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very influential in the Chamber of Commerce, to set up a meeting with the mayor. He refused, said it was none of his business. He supported what we wanted, he thought our issue was perfect and okay and perfectly appropriate, but he was not going to get involved in it. So we said, because you’re not willing to help us, we feel like at this particular time you’re an adversary. So we did what we call a “buy-in.” We went into his store, and we tried on all the mink coats and the sables and the shoes, we tried on everything. He didn’t like that very much and got angry. Then we decided we all had to go get a bigger card, so we went after the chairman of the board of the largest bank in San Antonio a guy named Tom Frost. Our strategy was to heat up the issue a bit. We went to see Mr. Frost and asked him the same thing. This time we went with 500 people, at 11:00 in the morning. Now this is after a year of organizing. You don’t get 500 people just out of crisis. This is after we had called individual meetings and house meetings and small actions and a big convention. We got a meeting inside the bank, and we asked Mr. Frost if he would do what we asked him to do, which was to call a meeting of his board of directors and put some pressure on the mayor. He said, “I don’t want to do that. I’ve got to go before the board. I’ve got to go through all this.” My leaders freeze, and they don’t do anything. They’re just listening to Mr. Frost. Normally the organizer plays a background role, so I’m anonymous, and I don’t get in front of the press and that sort of business. I believe in the iron rule of organizing: never do anything for anybody that they can do for themselves. But they ain’t doing for themselves! They’re collapsing; they’re folding. Our people are downstairs waiting with no instruction, no word, and they don’t know what to do. I decide I’ve got to do something, so I move my chair over to Mr. Frost, and he’s got a blood vessel that’s exposed, and I focus on it and I look at it. I just keep moving, he moves away, and I move closer with the chair. Then finally he says something, and I say, “Mr. Frost, that’s a bunch of balderdash. You’re the most arrogant man I’ve ever met.” And he gets up. We have a priest there, and Mr. Frost says, “Father, you better teach your people some manners and some values.” And finally the priest says, “Well, Mr. Frost, I don’t know about that, but you know, you’re apathetic and I think that’s much worse.” So they finally get into it. They send the messenger down -we’re going to tie up action. We’ve got 500 people, and they go in and they change dollars into quarters and quarters into dollars. Well, to make a long story short, eventually we get the mayor, and we get everybody moving on the counterbudget. So that time we were in a real tense situation with Mr. Frost. Now, years pass and a lot of water under the bridge. We’re in another meeting with Mr. Frost and a couple of other very powerful business people about the South Texas Nuclear Power Project, and we’re saying we think there ought to be some accountability in cost controls, and they’re saying, we couldn’t be more in agreement with you: it’s getting way out of sight and, although we don’t want to do what you want to do, we’ve got to do something. After the meeting is over, Mr. Frost walks up to me and says, “Balderdash, wasn’t it?” Now he tells everybody what good friends we are, and last week he gave COPS $3000 on the spending-cap collection. Different time, different place, different situation, different issue. No permanent enemies, no permanent friends. Just interests, permanent interests. Organize people in and around their own interests, long-term, shortterm. THE LONG AND short of all this is that we live in two worlds, the world as it is and the world as it should be. If we cut off this world, the world as it should be, then we’re reduced to the world of cynical, secular power, the world of Pontius Pilate. The world as it is degenerates into the world of oppression and unaccountable power. Self-interest degenerates into selfishness. In order for self-interest to grow and develop, it needs the vision of the world as it should be. If the world as it is is in tension with the world as it should be, then self-interest leads to being your brothers’ and sisters’ keeper. Because one of the things that we learn, if we really look at the interests of our families and our careers and our farms and our jobs, is that we can’t protect our families, we can’t protect our careers, we can’t protect our churches without other people who’ve got different interests and different agendas. But they have similar values. And we learn that power and love go together, that they are conjugal, that they both come out of the need to form relationships. Theologians would say that they’re ontological. They are part of our being, they are of the nature of being, that they both come from God, they both are part of creation. We need this tension between the world as it is and the world as it should be. The world as it should be without the world as it is degenerates into sentimentality. There’s a theologian by the name of Paul Tillich, who said power without love degenerates into cynicism, and love without power degenerates into sentimentality. What does it take to build a broadbased power organization? It takes organized people and organized money. The other side’s got most of the organized money. So what do we have? Well, we’ve got the possibility of organized people, but those organized people have got to be organized with their money and their institutions because we not only need issues, we need a tradition. We need a strategy, we need values, we need some imagination and some vision. And our visions come oi.4 of our institutions and our traditions. Judeo-Christian tradition and democratic values. We have to be willing to teach people, not just about the crisis of the family farm, but about politics in the Greek sense, in the Aristotelian sense, in the sense that our founding fathers understood politics. We’ve got to teach people the importance of pluralism, as James Madison taught us. We’ve got to teach people about public discourse, about accountability, about negotiation. So we’ve got to have a little organized money, an institutional base. We’ve got to have somebody who understands power, who understands self-interest, who’s willing to eat, sleep, and drink it, to go around and talk to people on an individual basis. All organizing is one-on-one. I can’t organize you in a group. I can organize you one-on-one. It’s identifying, testing out, and training leaders. You need somebody who knows what they’re doing, who is willing to talk to people on a THE TEXAS OBSERVER 13