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February 14, 1969 - Image 4

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1969-02-14

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* ie Sirld9gan Daily
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

President Nixon on the. morning after

Maynao St., Ann Arbor, Mich.

News Phone: 764-0552

Editorials printed n The Mchigan Daily express the individual opinions of staff writers
or the editors. This must be noted in 61 reprints.

Nixon's first month:
Just changing tires

IN THESE EARLY days of the
Nixon Administration it has not
been possible for anyone to fore-
cast what is going to happen in
the next four years. This is not
surprising. No newspaperman that
I can think of foresaw on Inaugu-
ration Day what Herbert Hoover
or Franklin Roosevelt or J o n n
Kennedy or Lyndon Johnson Would
actually do. There is no binding
connection between the words of
a candidate in the campaign and
the acts of the President when he
is in the White House.
Franklin Roosevelt's last cam-
paign speech was an emphatic rep-
etition of what President Hoover
had been saying and had nothing
to do with the New Deal. From
what Lyndon Johnson said about
Vietnam in the campaign of 1964,
it was impossible to foresee that a
few months later he would begin
to ruin himself in Vietnam.
So I do not know what Presi-
dent Nixon will do. But xI have a
strong belief about what the ac-
tual situation of the United
States demands of him.
He inherits a situation in which
there is great fiscal and moral and

political inflation, where money is
being spent that is not being earn-
ed, when more has been promised
than can be done, when more re-
sponsibilities and commitments
have been assumed than any na-
tion, however rich and powerful,
can bear.
BECAUSE OF THE objective
situation, th e task imposed on
President Nixon has become one of
deflating the economy, of reduc-
ing the political promises, of cut-
ting down the commitments to
the realities of the human scale.
The role of the deflator is nev-
er glamorous. Has there ever been
a "charismatic" deflator? Sober-
ing up the morning after is not
nearly so much fun as the fes-
tivities the night before.
But it is President Nixon's fate
to become President on the morn-
ing after, and the question about
him is whether he will recognize
and accept this destiny or wheth-
er he will shrink from it as have
all his predecessors in this cen-
The Nixon deflation will have to
begin with our foreign policy, for

that policy has been inflated ever
since President Wilson declared
that o u r intervention in World
War I was not only to defend our-
selves and the Atlantic community
from agression b u t, beyond all
that, to make the world -- the
whole world - safe for democracy
- which never had reached A:;a.
Africa, most of Europe and most
of the Americas.
was carried on by Franklin Roose-
velt who promised not only to de-
feat the Nazis and the Japanese
but to free the world of "fear."
Harry Truman blew up the infla-
tion by dedicating American re-
sources and lives to the defense (if
anti-Communists everywhere and
anywhere. President Kennedy top-
ped all that in his inaugural ad-
dress. Lyndon Johnson staked ev-
erything he had on validating
these foolish promises which he
took literally.
There is no doubt, of course,
that on the written record Rich-
ard Nixon has been an active sup-
porter of the whole inflated for-
eign policy. His problem as Presi-

dent arises from the fact that the
situation demands the deflation of
these wild promises and that un-
less he obeys the objective truth
of the situation he will be ruinei.
He cannot do again what Lyndon
Johnson did after 1965, which was
to conceal the military escalation
which the inflated foreign policy
There is a considerable body of
opinion in the United State' which
holds that we are so powerful that
the inflated pledges and promises
can be made solvent by fighting
more 'and spending more. Presi-
dent Nixon's danger is that he will
be tempted to try to cover up the
deflation and avoid the unpopu-
larity that deflation almost al-
ways brings with it.
er he w ill measure up to the
harsh necessities of the Uituation?
But we can be certain that if he
shrinks from the reductions and
withdrawals of a deflated foreign
policy he *ill find that the do-
mestic situation is increasingly
For at home, too, there must be

a deflation not only of what is
being spent, but also of what has
been promised.
Without the fantastic inflation
of our foreign commintments, the
domestic needs of t h i s country
would probably be manageable -
provided, of course, that the po-
litical expectations which sur-
round them have b e en brought
down to the human and possible
Those who watch President Nix-'
on and are inclined to compare
him w i t h Presidents Wilsnn,
Roosevelt. Truman, Kennedy and
Johnson should remember that a
deep gulf separates him from
promises of his predecessors were
inflated. This is a bitter truth, and
it is not a glamorous one. Only
those who welcome a return to
reality will, if the President ac-
tually faces that reality, find the
climate bracing.
(C) 1969 Washington Polt

Nixon Administration, the news from
ashington seems to be returning to a
.ality of lackluster boredom unknownv
ice the Eisenhower, years. The excite-
ent of the campaign years has been
cceeded by a quiet acceptance of things
they are and a general lack of public
ncern with what the federal govern-
ent is doing.
Presumably what Nixon is involved
th now is a slow process of acclimati-
tion, a redirecting (of energies and, a
arshalling of forces before actually
ing to undertake any action toward
lying the nation's myriad problems. We
n hope that this is the case. But the
ly news we get from the White House.
ems to be that Mr. Y has been appoint-
Assistant Secretary of X.
UST WHAT has the Nixon Administra-
tion done in its first month in office?
. looking over the record, it becomes ap-
rent that the Administration's activi-
s have been m o r e in the nature of
anging tires thafi in drafting new plans
mobilizing forces for a major overhaul
the national vehicle. Since the first
eeks of any administration are histor-,
ally devoted more to statements of in-'
nt than anything else, it is distressing
at so little has been proposed. '
The bulk of Nixon's activities h a v e
rved to continue governmental policies
inherited from the previous three ad-.
inistrations.'Thus he has instructed the
easury to withhold aid from recalcitrant
uthern school districts, maintained the
per cent income tax surcharge, and
'ged the adoption of the Nuclear Non-.
oliferation Treaty.
q ADDITION, Nixon set about- redeem-'
ing one. of his few campaign promises
hen he instructed the Pentagon to look
to the possibilities of creating an all-
ilunteer army. An order by Secretary of
efense Melvin Laird to halt construction
the "thin" antiballistic missile system,
kBM) seemed heartening at first, but
ss so when it was learned that plans for
e ABM system are still in high gear,
id that only land purchasing has been
tually halted.
A proposal for a war -on crime in the
istrict of Columbia seems to have met
th little opposition, but since the issue
ally involves only the one-half of one
r cent of the nation's population which
res in the D.C. vicinity, it is easy to un-
rstand why the country at large has
nored the plan.
There has been considerable amount of
scussion over the issue of revamping
e welfare system, but nothing concrete
is yet to emerge..

FINALLY, Mr. Nixon has announced his
plans for a trip to Europe to consult
with other world leaders on areas of mu-
tual concern. Presumably, this means the
continuing crisis in the Near East, as well
as NATO defenses, Czechoslovakia, the
question of German unity, and (it is to be
hoped) the still shaky international mon-
etary structure.
The trip is indicative of a greater em-
phasis to be placed upon our European
alliances in the coming years. And in that
respect, it has much in common with the
domestic programs Nixon has come up
with: all of these proposals seem to be
aimed at solving problems marginal to
the two great perils facing the nation to-
day, which are the same ones we had last
year, even though we do not talk much
about them any more.
THESE ISSUES ARE, of course, the Viet-
nam war and domestic racism. At the
outset of 'the Administration, the t i m e
when a President should m o s t concern
himself with formulating definite policies
and concrete programs for dealing with
these paramount issues, Nixon has con-
tented himself with working toward
cleaning up all the little side issues which
together add up to not a third of the ills
perpetrated by the war in Vietnam.
Like it or not, twentieth century Ameri-
can politics call for strong, imaginative
use of the executive branch of govern-
ment, and if the first month is any indi-
cation, the new President's approach will
be only slightly more dynamic than that
of the other administration in which Nix-
on served
ALREADY the country seems to be in.
less turmoil than it was six months or
a year ago. Perhaps this is because those
who formerly concerned themselves with
protest have become disillusioned w i t h
the effectiveness of their actions and so
have silenced themselves. Perhaps it is
because, when the government considers
an end to the draft and allows negotia-
tions to drag on in Paris, some of the re-
sentment to the war is drained off. But
most important, by diverting public at-
tention away from Vietnam and toward
Europe, the . administration is indulging
in a kind of wistful thinking which al-
lows men to pretend that people are no
longer getting killed in Asia simply be-
cause we are not talking it anymore.
Students all over the country are sit-
ting in and confronting the police over
the relatively small issue of treatment of
that tiny elite of the black population
which m a k e s it to college. Meanwhile,
racist attitudes of the society as a whole
persist, and men of three races are dying
in Vietnam while the negotiations in Par-
is drag on over trivia.
not doing anything significant toward
confronting the real and explosive issues
strangling America from within is n o t
new or surprising; that so many of us
are sitting back and not even saying that
this is the case, is.

The.flame, of the language requirement

MY FRENCH BOOKS burned surprisingly slowly in our fireplace.
At first the three books just smoldered. But when I threw in a
pizza box, the flames leaped up the chimney.
After finals in December when I set fire to my French books, I
experienced an outpouring of anger, frustration and resentment. I
felt very little relief as I sat watching Moliere's pompous wig on the
cover of Le Bourgeois Gentilhomme darken into as.
Mostly there were just bad memories.
MEMORIES OF THE THREE TERMS I spent fulfilling the lan-
guage requirement.
Memories of 50 dull, stifling minutes in the Frieze Bldg.
Memories of. cutting French to avoid those 50 minutes.
Memories of French quizzes every Friday morning and of pulling
all-nighters every Thursday night to make up for the time I refused
to spend in class.
,THE ARGUMENTS against the language requirement will not bear
restating. During the past year, as the outcry against the requirements
gained at least some audibility, those arguments have become hack-
neyed clarions of a movement that somehow cannot move many stu-
dents to action.
For those who have, suffered through two, three or four terms of
elementary language study at the University, there can be no distilling
the causes of pain. Indeed, some of the malignancy comes from the
juxtaposition of coercion and uninteresting, fruitless hours wasted in
unwanted language classes.
,But the question of just how that painful combination operates
on the student i an irrelevant detail. Clearly, the language requirement
must go.
. * * *
THE RECENT OUTCRY, however weak, has thrown light on some
of the significant effects and side-effects of the required language
And unlike the arguments against the requirement, these argu-
ments bear repeating, for in microcosm, they replicate thelifestream
of the University.
At recent meetings of the literary college faculty, the scene has
been a frightening reminder of the hypocrisy of a group of professors
claiming to provide liberal education for their students.
Perhaps the seemingly blind intransigence of these professors is
unrepresentative. Perhaps the truly liberal facultyl members are in the
majority and are merely waiting on the sidelines until the reactionaries
tire of anachronistic, elitist rhetoric. Perhaps.,
But equally likely, the tone of recent faculty debate will be re-
peated when the question of language requirements comes up again
in March. And what is worse, the mood of the recent debate over lan-
guage requirements may only be a prelude to faculty reaction against
upcoming proposals to give students a meaningful vote in college-wide
MFANWHILE, RECENT events in the Romance Language depart-
ment have provided new insight into the educational and decision-
making processes at the University.
With department faculty apparently satisfied with the present-
level of instruction, only the appearance last term of an ad hoc com-
mittee of teaching fellows has affected any reform of elementary lan-
guage teaching:
The teaching fellows have actually created a few experimental
classes in elementary French and Spanish, but they have received little
aid and a great deal of indifference or scorn from their superiors.
But hiost disconcerting, is the passivity of most students, now that
the whole question of academic decision-making, as well as the lan-
guage requirement, seems so pregnant with possibility for reform.
Apparently, most students have merely burned their books and
forgotten the pain.


Letters to the Editor

Editorial Staft
Managing Editor Editoril Director
DAVID KNOKE, Executive Editor
LACE IMMEN......... News Editor
)LYN MIEGEL.....Associate Managing Editor.
EL OKRENT ............ Feature Editor
O'DONOHUE..........News Editor
Power o


West Quad
To the Editor.
University Housing Office's pro-
posal to convert two more West
Quadrangle houses into faculty
offices. During the 1 a s t twelve
months I have watched and lis-
tened to elaborate plans for the
conversion of West Quad into a
significant place for students to
These plans, which call for the
conversion of the Quad from a
freshman stable in t o an educa-
tionally-oriented community, were
formulated by the student advis-
ory staff resident there. The Uni-
versity's recent rejection of these
plans makes it all too clear that
the Quads aye not seen by the Ad-
ministration"as places for students
to live, but rather as places for
units to be housed. The callousness
with which these carefully drawn
plans were scuttled by the Hous-
ing Office is an affront to us all
- undergraduates, graduate stu-
dents, and faculty.
For more of West Quad to be
turned into office space now, in
the face of this recent decision,
is not just adding insult to serious
injury; it is a further injury, and
a factual manifestation of an ex-
panding disregard for students as
people end. students ?as students.
This proposal can only compound
disaffection with the University.
I REALIZE that the University
needs more faculty office space -
my office mate and I could use
such ourselves. I also realize that
Ann Arbor landlords need more
tenants. The University also needs
a seriously vital academic com-
munity to which we can all belong.
and this is unlikely to abide in
faculty offices or in scattered stu-
dent apartments.
I am happy that the Regents
have eliminated the requirement
of Quad living. At the same time,
I feel strongly that the University
stands a better chance of honest
survival as a center for under-
graduate educationtas arresiden-
tial University than it does as a
commuter's college. The good that
should come of the Regents' re-
cent act is the making of Univer-
sity housing competitive with otn-
er area housing. This should not
be too hard, nor need it be ex-
pensive. Students, as consumers,
surely need each other - in an

made by the staff of West Quad
would not even have c o s t the
Housing Office any money!) But
the conversion of now two more
houses of West Quad Wto offices
is an administrative act in direct
opposition to such ideals. This de-
cision makes it clear that the Res-
idential College experiment is not
legitimately an experiment, that it
does not represent anything like
a commitment -- or the begin-
ning of a commitment - on the
part of the University to under-
graduate education.
Behind the facade of the Resi-'
dentialCollege, with its few hun-
dred students who are cared for
as students, is an hypocritical in-
stitution, conservatively structured
on a "space available" basis --
with a "No Room at the Inn" ,ign.
out for the majority of its stu-
-Prof. Bert G. Hornback
English department
Feb. 12
(EDITOR'S NOTE: The following
letter was sent to the special state
Senate committee investigating
student unrest.)
To the Editor:
FYOU LOOKED at the world
Iand saw millions dying from
hunger, if you saw children mut-
ilated by the brutality of a war
which they do not understand, if

you saw people who cannot read
or write, if you saw men deprived
of their manhood by racists, if you
saw cities festering in. hate, if you
saw a society whose, foundation
was a green piece of paper, if you
saw young men consumed in flro,
by their own act, would you look
If you saw that others refused
to look, or that those that Were
looking were. moving too slowly,
and if you were disenfranchised
politically and socially, would you
tacitly submit that you are pow-
erless to change that World? Or
would you at least try to become
=A lens focusing the horrors of that,
world into the eyes of those who
turned away? Or would you, sit
in your room resting?
-Steve ,Hutton, '72
Feb. 6
The Daily incorrectly re-
ported yesterday that voting
registration requires six
months residence in Ann Ar-
bor. Six months residence is
necessary in MNichigan; only
one month in Ann Arbor is re-
Also, SGC is the sole spon-
sor of the voter registration
drive. Students for Harris and
New Democratic Coalition are
contributing manpower.


The road not. taken

THE ACADEMIC reform movement
on this campus is-a revolutionary
one. And as such, it is facing the same
dilemma that has faced revolutionary'
movements x of the past.
The problem is one {of tactics. Al-
though the goal of themovement is
defined-a new kind of university
where students are trained to think
and challenge-the strategy to ulti-
mately attain the goal is not at all

There seem to be only two possible
sets of tactics, neithier of which prom-
ise immediate success.
On one hand, student leaders can
seek power within the decision-mak-
ing structure of the University. To do
this, they would have to be content to
settle for power without a firm power
base. They.. reason it is Impossible for
student leaders to get broad student
support when a majority of students
probably don't believe that they de-
serve noer antivav.

burdensome responsibility assigned to
the exercise of that power; if student
leaders do attract a concerned con-
stituency, their responsibility to come
up with concrete results on behalf of
that constituency is compounded; if
students leaders do fail, the failure
might paralyze student initiative in
academic innnovation and decision-
making indefinitely.
failure at a critical period in the stu-
dent movement represents more than
a temporary setback to the drive for
student power, Student leaders now
have neither the constituency nor the
authoritv thev deserve. Political weak-

many students seem prepared to con-
sider. While faculty are often willing
to condone a limited degree of effective
student power, the process of wooing
faculty support is often tedious and
And as student leaders bargain and
lobby, the momentum vital to a stu-
dent movement might be lost. Therein
is the greatest risk. Movements are
fragile vehicles unless there is some
all-powerful motivation and there is
no such enduring force here.
AT THE SAME TIME, there are ad-
vantages to seeking power, through
either tactic; immediatism and gradu-
alism will both yield student power.
There would, of course, be the us-
ual danger of co-optation, that the
students who achieve power will sell
out, intentionally or otherwise. Such
students would give the appearance of
leading in academic change, but would,
really be the greatest opposition to it

dents who achieve power on strong
ideological bases would obviously be
more secure.
(More secure. But not completely
BUT WORKING for procedural re-
forms holds out to students the pos-
sibility of success as well. If the
necessary changes can be affected in
the educational process, if indepen-
dent and intelligent individuals can be
developed, then the system of liberal
education will become self-perpetuat-'
ing, which must necessarily be i t s
highest goal.
There is the tacit assumption that
the new educational system sought will
produce its own leadership. Hope-
fully, the new breed of student ac-
tivist will direct his moral sensitivity
and intellectual restlessness toward re-
constructing society at large..
However, it is important to stress
that the obligations of students do

'What's In A Name? .
A Rose By Any Other Name,..'
c A
t -

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