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Tag: Tom Hayden

To Vote or Not To Vote


Here’s something that you’ve not seen before… no, not this conundrum… the direction to our ‘Second Section’.
Hadn’t really thought about ever mentioning it, but back in May this year, when the Issue again expanded to 48 pages, we made that split. In fact, with the exception of just 2 Issues, all of ‘this’ year’s issues are 2-parters. And (spoiler alert!) ‘next year’ (1969), when the Issue makes it to 72 pages(!), we add a 3rd Section.
Of course, we try to keep a theme for the additional Sections. And this time around the theme is, of course, ‘voting’. But we’re not just a twirl the mind kind of paper, asking only if you should stand up or ‘just’ cop out. Therefore, and naturally, we included the low down on the amendments, propositions, and candidates so you could be moved to vote. AND, TOO, just as naturally for us (the LA Free Press), we included the thoughts of two activists – with demonstrated smarts and street creds – who had the long-awaited ‘plan’ to get past “the choosing of the lesser of two evils.”
There is no explicit mention of that intention by the writers – for back then, they knew, and they knew we knew, what all the Readers of our original Issues also knew – that the cause of the puzzlement posed by the Front Page headline was but the result of manipulated campaigns that out-paced those of principled politicians.
And isn’t it true that now (50 years later!) that those who are heading to the polls (you, for instance) know that there is still the very same dilemma?
Hence, once again, remarkably, an old 60’s article that espoused over-the-top idealism, seemingly as counter-intuitive as it was impractical, may also be the answer for these new times. And just so that it gets the fairest reading, before you go forward, I’ll add these few thoughts:
*Yes, ‘the war’ is over, but larger battles loom – causes that are worth fighting for, instead of protesting against – i.e. climate change, women’s rights and, now, compassion for refugees.
*LBJ DID cave under the pressure of the peaceniks – so, too, may those now holding positions in opposition to the majority of us, providing a way for change even after the election. (A real Party Problem.)
*The young authors went on to even bigger achievements – though both were defendants among the Chicago 7, Tom (a good friend of the LA FP) to both the California House and Senate, Rennie, from radical to advising some of the largest companies in the Nation, and met again at a panel to discuss “a progressive counterbalance to the religious right”. (Sounds timely, doesn’t it?)
*Finally, just its rhyming title earns it a break – Join the election strike: Vote with your feet – vote in the street.
So, whether you vote or not, follow the plan – there’s hope in high ideals and persistence.

FBI Chief (Of Course) Writes to the LA Free Press. McCarthy to go on Ballot.



So… what’s new about today’s 50-Year-Old Thursday Throwback? Well, it’s more about what it isn’t than what it is.
For instance, it isn’t complete. Generally, we post the balance of the Front Page articles that flow onto a next page. Not this time. Instead, we’ll be giving you some links as there is just too darn much happening in this – and coming – 1968 Issues to place everything in this one section.
As an example, the important speeches given at the ‘Alt Convention’ (vs the Democratic National Convention) by Tom Hayden, Rennie Davis, and Sidney Peck. We’ll be giving them space elsewhere, and links to them, to you, shortly. (We’re thinking that we’ll have that all organized by the time you get back to this feature next Thursday. K?)
In the meantime, what we’ve chosen for today’s space is an article of an idea that surely should be more feasible than when little more than the LAFreep was around to help it succeed: Putting a candidate on the ballot.
So, while it should not be forgotten the we did have a success in a similar effort – ‘legitimitizing’ the Peace and Freedom Party (and this article, itself, notes that that was likely tougher to accomplish than this) – undoubtedly, today’s ‘new’ social platforms can power-push such concepts into reality much faster than most folks ever imagined ‘back in the day’.
Now you may be wondering if I am advocating for a write-in candidate. The simple answer to that is “No, not yet.” Therefore, I want to plant this seed of an idea – now – so that it has some time to sprout, and so that you have enough time to consider how big you might want it to grow.
To begin… What if, when the next election cycle comes, you don’t like any of the dozen or more Presidential candidates? What if, in fact, you’re not keen on selecting a salesperson with the hope that they can- or will – convert to a competent administrator when elected?
Or what if you believe that, for real, totally eliminating big contributors IS a good thing? And how bad would it be if you were able to wait till the very last months to, just then, pick the right person for the job… better suited to the most current national situation, maybe both in temperament and training, than the ‘Winner’ who got into the race when all was well?
Give it a moment… then picture a plurality in every state going down to the polls knowing a single name well enough that they can spell it correctly on the ballot. Could happen, hey?
Or…maybe not if you don’t help put the pieces in place by then. Here’s what a test run looked like – 50 years ago:

Big concepts with large implications – better to take note, and a break, for the concert in that small ad? Box seats, $6.50? Maybe this is just 2 no-brainers on the same page??