ADA Takes a Step Toward the Left

ADA Takes a Step Toward the Left

Perhaps the most significant thing to be said about the May 1968 convention of Americans for Democratic Action (ADA) was its revived spirit and liveliness, particularly impressive to one who had witnessed the factional bickering of the previous year’s convention. ADA has proved to itself that an act of political courage and imagination, even if timidly undertaken, can convert a largely moribund organization into one with some semblance of life and a possible future. The February executive board’s decision, by a vote of 65 to 47, to endorse Senator McCarthy for President, had not only proven a worthwhile risk but had brought a measure of self-confidence to the several hundred delegates.

The punitive withdrawal from ADA of the ILGWU and other labor organizations after the February endorsement of McCarthy has certainly not proved fatal up to this point. All regretted this withdrawal, yet most delegates felt ADA has passed the test of its inner political crisis. Delegates were delighted by reports that the organization had recruited many thousands of new, younger, individual members; that new chapters and groups had been started and, perhaps most astonishing of all, that ADA’s treasury was solvent and its bills were paid. Most felt that John Kenneth Galbraith, elected chairman of ADA at the previous convention, was providing responsible leadership.


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