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“He’s well liked. He’ll nod and grin at you. . . .” Reagan reminds Johnny of old Ray Garman back in the days when come a Sunday, people had to be driven from around the countryside to the Methodist Church. Someone lent them a bus to haul all the women and children, and Ray Garman said, ” ‘I can drive! I know the road! Hit’s paved and I can git you right there to it.’ Well, he runs off into a back road, hits a stump, .backs up, whirls around and takes off across a field. I said to Ray, ‘One, you don’t know the road. Two, you don’t know how to drive.’ But anyway he had the sense to turn around and say, ‘You know, you’re pretty right about that.’ At least he didn’t insult everybody’s intelligence by hollerin’ `Stay the course.’ I got onto the wheel and took it away from him and that’s what the people should do, get onto the wheel and take it away from Reagan.” `That Turncoat’ “That turncoat, switching to the Republican party like John Connally did and Strom Thurmond did,” Faulk says of Phil Gramm. “Saying he’s done it for principle and the party bosses have persecuted him! He’ll lie on credit when he can tell the truth for cash. Thomas Jefferson founded the Democratic Party, and Phil Gramm has abandoned the Democratic Party. I thought John Connally had done the most good for the Democrats by quittin’ us. Phil done beat him, folks. Gramm reminds me of a big old possum layin’ up in the chicken house sayin’, ‘I represent the poultry interests in the community.’ ” Faulk expected to have to deal with labels in the campaign. “I have a deep faith in the people of the country, and I realize very profoundly that they’ve been betrayed. I am running as a Democrat of course, but as a Democrat in the tradition of Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Sam Rayburn, and the last real governor of Texas we’ve had, Mr. James V. Allred. ” ‘Mr. Faulk, they say you’re a liberal.’ It’s like my Aunt Edith and all that to-do about the Newniversity of Texas, that old cesspool of atheism. I don’t use labels. That was the technique of McCarthyism, calling people subversives, labels, name-calling, as a substitute for rational dialogue. “But if what you mean by liberal that Sam Houston was a liberal, and if you mean that James Hogg was a liberal, and if you mean that Jimmy Allred was a liberal, and if you’re talking about men like the author of the Declaration of Independence, Thomas Jefferson, and the man who was father of the Constitution, James Madison, yeah, I reckon I am one. “I don’t use labels. That was the technique of McCarthyism . . . But if what you mean by liberal is that Sam Houston was a liberal . . . I reckon I am ‘ one . . . . This `liberal’ business shame on those people who have made it a pejorative word when it’s what made our country great and a beacon light of liberty around the world.” This ‘liberal’ business shame on those people who have made it a pejorative word when it’s what made our country great and a beacon-light of liberty around the world. “Triple-shame,” Faulk went on, “triple-shame on this fraud and fourflusher Gramm, passing himself off as a friend of the people and a fiscal conservative. He’s been on the government payroll since 1967 teaching at A&M was the only job he ever had before Congress and the minute he got to Washington, he got his wife into the government trough, too, a job as some kind of government economist. This is the man that’s talking about fiscal responsibility! “He ran in November and was elected as a Democrat by the good and deluded citizens, but he had already made a deal with Dick Nixon I mean Bill Clements, whenever I think of one I think of the other and then Gramm had the audacity to call a special election because he wanted to steal the Sixth Congressional District from the Democrats! He stands up there and says he doesn’t care what it costs, he’ll pay for it! He’s a fraud and a four-flusher. He thinks the highest offices go to the highest bidder. He’s got the millions, all right, he’s fattened up by the big defense contractor lobbyists, of whom he is a darling.” Championing Reaganomics, Faulk said, Gramm and his new party “are not paring human services for people in the tradition of wisdom and compassion of this great society, they’re using the sledgehammer to knock out the windows and doors and knock the roof off the house of good American citizens. They’re not reducing taxes, they’re simply taking money from the elderly, the infirm, and the poor in our communities and giving it to those big fat military hogs to protect Japan and West Germany so they can drive this country into economic bankruptcy. Oh, I’ve challenged him to a debate. He’d never get on the platform with me, I’d strip him blind.” A Little Lonely Cactus Pryor, the radio personality and entertainer, is moved by Faulk’s candidacy and put together a broadcast about him that was to be used in the campaign. Forty years ago, Pryor says, Faulk ranged the area of the Sixth Congressional District listening to people’s talk and their songs: the Faulk collection of the voices of the people of the Brazos bottom is now in the Library. of Congress. Johnny fought strip-miners in Fairfield; he fought the interests that turn the Trinity River into a ship canal. And, Pryor says, Faulk can skin a deer or he can skin a politician, he can bait a trotline or he can bait a politician. Faulk hadn’t announced 24 hours before crews started arriving from ABCTV, CBS-TV, and the Dallas stations. His campaign headquarters as a practical matter is J. R. Parten’s home near Madisonville and the Woodbine Hotel in the town. He said he has had thousands of calls, but he was feeling a little lonely as he set out upon his sudden adventure. “I ain’t never run for office,” he said. “It’s the next thing to being in hell with your back broke. I announced feelin’ buck nekkid, talkin’ about Pericles and Jefferson, but alone with nobody there but Randy Parten and a handful of the folks in Madison County.” Of course, he added philosophically, “We know that you can’t lose the race when you’re talking to the people.” But you can. The address of John Henry Faulk’s campaign is Box 1389, Madisonville, Tx. 77864. R. D . 4 JANUARY 28, 1983