts 24e4 Salt Area& Ideated ftedt a de Ategla ai tle ?exatt Mewet /doge 472-2746
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