Humphrey and Nixon
Humphrey and Nixon; drawing by David Levine

To the Editors:

We, citizens of the United States, representing as the primaries so clearly show, a popular majority of Democrats, opposed to the policies of the present Administration, call upon our fellow citizens, to join with us in active support against the cynical disregard of the electorate’s expressed wishes by the political bosses who are attempting to utilize the delegates to perpetuate themselves and their bosses. As a consequence we are faced, in November, with the alarming possibility of a choice between presidential candidates which is no choice, but a conspiracy in which the delegates have been played as so many pawns.

It is evident that a candidate need no longer be concerned with the will of the people, as expressed in the primaries. Why are primaries held at all if it is irrelevant how people vote and delegates are at the disposal of the bosses?

Eugene McCarthy is and Robert Kennedy was wholeheartedly opposed to the Administration and its machine. Their television debate just before Kennedy’s assassination showed them to be in substantial agreement on all major issues. Their concern has been a new national and world order. Who authorized the delegates committed to Kennedy to shift to his opponent, Mr. Humphrey? The President has offered Mr. Humphrey a ride on the Democratic Party machine, but Mr. Johnson is still driving.

If Mr. Humphrey were the man he pretends to be he would listen to the voice of the people, withdraw from the race and work for the man for whom the people have clearly stated their preference, Eugene McCarthy….

The control of the delegates by the bosses makes a mockery of democracy, and constitutes a betrayal of the people. The split in the nation is large enough to justify granting the people a genuine choice between the two opposite camps, between the old and outworn establishment determined to continue in the old ways, and the new and healthier forces which seek to remedy the errors of the past and fulfill the promise of the future.

We demand an open Convention and a meaningful choice.

Erich Fromm

Erich Kahler

Dwight Macdonald

Herbert Marcuse

Ashley Montagu

Lewis Mumford

George Ward

James Watson

This Issue

August 22, 1968