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Concerning 1972 Austin We should, I think, see Texas politics now as part of a national crisis that began midway in Johnson’s presidency and will reach its climax in 1972 or shortly thereafter. The most important scheduled political event of the next two years will be the Democratic national convention of 1972. It is now likely that we shall see, that year, the emergence of what Samual Lubell calls “four-party politics” in the United States, with each of the two traditional parties badgered, from the left and right, by important rebellious parties. George Wallace, the Republicans’ hound dog, will probably be back. The case for a fourth party would have to be headed off by strong trust in the national Democrats, and that trust no longer exists. In this context, then, the Democrats’ national convention will be the event of the highest importance. Another Chicago might plunge the country into such despair, irredeemable damage would ensue. I believe that in 1972 we either make an unmistakable political breakthrough to a new kind of country, or we will find ourselves in a locked-on repression from which the country might not emerge free. Hubert Humphrey will be back in 1972, too, unless the Republican and the independent, Earl Craig, can together prevent his return to the Senate this year. John Kenneth Galbraith convincingly believes that Humphrey will not be able to dominate the national convention or get the nomination because he will have to enter primaries in 1972 he would have no excuse not to and the cannot win these primaries. This would leave a personality-figure vacuum in which we might expect there to be a fair chance for a K en n ed y-Muskie-McGovern type Democratic nominee. But this is the question: Will the war-rationalizing, Old Liberal group run that convention in league with the Southern conservatives, or will the new and modern Democrats run it? Nothing in Texas politics now is more important in itself than it is in the way in which it bears on the answer to this question. We are, in short, now engaged in a decisive struggle for the soul of the Democratic Party. That party may, as Lubell says, be breaking up. It is certainly fundamentally changed. You cannot force again into the same coalition George Meany and Eugene McCarthy, Julian Bond and the New York hardhats, Al Lowenstein and Mendel Rivers. THE FIRST question is, why, since we are engaged in a struggle for the soul of the Democratic Party, should Texas Observations Democrats ensconce in the vital middle of that party, in the United States Senate, “the Senator from Texas” who represents and speaks for its worst tendencies of racial paternalism, repression, militarism, and big business domination? For that is what Lloyd Bentsen’s election would mean. In my own mind the answer to this question is clearly No. The second question is, why, since the most important political event of the next two years will be the 1972 convention, should the Texas Democrats do anything that will strengthen the Humphrey and the Humphrey-type forces at the 1972 convention? The most important contribution Texans can make politically to the welfare of the country within the next two years is to send a liberal, anti-war delegation to Chicago or, at the very least, to split the Texas delegation with successful defiance and defeat of the unit rule. It is clearly true that there will be a better chance of accomplishing this overriding objective without a conservative Democratic governor in office. Preston Smith is a more independent breed of conservative Democrat than we have had in the governor’s mansion for some time. If the important considerations were located in the Texas context only, I could see a case for Smith. But almost the sole question is: In what political context could the regathered liberal and radical Texas Democrats have the best chance of charging into the 1972 convention from Texas with a delegation that can make a real contribution to the survival of justice and liberty in a peace-loving United States. THESE ARE the summer doldrums. Hell, it’s little enough fun . we have, watching Bush and Bentsen, Eggers and Smith, making their little curtsies to the left, suddenly discovering how wonderful Ralph Yarborough’s ideas and proposals are, furrowing their brows deeper and deeper and deeper \(while muttering Cambodia, inflation, Vietnam. There’s time, is there not, for these summer amusements to continue a little longer. But when the life of the state and the country surges back full force next September it will be too late to dawdle in this crisis of our country. If Bush were senator from Texas, Tower might more easily be defeated in 1972. That would not be a bad trade. If Eggers were governor, the reform Democrats in Texas, led again, if he so chooses, by. Ralph Yarborough running for governor, or by the new men, or by Yarborough and by new men, could avail themselves of the conservative Democrats’ loss of power in the state in a thereby strengthened charge .for the delegation to the 1972 Democratic national convention. I quite agree with Professor Galbraith’s advocacy, in the New Republic, that the reform Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives should refuse to continue to acquiesce in the domination of key committees by old and reactionary Democrats that it will be much better for the reform Democrats to vote with the Republicans on these chairmanships than let the politically corrupt seniority system continue to prevail in the House. Therefore, it makes sense that Texans with access to Democrats of the more liberal kind running for office in Texas this fall seek to get them to pledge to join other reform Democrats in refusing to participate in the Democratic House caucus in Washington next January if doing so means the continuation in their chairmanships of men like Mendel Rivers. Congressmen Eckhardt, Gonzalez, Wright, and Brooks, at the least, ought to be expected, by Texas liberals, to be a part of such a reform movement in Washington. No man is exempted from the reach of a national crisis by his local compromises, such as those Gonzalez has made, or his connections with retrogressive power within his own party’s power structure, such as those that Wright and Brooks have enjoyed. THE REGENTS of the University of Texas having chosen Mr. LeMaistre to be chancellor, not Lyndon Johnson or John Connally, I find an old cliche pounding through my head, about my column concerned with rumors about Johnson and Connally an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. July 24, 1970 15 Personal Service Quality Insurance ALICE ANDERSON AGENCY INSURANCE & REAL ESTATE 808A E. 46th, Austin, Texas 465-6577 MEETINGS THE THURSDAY CLUB of Dallas meets each Downtown YMCA, 605 No. Ervay St., Dallas. Good discussion. You’re welcome. Informal, no dues. CENTRAL TEXAS ACLU luncheon meeting. Spanish Village. 2nd Friday every month. From noon. All welcome.