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November 06, 1968 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 1968-11-06

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. ,

tI Siri:gau Daity
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

1968:

i

420 Maynard St., Ann Arbor, Mich.

News Phone: 764-0552

Editorials printed in The Michigan Doily exp ress the individuol opinions of staff writers
or the editors. This must be noted in all reprints.

Election

year

that

wasA t

I WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 5, 1968

NIGHT EDITOR: STEPHEN WILDSTROM

1

Chaos in Cobo Hall: A fever over Wallace

By ANDREW SACKS
Photo Editor
N EUBACHER HAD TOLD ME that Wal-
lace would put on a much better show
than Nixon. It was a good thing we stayedI
in Detroit.
After a half a year of watching political3
campaigning, one show seems just like an-
other. The exceptions (Kennedy in Indiana,
and Daley in Chicago) stand out in myI
mind.' But watching Humphrey in Detroit
is the same as watching Nixon in Lansing,1
or McCarthy in Milwaukee.
-There is a lot of running around.
maneuvering for good shots, and hassling iti
out with the secret service dudes. In the end
you get a sprained knee, tired feet, and aI
little better idea of what makes the world
run.
So we got up early last Tuesday \and
jumped on the the "Nixon's The One Spe-
cial" bus caravan at 9 a.m. in front of De-
troit's Sheraton Cadillac. We made about
eight stops and nothing special happened.
They bought us Miller High Life beer, and
kept it in a big garbage can filled with ice
in the back of the bus. (I guess Nixon has1
a lot of money.) We spent about seven hours
in this caravan, and ended up back at the
Sheraton. After dinner, we went down to
CoboHall. for the next show.
I HAD AN INKLING that the Wallace staff.
people might be a little more callous, and
somewhat less "genteel" than the average
political hacks who deal ott press' creden-,
tials, and mimeographed schedules. But I
had never imagined what I was about to
see,
Take your average Andy of Maybury type,
and Gomer Pyles mix in a little Chester
from Dodge City, and then for a little
primevil motivation fill them up with racist
hate, fear of long haired hippies, and the
classic white southern male complex. Then
you have the Wallace staff. What a bunch.
It took the staff 90 minutes to explain
the arrangements for press credentials.,
Only after viscious insistence did we, secure
the proper little badges. We called them
sir.

Before the action started we made friends
with some radical types from Wayne State
and told them to ask for tickets one at a
time, so all of them would get in. They got
in, and we rendezvoused later in the balcony.j
They were giving the Wallace loyalists who
were seated on the floor the finger.,
FOR A GROUP of about 40 kids they
made a lot of noise. They riled up the Wal-
lacites enough to get them parading around
the arena floor with a confederate flag.
Most of the crowd cheered for the flag, and
all raised their voices when the Detroit
Police entered. Things went smoothly for
- a while-the country band came out and
did some tunes; the master of ceremonies
introduced a crippled fat teen-ager who had
walked all around Cleveland campaigning{
for Wallace, and the evening rolled on.
Then a larger group of anti-Wallace peo-
ple appeared in the second balcony and
begun drowning out the preparatory rites
on the stage. The people were stamping and
shouting. Every ten minutes or so, the police
would escort an over zealous Wallacite or a
radical type out of the arena. Things were
picking up. Each time the police did some-
thing the official ceremonies tappered off so
people could watch the other action and boo
or applaud as their loyalties demanded.
IN THE AIR, you could feel the hate.
The people who were cheering on the cops,
were more than passionate. They were moti-
vated by that fever we are all susceptible to:
If we ever have been on the short end ofj
stick in life, and have had the feeling that
the cards have been stacked against us, we
jump on a band wagon that will make us
feel secure. These people in the arena had
jumped on this band wagon with their teeth
bared, and their wounds aching. They were
poor, or had a crummy job (and couldn't'
get a better one), had lost a son in the war,
or just didn't understand what had hap-I
uened to the America they .learned about in
seventh grade civics. .
They didn't know why people grew long,
hair; they couldn't understand the shout-
ing and the stamping of the black kids in
the balconies; they thought they had been
denied a better life when they couldn't at-

tend college; and they hated the kids who
were in college now. who were repudiating
everything "American." The anti-Wallace
people just by the presence, instantly re-
opened these wounds, and poured in the
salt.
BOTH GROUPS were becoming more ag-
gressive and more desperate. The kids in the
balconies were ready to lay their lives on
the line, and the Wallace people were ready
o kill them.
There were only two doors that opened
on to the floor of the arena, and they were
too small to facilitate any panicky mass,
exit. I felt trapped. I knew that if any
trouble started, it would be real trouble. A
guy in the national press corps reassured
me very little when he said it is like that
everywhere Wallace goes. I still had the
feeling that arena was going to explode.
BY THE TIME WALLACE CAME on, the
place was packed. All the noise from
hecklers, and loyalists made me anxious and
nervous. I went up into the balcony with
the biggest group of counter-demonstrators
and shot some pictures of them when the
Alabama governor was introduced. (If I
were to perish, I would at least be among
comrades.)
After 15 minutes upstairs I went back to
the floor, and shot pictures of Wallace.
I had watched one major fight from the
balcony, but things had seemed, to level off.
Still in the arena there were 12,000 people
filled with hate. Towards the end of the
speech, a fight broke out on one side of the
hall. Then andther started across the way.
The second fight grew quickly, and police
started jumping over chairs to get to the
action. Chairs were knocked down and
thrown around the fighting. By this time I
had jumped over a lot of fallen chairs and
was standing in front of a bloody black
guy who had been cut over the eye. He was
taken off by the police. Another kid who had
been attacked while taking pictures was
being led off when a bunch of people jumped
him. All I saw were fists going up and
down where the kid had been knocked down.
Wallace was crooning "Let the police
handle it, let the police handle it."

Democrac y's "facade
of..lesser-evilism
'By JIM HECK .
WHEN THE ELECTIONS come to the outlying areas in Arkansas,
most of the farmers vote Democratic because their fathers and
their grandfathers and their great-grandfathers voted Democratic.
I discovered this when I walked into a small restaurant in 1964 in
Cash, Ark., passing out leaflets announcing the grand opening of the,
regional Republican headquarters. The proprietor: reached below his
cash register, pulled, out a double-barrel shotgun, explained most suc-
cintly: "Boy! I'm a Democrat now git!" and fired two smokey blasts
through the ceiling of his restaurant.
At that time I was convinced the Republicans in 1964 would truly
cleanse the soul of the land. I felt communists were hiding under the
cracked wooden bridges over Gum Slough Ditch No. 2 and lurking in
the rice paddles with the blacks, masquerading as peasants in order
to plan, organize and activateviolent revolution. But regardless of my
inclindations, I felt that I should have been given an opportunity to
expound them. The irrational rhetoric of the farmers completely denied
me that opportunity.
I BECAME EVEN MORE BAFFLED one day when the Jonesboro
Republican headquarters instructed me to pass out Democratic litera-
ture. The pamphlet included a picture of Lyndon Johnson shaking
hands with several blacks. It had been sucessfully kept out of the South
until then. It would bring Democrats into the Republican camp.
I detested the act, because I felt it was unethical. It was no more
a legitimate reason to vote for a candidate than family tradition.
But I was just a worker-"you don't understand the dynamics of
democracy"-so I peddled the junk in the streets. We went door-to-door
passing out'the literature which reeked with the picturesque odor of the
black. And it worked. More than once I opened wide the eyes of some.
pot-bellied segregationist who couldn't believe his President could do
such things as shake hands with a black man-even if he were wearing
a tie.
THOSE LAST FEW DAYS seemed very twisted up. Everyone was
passing out their opponent's literature in order to show the closed-
minded Southerner why he should vote against his candidate. No one,
it seemed, ever showed anybody why he should vote for his candidate.
Those were interesting times: sort of a speciation of truth, good
truth and bad truth.
Arkansas is a peculiar place-or so I've been told. Wait until you
move North. I moved North. Things aren't much different now. My
ideas have radically changed, but my basic repugnance of "twisted
up"" campaigning still exists. As a result, this year I've intentionally
disregarded the dynamics of democracy.
We are not to, vote for Humphrey because we like him-we don't.
But we don't like Nixon any more. Don't listen to what Humphrey says,
listen to what Nixon says. Then, the Humphrey, camp muses, you'll
have but a single alternative.
I DON'T THINK people act this way because they are stupid. I
think rather it is because the system is degenerating. Our democratic
system no longer. can perpetuate a faith for itself. It think this is
because we have finally reached that juncture in our facade of dem-
ocracy when we realize it is actually a facade. And our faith was in true
democracy. Now we have learned it is not truly democracy. Our faith is
for democracy, not for its facade.
But in an attempt to' fool ourselves-to make ourselves believe the
facade is not a facade at all, we force ourselves into a philosophical
motif of lesser evilism in order to stimulate true democracy's motif of

Dick and Hubert:
Two deciding stories
By DAN OKRENT
Feature Editor
IN MARCH of this year, I set out, with the grace of the Managing
Editor and the financial assistance of the Business Manager, to
cover this year's presidential campaign for The Daily. I gave up on the
Republicans in April and the Democrats in August. Not because I had
necessarily fallen out of favor with my superiors at the newspaper;
rather, because I had myself given up on my so-called superiors on the
campaign trail.
Sunday, March 31, 1968, is now remembered by most as the day
The Ogre stepped down. Sitting downstairs in the Student Publcation
Bldg. after returning from Wisconsin, I listened as the most political
man in the 20th century talked of how he was compelled to step above
politics .
But, earlier in the day, after trailingnEugene McCarthy around the
north side of Milwaukee on Saturday and strolling through the Wis-
consin campaign headquarters for LBJ (the place was eripty, both
physically and spiritually) on Friday night, I stopped for a few hours
at a reception for the Nixon family.
THE THIRD FLOOR of the Sheraton-Schroeder Hotel had been
used as the press headquarters for the McCarthy forces in the Wiscon-
sin campaign. Their ranks freshly swelled from an influx of student
volunteers come in for the last weekend of campaigning, McCarthy
legions swarmed all over the building. But Richard Nixon, Richard-
Nixon-laughed-at-on-TV-in-'52, Richard Nixon-stoned-in-Venezuela
-in-'58, Richard Nixon-kicked-around-in-'60-and-'62, Richard Nixon
with family had put a tight clamp on the hotel's facilities that Sunday.
The affair was Nixon Meeting The Public. Scheduled to start at
2 p.m., the affair actually began at 10 in the morning as Milwaukee,
straight, solid, very-American, returned from church and stopped at
the Sheraton-Schroeder. Rows and rows of 2x4's had been carpentered
into a giant maze in the third floor ballroom; by noon, perhaps 2500
people had filled the maze, and another 2000 queued down the stairs,
into the lobby, and on into the street. The show of strength was grati-
fying to the Nixon advance men, I'm sure; but they were running in
Wisconsin only against Harold Stassen.
Few of them realized that seven months later their man would be
running to defeat himself.
THE AUDIENCE either seemed not to come from Milwaukee, or I
had ascribed to that town more of a "Big City" image than it deserved.
The families crowded into the maze seemed leftovers from Sinclair
Lewis novels; Main Street ran down their spines and Babbitt lit their
faces. Forty-ish women in neatly coordinated suits, frosted hair planted
neatly beneath Sunday hats fastened down with bobby pins.
Their husbands, grinning, in brown suits and blue shirts, styled by
Sears or Robert Hall, white handkerchiefs stuffed into. pockets (or,
more often, fake white handkerchief tops sewn on to cardboard pocket
fillers). The children were all dressed up, their mothers had probably
each spent an hour that morning combing their hair and cleaning the
insides of their ears. The kids waited restlessly, the parents eagerly.
The man arrived. With him were Pat, and Julie, and Tricia, and
for the first time in the campaign David. We all know David now. Then
very few did. When Daddy-in-law-to-be introduced him, the crowd was
apopleptic. I feared for his life, and realized he was my age, that he
probably used to sit around in his room at Amherst and tell dirty jokes
and snigger at big breasts in Playboy. Soon, he would be a Nixon.
I WAS AMAZED by Mr. Nixon. All that had been said about the
New Nixon was true. He was a dervish on the stage. He was not merely
candidate; more, he was emcee. He did the introducing himself, he
dominated the stage, he needed no band or fanfare, he came on strong,
strong, strong, resonantly booming Here's someone you all know well,
my wife Patricia; Frenzied cheers for her; for each of the others when
their turns came.
It was David Eisenhower's birthday. There must have been 30
birthday cakes in the crowd, the possessor of each hopefully waiting to
hand it to David. The boy's birthday had been announced in the Mil-
waukee papers the night before.
Nixon handled it all so well. The crowd was so orderly. There were
no hecklers. The McCarthy kids from the other side of the third flooi'
were nowhere in sight. Why? I wondered, I tried to find out. I stepped
into the hall. I approached a Pinkerton guard who eyed my sideburns
first, my press badge second. I asked what procedure they were using
to admit the crowd.
"It's at our discretion."
He told me there were over 150 Pinkertons assigned to the event.
THE CROWDS WERE KEPT in line in the maze as they slowly
found their way to the stage, where they walked across to shake hands
with the Family. As each youngster approached, Nixon pulled a little
card, the size of a calling card, out of his suit pocket. On each was a
prepared copy of his autograph. On his lips was a prepared copy of a
smile and a friendly greeting.
I looked again at David Eisenhower, and noticed how more than
anyone on stage, this guy with a baggy gray suit and dumbo ears had

captured the attention of the crowd. I imagined Tricky Dick talking to
Julie when she was 13.
"What do you mean, you don't like David?" Pat is tugging at her
husband's shoulders, trying to calm him. Tricia is crying in her bed-
room, because she too is afraid of the nasty man with the hairy face.
Julie is sobbing, trying to duck his wrath.
"WHAT DO YOU MEAN, YOU DON'T LIKE DAVID? WHAT DO
.YOU MEAN, YOU DON'T LIKE DAVID? WHAT DO YOU MEAN?
WHAT ARE YOU TRYING TO SAY?!?"
Julie, wiping the sniffles from her face, tugs at her cotton ankle
socks and tells Daddy that she'll go to the party that night after all,
that she'll be nice to David.
When Daddy took, Julie to the party, he was very nice to young
David too, and probably told him that a White House wedding would be
nice, son, wouldn't it?
Fourteen-year-old David looked up at the man with a question in
his sad eyes.
"Wedding?" he thought. "I'm only 14."
But politics is stronger than 14-year-olds.
* *

4

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