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Depending on what happens in this country. This is all related,
of course, to the conservative trend. Not only the conservative trend in
the country but the neo-liberal. A certain group has captured the
major instruments of policy -- the institutions. The democratic party is
controlled by people who have very very narrow and conservative
viewpoints. You hear people like Ted Kennedy moving away from that
thing. You don't hear anybody talking about national health insurance
anymore. We thought when Carter was elected it was on the horizon!
You don't hear these things being proposed. You hear always, “I'm
going to dig in on it and duplicate what they're doing.”
You know, go after the yuppies. The question about the society -- and
one swallow doesn't make a summer. Listening on the radio -- I don't
know if you heard NPR yesterday morning -- an editor from Sports
Illustrated was describing a kind of boxing that's developed in
California, that's spreading, where there are fights scheduled in the
ballrooms of swanky hotels where the audience -- mostly young,
urban, upwardly mobile people -- where they're serving food with
wine. In the ring are two guys just punching themselves to death. You
know, anything goes! It's like the Roman gladiators. He says there's
Donny Osmond there, and now he hears that Sylvester Stallone is
interested in getting the thing in to Philadelphia. They sell all kinds of
jackets and t-shirts with the names of everything that you buy there.
It's like a decadent society! That's not typical of anything, but I think
that the young, you know, the new make-it young people. I don't think
they have any social conscience. Why is there great interest in food?
Or VCRs? Everything is happening that's not conducive to what we
would like to happen. There are many negative things.
[END TAPE TWO, SIDE ONE; BEGIN TAPE TWO, SIDE TWO]
The fact that you could prevent the administration from doing
what it would love to do -- invade Nicaragua, and overthrow that
government. It's up in a blind alley also. It has all kinds of problems to
do that. I am very very disturbed by the potential of nuclear war. I'm
just afraid the way we're going that it's going to happen.
While we're on it I just wanted to say -- you invest fifty years of
your life in a social movement, and forty some odd years in the labor
movement, how does it make you feel?
Obviously it doesn't make you feel great. But I don't think it
was a waste. I think we achieved a great deal. I think we made things
better for a lot of people. The ending is very unfortunate. I never
expected or planned to end my days this way. I never expected that I
would retire from 1199 the way I did. But that's a different story.
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