believe he will do all he can to complete the Republican agenda during his second term. Peggy Romberg, who knows from experience the President’s power to dismantle services via the federal bureaucracy, believes that in a second term Reagan will be “merciless” to all programs “that he doesn’t approve of.” Lynn Rodriguez, who works to assist Central American refugees seeking asylum in the United States, predicts as do her peers throughout the country that if re-elected, Reagan will invade Nicaragua. “If you look at Honduras, everything is in place. The airstrips have been built, the troops are there. . .. All the artillery and the personnel are in place, and it only takes a “yes” on the part of the President.” Women concerned about a whole range of issues from abortion to the environment to organized labor worry about his future appointments to the Supreme Court. They also point to other Administration efforts which “tamper” with the federal system of checks and balances. Riders to environmental legislation, says Monica Walden, have sought to limit the power of states to pass more stringent regulations. Other women point to the Republican platform plank regarding a religious test for federal judges. Women who plan to vote for Reagan in spite of their disagreement with his positions on social issues, on the other hand, tend to perceive his power to inflict damage as much more limited. “One of the things I find most heartening,” says an Austin woman, “are the checks and balances in our government and the fact that, however ridiculous some of Reagan’s social policies may be, he hasn’t been able to put them over, because the Congress wouldn’t let him.” Reagan supporters don’t worry about the current Republican platform because they believe it to have little bearing on reality. “I don’t think the platform has Suffragettes’ Children MARCIA ROMBERG, 74, describes herself as a Republican who “jump[s] the ticket all the time.” Her support for the Republican Party is based on its economic rather than its social policies, and in this election year the party’s stance on social issues has given her great pause. Ms. Romberg is most concerned about the Republican positions regarding population problems and abortion rights. She also thinks the platform plank requiring a religious test for federal judges is “just ghastly, because that is tampering” with the American government’s system of checks and balances. And she is concerned about the Reagan administration’s record in terms of programs to alleviate poverty and hunger in this country. However, she has reservations about the Democratic Party’s traditional approach to social service programs and about Walter Mondale’s leadership abilities. “I don’t know at this minute how I’m gonna vote,” she told me; “I may stay home.” Ms. Romberg’s concern about social issues is reflected in her years of involvement with agencies and groups like Planned Parenthood, the Texas Women’s Political Caucus, and the Austin Urban League. A registered parliamentarian, she says she grew up during “a brief period of history” when women were focused on work and active community involvement. “My generation was a career-minded generation. You see, we were the suffragettes’ children. We were the children of the mothers who couldn’t vote until we were ten years old or so. My generation was a much freer generation than the one that came right after it. There were more women in graduate school when I went to college than there were . . . ten years later. They all went back to keeping little homes and embroidering tea towels.” About the Republican Party’s population policies \(expressed at an international conference in Mexico this We cannot agree with the Republican position that excess population is not the problem. I consider it a very stupid policy. I think the government is taking a position that is not the people’s position. About ERA: I’m not absolutely wedded to the Equal Rights Amendment as written, because I saw what the court decisions on education did. A great many consequences came out of forced integration that nobody anticipated, and I think you would have court cases all over the place under the Equal Rights Amendment. I wouldn’t go to bat on that subject. I would go to bat on the right to choice, though. About choice: What you would do has nothing to do with it. I’ve never been in a position where another baby would have been any particular problem. It’s not what Reverend Jerry Falwell calls abortions of convenience. Convenience isn’t involved. [Reagan] has done great damage [re: the availability of abortion] and if he appoints Supreme Court justices a court decision could be very damaging. .. . About a woman’s comment that people get abortions whether legal or illegal: Ah, but she’s got money, you see, and people with money have always been able to do it. You know, when I first got interested in the women’s movement, I didn’t believe in this .. . sisterhood thing. I do now. You are responsible for that little girl [who’s pregnant and poor]. . . . You can’t go on your own. About poverty in America: It is having some influence on my vote. I think a program of jobs is more important [than relief programs]. . . . I was around when Roosevelt was elected for the first time, and I have seen all these relief programs come into operation, and there are three generations or four by now on relief. I am concerned that Reagan isn’t doing enough about it and job training and things of that sort, but I don’t think the extensive alleviation programs which the Democrats talk about are going to do it. About U.S. armaments policies: I would go comfortably with George Bush on that. Do everything you can to negotiate but be strong while you’re doing it. Theodore Roosevelt: Speak softly and carry a big stick. I just don’t believe the world is ready for love and kindness all the way around. Everybody in the world is for a verifiable and-soforth nuclear freeze. As soon as you get one, I would be very interested. But you notice nobody ever says a nuclear freeze unconditionally; everybody says mutually verifiable. Nobody’s against that, it’s home and mother. About issues of concern to older people: Social Security. Medicare. The cost of housing is seriously concerning many of my friends, and the fact that the house they built to live in, they may before long not be able to afford to live in because its value is being taxed as condominium property. The taxes and utilities are going up so that they can’t live in the house they had planned to live in. About things being beyond our grasp: I think they’re beyond the grasp of the government, too. I don’t think it’s just us [the voters]. I think people just do the best they can, as they always have historically. M. B.