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September 26, 1968 - Image 4

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1968-09-26

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tr 3imin Daitj
Seventy-eight years of editorial freedom
Edited and managed by students of the University of Michigan
under authority of Board in Control of Student Publications

Peggy Collins stands

up for America

420 Maynard St, Ann Arbor, Mich.

News Phone: 764-05521

Daily exp ress the individual opinions of staff writers

Editorials printed in The Michigan
or the editors. Ti

IDaily exp ress the individual opinions of staff writers
his must be noted in all reprints.

A whif of conspiracy:
The wronged right to protest

THE DECISION by t h e state Legisla-
ture's Senate Committee on Health,
Social Services and Retirement to con-
duct investigations into the recent welfare
protests is sadly misdirected. It is not as
important to investigate the events of the
protests, as it is necessary to root out the
causes of the demonstrations.
The investigation was called by com-
mittee chairman Mrs. N. Lorraine Beebe
(R-Dearborn) following a demand by
State Sen. George Kuhn (R-Birmingham)
who claimed, "I smell a conspiracy here."
Kuhn is obviously scenting that kind
of communist-inspired coup d'etat sent
subversively from Moscow or Peking -
maybe even from France.
And the senator may be right that there
is a conspiracy, but in a context of which
he is completely unaware. If there is a
conspiracy, it is a haphazard one. The
spontaneous polarization of numerous in-
dividual commitments, focused on a sin-
gle cause. Unlike a blind revolution of
persons - automata - such a "conspir-
acy" of collective commitment is healthy,
and is a viable exercise of dissent.
tional Welfare Rights Organization
were in Ann Arbor was not because Kosy-
gin sent them. They were here, because
they believe welfare recipients are vic-
tims of an unfortunate chain of events
over which they should have some con-
The reason SDS students were in the
protests was not because Mark Rudd sent
them telegrams asking for organized re-
volt. They were demonstrating as an ex-
ercise in whatt they, personally, consider
participatory democracy.
This, is not to say that o ganized con-
spiracy never takes place, or is itrto say
that such activity is never justified. The
fact is simply that such organized sub-
version did not exist in the recent welfare
In Ann Arbor, the protesters knew their
decision to disobey the law (i.e. to sit-in
at the County Bldg. after closing hours)
could result in imprisonment. Those who
allowed themselves to be arrested not on-
ly jeopardized their academic activities,
by risking prison or probation, but also
jeopardized their future political activi-
MORE THAN 25 per cent of those dem-
enstrating allowed themselves to be
arrested. All were warned and given time
to leave the area and avoid arrest. The
decision to remain manifested a moral,
individual commitment, and it is ludi-
crous to suppose all those 248 arrested
did so out of blind allegiance to persons
who allegedly organized the protest.
Further, the request for mass protest

was not made by the protesters, but by
the welfare mothers, whose decisions were
always spontaneous and sometimes arbi-
trary. Organized protest is not spontan-
eous, not is it arbitrary.
Finally, the majority of college radicals,
those who commit themselves to s u c h
demonstrations as occurred here the first
of September, are not of the constitution
of "followers." On the contrary, t h e i r
sometimes fatal flaw is that they resist
and evade organization.
College radical groups are most often
composed of many kings and no pawns -
no one is being led.
WHY THEN, do men like Kuhn continue
to fool themselves and believe that in-
cidents as occurred here a r e organized
threats to democracy?
Apparently Kuhn and cohorts blind
themselves to reality by using the alleged
organized protest as the only reason for
the demonstrations. T h e y know some-
thing caused the disturbances; they can-
n o t believe persons can so individually
dedicate themselves to a cause; so they
decide the reason there is demonstration
is because two or three subversive souls
got together and rounded up several hun-
dred bearded pawns to cause a disturb-
If they would realize that the 248 per-
sons arrested here were each individually
demonstrating - each having made his
own democratic choice, and his own indi-
vidual commitment -- then perhaps, they
could be convinced, that because so many
individual persons decided to jeopardize
themselves by showing their vehement
protest through civil disobedience, there
is a significant =problem, which was the
root cause of that specific protest.
How we will give people this basic un-
derstanding of individual protest is truly
perplexing to those of us who see it so ob-
viously. We have tried to explain it for so
long, that it is becoming burdensome and
tedious. We have tried so many ways and
so many times that now, instead of argu-
ing when we hear, "I smell a conspiracy,"
- we just laugh.
BUT THE LAUGHTER is becoming hol-
low. If we must weather again sorhe
McCarthy witchhunting that completely
ignores the root problem; if we must tol-
erate accusations knowing we have tried
every conceivable way in which to explain
our defense to our accusers; and if we end
up being 'socially purged as automata,
then it may not be so difficult for some-
one to organize us blindly. And then, the
time will arrive again when blind revolu-
tion, with all its illogic, will subvert rea-

SANDWICHED strategically be-
tween George Wallace's promi-
ses to run over demonstrators who
block traffic and clear the streets
of hippies and anarchists, is a
rhetorical fillip that seems to
generate fantastic emotional as-
sent from crowds of Wallace de-
The former Alabama governor
will be attacking "guidelines" or
student demonstrations, and in
the middle of this discussion will
hit on the provocative line: "
intellectuals and bureaucrats who
look down their noses at folk like
you and me." ,
Stringing along with the ap-
plause, he develops this theme of
classes in conflict: "My support-
ers are the truck drivers and the
beauticians, the steelworkers and
the construction workers, the hard
working Americans ."
Perhaps no Presidential candi-
date in recent history has gen-
erated so much support by naked-
ly appealing to class loyalties as
George Corley Wallace. And coin-
cidentally, no serious candidate
since Eugene Debs has provoked
such universal condemnation by
the n a tio n a lcommunications
IN A SPATE of recent articles
in big-name magazines, Wallace
and his supporters have been
taunted, villified, and dissected
in the most wholeheartedly de-
rogatory vocabulary. Some of
these pieces (one in The Village
Voice comes to mind) have at-
tempted to sympathize with the
working-class Wallace supporter
on his own terms, but even these
have been unforgivably patroniz-
Most of them, however, picture
the Wallace supporter as a fire-
eating, red-necked racist, a
Klansman without a robe. What
makes the self-righteous tone of
these articles even more unbear-
able is their source journals
whose own calls for law and order
have embodied an only thinly-
disguised racist appeal.
All of the pieces - both sym-
pathetic and un - deal with cari-
catures, with stereotypes, rather
than people. What is a Wallace
supporter really like? What are
his real motivations, his aspira-
tions, his attitudes? These are
questions that can be answered
only in terms of individuals, not
classes, occupations or sectional
origins. Wallace himself does an
injustice to "his people" when
he sees them as steelworkers and
beauticians, just as Life does
when it sees them as bigots.
* * *
I MET Margaret Aileen (Peggy
Collins, '69Ed, resident of Merrill-
ville, Indiana, and candidate for
the electorial college on the Wal-
lace ticket about a month ago in
her room in South Quad.
Peggy, who thinks Wallace has
a good chance of taking Indiana
based on his strong 1964 primary
showing, became involved in the
Wallace campaign largely through
the efforts of her father, W. C.
Collins, a Merrillville businessman
and perennial candidate for local
offices. He is currently running as
a Republican for the Lake County
Treasurer's post.
During the summer Collins in-
vited Wallace to speak ,in the
county, almost costing him his
Treasurership candidacy. State
Republicans tried to remove his
name from the slate, but were
frustrated by a legal proviso pro-
tecting candidates chosen by di-
rect primary from just such situa-
Following Wallace's address to
an enthusiastic Hoosier audience,
at which both Peggy and her fath-
er appeared on the platform with
the former Alabama governor,
Collins was asked by the Wallace
organization to suggest names of

'I asked him to, put my name
down for kicks," explains Peggy.
"I never dreamed I would be cho-
Indeed, she was chosen not only
as a Wallace elector, but also
named by Montgomery headquar-
ter's the vice chairman of Wal-
lace's Indiana campaign. Hesitant
about the second post, she accept-
ed after being informed that "it
really wouldn't involve any work."
village, county, and metropolis has
its clique of perpetual office-seek-

CIVIL RIGHTS: Peggy seemed
exasperated by questions to which
she could give no answer. We talk-
ed about the defects in the dem-
ocratic process, and she cited the
situation in Lake County where
the vote in Gary dominates that of
the outlying area. I asked her to
think about a parallel situation
in the South where another
minority found it often could not
achieve progress through demo-
cratic mechanisms. She was dis-
turbed that such a situation could
exist, but even more so by her in-
abiity to refute my rhetorical
question. It was apparent that she
had never before considered the
* * *
onstration and dissent? "I don't
pay much attention to all that"
and "They'll straighten up."
During another interview she
told me that young people were
"more involved now" but she
wasn't sure whether that was
od.hexperience in running things," she
Here again she seemed unsure
of her answers. She objects to
"young people demanding conces-
sions when they don't know wheth-
er they're good or not." What de-
mands? Changes in dormitory rules
for example -- she didn't know
whether they were good or not.
Later she included the new stu-
dent driving regulations in this
Demonstrations bother Peggy,
and then again they don't. "I am
trying to put myself in their
place," she says as she plays with
a styrofoamrcoffee cup. "They
think they are trying to do some
good but I don't know."\
But empathizing with the tac-
tics employed by some student
demonstrators isn't really all that
hard for Peggy. When her father
organized a demonstration against
the mayor of Clary she walked the
picket lines. "Those people have a
right to picket just as much as
I did," she decides ... as long as
they have permits and were kept
orderly and didn't explode. Any-
way, elections are better. 'There
is always an opportunity for
change through elections."
* * *'
VIETNAM: Again she starts on
solid ground and then begins to
"We must do all we can to
'back the boys,'" she avers, add-
ing, "The point of fighting is to
win; since we are fighting we
ought to be fighting to win .
To have the most technologically
advanced military machine. . . it
seems strange to me that we
haven't already won."
Here she becomes uncertain. "I
don't /want to give the idea that
I am all for wars. I don't want
~wars any more than anyone else "
Something Johnson or Humphrey
would say, and yet somehow I felt
she meant it; she seemed deeply
concerned that people are dying
in Vietnam, and believes fervently
that our "holding back" the Amer-
ican fighting man causes greater
loss of life.
But she has no hope For the
talks in Paris. "The Communists
have broken 52 of the 53 agree-
ments they have made . . ." The
last time I had heard ,hat line
it was 98 out of 99, but I listened
as she continued: "I would think
it would be almost a crime to pull
out now because that would be
to let those guys die in vain."




Noil-I d ,)I g-L', .0y"(y coosC'vftive, ca mice girl'.

Peggy describes her father with
one word: "Amazing." Despite his
relative lack of electoral success,
he has gained fame throughout
the county and state as a spokes-
man of conservative causes. Al-
ways ready to voice opinions on
almost any issue, he has been
dubbed "Mr. Soundoff" for his
participation on a local call-in.
radio show.
titudes, he walked out of church
several years ago during the mid
dle of a sermon with the priest
told the congregation they did not
need to follow the Ten Command-
ments. He has not returned.
His own campaignhas prevent-
ed Collins' from taking an active
part in the Wallace drive. But in
last week's Life he was pictured
as a Wallace supporter and has
been asked on radio to deny that
he had been approached by Wal-
lace for the Vice Presidential slot.
Why does he do it? Says Peggy:
"It is on the order of daily sun-
rise-inevitable. It helps business
and he enjoys it."
IIFR ROOM is a pj,k-n'ace
South Quad single that she likes
to call "the pit." Everything in it
is pink except the walls, which
ar'e soon to be painted in match-
ing shades. But Peggy's predilec-
tion for pink has already found
expression in her three pink rugs,
pink bed spread. pink plastic
flowers and burlap appointments.
Over her desk is a "Courage!
Stand Up for America" poster of
the presidential hopeful. Facing
out the window, an Alfred E.

Pope, by he'r thinking, should
have spent more time on his
recent South American trip
"looking at all the back alleys
instead of the cathedrals." She
dates non-Catholic boys.
ment on the subject of drugs. "I
have never taken them; so I have
no idea whether they are good
or bad." But she started as a
freshman in the pharmacology
college, and learned there that
any drug has to be used correct-

if and why she supported George
Wallace, intersperse) with anger
at her father and nervous giggles
that she seems to use as a defense
mechanism. After an hour she de-
cided she ought to call her father,
and when she returned she was
definitely supporting Wallace and
knew why.
I got the distinct impression she
had to call heir father to find out
just why it was she did support
Wallace. After the call, she talked
a lot about states' rights and local
control. Local governments, being
closer to. the people, would be



Johnson's .separate peace

PIeggy seemed exasperated by questions to which she could give no an-
swers. We talked about the democratic process . .I asked her to think
about a situation in the South where a minority found it often could not
achieve progress through democratic mechanisms. She was disturbed that
sucha ( situation could exist, but 'even more so by her inability to refute
my rhetorical question. It was apparent that she had never before consid-
ered the question.
Esasiisisiisa isisits~s~sm sssnisasisassizsmay um sfi h. "sssisli#ssse2E E s%2~ I.4f ## ..11 '"1 . j}

IT SEEMS as if UN .Secretary-General
U Thant doesn't know all that appears
in the newspapers. If he did, he would
know that the United States is negotiat-
ing peace in Paris, which means he better
keep his mouth shut about any other so-
lutions to the war.
Thant should see that the two front
running Presidential candidates are not
amenable to suggestions about halting
the bombing. Showing a great deal of "re-
sponsibility," they refrain from any ser-
ious discussion about the war so that they
will not "hinder" the talks in' Paris.
The secretary-general's suggestion for
a bombing halt was in essence a plea that
the issue of the bombing of North Viet-
nam should be brought before the Gen-
eral Assembly. Thant apparently feels the
assembly would vote in favor of a resolu-
tion asking the U.S. to discontinue bomb-
ing. The resolution could be in no way
binding upon Washington; it could only
exert "moral pressure."
BUT AT this time, certainly through
no fault of Thant's, moral pressure
against the U.S. position is about as ef-
fective as bamboo sticks against napalm.
t *t
Second class postage paid at Ann Arbor, Michigan,
420 Maynard St,., Ann Arbor, Michigan, 48104.
Daily except Sunday and Monday during regular
Rumernlf seiann

Moral pressure is not going
don Johnson.

to move Lyn-

Nothing, in fact, is going to move Lyn-
don Johnson right now. His obsession
with justifying the war, as shown in
a recent speech to the American Legion
in New Orleans, borders on paranoia. His
fist pounding and screaming show he is
completely committed to vindicating his
name in the newspapers and history
books. He seeks peace of mind, not peace
on earth.
The token negotiations in Paris have
been staged to insure that Johnson will
go down in history as a reasonable man,
bent on building peace. That the negotia-
tions have been going nowhere and that
peace is not in the making seems insigni-
ficant to him. What is important is that
Lyndon Johnson thinks that the negotia-
tions will get him off the hook.
THE PARIS talks will probably not re-
write history to take the war's re-
sponsibility away from Johnson.}But the
Paris talks will at least keep the blame
away from Johnson for a while, as long
as the candidates use the talks as an
excuse not to discuss the war.
And the nation has an excuse not to
consider any proposals for peace. As long
as we are acting out one man's bad
dreams in Paris, the U.S. position will re-
main inflexible. Any- chance of bringing
the issue to the General Assembly re-

One day we were sipping coffee in Club 60
when I asked her if she had any Negro friends,
and if they knew she was a Wallace elector. She
did, several of the girls on her hall were black
and she regularly ate dinner with one of them,
who knew she was a Wallace elector and thought
she was crazy, but "so does everyone."

Peggy's musical tastes favor
the light, "bouncy" things. "I like
just about all kinds of music ex-
cept jazz and Beethoven," she
opines. "I like some classical
music if it's sore of bouncy-like
Tchaikovsky. I don't like dreary
stuff or psychedelic music. She
owns Simon and Garfunkel's
Parsley. Sage, Rosemary and
Thyme, a'nd grooves to all of the.
cuts except "7 O'Clock News."
visible politics (and out of char-
acter for a girl normally so out-
going) Peggy's politics are, more
internalized. Since coming to Ann
Arbor her entire local political ac-'
tivity has consisted of a brief stint
with campus Young Americans for
Freedom. Currently she is a mem-
ber of her house council.
Back home in Lake County,
Peggy worked for Nixon in '60 and
Goldwater in '64 (Goldwater was
the last candidate she has really
been "gung-ho" for), and was
chairman of Lake County YAF
her senior year in high school. "I
am not about to go setting up
Wallace headquarters a r o u n d
here." she says, explaining that
'Ann Arbor is too hostile."
In fact. Peggy was initially re-
luetant to accept a Daily inter-

more competent to handle prob-
lems of civil rights and poverty.
Wallace would let the local gov-
ernments run themselves. John-
son is trying to run everything.
Always her answers to my first
questions about public policies
were positive and confident. As I
probed further, I met with more
long pauses and unanswered ques-
tions. Rather than a racist or even
a member of the working class in-
secure about her social and econ-
omic status (her father is a self-
made salesman of specialty metal
products and an inventor), Peggy
seemed to be a girl of magnani-
mous intentions, but very politi-
cally naive.
THE CITIES: "Authority has
not been respected . . . This ad-
ministration has tried to put Jus-
tice before law and order . . .You
just can't do that. . You have to
establish law and order and then
establish justice." She seemed
sure of herself as she alluded to
the Preamble to the Constitution
which, as she explained it, put
"domestic tranquility before jus-
tice." (It is actually the other way
What should be done about the
cities, then? She answered quick-
y that there was a need for in-

MANY OF PEGGY's answers
over the period of three weeks
when I was interviewing her had
a liberal ring, but these were
quickly smothered in conservative
afterthoughts. Peggy seems to be
a normal college co-ed, not ter-
ribly politically informed, non-
ideologically conservative, a nice
ONE DAY we were sipping cof-
fee in Club 600 when I asked her
if she had any Negro friends, and
if they knew she was a Wallace
elector. She did, several of the
girls on her hall were black, and
she regularly ate dinner with or e
of them, who knew she was a Wal-
lace elector and thought she was
crazy, but "so does everyone."
Just then a black employe hap-
pened by whom she had chatted
with as we passed through the
line. She was going to show me
something, I could tell by the look
on her face. Addressing him by
name, she announced o'ut of the
blue that she was was supporting
The lines on his face moved
visibly, then he began to smile
and made some joke about re-
minding him never to trust her
again. Peggy, relieved, madea
brief exnnsitorv statement to the


ers. Like Harold Stassen, their na-
tional prototype, these concerned
citizens run often, win occasion
ally, and lose most often of all.
Such has been the career of W.

Neuman for President. Since I last
saw the room Wallace has taken
the place of Neuman and Neuman
has been filled circularly. The
walls also bear a large brass eagle
an a mall ,nThtinAmer'ican,,flan.

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