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Dan Th ibo de au deep political convictions to accommodate those who oppose those convictions. In my judgment, both Mondale and Doggett did not conduct campaigns that were sufficiently visionary, sufficiently liberal. They were both constrained by two stone walls, Reagan’s dazing federal deficit and the press disinterest in anything but negative campaigning; shut in between those walls, they had to project their visions of the future as best they could. Their campaigns were hard-fought, but they were not tests of whether the electorate will respond to affirmatively inspiring populist appeals. The people are many mysteries, and the best rules for the analysis of their decisions are humility, tentativeness. and an undauntable sense of the possibilities. Beyond that, we’d well keep in mind the dramatic rapidity with which the great tides of national politics break up into eddies and drift off in other directions. In November, 1964, Lyndon Johnson was riding very high, indeed; three years later, enveloped in national rage and a kind of disgrace, he gave up the White House. In November, 1972, Richard Nixon was riding high; within two years he was driven from office. In 1982 Reagan was at a low ebb because of the faltering economy; economic activity turned up, and so did his prospect for re-election. Already, in his first term, Reagan has displayed a radical disregard for his Presidential oath to take care that the laws be faithfully executed. If and when he belies his promises on taxes, or Social Security, or continues to refuse to enforce court orders concerning the disabled, or shuts the government even tighter against the public’s right to know, or invades Nicaragua, who knows what will happen? We are a resilient and resourceful people, and our constitutional system is above all political. None of this is an attempt to say anything cheerful about these days. Some elections are to be celebrated, and some are to be borne, but a few are to be lamented and this was one of those. Here in Princeton. where Mondale won two to one, the local newspaper reports on its front page this morning that Jennifer Allen, a local resident, is in a state of deep depression about Reagan’s landslide. was really shocked by the wave of conservatism,” she is quoted. “I’m worried also about the election of Jesse Helms. He [may be] the head of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and he puts us in a very dangerous situation. I’m less optimistic about our chances of survival.” So am I. Quantifying my intuition of all the relevant facts known to me, I judge that because of the people’s decision on Nov. 6, our chances of having a nuclear war in the next ten years have gone above 50 percent. We who share this intuition, more or less, know how it feels, it feels bad, but how it feels is not the question, what we do is the question. What we do is, we see that a nuclear war is not inevitable, that we have a good fighting chance to prevent it, and we go right on fighting. The day after the election that good and decent man Walter Mondale said what there is to be said. He said: “Do not despair. . . . I have noticed in the seeds of most every victory are to be found the seeds of defeat, and in every defeat are to be found the seeds of victory. Let us fight on. Let us fight on. . . . “Let us continue. Let us continue to seek an America that is just and fair. . . . Let us fight for jobs. . . . Let us fight for these kids. . . . Let us fight for our environment. .. . And while we must keep America strong, let’s use that strength to keep the peace, to reflect our values and to control those weapons before they destroy us all. .. . “And we might fight for those goals with all of our heart in the future.” R. D. Tehachapi TEXANS used to tell a story about a preacher who absconded with . all the church funds and then ran off with the buxom young woman who sang high soprano in the choir. The men of the church, being all decent folks, mounted a posse and went off in pursuit of the scoundrel. According to the story they caught him just this side of the border. When the listener asked what the posse did to the wayward preacher, the punchline was, “Whatdaya think? By God, tied him up and brought him back and made him preach out his contract.” It’s not too far-fetched to suggest that that must be what a lot of good-hearted people had in mind when they voted for Ronald Reagan on November 6th they want him to preach out his contract. Never mind that he plagued us with the worst recession since the Depression, caused the biggest migration of jobless workers since the Dustbowl, failed to bring the rate of unemployment below what it was when he was installed in the pulpit, failed to reduce the spread between effective interest rates and the Regular Observer contributor Fred Schmidt, former Secretary-Treasurer of the Texas AFL-CIO, now lives in Tehachapi, California. Changing the Contract By Fred Schmidt 6 NOVEMBER 23, 1984