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trumpet sounded again and again, calling to the best in us, for freedom, for justice, for peace. Molly Ivins is a former Observer editor and a columnist for the Fort Worth StarTelegram. Not in Words Only BY RONNIE DUGGER SENATOR YARBOROUGH WAS all vitality politics and the people. “The people” was no abstraction to him, they were the ordinary people he knew and loved and championed; nor were the “special interests” an abstraction eitherthey were the greedy men who cared only for themselves and stole from the public weal. He saw what he saw through this populist ethical prism and lived accordingly. He watched as people who cared about people were drawn into the orbits of those who stole from people and he slowly bade these lost men and women goodbye while maintaining, if necessary, formal amiability. He had passionate convictional hates and one of these was Allan Shivers and another Lyndon Johnson. He was a fighter and he fought hard. We who knew him well and heard the stories from those around him knew his weaknesses. They may have been embodied on his desks piled a foot high with stacks of unanswered letters. He was a scholar respectful of history. I owe but cannot write just now a full and suitable account of his achievements and career as I saw them and of my experiences with him and his sage and always gracious wife Opal. He was the backbone of politics as ethics in Texas during my years at the Observer until Lloyd Bentsen, in a low campaign, brought him down. Ralph was a serious man, who recognized evil and saw new trends coldly, as they must be seen. None of us knew him except as a fierce Democrat, but had the democracy descended as far into oligarchy during his career in office as it has now, he would, I think, have been a leader out into a renewed populism somehow askance of a Democratic Party controlled by corporations and “the major donors.” We his contemporaries cannot pay our debts to him in words. We know the value of his example among us by the absence of anyone like him among us now in public life in Texas or the country, except Paul Wellston of Minnesota and a few members of the U.S. House of Representatives. After Ralph left public life he never stopped fighting in his heart, mind, letters, speeches, and private words for the people, the people, the people. His heart did bleed for them, because he knew many of them and had an imagination for those he did not know. He wept for his country as he and Opal saw it dissolving before their eyes into what Jefferson termed “the general prey ‘of the rich on the poor.” Yarborough is not to be forgotten, and we must have him back in the lives and examples of others. Observer founding editor Ronnie Dugger lives in New York City. Yarborough’s Legacy BY WILLIAM WAYNE JUSTICE IT IS BECAUSE OF the brilliant legisla tive accomplishments of Senator Ralph Yarborough that historians will recognize him as the greatest senator Texas has ever had. But I would like to focus on the nearly miraculous victory that he finally achieved in the Senate race of 1957, a victory built upon four defeats. By that time Ralph Yarborough had run unsuccessfully for Attorney General in 1938, had served as a State District Judge in Travis County, and had become a highly successful plaintiff’s lawyer. The First Race for Governor Ralph Yarborough’s first race for Governor was motivated by his resentment at a remark by the incumbent, Allan Shivers. At a chance meeting, Shivers told Yarborough that he should not run for Attorney General, since that spot was “already filled”i.e., Shivers and his associates had already decided which Democrat would run for Attorney General. Although Yarborough had previously decided he would run for Attorney General, Shiver’s remark so incensed him that he decided, rather, to run against Shivers for Governor. Yarborough had a scattering of supporters from his previous Attorney General’s race, but with the exceptions of Travis County, the county of his residence, and Henderson County, the county of his birth, he had little solid support state-wide. Yarborough was undeterred. He began his solitary campaign for the governorship with very little money. However, he traveled to virtually every county in the state, ordinarily making speeches from courthouse steps. Many of his spectators were idlers who happened to be frequenting the benches around the courthouses. Nevertheless, since he was running for Governor, the local papers and radio stations would occasionally quote from his speeches. Most of the liberals in the state quickly realized that Yarborough spoke for them. But, the populist element of his speeches among other things, he decried the general sales tax then being proposed and came down heavily for better educationappealed to many ordinary voters who recognized his concern for their interests. While Yarborough did not even come close to winning that first race for Governor, he did establish a loyal following throughout Texas. The Second Race for Governor In 1954, he ran against Governor Shivers again. Shivers had been highly popular because his ultra-conservative message had been highly commended in the news media, at the direction of the Texas Establishment. However, various scandals had erupted in his administration, particularly in the insurance industry and its state regulatory body. As a result, Yarborough had. much to talk about. He exhorted the crowds that now flocked to his speeches to “throw out the rascals” and vote for clean government. Nearly unanimous support for Shivers existed among the newspapersonly two country weeklies supported Yarborough. Radio stations were solidly against him, as well. Yarborough had but a tiny few wealthy persons committed to his camp. What money he was able to raise came mostly from the shallow pockets of the common people, who attended his neverending string of rallies. What his campaign lacked in money, Ralph Yarborough made up for in energywhich was, in him, inexhaustible. The only rest he allowed himself was for Sunday morning church. At all other timesday and nighthe was on the road shaking hands and making speeches. \(There may be a great many persons with energy such as he displayed, but I have known only three: Ralph Webster Yarborough, Lyndon Baines Johnson, and my faAs a highly interested observer and participant in that campaign, I was awed by Ralph Yarborough’s mass appeal and the results he was able to obtain. Every vested interest in the state and the nation was opposed to him and his message. His opponents told enormous lies about him, and the news media reported these untruths with alacrity. In spite of these reprehensible tactics, Yarborough nearly defeated Shivers. It has been saidand I think truthfully that the election was stolen, and that the margin of Shiver’s victory was provided by votes bought in the Rio Grande Valley during the last stages of the campaign. Those of us who had worked so hard for Yarborough were dismayed by the tactics of the opposition and devastated by the loss. Many of us at the time thought that with this loss Yarborough was finished in Texas politics. However, observing Yarborough at the time, I concluded that he regarded this loss as a mere way-station on the road to his eventual victory. THE TEXAS OBSERVER 7