WHAT, I am asked, is the conservatives' solution to the race problem in the South? I answer: There is no present solution to it. Such an answer appalls. It brings to mind, to move from tragedy to flippancy, the cartoon of the farmer leaning on his pitchfork and replying to the motorist: "Come to think of it, mister, I don't think you can get to Glens Falls from here." There are those who approach all problems as though they involved merely getting an automobile from here to there: there is always a road. There are others who know that some problems are insoluble. These last are for the most part conservatives; and I am here to defend them.
Let us begin by stressing that no matter how convinced a people may be of the wrongness of an existing situation, it does not follow that the people should be prepared to resort to whatever means may be necessary to attempt to make that situation right. That may sound obvious--the end does not justify any means; but when we examine some of the drastic proposals that are being put forward with the end of securing the rights of the Negro (e.g., a constitutional amendment depriving the individual states of their right to set up voting qualifications), the time has come to reiterate the obvious. We acknowledge, for instance, that it is wrong to drive at excessive speeds; but no state in the union seems prepared to impose a heavier penalty on the speeder than the automatic suspension of his license for thirty days. There would be less speeding, and hence less violent slaughter-- the two figures, the experts inform us, are inextricably related