Endorsements Mondale-Ferraro THERE ARE two chief reasons to vote for Walter Mondale and Geraldine Ferraro for President and Vice President. The first is Ronald Reagan. The second is what Mondale and Ferraro can mean for this country. Do not be fooled by the Reagan rhetoric: Walter Mondale is not Jimmy Carter. He is, instead, a fighter who will not be overrun by the collision of forces in Washington. He is a thinker, who can wrest difficult solutions from complex problems. And he is, above all, someone who will allow an opening for meaningful foreign policy dialogue, for arms control, for wide-ranging discussions of our nation’s economic and energy policies. His nomination of Geraldine Ferraro created an opening where for too long there had been a wall. Ferraro, for her part, brings street-smarts, a keen mind, an understanding of the human toll of economic and foreign policies, and, if elected, she would embody the beginning of a new era in American political life. May it come. While the polls showed Mondale and Ferraro behind in Texas by thirteen to seventeen percentage points with less than a month until the election, the polls did not spell defeat. A poll taken after the first Reagan-Mondale debate showed Mondale’s negatives with Texans had, for the first time, dropped below his positives. In other words, Mondale had become credible Presidential material. Another factor and more to the point will be the turnout of the newly registered voters of the state. The Southwest Voter Registration and Education Project estimates that almost one million new voters will have been registered by its various projects since the election of 1982. Most of the voters are Hispanic, of less than median income, and live in cities or in the Lower Rio Grande Valley. The Industrial Areas Foundation community organizations announced that they had registered over 104,000 new voters this year and plan to turn out at least half of these on election day. These nonpartisan projects will obviously benefit the Democrats at the polls. Many of these new voters remember the cold shoulder of the Reagan administration during the difficult “They’re not our leaders. We’re their leaders. You’ve got to walk the streets of Texas and save the earth.” Helen Caldicott months of unemployment following the December ’83 freeze in the Valley. During the last month, Jesse Jackson has visited El Paso, Houston, and East Texas, and Sen. Ted Kennedy has spoken to crowds in Houston, San Antonio, Austin, and the Valley in order to help get out the November vote. There is hope. And consider this: Helen Caldicott, in her new book, Missile Envy that from January 1979 to June 1980 there were 152 false alarms caused by computer failure in our defense system, leading our forces to prepare for full-scale nuclear conflict. These errors were discovered in a matter of minutes. There were 132 such errors during the first six months of 1983. The difference now is that with the weapons systems Reagan wants to see piked in Europe and on U.S. submarines, the chances of a computer error escalate while the time allowed to check or correct the alarm decreases. Contrary to what Reagan believes, once a nuclear missile is launched, it cannot be recalled. Caldicott told an Austin audience on October 5 that the November election is a referendum on the fate of the earth. “They’re not our leaders,” she said. “We’re their leaders. I’m talking to you as a physician. I want you to save your lives. You’ve got to walk the streets of Texas and save the earth. Nothing else matters.” Doggett for Senate IT SHOULD be no great surprise that the Observer enthusiastically endorses Lloyd Doggett for the U.S. Senate. Here, again, you have two reasons to vote: one, against Phil Gramm, the right-wing extremist masquerading as a “mainstream Texan,” and, two, for a state senator who understands the needs of the people of this state in a rapidly changing world. Lloyd Doggett is a man of integrity, whose career in the Texas senate was spent championing the small business against the conglomerate, making state agencies accountable, creating a state Human Rights Commission, and working for the interests of consumers and workers. We are faced with a clear choice: between a state senator who could be one of the U.S. Senate’s best and a Congressman who would undoubtedly challenge Jesse Helms, if he is still around, or Jeremiah Denton as the Senate’s worst. The latest polls show Doggett anywhere from three to seven percentage points behind Gramm. Doggett’s election will depend on voter turnout in urban areas, industrial East Texas, and the Valley and among the newly registered, as well as upon his ability to convince conservative Democratic fencesitters that he best represents their interests. Despite Gramm’s five-month media blitz and seemingly bottomless funding, Doggett is making headway. Miles Ma t his 4 OCTOBER 26, 1984
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