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Houston Breakthrough 1980-07 - 1980-08
Page 19
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Houston Breakthrough 1980-07 - 1980-08 - Page 19. July 1980 - August 1980. Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries. University of Houston Digital Library. Web. August 30, 2014. http://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/feminist/item/286/show/274.

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

(July 1980 - August 1980). Houston Breakthrough 1980-07 - 1980-08 - Page 19. Houston and Texas Feminist and Lesbian Newsletters. Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries. Retrieved from http://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/feminist/item/286/show/274

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

Houston Breakthrough 1980-07 - 1980-08 - Page 19, July 1980 - August 1980, Houston and Texas Feminist and Lesbian Newsletters, Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries, accessed August 30, 2014, http://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/feminist/item/286/show/274.

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

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Title Houston Breakthrough 1980-07 - 1980-08
Publisher Breakthrough Publishing Co.
Date July 1980 - August 1980
Subject.Topical (LCSH)
  • Women--Texas--Periodicals
  • Feminism--United States--Periodicals
Subject.Geographic (TGN)
  • Houston, Texas
Genre (AAT)
  • periodicals
Language English
Physical Description 33 page periodical
Format (IMT)
  • image/jpeg
Original Item Location http://library.uh.edu/record=b2332724~S11
Digital Collection Houston and Texas Feminist and Lesbian Newsletters
Digital Collection URL http://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/feminist
Repository Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries
Repository URL http://info.lib.uh.edu/about/campus-libraries-collections/special-collections
Use and Reproduction Educational use only, no other permissions given. Copyright to this resource is held by the content creator, author, artist or other entity, and is provided here for educational purposes only. It may not be reproduced or distributed in any format without written permission of the copyright owner. For more information please see the UH Digital Library Fair Use policy on the “About” page of this website.
File name index.cpd
Item Description
Title Page 19
Subject.Topical (LCSH)
  • Women--Texas--Periodicals
  • Feminism--United States--Periodicals
Repository Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries
Use and Reproduction Educational use only, no other permissions given. Copyright to this resource is held by the content creator, author, artist or other entity, and is provided here for educational purposes only. It may not be reproduced or distributed in any format without written permission of the copyright owner. For more information please see the UH Digital Library Fair Use policy on the “About” page of this website.
File name femin_201109_562aq.jpg
Transcript have much concern about what is happening to the country now. So, there are new ways of thinking of things. We get trapped into the old concept of "We only have one solution." We trade off inflation for unemployment, unemployment for inflation. Now, we've got both, and we're just not coping with the situation. The solutions that worked in the thirties, forties, even the fifties are simply not viable for the problems we face today. VS: Obviously, they're not working on the international scene. What do you think about the crises in the Middle East, especially in Iran? LH: I think the Iranian situation, too, can be traced back to an oil-related decision. Our oil companies left the United States, quit drilling here, went over there, started drilling in the Middle East, and made us dependent on imported oil. And now we're saying, Oh, that's what's wrong with us, we've become dependent on foreign oil. And not only that. These same companies come back here, and tell the American government, you've got to help us, we have all these major investments over there. So we prop up the Shah, prop up bad regimes, and then we get into these horrible predicaments, like the hostage situation. And we're doing the same thing elsewhere, like in countries in Latin America. In short, we've made major international decisions around energy—it's about "the politics of energy," which, incidentally is the title of Dr. Commoner's latest book. VS: Which brings us to the whole nuclear energy production controversy. LH: Again, because of the investment of the big oil companies into uranium, which has allowed them to make more profits, we've gone into an unprofitable, dangerous nuclear escalation, and proliferation of nuclear plants. And I'm fina- ing in the work we're doing with Indian Americans that so much of the uranium development is going on in the Indian reservations. Now we're learning about the ill effects—people who have worked in uranium mines are dying of cancer, they're being exposed to all kinds of radiation from the mine pits. So now we're having to clean up those mines. And now they're building these horrible nuclear plants where "no accident can happen," but accidents are happening just about every place in the country, and we don't know how to control it. Then there's the problem of nuclear waste. We have no government policy controlling how and where nuclear wastes are to be disposed. They're setting those wastes in barges down here off the Gulf of Mexico or the Atlantic ocean. You know, they were going to put nuclear wastes in glass caskets in Carlsbad Cavern, and now the scientists are saying that the salt will eat up the caskets. We don't know what's safe, we don't know what the environmental costs of those wastes are, and yet we continue to build these nuclear plants. VS: I understand that it is not exactly cheap to build nuclear plants after all. Doesn't the Citizens Party have some arguments about this? LH: Of course, it's simply not profitable. It's tremendously expensive, not just the building of the plants, but all the safeguards and the wastes, and that's not to say anything about the development aspect, because that's just on the Indian reservation, and nobody pays much attention to it. And only recently it's come out in the Northern states, how these plants can injure the health and environment of the people up there. So these are some of the real issues, and the ones we have to make people recognize. What are the trade-offs, how many times are we paying for this development? And does that make sense, real economic sense? If we can afford other major government programs, like going to the moon, we could afford to develop solar and other renewable energy resources. I mean, if we decide that's the direction we, as a nation, want to go, instead of constructing these costly monstrosities, like nuclear plants, that may even do more harm than good. We have to ask, where is this country focussing its attention, and why? What we, the Citizens Party, are saying is that the focus is on these expensive, useless and potentially dangerous projects because that's where the profits for those major corporations are. What's good for the country is not the primary consideration. And, of course, we think th\s should be the primaryconsideration. As it now stands, the people, the "grass roots," don't have any voice in all this. People are unhappy, they're not voting because they know their vote isn't going to make a significant difference. That's why the Citizen's Party is so important. Otherwise, there is no choice. If I vote for one or the other. Carter or Reagan, I'm not registering any complaint— both candidates are for nuclear plants, they seem to be taking the same foreign policy stands, One has a little more armament-mentality than the other, but they're both going in that direction. Neither of them is speaking about economic controls. They're just allowing the status quo to continue. VS: Do you think one reason the major candidates aren't talking about these economic issues is that they seem too complex, so unintelligible to the average person? There are some people who complain that it's a full-time job just to keep up with what's going on in the world, let alone to understand the issues. LH. But isn't it the responsibility of leadership to help you understand those issues? If you're an incumbent president, you have virtual control of the news media, anything you say is going to be quoted. There's a great forum there to educate the electorate. But I don't think the president or the other candidates understand the issues themselves! They don't have a basic philosophy of what direction they want to go. They get trapped into that old way of thinking, and keep coming up with old, ineffective "solutions" to these new problems. I see people change, even among my own friends, and I just wonder how some people can come to see it—the need for change, and the ways to effect the necessary changes—and other «people can't. But somehow these candidates have not yet come to see it, or maybe they prefer to keep the status quo for their own material gains, or their own candidacy. I question what really motivates some of these candidates. If you have an uninformed electorate, then you can do anything you want to. But as our economy shows, we can't keep the status quo, we have to do something different. And the time to do something drastically different is right now! People understand that things aren't going right, and they may not have the answers but they're waiting to hear. And we're ready to speak to the issues in clear understandable terms. Building the Citizens Party will be a way of getting information out, so people can have a real choice, a real option. David Crossley: What do you think about Kennedy? LH: Well, Fred was Kennedy's campaign coordinator in New Mexico, that is, his honorary co-chairperson, to show that at least Kennedy is trying to do something, and that he's better on the issues than anyone else. But when it became apparent that he's not going to have a chance for the Democratic nomination, we realized that it's even more important that the Citizens Party succeed. So in many states, New Mexico and Texas included, we decided to wait until the primaries are over before we really start David Crossley . . organizing and we hope to attract voters of the Kennedy-type to our party. DC: Even though he's pretty clearly lost, Kennedy continues to slug it out, down to the wire. He is apparently just trying to get some public discussion stirred up on the issues. Do you think Kennedy really is holding up some torch? Do you think Kennedy is disregarding the traditional ways of the Democratic Party? LH:I do think he thinks he is doing a lot.I doubt that anyone who has taken so much personal abuse as he and his wife have in the last few months could stand it, unless he were very well motivated, and felt he was making a substantial public contribution. I believe he does want to get the debate going on the basic social and economic issues, which is why he consistently challenges President Carter. But the problem with Kennedy is that so many have perceived him not to be the right candidate, largely because of all his personal difficulties. DC: I get very confused about people and politics, when it appears that someone, like Kennedy, is acting out of principle, and that's the kind of thing that should appeal to the American people, but in fact, that isn't what's happening. LH: Yes, it is very confusing. I think his motives are honorable, but you hear so much gossip, and, well, there are a lot of people who still claim Kennedy's treatment of his wife caused her to develop the problems she had. Somehow, people can't seem to get those nagging suspicions out of their heads, that it may not be Kennedy himself, but his behavior that caused Joan's problems. DC: You don't hear that about Betty Ford, for instance. Her alcoholism was "her fault," not her husband's, but Joan Kennedy's is Ted Kennedy's "fault." LH: Exactly! And Mamie Eisenhower had problems, but of course they were all covered up. And think of poor Pat Nixon! I think Mrs. Ford, for her own mental health, had to make it public, or she would have gone the same way Joan had to go. And I regret that about the Kennedy campaign. I could overlook all that talk, because the man clearly has great capabilities, but somehow the public hasn't seen it this way. Of course, the Carter campaign has loved it. They say in some of the primary states Carter often said, 'We're not going to say anything about Chappaquiddick"- which is like saving, when did you stop beating your wife? And even Mrs. Carter was saying things like, Oh, Jimmy and I have been happily married for so many years. The implication, of course, was that there's no stability in the Kennedy family, and that the Carters are a shining example of a stable, secure relationship. It was an indirect thing, but the whole tone of Mrs. Carter's ads were like that. So that reinforced doubt in people's minds, and I think that's a big reason the primary vote has turned out as it has. VS: What do you think about John Anderson, and his candidacy as an independent? LH: Well, Anderson is not speaking to economic issues either. And there's not much difference between Anderson and Carter and Reagan, except that Anderson looks like a crusader. He's talking about balancing the budget and so forth—as Dr. Commoner says, he looks like a warmed- over Jimmy Carter four years ago. He has taken some "heroic" positions on some issues, like abortion, women's rights, and things that we all believe in fundamentally—although I don't think they're particularly heroic. But he seems to think so, and so do some voters, so he's getting a lot of attention. I think Anderson will wear thin as time goes along, and people will begin to see that he's not saying anything new. But the main thing to remember about Anderson's candidacy is that he is not trying to build a third party. If you vote for him, it's just a one-shot deal and it's all over. But in voting for the Citizens Party, you get a chance to help build toward a permanent party. VS: There's a line of thinking, especially now that Anderson has come out as an independent candidate, that says a* vote for Anderson (or whoever) is a vote for Reagan. Do you think your party's being on the November ballot will hurt the chances of a Democrat being elected president? Will it disrupt party unity? LH: Party unity for what? To keep the status quo, to continue these horrible policies we have? One thing people are saying is that we have to organize to do things. Well, you can't organize for mere organizational reasons, you have to organize for a purpose, you have to stand for something. I can't be unified for nothing! I mean, why be united for something you don't believe in? DC: It's "united against Reagan," basically. Would you be really dismayed if Reagan were elected President? LH: Not really. If Reagan were elected, there would be some pressure on him to lean toward the center a bit more, while I think Carter would almost be pressured to lean the other way, he might have to tend more to the right. So we'll be going that direction no matter who wins, and at least Reagan might have to take a more centrist position in order to get a working relationship with Congress, for instance. I wish I felt there was something in the Democratic Party to merit unity—then I might have some reservations about taking votes away from Carter. But the people we're really appealing to are those who are so disillusioned that they aren't participating, who may not vote at all. And then, voting for the Citizens Party is a way of voicing your discontent, that you do not approve of Carter or Reagan. So, I'm considering it better, at least for my own mental health, to voice a complaint about what direction I think the country's going than to vote for someone else, and let it float on. VS: A lot of people don't seem to have much hope for this country, with all the gloom-doom talk going around. Do you still have strong hopes for America? LH: Well, I think I have to have hope, to put any energy into working to build a third party through the Citizens Party. And I have hopes that the Citizens Party will help to change that gloom-doom trend in thinking. JULY/AUGUST 19