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January 10, 1969 - Image 4

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1969-01-10

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Edited and managed by students of the University of Michigan
under authority of Board in Control of Student Publications

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News Phone: 764-0552

Editoriots printed in The Michigan Daily exp ress the individual opinions of staff writers
or the editors. This must be noted in all reprints.




19 0

enough to progress with his peo-
ple, to become more militant as
they led him, to represent his
cause forcefully and humanely, to
maintain his humanity in the face
of inhuman treatment.
His death did not mean the end
of non-violence - 1968 saw an
unusually quiet summer. What it
did mean, quite simply, was initial
gutting of what was to be a fair-
ly important protest campaign -
the Poor People's March on
Washington - and the robbery by
the right of one of the left's key
bridges to legitimated opinion.
It took these two deaths to make
the Chicago convention what it
was. The actual events were no
surprise - only the media cover-
age was.
Chicago police merely treated
whites as they and their cohorts
throughout the country have al-
ways treated blacks. Thanks to the
beating taken by newsmen, com-

munication finally occurred be-
tween the radical left and a large
part of the nation.
Otherwise, things progressed
predictably - Humphrey's nom-
ination (put over the top by votes
from Pennsylvania, where M c -
Carthy had overwhelmingly won
the primary) was as inevitable as
it was stupid.
WITH THE death of Robert
Kennedy and the nomination of
two extremely unattractive candi-
dates; the birth of George Wal-
lace's campaign in the north was
given a push great enough to
leave plenty of room for coasting
Wallace's campaign was a car-,
bon copy of pre-1933 Hitler, and it
is an important credit to t h e
American electorate that h i s
strength was not greater. Certain-
ly the conditions were there--an
incredible war, ridiculous taxa-
tion, unprecedented racial strife.
Yet ultimately he did not do well,
carrying only one more state than
did Strom Thurmond in 1948 and
without significant inroad in the
Nixon, too, did not do well.
Polls which proved extremely ac-
curate gave him an early 4,000,000
vote plurality, including the states
of New York and Michigan. But
Nixon made his deals with the
South for the nomination, and he
decided to aim to the right rather
than the left.
The country was not in the
mood. Most people, as the cam-
paign progressed, seemed more
and more desperate for some
glimmer of change, and even Hu-
bert Humphrey was able to con-
vince people he offered more than
Dick Nixon. Nixon spent $20-$40
million, ran a carefully managed
media campaign, and still man-
aged to throw away 4,000,000
Perhaps it was because he is, af-
ter all, still Richard Nixon, but
there must be more to it than
that. At least 15,000,000 voters

stayed away from the polls and a
good portion of that had to be-
long to the left-how a rightist
could have qualms with his elec-
toral choices is beyond me.
Given another week of the cam-
paign even the senile and dis-
credited liberalism of H u b e r t
Humphrey would have slipped in.
BUT NIXON WON. He promptly
appointed a lackluster cabinet,
lacking every bit as much in ad-
ministrative and creative talent as
in image. Governors Volpe and
Romney, for example, are sur-
passed only by Spiro Agnew in
lack of brainpower.
To the crucial post of Secre-
tary of Defense Nixon appointed
Melvin Laird, a small-town Wis-
consin nazi who will give free
reign to the most dangerous force
in America, the military.
While the GNP ; climbs to $1
trillion dollars the military budget
is sure to leap over $100 billion.
The pure waste is nowhere near so
dangerous as the incredible power
amassed in such blatantly irre-
sponsible hands.
The appointment of hard-liner
Henry Cabot Lodge as chief Paris
negotiator also indicates that the
end of the war will be far more
distant than most people seem to
As if to confirm beyond all
doubt the reactionary nature of
the upcoming administration, Nix-
on also appointed an Alaskan land
speculator (Walter Hickel) who
does not believe in conservation
as Secretary of the Interior. At a
time when it is impossible to
breathe in our cities and when
there isn't a clean river left in
the country, Nixon has set the
tone of his administration by
promising more of the same.
tics in America are electoral. De-
spite -stiff suppression - high-
lighted perhaps by the prosecu-
tion of Benjamin Spock and com-
pany for "conspiracy" - t h e
student left continues to grow. In
spite of itself.
The radical institutions were al-
most universally split in 1968. Stu-
dent Mobilization was taken over
by Trotskyist Young Socialist Al-
liance, leading to the formation of
a new group, Liberation N e w s
Service was racked by perhaps the
grossest split of all, resulting in
two news services.
SDS is undergoing bitter faction
fighting and is in danger of being
dominated by the hard-line Pro-
gressive Labor Party, which
should effectively kill the national
And' the Department of Justice
continues to do its part. Prosecu-
tion is still actually going on
against participants in the Chi-
cago demonstrations. Drug busts
continued all over the country
against political leaders, one of
them Yppe Jerry Rubin. .
Organizers of the Oakland anti-
draft demonstration were arraign-
ed on "conspiracy" charges, and
the burgeoning underground press
everywhere met with police re-
each successive year brings to ma-
turity more and more young peo-
ple willing to take part in the
struggle for a human America.
One can see the difference in each
incoming freshman class.
Perhaps it is growing up with
television, perhaps it is the eye-
opening of the past few years of
Lyndon Johnson, perhaps it is
the media coverage of the hippie
movement, perhaps it is just grow-
ing up with affluence. But erup-
tions in high schools throughout
the country indicate that if the
student left is quiet the next few
months, it is only a calm before
a bigger storm.
Un f o r tu n ately, the stu-
dents are not the country, and
four more years of Eisenhower
may leave us with a country en-

grossed in a power struggle whose
only significant parties are the
military, the mafia, the CIA and
the FBI.
O ALL THE events of 1968, the
capsule history of New York
City may be the one of the most
long-range significance. With no-

deteriorate. Unfortunately, peo-
ple always die before buildings do.
1. HE BIGGEST education story
was also in New York, where
an experiment in black commun-
ity control was blocked by a re-
actionary teacher's union and will
be killed in the spring by the state
Community control h a s been
held by many as, in lieu of ade-
quate money, at least a step to-
ward improving ghetto education,
whose current state is criminal.
The Ocean-Hill-Brownsville fight
seems to portend that the teach-
ers themselves will not allow this
reform to take place.
The most incredible education
story occurred in Youngstown,
Ohio, where citizens allowed their
schools to close rather than pay
for their support.
The struggle on campuses con-
tinued with some quiet victories,
though generally fights continue
to influence students more than
change structures.
Major confrontations with mass
student support closed Columbia
for a while and may result in the
permanent death of San Fran-
cisco State, as universities con-
tinue to demonstrate they can, be
as reactionary as any other in-
stitution in this society.
IN UTAH, the Army's burgeoning
Chemical and Biological War-
fare establishment killed 6,000
sheep in an accident t h a t, it
seems, recurs fairly often in the
western states, though usually not
without such blatant results.
The implications of this sort of
disaster occurring without a sub-
stantial structural reaction are too
great to outline - will it take the
poisoning of Denver or Salt Lake
City by the CBW establishment to
force change?
The further pollution of the air,
the pollution of the rivers, and
the continuation of misguided
a n d unnecessary underground
testing continues unabated. The
destruction of the ecology is an
extremely serious problem which
will take a fortune to correct, a
fortune which is obviously n o t
Technology may hold the an-
swer but even that is being under-
cut as more and. more research
funds are channelled into mili-
tary research.
As for the space program, send-
ing three All-Americans around
the moon was about as socially
useful as transplanting an appen-
dix, but it made good bread-and-




What does remain is a massive
feeling among a great many peo-
ple that life is to be enjoyed, sex-
ually and otherwise, and. that a
good part of that enjoyment rests
with a free imagination.
THE FAILURE of the revolt in
France presages another, per-
haps more successful attempt with
the death of DeGaulle, though I
wouldn't be surprised if that pro-
voked a German invasion.
Germany, after all, has become
the dominant nation in Europe;
for the third time this century,
and we all know what, bappened
the first two times. Italy and per-
haps Spain and Portugal, when
their dictators die, seem to be pre-
paring for significant moves to
the left.
In Africa, blacks proved they
could war as violently as whites.

Both assassinations were ex-
tremely successful, We live in a
nation whose system occasionally
demands single leaders of people;
the deaths of Martin Luther King
and Robert Kennedy destroyed
the access of millions of Ameri-
cans to the power w h i c h wes
rightly theirs, in a time when long
overdue retribution seemed at last
imminent, or at least on the way.
It is thus the ultimate irony
that Richard Nixon will soon be
President of the United States, a
man so void of human perceptions
and warmth as to be describable
only as a bad joke.
Now the long struggle to rees-
tablish communication begins,
with more repression than ever.
The radical and left-liberal (he
who calls Benjamin Spock a rad-
ical stretches his imagination)
movement could probably be ex-
terminated with as much'l ease as




circus fare to take everyone's
mind off other things.
A space program with unlimited
potential will be gradually taken
over by the military in the mad
dash for the base on the moon.
PERHAPS THE only bright spot
in the year was a livelier mo-
vie and music industry than the
country has ever known. Tele-
vision unfortunately did not keep
pace, perhaps even regressed a
bit, but probably more good mo-
vies were released in 1968 than
were made in all the 1950's.
As for music, The Beatles and
Stones did it again, and the gen-
eral emergence of electric rock
as an extremely important, petr-
haps the most important, force
for social revolution in the coun-
try became more evident than ev-
- A -v.- a m- n- - Qnf 1PC

The Middle East situation con-
tinues without solution, worsening
every day. Perhaps the beginning
of the end will be there.
In Latin America, the United
States showed (as if it needed
further proof) that there will be
no peace. Slaughter in Mexico,
military rule in Panama and Bra-
zil, continuing tension with Cuba,
the death of Che. All that can be
said for 1969 in Latin America is
"more of the same."'
W HEN THE 1960's began I
thought 1968 would be a very
important year. I guess it was.
Just before John Kennedy was
killed it seemed the Cold War
might be coming to the beginning
of the end. There was a noticeable
easing of tensions in Washington,
talk began of a new detente with
Cihn ,1 nn-, cpapr3 finaln to

was the socialist movement after
World War I.
If radicals feel the movement
thrives on repression, they must
remember so do the repressors,
with their ever expanding bureau-
cracies and budgets.
WE LEARNED our lessons these
past few years. We learned that
the law belongs to the lawmakers,
that the power belongs to th e
wealthy and the corporations, that
the governing machinery in this
country operates independent of
the people it governs and some-
times even of the people who are
supposed to be running it.
We won 89% of the votes in the
California Democratic primary.
We started the Paris peace talks.
We made Richard Daley look even
more grotesque.
F I suppose one of the next things
we'll have to learn is patience.


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