historic, living monument to thenwomen’s movement. “Geraldine,”nCongresswoman Slaughter informs us,n”created a moment in history whichnwill never, never be surpassed.” Previousnmoments of some significancenflash through my mind, but I succumbnto the tingling sense of unity pervadingnthis religious gathering. (Geraldine informsnus that to have secured thenadditional 15 percentage points necessarynto beat Reagan in ’84, “you wouldnhave needed God on the ticket and Shenwasn’t available.”)nThe Women’s Gaucus is deep innself-congratulation. The buttons saynsimply “5%,” for the number of womennin Gongress — only one morenDemocrat than Republican, with probablengrowth favoring Republicans. I seenBella Abzug, who meanders about thenroom as if able to occupy any space atnall, possessing total dominion from hernmatriarchal place within the Parthenonnof women’s activists. I speak to her andnask her if she has not broadened hernappeal beyond women’s activists, evennappealing to more conservative women.nShe exclaims she is the same todaynas she ever was; that she holds out hopenfor all women across the broad spectrum.nIt is not she who is changing, butnother women everywhere who havenchanged.nNow appears Ann Richards, treasurernfrom Texas and the star of thenopening night of the convention. Morenthan others, Ms. Richards recognizesnthe task at hand — to conceal the goalsnof all the interest groups which flourishnunder the Democratic umbrella longnenough to secure the presidentialncrown.nFrom the cluster of peoplensurrounding her at the podium Ms.nRichards suddenly whirls to face thenaudience, cameras, and microphones,nand calls out: “Well, how y’all doing? Indidn’t put on my fancy face creamntoday so whatever shots you photographersnget, get ’em straight on!” Ms.nRichards honestly assesses the rigors ofnthe woman as politician but considersnthe benefits to outweigh the efforts.nShe recalls that Mae West story innwhich Mae encounters a friend at anparty wearing a formidable mink coat.nMae asks her friend: “Why honey,nwhere did you get that coat?” Hernfriend replies: “Why Mae, I met a mannwith $10,000.” Next year the friendnmeets Mae, who is wearing a coat ofnvarious pelts. When she asks Mae ifnshe met a man with $10,000, Maenreplies: “Why, no, honey. I metn10,000 men with one dollar.”nThe Texas raconteur continues,nclaiming she had just been asked outsidenby a reporter what it was aboutnGeorge Bush that women didn’t like.nShe said, “Sorry, but its hard to explainnunless you’ve gone to a high schoolndance and looked over at the stag linenand seen this guy constantly raising hisneyebrows at you, and you say to yourself,n’Oh Lord, I hope he doesn’t asknme!'”nFor all her down-home style, AnnnRichards is this convention’s John thenBaptist. She acts as a bridge, sayingnenough of the right things to retainnunity with women activists, yet urgingna muting of angry voices and forgingnalliances with those less vocal, and evennapparently less Democratic, for thensake of victory. In effect, Richardsnappears to counsel, to speak the harshntruths about the goals of this caucus isnto lose again. And victory is the goal.nWhat better political veil to the truth ofntheir concerns than Senator LloydnBentsen?nBentsen appears amid a phalanx ofnSecret Service agents and mounts thenpodium. His voice is so weak as to benbarely audible before an audience alreadynstirred by fiery oratory and evangelicalnexhortation. So inept is thenstately Bentsen that an aging women’snactivist gently moves him closer to thenmicrophone. Once positioned, henbegins.n”This year we are going fo make thisnthe year of the child,” says Bentsen.n”For those mothers living below thenpoverty line we are going to see thatnyou have proper support.” The stillnalmost-inaudible Texan assures thengathering that “Michael Dukakis has angreat record on issues involving women.nHe doesn’t make a lot of promises,nbut he has a record of action. Womennwill play a major role in his administration.”nWhat is the import of such mildnplatitudes served before a hungrynWomen’s Caucus? The political veil isndrawn and coded under the scrutiny ofnthe national media. Enough must bensaid to insure activahng the activists,nbut not too much to alarm the broadernpublic. Here enters political gnosti­nnncism, for only the enlightened few cannknow what is really going to happen.nThe result is that suspicion lingers innthe minds of the activists and is sure tongrow in the mind of the Americannpublic. But in the aftermath of thenparty having said too much four yearsnago (with a 40,000-word platform), restncontent that if the Democrats err thisnyear, it will be on the side of verbalnparsimony, for the veil will not be rent.n—Joe Pappin IIInFriends of Chronicles’ editor havenbeen hearing rumors of a book henclaimed to be working on for the pastndecade. The book is finally out: ThenPolitics of Human Nature. Beginningnwith the biological evidence for humannnature, the work covers sex differences,nthe family, the origin of the state, thentwin problems of tyranny and treason,nand a philosophical justification for thenfederalism outlined in the AmericannConstitution. The Politics of HumannNature is available for $29.95 fromnTransaction Books (New Brunswick,nNJ 08903). As William Faulkner saidnof one of his novels, the author hopesnyou will like this book and tell yournfriends to buy it.nFor Immediate ServicenChroniclesnNEW SUBSCRIBERSnTOLL FREE NUMBERn1-800-435-0715nILLINOIS RESIDENTSn1-800-892-0753nOCTOBER 19881 7n