A JOURNAL OF FREE VOICES We will serve no group or party but will hew hard to the truth as we find it and the right as we see it. We are dedicated to the whole truth, to human values above all interests, to the rights of human-kind as the foundation of democracy: we will take orders from none but our own conscience, and never will we overlook or misrepresent the truth to serve the interests of the powerful or cater to the ignoble in the human spirit. Writers are responsible for their own work, but not for anything they have not themselves written, and in publishing them we do not necessarily imply that we agree with them, because this is a journal offree voices. SINCE 1954 Founding Editor: Ronnie Dugger Editor: Louis Dubose Associate Editor: James Cullen Production: Peter Szymczak Copy Editor: Roxanne Bogucka Editorial Interns: Todd Basch, Mike Daecher, Ophelia Richter, Darvyn Spagnolly. Contributing Writers: Bill Adler, Barbara Belejack, Betty Brink, Warren Burnett, Brett Campbell, Peter Cassidy, Jo Clifton, Carol Countryman, Terry FitzPatrick, James Harrington, Bill Helmer, Jim Hightower, Ellen Hosmer, Molly lvins, Steven Kellman, Michael King, Deborah Lutterbeck, Tom McClellan, Bryce Milligan, Debbie Nathan. James McCarty Yeager. Editorial Advisory Board: David Anderson, Austin; Frances Barton, Austin; Elroy Bode, El Paso; Chandler Davidson, Houston; Dave Denison, Cambridge, Mass; Bob Eckhardt, Austin; Sissy Farenthold, Houston; Ruperto Garcia, Austin; John Kenneth Galbraith, Cambridge. Mass.; Lawrence Goodwyn, Durham, N.C.; George Hendrick, Urbana, Ill.; Molly Ivins, Austin; Larry L. King, Washington, D.C.; Maury Maverick, Jr., San Antonio; Willie Morris, Jackson, Miss.; Kaye Northcott, Fort Worth; James Presley, Texarkana; Schwartz, Galveston; Fred Schmidt, Fredericksburg. Poetry Consultant: Thomas B. 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INDEXES: The Texas Observer is indexed in Access: The Supplementary Index to Periodicals; Texas Index and, for the years 1954 through 1981:The Texas Observer Index. 477-0746. E-mail: [email protected] Second-class postage paid at Austin, Texas. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to THE TEXAS OBSERVER, 307 West 7th Street, Austin, ‘texas 78701. Wellfleet, Massachusetts LL, PROGRESSIVES have never been more needed. The American democracy has reached its nadir of disorder and confusion. The election of 1994 was a deep and broad disaster for the people of the United States and the future of democracy here and elsewhere. Illusions, once the stuff of mere slogans, are finally washed away. The bund of the large corporations and the very rich governs now quite openly; nearly all politicians are puppets and the state and local governments are their stages. The Republican and the Democratic parties are no longer rivals, but are colleagues in choreography for the corporations and the rich because the corporations and the rich are the sources of the decisive political money. There is a deep and deepening rupture between the people out here and the corporations and government that rule in there. The connection is broken even though this is still in form democracy. The government is not the people’s any more. The losers are blaming the people, just as Governor Ann Richards and other leaders of the Democratic Party in Texas, the likes of Slagle, Bentsen and Shipley, blamed “voter apathy” when money’s marble Bob Krueger lost for the U.S. Senate again. From many different kinds of people in despair one hears the people blamed and thus implicitly dismissed as worthy of affection and respect, even though they are the very and the only basis and source of the hope for democ it s o geolomI th ‘001 Sea 0Horse Inn Kitchcneites TV I l e alcd bcsitle Gull Sy r j on Huston:4 [shwa i A\\ ‘,Iiiabic 1\(11 Pri \\ atc Pullic 4111 Pa k / 0 l ‘// i\(///\(‘ / …/trOPC\(/// \( 1/\(1/1// 0 I ;kin/OA/there 0 f [conoinik:al Spring anti Siiinincr kat,….4 j Pets Welcome Pr Mr 1423 11th Street 1 110 iii 0′ Port Aransas, TX 78373 1 cLiii fill’ Rcscrva 1 i\(ni s Ai _grim ….. :010…a ki% “…4164 44. A , , 00 Ir ……. racy and the just community. Slovenly citizenship has no excuse, but the misleading, manipulation and exploitation of public opinion has become a technical art form in which the controlling value is winning the election. The “political consultants” are in fact the new class of facilitative parasites who have scurried to collect the tolls at the gates of Win and Prison as democratic politics has become a game of Monopoly. As if that is not enough betrayal of the people, there is also a rupture \(is it beyond trollers of the large and mass media and the people, we who own the airways and who are supposed to benefit from a system of competitive daily newspapers. `The free marketplace of ideas,” John Stuart Mill named the idea of a people sorting out the truth by their own lights and values. Instead this year political advertising provided the TV stations one-third of a billion dollars in gross revenue, an all-time record even though this was an off-year. “Negative ads” is just a shorthand reference for what has now been imposed upon the people: a culture of lies and a politics of smokescreens and pumped-up fears. The TV and radio corporations and the newspaper corporations are now the most effective single sector of the governing bund. Ergo, the prophetic distortions of this historic election of 1994. Not a single Republican incumbent governor or U.S. senator or representative lost. Despite the fact that a poll showed the health issue was the major issue in people’s minds as they voted, the party which killed even Clinton’s save-theinsurance-companies system prospered. Yet Harrison Wofford, elected U.S. senator from Pennsylvania in an upset on the strength, in good part, of his advocacy of national health insurance, was defeated and Democrats lost both the House and the Senate. As an AFLCIO spokesman said, the voters expressed their disgust by throwing the rascals in. The people’s confusion is beyond belief because that is what the corporations want. When there is no vision the people perish and there is no vision and the people are perishing. Unless the two-party system now finally breaks up, and the people’s interests find ways back into government, we are looking at unrelieved greed-first rule of the United States. Much worse, as the multinationals de facto replace governments as the ruling institutions we are looking at the end of the democratic system as the world’s hope for just social order. Well, it is better to light a candle than to curse the darkness. Light a candle. Wait for friends to come. RD OBSERVATIONS 2 NOVEMBER 25, 1994
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