T “Home of Texas Traditional Music” Down-Home Food 217 So. Lamar Austin, Texas Qf BOOKS 503 5 WEST 17TH 476.0116 Mist in, Texts 71701 CARTER $QNDALE READY , TO SHIP Bumperstrips * Posters Brochures * Lapel Badges * Window Stickers Call for Price List IFIJTIORA 512 / 442-7836 1714 S. Congress Box 3485 Austin, Tx 78764 IN STOCK Bob and Sara Roebuck Anchor National Financial Services 1524 E. Anderson Lane, Austin bonds stocks insurance mutual funds optional retirement program 14 The Texas. Observer . .a subtle change forward’ Austin Students of Southern politics may wish to look at a new book, The Transformation of. Southern Politics, subtitled Social Change and Political Consequences Since 1945, by Walter DeVries, a professor at Duke, and Jack Bass, a journalist \(Basic Books, 1976, recent political change in the South, “the emergence of southern blacks into the mainstream of political participation and the development of the Republican Party and its challenge to a one-party political system.” There are journalistic summaries on the political situation in each southern state, summaries that, judging from the one on Texas, are not deep, but are creditable. There are also tables giving basic political statistics for the region. On Texas, the authors take their theme from V. 0. Key’s 1948 insight that economic cleavages dominate the state’s politics, giving the terms liberal and conservative real meaning. They open their chapter, “Texas: Still the Politics of Economics,” with a quote from Ralph Yarborough, “Texas is the happy hunting ground of predatory wealth.” But DeVries and Bass, saying that “there has been no liberal governor since the 1930s, and the conservatives have dominated Texas politics since World War II,” and seeing that “no state has more people who fall below the federal government’s poverty guidelines” and that “only Nevada makes less tax effort than Texas,” make the common mistake of concluding that Texas is a conservative state. As sociologist Chandler Davidson specifically demonstrated in his recent book review in the Observer Texas is a state of vigorous but inconclusive ideological struggle, the conservatives retaining the governing power, but often just barely. I pass along to Observer readers from this book a remark I made to the authors, on change in Texas since the mid-1950s: “There has been subtle acceptance of the progressive environment, the change of milieu, the cultural change. There has been a subtle change forward. I wouldn’t say leftward. There has been a subtle moderation of the harsh themes of the right. For example, twenty years ago, federal aid to education was unthinkable; now it is accepted. Sympathy for the poor was unthinkable, thought of as communist, and now it is acceptable. Blacks have been integrated in most ostensible aspects; that was unthinkable twenty years ago. Generally, the state has moved with the country somewhat toward civility. But fundamentally, it has not changed; fundamentally, it is still governed by the principle of corporate interest.” From the authors’ tables, one notes, for Observations example, as to Texas, that in 1975 blacks made up 11 percent of the voting age population, but had only 150 elected officials, or 0.7 percent of the total; that the number of farms in Texas declined 35.6 percent from 331,567 in 1950 to 213, 550 in 1969; and that the number of farm workers dropped 56.4 percent, from 445,939 in 1950 to 194,635 in 1970. Happy Birthday Carl Brannin was 88 years old on Sept. 22. Somehow Dallas has realized that he should be thanked now, while he’s still alive and strong. “Certainly,” Bill Porterfield wrote, “Carl is a bona fide Texan. As a kid he delivered The Dallas Morning News on horseback. He was an Aggie who played in the band. He’s an oilman, drawing some royalty off an old family peanut farm.” Darwin Payne, an associate professor of journalism at SMU, wrote a long sketch about Carl for The Dallas Times Herald, and the people of Dallas learned that they have had a remarkable humanist among them. At Texas A&M Brannin played in the band, all right, but he also joined a student action that resulted in the departure of the college president. A friend of Lincoln Steffens and Roger Baldwin, he was a conscientious objector in World War I; worked to save Sacco and Vanzetti; organized a sit-in of 600 unemployed persons in Dallas in 1933; ran for governor of Texas as a socialist in 1936; helped form the Dallas NAACP in 1940; walked the picket lines in the early 1960s to desegregate public accommodations in Dallas. He has written countless letters to editors, making sense against the tides of conservatism. He voted for Wilson, LaFollette, Norman Thomas, and William Z. Foster, for president; since 1940 he has voted for the Democratic presidential nominees. In 1948 his heart was with Henry Wallace, but he thought Truman needed his vote to beat Dewey. This year he will vote for Carter “if he needs my vote,” for someone like McCarthy otherwise. Branninceased being a socialist shortly after his 1936 campaign, but he favors public ownership of utilities and of other private industry in some cases. “When there’s no competition,” he told Payne, “the government should have the power to come in and take over and pay the value of the stock. I think there’s a case for public ownership
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