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graduate the oil and gas severance tax, lowering it on 90 percent of the producers, raising it on 10 percent, and increasing the overall take. The movement elected Ralph Yarborough U.S. Senator, and this led to the appointment of liberal federal judges who still grace the bench in Texas. The movement reached for the governorship, and although the self-presented candidate, Don Yarborough, was no knight in shining armor, he would have been a liberal governor, and he was on his way, in 1963, to winning. But by 1960 I had come down from my reformist euphoria into a quite personal crisis. I believed that Lyndon Johnson had made book, for his own benefit, with the conservatives in Texas. I had watched the progressive movement of Texas crumble, person by person, into Johnson’s presidential camp in 1960. Then Kennedy named Johnson vice president. When I think back, now, on the next year and a half in my life, I think of a period of nausea, of inanition. I saw I had been too optimistic, too reliant on faith in virtue. Base a social movement on faith, hope, and charity, and you get, for the poor and the denied, just that and nothing more. Sometimes I have wished that I had read C. Wright Mills’ The Power Elite in 1956, when it came out, instead of in the ’60s; perhaps I would have been tougher-minded about power. What I had to learn in these ways, and what those whom I was influencing also had to I watched the Texas progressive movement crumble, person by person, into the LBJ camp learn, was realism about the relationship between human nature and , power. Those without power will not get it without action; those with power will not yield it unless they must. Deep in my consciousness, I concluded that with Johnson the vice president, the Texas movement of the Fifties was dead for at least eight years. The Observer should be kept functioning and free, but it was time for me to deepen my understandings, and my work, in other ways, and I quit as editor. I think that each editor since then has been effective and appropriate, and in personal ways representative, of the period during which he or she has served. Willie Morris brought into the Observer his mischievous wit and literary grace. He and Bob Sherrill continued the reforming voice full strength, but with laughter, as if they, too, understood that in the systole and diastole of social change, theirs was a period of relaxation and inattention. The Legislature passed the general sales tax. Willie moved on to New York, ‘and Bob to Washington. With the assassination of John Kennedy in 1963, the bad news.for Texas progressives was solidified: John Connally, shot with Kennedy, would be re-elected over Don Yarborough, and there could be no independent progressive movement in Texas as long as Johnson was president. Then, like the furies, came the great moral peStilence Vietnam, poisoning, not only the people, the villages and forests, the rivers of Vietnam, but poisoning also the whole American people, from the right-wingers who wanted to bomb the little bastards into the Stone Age to the left-wingers who wanted to bomb the napalm makers into Hell. What really, then, could progressive periodicals do but cry doom, how could they be equable, calm; or even very rational trying to deal with such unprecedentedly irrational use of our national force on a little Asian nation? Remember, for instance, what happened to the New York Review of January 14, 1977 29 CLASSIFIED THE COMMODORE HOTEL On Capitol Hill Owned by Texans. Run by a Texan. 520. N. Capitol St., NW Washington, D.C. 20001 La Fonda de la Noche Southwestern Cuisine’ Liberal FoodConservative Prices 2405 Nueces1 474-7562 ANDERSON & COMPANY COFFEE TEA SPICES AUSTIN, TEXAS 78’731 51.2 453-1533 Send me your list. 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