Vol. 34 No. 1 1967 - page 48

Richard H. Rovere
Of course it matters who is President. Had Goldwater won
in 1964, the country would have been plunged into a Constitutional crisis
and an international crisis. He was ready to renounce the test-ban treaty.
Johnson has escalated the war in Vietnam but not in the way that Gold–
water promised to. He proposed to turn all strategy over to the military.
A month before his nomination, he told
Der Spiegel,
"I would turn to my ,
Joint Chiefs and say, 'Fellows, we made the decision to win, now it's your
problem.' " I think he would have done it-and I dreaded at the time to
think of the sort of men he would put in the Pentagon. Johnson has not
surrendered the principle of civilian control of the military. Goldwater
could have won only by exploiting those anomalies of the system-dis–
enfranchisement in the South, the workings of the Electoral College-that
make a minority President possible. As President, he would have served
without the confidence of labor, the racial minorities, most of the press,
the intellectual communities, most of the churches, even of most of the
leaders of his own party. I'm not sure he could have governed at all.
2. Serious but not unmanageable. Part Two: same answer.
3. Presidents and intellectuals-taken as a class, that is-rarely hit it
off. They have different and frequently conflicting interests, though I
must say that if the intellectuals conceived their interests the way other
people do, they would be very well pleased with Johnson.
education is
a cause for which the intellectuals wish to gain governmental support,
Johnson is their man. And by next year this time, we should be getting
the first of the books and operas and canvases and what not subsidized by
the federal government under legislation bulled through by Johnson.
4. I would say that white America is resigned, not committed, to
equality. The better educated sections of the middle class may be com–
mitted rather than resigned. It was ever thus. The despised American
middle class has provided the only dependable allies the Negroes have
ever had. Even the support they are now getting from some parts of the
labor movement was won mostly by the efforts of white middle-class
liberals to shame the unions into it.
S. Neither to bliss nor to extinction. I think that by and large Amer-
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