jOtilE TEXAS Available at the following locations: Brazos Bookstore 2314 Bissonett Houston Paperbacks & Mas 1819 Blanco Road San Antonio Daily News & Tobacco 309-A Andrews Highway Midland Las Manitas Cafe 211 Congress Austin Old World Bakery 814 W. 12th Street Austin The Stoneleigh P 2926 Maple Ave. Dallas Guild Books 2456 N. Lincoln Ave. Chicago, Illinois ANDERSON& COMPANY’ c onning TEA SPICES AUSTIN, TEXAS Mil 512 453-1533 Send me your list. Name Street City Zip Ciazteca 2600 E. 7th St. Austin. Texas 477-4701 vegetarian food The Texas Observer RAD 0 DEBATE SERIES ON ENGLISH ONLY Join us at 7:30 p.m. July 18 when Ricardo Romo University of Texas Professor of History and Lou Zaeske American Ethnic Coalition face off on the question of making English the official language. Broadcast live from Austin’s Scholtz Garden on KLBJ-AM 590. Audience participation encouraged. do tomorrow morning at 8 o’clock, the answer is we can’t do anything. These are long-term structural impediments to democratic expression and they have been in place for many decades. One of the proofs is the extraordinarily low turnout of voters. Most Americans don’t think they can effectively change their life by voting. So is there anything that one person Jesse Jackson or someone like him can do, or does it really have to come from the bottom up? I think it has to come from below. What one can do is to try and encourage those many things that have to be set in motion, to encourage popular politics. There are complex tasks out there for organizers. There are also some structural changes in election laws that need to be contended for. But there are also all kinds of innovations that require nobody’s permission. The combination of tasks will take years. With all of these obstacles, what is Jackson’s place and his potential? It’s too early to tell the long-term or shortterm implications of the Jackson candidacy of 1988. If it develops, say by 1993, that the era of Reaganomics has been buried, and there’s some sort of new life and innovation in the society, then certainly future historians will look back and see the Jackson campaign as an invigorating moment as a campaign that caused a resigned citizenry to lose some of its resignation and to believe that, by God, maybe we can do something. In that sense, the Jackson campaign has been extremely helpful to white Americans as well as black Americans, even the white Americans who voted against him. He has brought hope where none existed. In keeping with the long tradition of irrationality in American politics, I suppose it was inevitable that the Jackson campaign should be transfixed with all sorts of other issues like Hymietown, which had a colossal effect in the short run. But I’ve been talking about the Jackson campaign today not in terms of race and not in terms of Jews or religion or Israel, but as an example of a certain kind of popular politics. Another person, with many of the attributes of Jackson, who conducts himself in such a way that he doesn’t arouse the animosity of important groups of Americans on some tangential matter, will do better. But even with all these impediments Jackson’s done amazingly well. I will tell you a little anecdote. I was having dinner recently with a number of Duke graduate students. They were from the South and the North, and they were broadly representative of the lower-, middle-, and upper-middle class in the United States, and they included some foreign students. It was a very complex conversation about the state of American politics, with heated arguments about the Jackson campaign. It had the kind of fervor that student conversations often have. A stranger walking up to that table would have thought it was a very badly divided table. What I found interesting was that every single person at that table had voted for Jesse Jackson or, in the case of the foreign students, was for him. Interesting. Interesting for the future. 16 JULY 15, 1988
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