You don't know me. But George McGovern does. So do Mo Udall, Archibald Cox and Julian Bond. Even Norman Lear and Katharine Hepburn count me among their friends.
It seems I can't leave home without them . . . cluttering my mailbox.
Somehow, I've landed on the liberals' hit list, a mailing list used to hit me up for money to plug the liberal dike against the conservative tide.
This despite the fact I'm not rich, not registered with a political party and, frankly, not ready yet to take sides on the goings-on in Washington. Regardless, as a moody independent -- if a labeling clich,e is needed, and it seems to be these days--I may very well be shopping for reasons to take on that cocktail-party conservative in the red tie who belllowed for two hours last week about the New Federalism or some such thing.
But judging from the eight months of liberal appeals saved from my mailbox, I'm going to have a tough time finding a voice of reason. The women- and-children-first tone of the mail suggests there's screeching panic at the seawall.
A pitch for funds from the American Civil Liberties Union noted, "If the Moral Majority has its way, you'd better start praying." In nonpublic places, I presume.
Some other examples of this mailbox mania:
A leaflet framing the Capitol in an ominous, blood-red border warns: "Save This House." From the Right Wing, says the National Committee for an Effective Congress.
"Fight the Right; Write a Check!" is the group's slogan. Pretty limp by street demonstration standards, but perhaps it is aimed at limousine liberals.
And there was something hollow about the committee criticizing the political hit lists of the New Right and Moral Majority.
Maybe it had to do with the pictures of 16 "zealot Right-Wing" congressmen, slashed by a big, red "X," which represented the NCEC's own political hit list for 1982.
George McGovern, writing on behalf of "Americans for Common Sense (ACS)," might have thought twice about mailing his remarks had he reviewed the NCEC leaflet.
McGovern took to task the "Radical Right," whose goal, he said, "is simply to target those with whom they disagree."
ACS, McGovern wrote, would work "against the substitution of unthinking emotionalism and cleverly marketed extremism for reason and common sense in public affairs."
All well and good, but McGovern then referred to his opponents as "the Radical Right (and) their pulpit partners," "reactionaries" and "destructive forces."
Morris Udall portrays a conservative coup d',etat of sorts in a fund-raising pitch for a group called independent action, and says donations are needed to stop "a Right Wing takeover of the House."
Julian Bond, on behalf of the Southern Poverty Law Center, which runs an anti-Ku Klux Klan program, suggests a tie-in between the rise of conservatism and the resurgence of the Klan.
Archibald Cox, on behalf of Common Cause, appeared positively timid in his letter, compared with those written by many others. He criticized single-interest groups "banded together under the banner of the 'New Right.'"
But his harshest words for the Moral Majority?
"They are intolerant of those who do not agree with them."
Katharine Hepburn, whom I'll call "Kate," since she called me her "friend" in a letter against the Human Life Amendment, took on the Moral Majority for trying to "foist its personal religious beliefs on the rest of us."
Norman Lear, or Normie-Baby, since he, too, called me his "friend" in a letter for "People for the American Way," criticized "the danger of the religious New Right."
Turning decidedly formal, Lear wrote: "Average American, should you differ with their (Moral Majority) position on an ever-lengthening list of issues, your relationship with God is at stake."
To all this liberal mail, my mailman provided a footnote the other day after I joked, "What! Another McGovern letter?"
He shot back, "Probably knocking conservatives for cutting government -- and using (subsidized) bulk rate to do it."