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,s, ry of Antone’s nightclub on Guadalupe Street in Austin, where he serves up lunch and dinner. A new installment in the sordid story of the new “Populist” Party, led by the Wheaties Olympian Bob Richards: According to Colgate University sociologist and newspaper columnist Manning Marable, some of the new party’s leaders and spokesmen “have long histories in racist, neo-fascist, and antiSemitic organizations.” Robert Weems, the party’s “major leader” was, in the late 1970s, the Mississippi chaplain of the “Invisible Empire” Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, Marable says. Writing in a syndicated column, Marable goes on to say: “From the Arkansas KKK, there is Ralph Forbes, now a ‘promoter’ for the Populists. Some may recall that Forbes was behind the Klan rally in Washington, D.C. in late 1982. . . . Journalist Torn Valentine, a frequent writer for the racist and anti-Semitic journal, The Spotlight, has emerged as Richards’ presidential campaign treasurer. One of the Populists’ major speakers in Jack Mohr, the national defense coordinator of the ‘Christian Defense League.’ Other local Populist leaders have been drawn from the John Birch Society, Posse Comitatus, the segregationist Southern National Party. . . .” And so on. In short, Marable says, “the Populist party is only the latest effort to unite Nazis, Klansmen, and racists under one organizational banner.” DIALOGUE Oversimplified About Dr. Casso’s letter on Simpson’Nlazzoli \(TO, 9/28/84}: I enjoyed the letter, it very solid . ,” Mrs7770: , England, or for Hispanics than for Northern Europeans. Simpson-Mazzoli attempts to do what every modem nation with any success at controlling immigration has done. It attempts to control immigraticfp .,.hy,givihg .thgoyerpment -. some ‘tire of influence L evrdi WOMEN poverty, peace, education, and the environment. And I found far more agreement than I had expected in terms of their general perspectives on the issues. Their assessments of Reagan’s performance, however, vary considerably. It seems clear that Reagan’s media posture has allowed many women to assume he is working on social issues and, therefore, to focus more comfortably on their own economic situation. A 55-year-old Lockhart woman told me, for example, “I am for poor people getting food and assistance.” She wants to see social programs “reworked,” however, to prevent abuses and to build incentives for work. “I want them to be able to make some money and then get a little [public assistance], too, so that they have this feeling of worth. And I feel that Reagan has worked on those issues.” She is also concerned about nuclear waste and about Central Amer ica, but, again, she sees Reagan as sincere in seeking to address those problems. Her major concern is “a stable economy”; she plans to vote Republican in November. The complexity of current issues also helps maintain support for Reagan. I talked to many women who are committed to equal rights for women but are suspicious of the Equal Rights Amendment. Many worry about the environment but feel that there are no workable The net effect of Reagan’s cuts is to perpetuate poverty among women and their children. environmental solutions in sight. Even women unhappy with this country’s “long history of arrogant Americanism,” of “meddling” in Central American politics, are uncertain about events in that area. They tend to say, as did one otherwise politically informed Austin woman, “Skip El Salvador. Skip Nicaragua and El Salvador; I can’t keep up with that.” The women most worried about Ronald Reagan are those actively involved with specific issues. A prochoice activist talking about the election, for example, said, “In my mind we’ve got everything riding on it.” A woman active in the Sierra club which this year also endorsed a presidential candidate for the first time in its history finds the prospect of another Reagan term “mindboggling.” And Deane Armstrong, vice president of a local union chapter with a substantial female membership, told me, “My whole existence depends on this election, almost”; the outcome will mean “the existence, as I know it, of organized labor.” A Republican victory, she predicts, will do the greatest damage to women workers and to minority women in particular. Women working on specific social issues can recite a litany of complaints against the Reagan administration. Cuts in legal aid funding, say workers in a shelter for battered women, have been 14 OCTOBER 26, 1984