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October 19, 1960 - Image 4

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1960-10-19

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Seventy-First Year
Editorials printed in The Michigan Daily express the individual opinions of staff writers
or the editors. This must be noted in all reprints.


Un onr


Y, OCTOBER 19, 1960


Student Conservatism:
Movement in Minor Key

S IF IN response to driving activity on the
part of American student "liberals." the stu-
it "conservative" wing is coming to life.
bhe vagueness and general misapplication of
;h labels as "liberal" and "conservative" is
'eal danger to be faced in any discussion
t purports to have meaning. In modern so-
y important issues are never clear-cut;
imunication is threatened by compartment-
ed thinking; compromise is a demand by the
y nature of people and problems. It can safe-
be said that there are no (thinking) liberals
conservatives; there are only stands on spe-
c questions which lean toward one extreme
the other but usually fall between.
)nce issues like desegregation, academic
edom, free speech and disarmament are
iculated and clarified-as issues-modern
dents and citizens may weigh the practical
I theoretical aspects of them on the infor-
tion they possess. The liberal or conserva-
e judgment will often be based on means,
BERAL students, among whom the shock
of recognition is by now almost a year old,.
by now a potent and effective voice tem-
'ed by some comprehension of the necessity
continuity of effort and a tactful, if unre-
ting, approach. The original goal-to secure
I protect minority rights-is branching out
a real attempt to define the role of the stu-
it in his environment.
In the West even more than in southern
tes, students of more conservative leanings
ve suffered a violent reaction and, more sig-
icant, realized that students can extend their
itrol over their environment. If so, conserva-
e as well as liberal students should be heard,
di their programs evaluated.
HE PLENARY floor of the National Student
Association Congress held in Minneapolis
t August became a theatre for conservative
d liberal students, both sides presenting their
ruments dramatically and emotively.
Debate over such questions as desegregation
d the sit-ins, Cuba, the National Defense
ucation Act loyalty oath provision and the
;anded student role in the "total commu-
,y" dramatized the confrontation of the new-
mobilized liberals and the conservatives, un-
epared and thrown immediately on the de-
rsive. Much dissent was absorbed superficial-
by emphatically liberal legislation-policy
tements by NSA not binding on member
'EACTION was manifest at the Congress in
several forms, some legitimate and some fall-
g in the realm of shady politics. Sincere, con-
rned conservatives lacked preparation-their
ws were not cohesively presented, their pro-

grams were not organized. In few cases, for-
tunately for the student community, did the
negative reaction result in the extreme move-
withdrawal from the association by a dis-
satisfied member school.
It is clear that if NSA is to continue as a
representative student association-for only as
such can it continue as an effective voice in
American society-it must increase and vary its
membership, now over 400 schools. Most par-
ticipants in the Congress realize and respect
this fact.
On the whole, conservative thinkers-at best,
constructively critical of ultra-progressive
measures; at worst, blindly unsympathetic with
the overall goals of the Congress-awoke to the
realization that their viewpoints needed re-
examination, their efforts needed direction
and scope. Above all, leadership was needed.
ORGANIZATION is progressing. A student
body president's conference at University of
Colorado brought together representatives of
eight western schools shortly after Colorado
voted to remain a member of NSA. Hank
Brown, president of Colorado's student govern-
ment, has vociferously deplored the liberal ac-
tivity at the Congress. He has equally stressed
the need for conservative schools to remain
in the association with a view to expressing
their opinions and influencing legislation.
The nature of such influence and the pro-
cedure through which it is brought to bear will
have to determine its value. If-conservatism
takes shape as an effort to preserve the status
qou per se. it is as worthless as advocating
violent social change for its own sake. If it
takes shape as a -negative movement pitted
against the committed liberal forces, it is not
only worthless but helpless.
IF, HOWEVER, conservative students are will-
ing to commit themselves to valid and viable
objectives, and to implement their dedication
with strategic and moral good faith, they can
achieve much through communication and co-
Their effective work will be in a minor key
compared with the progress of liberal stu-
dents regarding desegregation and student po-
litical action, by the very nature of their in-
clination to view matters deliberately. Their
role will be to temper the pace toward the same
social goals the liberals would reach, but not to
harm the spirit that fires the attempt. And if
they expect liberal students to accept their
constructive modifications, they must expect to
catch some of the spirit of implementing social
change from the liberals. Healthy vulnerability
to change by reasoning or persuasion denotes
an open mind.
Editorial Director

(EDITOR'S NOTE: This article is
reprinted from PROGRESSIVE mag-
azine with the permission of Mor-
ris Rubin, Editor. MurraynKempton
is a New York Post columnist.)
tOHN F. Kennedy and Richard
M. Nixon are quite different
men. Yet there is a quality they
have in common, something not
quite tangible enough to be de-
fined outside of metaphor. Neither
seems to be a man at whose
funeral strangers would cry.
Franklin D. Roosevelt was such
a man; Adlai Stevenson remains
such a man in a sense less general;
Dwight D. Eisenhower seems to
be such a man. What departs from
politics as the new men arrive is
a kind of poetry, Edgar Guest's
kind in the President's case but
still powerfully evocative to those
who can respond to it. But Ken-
nedy and Nixon evoke almost
nothing. They represent a triumph
of prose.
* * *
WHAT DEPARTS our politics
with the anointment of these men
is mystical presence. If leadership
is something more than the mere
registry of impressions of the pub-
lic will, then we must resign our-
selves to a politics without leader-
ship. What is absent from the
record of both these men is sub-
stantive interior quarrel. What
interior conflict there is in Nixon
adds up to the continually-repeat-
ed sentence familiar to the lower
middle class: "What wil people
think?" What interior c-nflict
there is in Kennedy is less easily
reducible; but it ,woud seem to
add up to an intermittently-re-
peated sentence familiar to the
very rich: "Why do people feel
and think like this?"
I do not mean that either is an
indecisive man; each has his polls
and the polls give answers of a
sort. The thing we shall miss the
most will be the confrontation of
men occasionally troubled by
doubts answerable by less-ordered
* * *
PRESIDENT Eisenhower seems
generally a model of indifference;
but even he could not conceal a
few years ago the torment of won-,
dering what a good Republican
soldier could do about Joe Mc-
Carthy. The President settled for
not inviting McCarthy to the
White House, which was petty,
but at least displayed some capa-
city for uncalculating human
pique. And the nostalgia which
prevailed for Adlai Stevenson
throughout the Democratic con-
vention came, I think, from the
recognition by those who clung
to him that he is a more troubled,
more p.ncalculating human being
that the President is, let alone bis
Stevenson, for example, beat
Kennedy on style throughout the
Democratic convention. It can
realistically be argued that a man
who has the votes can afford to
sacrifice the style to someone else;
but I cannot imagine Kennedy a
enjoying the deficiency. Yet it is
a deficiency that will be apparent
for a long time - not just when
he is confronted, as he was in

the case of Stevenson, with the
mystical presence reluctant to
depart, but on all future occasions
where he is asked to respond to
a poetic ioment.
We can find no better instance
of this want than the civil rights
issue, which is the only domestic
issue which may be described as
pregnant with poetic responses.
Stevenson's response to it in 1956
was to be torn between his aware-
ness of the justice of Negro as-
pirations and his friendship with
white Southerners like John Battle
and Luther Hodges, who say one
think in public and quite some-
thing else in private. He so iden-
tified himself with their conflicts
as to be rendered almost inactive.
One reason why the civil rights
platform of the 1956 Democratic
platform was so deplorable was
that Stevenson could not find the
will to fight for a better one.
* * *
SENATOR Kennedy handsomely
remedied that defect in Los An-
geles this year; he goes, by his
own wish, into the campaign with
the strongest civil rights plank
that the Democratic Party has
ever written, Yet there is no es-
caping 'the recognition that he
played his part in that plank
merely because he had counted
noses and knew what he had to
do. Having made that proper re-
sponse, Senator Kennedy went
to a pre-convention rally of the
National Association for the Ad-
vancement saf Colored People to
claim his reward from those pres-
ent. He entered with a guard force
of house Negroes.
Kennedy had changed over the

past four years, as most politicians'
had changed; even so, he showed
himself particularly insensitive to
the reason why. But the reason
why was the essence of the change,
After all, the rational issues were
the same in 1956 as in 1960; inte-
gration was then as now the law
of the land; our world posture,
in the wake of the Till . and
Autherine Lucey cases, was hardly
less embarrassing then than now.
The difference, I think, was the
Southern lunch counter sit-ins.
Young people in segregated col-
leges had begun the direct as-
sertion of their dignity. It was the
least political of methods; nothing
could have been farther-from their
calculations than the vision of
themselves in Los Angeles as arch-
itects of the political platform of
a party for which most of them
are too young to vote and from
which, in many cases, their
fathers and mothers are debarred
from voting.
Yet that is what they have done;
as the only new factor in a very
old situation, they have managed
to make the politicians under-
stand that there are persons to
whom this issue means something.
* * *
ONE DAY last spring Senator
Kennedy was addressing an aud-
lence which had loudly cheered
Hubert Humphrey for suggesting{
that the Southern lunch counter
strikers represented the America
of Lexington and Concord. Senator
Kennedy said that he was for
civil rights everywhere and that
included the right of every citizen
to drink Coca Cola and anywhere
he wanted to. He offered the word
"Coca Cola" as though it were a
flag and a signal for automatic
applause; the response was all,
from the stage. He had reduced
the material of epics to a mere
physical thirst. Nothing more in-
dicates his peculiar deafness to
tones; he can offer any response
short of the poetic.
Senator Kennedy, with that
frankness which is his most en-
gaging characteristic, has said that
in these matters he has the dis-
advantage of his environment; he
has never known enough Negroes
to know how they think . Yet the
civil rights issue is only a reflec-
tion of what Negroes think. What
they think, in the special cases4
of those Negroes who have forced
their ways into our history, may
be something more mystical than
the considerations of ordinary
politics: it is the response of a
special minority to the terrible
recognition that we are yet an
imperfect country.
It is that minority which Steven-
son touched and held long after
he was a figure of power, and
which Nixon and Kennedy face,
incapable of recognition and
response. It is the minority which
has so often fed this country from
below, choked almost since the
war, but rising again.
* *
THEIR DEAFNESS to tone lias
been described by close and not"
unfriendly students of Nixon and
Kennedy as an absence of per-
sonal passion. It has come even
to be spoken of as a strong quality

of detachment. Neither, it has
been said, suffers from the handi-
cap of being a vindictive man. But
the absence of honest rancor is,
after all, a quality of professional
All this is rather odd in Ken-
nedy's case, because he has so
obviously taken for his model
Franklin Delano Roosevelt, or at
least the Roosevelt who won four
straight elections. The parallels'
with 1932 were all over Los Angeles
-the pleasant young man, the
strong but somehow disembodied
voice, even the atmosphere of a
convention which felt cheated and
bruised, even Adlai Stevensgn as
Al Smith, and Lyndon Johnson as
John Nance Garner. If I had a
doubt for John F. Kennedy's im-
mediate future, it would arise from
the sense that those who imitate'
history are condemned to be for-
gotten by it.
Yet, if there is one thing lacking
to the parallel, it is Roosevelt's
sense of and apjpreciation for that
America which is fed from below.-
* * *
SENATOR Kennedy is disad-
vantaged by having served the
most conspicuous part of his public
life in the United States Senate,
probably the most insulated na-
tional institution left in America.
He is also disadvanted in his as-
sociations; there is no Eleanor
Roosevelt in his family; and Mrs.
Roosevelt, argue how you will
about the unbroken perfection of
her vision, has the unique capacity
of always looking below with in-
satiable curiosity.
The business charts will be
better, but a President Kennedy
will at least share with President \
Roosevelt a problem, less often.
mentioned, but not much less im-
portant than the bank closures
and the great lines of the un-
Franklin Roosevelt became Pre-
sident at a time when the creative

minority of American culture was
in conspicuous flight from politics.
The creative intelligence in Amer-
ica in 1932 was watching farmers
break up sheriff's sales, and
cherishing hopeless little unions
of auto workers and coal miners;
it did not look to Washington.
Now we have laws and intitqtions
to meet the troubles of society;
but these institutions arouse
neither the sympathy nor the
identification of the creative
minority, which had returnedd to
the anorcho-syndicalist mood of
1932, to a place outside society and
public agencies-to picketing for
Caryl Chessman, to marching
against atomic bomb installations,
to sitting down in lunchrooms.
* *.* *
THIS IS NOT a piit trans-
mutable on the paper of polls or
charts. Yet it is vastly consequen-
tial. Without the response of such
persons, it is hard to see how
any President can have a serious
historical effect.
I had never quite understood
the impact of PresidentRoosevelt's
Administration until I went to
Hyde Park and the Roosevelt Li-
brary and the custodian- fell to
talking about why it was so large.
"We had to make it big," he said,
"to make it hold all the papers.
Roosevelt was the first President
to whom people sat down-some-
times by the light of a coal miner's
lamp-and wrote directly about
their 'problems."
That, I think, is the essential.
taunting difference. Senator Ken-
nedy is, of course, not entirely
without resources of the spirit
within his family; there is the
instance of his brother Robert.
Robert is not a vastly popular
figure; it has been said aagainst
him, as an example, that he is
vindictive where his brother is not.
But that is a measure of human
Robert Kennedy respesents, in
his way, the survival of the spirit.
John Kennedy owes him much
and not the least Jimmy Hoffa,
who was, however reluctantly, as
much a President-maker as any-
one in Los Angeles.
Robert Kennedy began inves-
tigating ,Hoffa for want of any-
thing eles to do as general counsel
of the Senate' Committee on
Government Operations. He pro-
ceeded into that Jungle without.
guides or experience. But. there
are persons so constituted that
they can go nowhere without some
piece of faith to serve for light.
Robert Kennedy is a Catholic; and
naturally he sought his faith there.
It is the difference between his
brother, the Senator, and himself,
the difference between those who
are only properly oriented and
those who are truly involved. I
think that one of the reasons for
the decline of our society. whic$
has brought us to Kennedy and
Nixon has been our refusal to
understand the proper place irra-
tionality has in most valuable
human endeavor.
IN THIS spirit, Robert Ken-
nedy became for his, journey a
Catholic trade unionist. IHe looked
at the labor racketeers as upon
men who had betrayed a priest-
hood;' he ended up, thinking of
Jimmy Hoffa's as acompany union
and of Jimmy Hoffa's friends in
industry as strike-breakers; In
shoft, he became, for the occasion,
a Catholic radical.
I remember feeling the differ-
ence between them one morn'hg
when the Senator came into Ro-
bert Kennedy's office in the
rackets committee. It was the
morning of a hearing; the fit was
on Robert Kennedy; his brother
was as charmingly detached as
ever. "Well, Bobby," he Inquired,
what shall I ask these fellows?"
That is the whole point; Senator
Kennedy is one of those to whom
men who care haveto-give the

rBoth Kennedy and Nixon are
receptive :meth; as Shaw almost
said in another connection, they
can tell a story well, provided
someone else tells it to them first.
They bring detachment to all
doubts and all endeavors except
the endeavor of winning elections.
One can only return the proffer
in kind and give detachment back
to both of them.
The Daily Official Bulletin is an
official publication of The Univer-
sity of Michigan for which The
Michigan Daily assumes no editorial
responsibility. Notices should be
sent in TYPEWRITTEN form to
Room 3519 Administration Building,
before 2 p.m. two days preceding



Nixon's Planning Faulty

Race An Improper Criterion For Office

AST FRIDAY Mr. Nixon made a speech at
J Beverly Hills on "The Gravest Problem Con-
onting America," which is how to "win the
ruggle for peace and freedom." But there is
ot one word in the speech saying what Mr.
ixon intends to do to win the struggle. The
hole speech is devoted to describing the ma-
pinery by which Mr. Nixon hopes to find out
ow to win the struggle.
The machinery consists of a series of com-
.ittees and conferences, and of two individuals,
r. Eisenhower and Mr. Lodge.
'HERE IS TO BE first of all a committee in
the Defense Department consisting of all the
ecretaries and the Chiefs of Staff who will tell
im, presumably unanimously, what he should
> about defense. No mention is made of the
ct that what the defense establishment and
ie country need most of all is not another
inference and more investigation, but decisions
y the President, decisions about how much to
>end, decisions about which of the services is
> do what. This proposal to sit back and hope
ibe told by the Secretaries and the Chiefs of
taff is a promise that we are going to have.
iore of the very same executive passivity and
eakness which we are now suffering from.
This passivity pervades all the rest of Mr.
ixon's proposals. He wants to have Mr. Lodge,
ot the President himself, act as Supreme Com-
.ander in all the non-military aspects of the
>ld war. Between the President and the Sec-
tary of State, between the President and the
ecretary of the Treasury, there is to be Mr.
odge. He will have no legal authority whatso-
rer to conduct the foreign policy of the United
tates. This is a recipe for building into the Ad-
inistration jealousy and confusion.
Next, Mr. Nixon would convene an "extended
eeting with perhaps a hundred men and wom-
i representing a cross section of American
fe." This mass meeting would be supposed to

NEXT,with an insatiable appetite for com-
mittees and conferences, he would have a
series of regional conferences of all the free na-
tions of Europe, Latin America. Africa, and
Asia. Their task would be to strengthen the
United Nations and the free nations "politically,
economically, socially, and militarily."
Next. he would ask the NATO states to
strengthen NATO and to coordinate and direct
aid to the under-developed countries.
Next, he would have a conference of the
heads of government of the American republics.
Next, he would have a conference with the
heads of the new African states.
Next, he would have a conference with the
heads of the Asian states.
Tomake all this fruitful and constructive and
devastating to our adversaries, he and Mr.
Lodge would participate in all these confer-
ences, and so, too, would Gov. Rockefeller if
he can find the time.
THIS IS THE WAY Mr. Nixon proposes to find
out what his foreign policies ought to be. It
is a bad way. For committees and conferences
do not propose policy. At best, they produce the
proposals, the issues, the choices, among which
the genuine executive makes his decisions. It is
highly significant that never once does Mr.
Nixon face the fact that the foreign policy of
the United States is formed by the decisions of
the President.
This extraordinary array of committees and
conferences is a device for postponing and
evading the real task of the President which si
to Judge and to decide. The oldest and most
hackneyed device of a weak government is to
appoint a committee and call a conference.
IS REVEALING SPEECH confirms the im-
pression that has grown stronger since the
TV debates began. It is that Mr. Nixon is' an in-
decisive man who lacks that inner conviction
and self-confidence which are the mark of the

Misconception- -
To The Editor:
A RECENT proposal was made
to Henry Cabot Lodge by a
Harlem political. group that he
appoint a negro to the Cabinet.
This action by the Harlem group
illustrates the facility with which
misconceptions evolve about any
Political ideal. I'm sure that
democratically - thinking people
would not ascend to the idea that
a negro be appointed to the cab-
inet, simply because he is a negro.
To the contrary, a man should
be appointed to such a high office
if and when he is intelligent and
capable enough to benefit that
position. We should not, therefore.
propose that "a negro' or "a white
man" be given a certain office or
* * *
AFTER the strong move in many
many quarters to fight for the
American ideal of equal liberties,
we are sorrily disappointed to see,
then, that those for whom we
were fighting have fallen prey to
the same weakness that has so
long plagued Americans. Our
criticisms of those who have
fallen prey to that weakness
should extend themselves not only
to those who prevent others from
their rights and opportunities, but
also to those who attempt to pro-
cure their rights and positions
solely on that basis. For their
most undemocratic and unconsti-
tutional behavior, then, let us
sharply criticize both the Harlem
group and the Klu Klux Klan.
-J. A. Kroth, '63
Competition?. ..«
To The Editor:
AX Lerner said in his editorial,
printed Thursday, Oct. 13,
1960 in the Michigan Daily, "De-

1Max Lerner's), on the parties
and issues involved.
I AM certainly not questioning
Mr. Lerner's credentials, as I know
that he is a very qualified author-
ity on the political issues of this
campaign. What I am questioning
is how you expect your subscribers,
the voters and future voters, to
decide on the issues and candi-
dates logically if they only know
one side of the case. As Seneca
said, "He who decides a case with-
out first hearing the other side,
though he decide justly, cannot.
be considered just." Can you. not
be just to us by presenting the
other side?
-Sally Jo Sawyer, '62
To The Editor:
T HAS indeed been saddening to
read Mr. Gillman's column in
the Daily in which he so cruelly
criticized the behavior of Block M.
This is an organization dear to
our hearts and it pains us grie-
vously to have to witness your
brutal attack. We cannot stand
idly by. Our obligations are now
quite clear ana when duty calls
we must and shall answer.
Of all the institutions on this
campus none are as close and as
true to tradition, the tradition that
IS Michigan, as is Block M. Even'
today the ancient symbols and
rites of Block M have been pre-
served in the original form handed
down by our forefathers eons ago.
Note the use of the Capes of
Maize and Blue; these go back
to the early legend of the Michi-
gan Matador who slew the Lan-
sing Cow with his bare feet. Note.
the splendorous color cards -all
that remains of the evil Giant
Painted Tortoise who perished in
the nearby Michigummuck Bog.
Would you put tradition to ridicule
by placing Block M in the pit of

This brings us to the next point.
You also state that "freshmen
are typically more favorably dis-
posed toward such activities as a
card cheering section than their
older and more sophisticated
fellow students." Sir, this is most
untrue. Ask anybody who was
there and you will find that the
four graduates in Block M are
the equal, nay more than the
equal, of all the rest of Block M
And finally you lament, "Let's
be realistic, this is not a 'rah-rah'
school." Of course with your at-
titude it's no wonder. Put Block
M in the end zone with the
freshies, don't wave your color-
cards, don't throw your capes,
don't raise your voice, don't cheer,
don't even bother coming to the
game-you can't see a thing from
the end zone anyway. Isn't it
* * * '
HOWEVER, your article wasn't
all bad (every cloud has a silver.
lining). You should be commended
upon your bravery in asking the
question - what worthwhile pro-
Ject could be undertaken with the
$2000 collected by Block M? May
we suggest that they GIVE US
But give us our money back or
not, we won't complain because
we're two grads that get a kick
out of (may be kicked out of)
Block M.
-Names Withheld
Herd Learning..
To the Editor:
JUST a few thoughts for those
who consider the art of note-
taking in lectures nothing more
than the needless function of a
The technique of summarizing
and analyzing knowledge is one
of the skills that I should hope

that note-taking would be consid-
ered, similarly, as an exercise in
concise thinking, in learning to
absorb class material quickly and
to express it more tersely on pa-
per. I think that any person who
considers note-taking a "copy-it-
all-down" proposition, a sort of
parrot-like repetition of the in-
structor's words with no time for
creative reflection, simply doesn't.
know how to take notes - and
might profit by learning.
SUPPOSEDLY the student sit-
ting in class, knowing that the
material is being recorded for
him, will have the opportunity to
listen to the lecture more freely.
Perhaps. I don't see how this
dormancy, however, could super-
activate anyone's mental process-
es. If anything, I think that the
student might tend to be less ac-
tively involved in the class at
I don't know if my disgust at
seeing sample: copies of lecture
being passed out to a "herd" of'
students the other day had a
"moral" basis or not. I could only
think that one hundred students,
relying en masse on another stu-
dent's interpretation of what
might be important in a lecture,
seem to represent a deletion of
any sort of creative individual ef-
fort toward the task itself.
I cannot understand such a
project being sanctioned by the

--Sally Hanson, '6L. WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 19

Foundations Shaken ..
To The Editor;*"
CCORDING to Sen. Dodd and
his so-called Internal Security
subcommittee, it is un-American
to protest against nuclear weapons
--that is, we are not allowed to
protest the violent breaking apart
of the atom. But now Sen. Dodd

General Notices
Admission Test for Graduate study
in Business: Application blanks for the
Admission Test for Graduate Study in
Business are now available in 122 Rack-
ham Bldg.rThe first administration of
the test for 1960-61 will. be on Nov. 5.
Applications must be received in Prince-
ton, New Jersey by Oct. 22.
Meeting of Prospective Rhodes Schol-
ars: Richard Pfaff, recent Rhodes Schol-
a(195~7-.58) and aiAs1tant in the Amern-

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