Salient. Victoria University of Wellington Students' Newspaper. Vol. 32. No. 25. October 9, 1969
Drawbacks in the Campaign
Drawbacks in the Campaign
Dr. Timothy Leary is running, or to use his own phrase, "flying" for the office of Governor of the State of California.
At a press conference held at the Free Press on May 10, Leary announced that he was going to form a "New Party" which he would use as a vehicle to carry him to the highest office in the state. According to Leary. it wouldn't be like the extant political parties; it would be a real party, a celebration.
The general philosophy of the New Party would be to reward the "righteous demands" of every group of citizens in the state. In particular, Leary would reward the conservatives by giving them financial security and tax relief. He would also provide for equality of opportunity for Blacks. Browns, and Indians. Just how he would accomplish all of this is a mystery.
In an ad that appears on page 7 of this issue of the Free Press. Leary says, "Everyone knows the old system has collapsed and it is time for a new party." Has the old system really collapsed, Tim? Nixon is President, Reagan is still the Governor (his ratings are higher than ever), Hayakawa is now the president of San Francisco State, and Yorty is still the major of Los Angeles. The system may be dying, but it is certainly not dead.
In a questionnaire that appears in his ad Leary states that 66.000 registrations would be required to get his new party on the ballot. While it would not make much difference to Tim Leary were his name and address readily available to the authorities, there are still a few heads (presumably) in this state who are not yet known to the forces of repression. If for no other reason than Nixon's proposals for "no-knock warrants" for suspected drug users, one would be reluctant to register.
Open your eyes, Tim. The system is only now beginning to bring out its big guns. The Chicago Eight have been indicted for inciting to riot as a result of the violence at the Democratic Convention in Chicago; a large group of Black Panthers are in a New York jail in lieu of $100,000 bail; and brothers and sisters throughout the country are hanging onto their freedom by the skin of their teeth. As the saying goes: Where were you when the shit hit the fan?
Your candidacy for Governor will only provide a false direction for the youth of this country. At a time when we are at a critical juncture we need to come together; not for a party, but to gather our strength for the battle that has only just begun.
Tim Leary's candidacy for Governor is not credible. What he would be is a "straw man" for the forces of repression to attack. Tim Leary. because he is Tim Leary. could never win the election. He can only further divide the Left, making any and all segments more vulnerable to repression. We neither deserve nor need that. What we need is a man with a real programme that can serve the people There is an unfortunate parallel between the Leary candidacy for Governor and Not man Mailer's campaign for Mayor of New York. In the recent New York election Maile ran against a man named Badillo who, while not an ideal person, was at least a credible candidate. If Badillo had been elected he would have been the lesser of two evils. While it is repugnant to think in such terms, it suicidal not to. Mailer's candidacy pulle many votes away from Badillo.
In the upcoming campaign, Jesse Unru will most likely be the Democratic Party candidate for Governor. While Unruh would not be my first choice for Governor, he is infinitely better than the Republican candidate Ronald Reagan. Reagan is so popular now that Unruh will literally need every vote he can get. Tim Leary's candidacy would serve the same function as Mailer's did. He would pull valuable votes away from the one [unclear: can] dicate that could beat the incumbent. Reagan must be defeated at all costs, even if it mean that we must have a liberal such as Jess Unruh.
If Leary feels that he must run for Governor there is only one sensible way for him to do it. Let him run opposite Reagan in the primary as a Republican. By doing that he would only pull away a few disgruntled Re. publicans who could not vote for Unruh any way.