It's a Living

The morning paper story combined a progress report and a look ahead from one of the far-right organizations on its campaign to impeach Earl Warren. The campaign began back in 1961, but apparently a lot still remains to be done, for the organization’s spokesman estimated that congressional opinion today is still “either 2 to 1 or 3 to 1” against it. fn consequence, the organization is putting its “national field staff of 80 full-time coordinators” into the crusade.

Full of optimism and energy, the news story had the flavor of the typical business roundups often seen in the forepart of the year, telling of the demand for finished machine tools (up sharply), improvements among the chemicals, freshening markets for optical goods, and so on. There are, in this vast and diverse land, many ways of making a living, and it becomes apparent that sufficient reiteration of the slogan “Impeach Earl Warren!” is one of them.

As a livelihood the campaign against Warren calls to mind the “Buy American!” program, which came, briefly, and went in the early days of the Depression. Business was of course terrible, and there was in the simple exhortation itself the comforting implication of assigning the blame and providing the corrective: those pesky foreigners; all we had to do was to stop buying from them, and prosperity would return overnight. We were not in fact buying much from the pesky foreigners or even from each other, but it was a catchy idea.

The “Buy American!” crusade raised its money by house-to-house solicitation, the standard doorbellringing method, up one side of the street and down the other. Any movement thus financed, so the argument went, was right from the grass roots, which meant that it was necessarily a fine thing, and the householder was flattered rather than offended by so homely a term.

What became of the money collected by the house-to-house solicitors is immaterial, but in return for a donation, the householder received a red-white-and-blue “Buy American!” sticker to be affixed to a front window.

In competition with so many other panaceas on the advent of the New Deal, the “Buy American!” drive quickly lost its steam, although its window stickers might have some value today among collectors of quaint broadsides. The anti-Warren crusade, by contrast, is a hardy perennial — stable, smooth-running, and about to enable many a breadwinner to support his family in a respectable neighborhood.

“What does your dad do?”

“He’s the regional director of ‘Impeach Earl Warren!’ for all the territory between Nirvana, Ohio, and the Mississippi.”


It’s not all work, of course. The men can have their bowling league and a weekly get-together of informal impeachment talk, and the Ladies’ Auxiliary will no doubt provide morning coffees and occasional luncheon meetings for its members.

One envisions the faithful employee presented with a gold watch and joining the Old Timers’ Club after twenty years of conscientious impeachment work, and eventually receiving the traveling bag and settling down among the shuffleboard players in St. Pete.

“Impeach Earl Warren!” is not a listed stock, but it need not surprise us to see it turn up any day now in the Ovcr-the-Counter quotations. Even so, and without wishing to hurry a success that might throwsome of the impeachment crusaders into the ranks of the unemployed, we can’t help wondering about a due date.