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June 13, 1968 - Image 4

Resource type:
Michigan Daily, 1968-06-13

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Eh Et eian Bty
Seventy-seven years of editoril freedom
Edited and managed by students of the University of Michigan
under authority of Board in Control of Student Publications

420 Maynard St., Ann Arbor, Mich.,

News Phone: 764-0552

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




Chapter two:
Rocky rides again

Ging a come-from-behind play for the
Republican nomination and while the
moment - given the inner logic of
Rockefeller's campaign - is theoretical-
ly perfect, his chances for success are
not good.
All the signs indicate that Rockefeller
is moving now. The first of a series of full
page advertisements in newspapers across
the country appeared yesterday, and the
candidate delivered a $75,000 television
speech last night. In an interview with
the New York Times, Rockefeller said
he considers the next ten days the cru-
cial, all-or-nothing period in his cam-
paign to deny Richard Nixon the nomin-
ation. And as Times executive editor
James Reston noted, "The death of Rob-
ert Kennedy seems to have startled Nel-
son Rockefeller out of his trance."
The timing of Rockefeller's new move
is strategically important. He vacillated
on the sidelines during the early months
of this year on the theory that the con-
test in November would be between John-
son and Nixon. The pros and the polls
agreed Nixon couldn't win that race. All
Rocky had to do was allow Nixon's loser
image to manifest itself so clearly that
the pros would have to turn to the New
York governor as the man who could beat
IT WAS A neat theory. Only two things
stopped it from working: President
Johnson's withdrawal on March 31, and
Nixon's surprisingly strong showing in
the mid-spring polls. It was no longer a
Nixon-Johnson race, and Nixon was no
longer a loser.
Thus, for the past few months Rocke-
feller's campaign has floundered in a
spiritual limbo. He has appeared bland
and unimpressive. His only major re-
cent efforts - a swing through the South
after- a 12-year absence, and his New.
Orleans meeting with California's Gov.
Ronald Reagan - were roundly (and
rightly) criticized.

More than anything else, it is the death
of Robert Kennedy which has inspired
Rockefeller to make one last spirited
stab. For once again it is a Johnson-
Nixon race, with Hubert Humphrey play-
ing Lyndon Johnson. And now the John-
son-Nixon race will be run as a nightcap
to the strong shovings of both Eugene,
McCarthy and Robert Kennedy in the
popular primaries, an irony so bitter that
even the normally restrained columnists
are wondering whether otir democratic
processes are working. Rockefeller can
now step in as the one man'both able and
willing to cop the support of McCarthy
and Kennedy supporters should the
Democrats (as seems inevitable) nom-
inate Humphrey.
THESE FORCES - the minorities and
many of the students and young vot-
ers, the left-liberal suburbanites and the
opponents of the war -- could be the
swing bloc in the election. Unless Rocke-
feller is nominated, many of them will
hold their noses and vote for Humphrey,
for they will have nowhere else to go.
Rockefeller's selling card with the pros
is his ability to attract these voters.
Furthermore, Nixon's popularity in the
polls has dropped again. Where earlier
Nixon was winning every possible pairing
of candidates, the most recent Gallup
poll shows Humphrey beating Nixon.
Humphrey also leads Rockefeller, but by
a smaller margin. For Rocky, Nixon's
loser image couldn't return to haunt him
at a more auspicious time.
Nevertheless, Rockefeller is a dark,
dark horse. Most of the Republican dele-
gates are already safely in the Nixon
camp. Although it is true both that
Rockefeller will be in a good position to
pick up dissident Democrats and also that
there are rumblings in the nation over
the prospect of a Humphrey-Nixon
choice, Republican delegates in the past
few years have never been known to be
the niost high-minded and public-spirit-
ed of men.

Appropriations dialogue
t e&
t 1. ,

Robert Kennedy,
NINE DAYS AGO, my name appeared affixed to an editorial on this
page which called Robert Kennedy "the consummate Machiavel-
lian man, the perfect politician without principles, the archtypal real-
ist who would use any person, change any stance, capitalize on any
hope to enhance his personal cause."
And then, just after'midnight on the day that editorial appeared,
Robert Kennedy was shot, in an incredible journey back to events of
four and a half years ago. Initial shock, almost disbelief, then a rush
to get what was indeed vital news into a newspaper that already closed
for the night. The Daily was on the streets four hours late, the staff
that stayed around to help was too fatigued to react in any way.
Now, after the death that many felt was sure to come even after
the first, somewhta optimistic news reports, after the stark grace of the
funeral, after thousands of eulogies poured forth from men and news-
papers across the country, there finally comes reaction to Robert Ken-
nedy's death-and the sure memory of words spoken a week earlier.
NO, I DON'T THINK there is any reason at all to apologize, or re-
nege, or retract. Robert Kehnedy's death, though, must be measured
not in terms of his public self, not in terms of the good or evil that he
may have caused in his time as a politician, not in terms of unwise
associations or imprudent acts he may have committed in his years as
a public man.
The editorialists who a little over one week ago were viciously at-
tacking Robert Kennedy the congressional counsel, the attorney general
and the senator, who had deplored his public activity for one reason
or another, are now calling him, in terms of those same functions, new
Where before he was "ruthless," now he was "dedicated" or "de-
termined." Where before he was a "brat," now he was "eager." Where
before he was "fiendish," now he was "scrappy." It reminds me of
Sen. Russell Long of Louisiana who, on the floor of the Senate in early
April called Martin Luther King "a rabble-rouser." A week later, Dr.
King, in Long's eyes, became A Great American.
BUT, STILL, there remains for those who had criticized a dead
man the opportunity to speak of him on new terms, in a perspective
that had never been tapped before because it was basically apocryphal.
As with any national figure, there were two sides of Robert Kennedy,
one grossly open and communally viewed by millions of television-glaz-
ed eyes, another intensely personal and only fully realized and under-
stood by very few. I cannot at all place myself in that latter category,
because my exposure to Robert Kennedy was basically the same as that
of any other news-conscious American. But I did, on one occasion, have
a glimpse of Robert Kennedy outside of the arena.
This view came on the weekend of May 4-5, in Indianapolis, as
Kennedy was gearing for the Indiana primary. His private polls, cor-
rectly showed him considerably far ahead of Sen. Eugene McCarthy
and Gov. Roger Branigin, and he was enjoying the last twodays of the
feverish campaign. I was in the press corps, made up mostly of cor-
respondents from national magazines and major newspapers who were
on permanent campaign assignment to cover Kennedy. On Saturday,
those few of us who were what most of the other newsmen refer to as
"weekend experts" got a chance to see why the full-time writers en-
joyed covering Kennedy.




Letters to the Editor

Zenith Beautiful air-conditioned apart-
To the Editor: ments' was the promise Summit
T lIE PLIGHT of the student made last year when we signed
tenant in this academic com- our 12-month lease-an abomina-
munity is a much publicized one, tiontwhich can never be suffi-
though half therstory will never ciently lambasted. The agency also
be told for there is neither suf- promised that they would help us
ficient newsprint nor radio time to sublet our apartment for the
herald it. summer free of charge, and they
Summit is reputed to be one of repeat these charges anew while
the better realtors in the area, sitting in their air-conditioned of-
and this rating is probably just an fice as our prospective subletters-
indication of the fact that their through no efforts of theirs
holdings are nft as extensive as (drawn on by our despairinghand
some. Certainly, it does not fully enticing ads depicting sheer com-
represent the facts of the matter. fort)-try to fight their way up
We moved into Thomas Plaza the stairs and down the corridors
last August as the building was of Thomas Plaza, dodging the
just being "completed"-a mere heat-lightening and thunder-
four monhts after the start of con- storms in the stairwells, only to
struction, but then, such is not be overcome by the ghastly humid
uncommon in Ann Arbor. The inferno that awaits them at their
Apartment looked well enough: destination. We become aware of
the carpeting was plush, the fur- their presence at our portal solely
niture new, and the walls were through the sounds resulting from
"clean and white" from what we the contact of their bodies with
thought was paint, but was later the floor as they faint from the
found to be registered under the heat.
name of dri-wall and was char- Summit calls this help? BAH!!
acterized by its refusal to be The agency has been informed of
washed. the need for ventilation in the

corridors, but have not applied
themselves to the problem; rather
they have continued to apply the
seat of their pants to the seat of
s chair. When told of the problem,
an agent saia "Prop open the
doors to the stairwells on all
levels . . . we will check on your
air-conditioners . . ." Our resi-
dent manager, who has just re-
turned fiom a Continental Holi-
day, said that these doors are fire
doors and must remain closed.
Fine and dandy-leaving them
open does nothing anyway .
Yet no one has checked the air-
conditioners, no one has venti-
lated the corridors; we are simply
left to our thoughts of swimming
pools and sugar plums.
As we peel a layer of skin from
our backs with our clothing each
night, and an outrageous number
of dollars from our wallets each
month, we silently say to our-
selves: "God Bless you, Summit
Association for providing us with
a home-away-from-home."
--B. Bajer, '68 LSA
-W. Royacynewski, 68 BusAd
--W. Kumm, '68 BusAd

The last American frontier

WHATEER may have been the mo-
tives of the gunman, the shooting of
Robert Kennedy was, in an objective
sense, a political act - and for two rea-
sons. First, the Kennedy campaign,
though it clearly reflected the personal
ambitions of the head of a powerful clan,
also expressed the anguished aspirations
of the poorest and least privileged sec-
tions of American society. Candidates
must be judged not only by their per-
sonalities and formal programmes but
also by the men who flock to their sup-
port. Senator McCarthy represents 'safe'
liberals. Vice-President Humphrey is the
choice of the Democratic establishment:
the party bosses, the more hard-headed
Southern racists who do not want to
waste their votes on Wallace, right-wing
Labour and the friends of LBJ. The Ken-
nedy camp included many millions of
rank-and-file Democrats and young
people; but, more significantly, it had
attracted massive support from Negroes,
Puerto Ricans, Mexican-Americans and
poor whites in all regions except the
South. They are the Americans who have
nothing to gain from the continuance of
American society as it exists ,today, and
everything to win from radical changes
In its structure. A Kennedy presidency
was no guarantee that any, let alone all,
of their hopes would be realised. But it
would ensure that the options before
America remained open. All other candi-
dates are merely variations on the Great
American Myth - a corrupt and violent
capitalist society, masquerading under a
torrent of progressive verbiage. To re-
move Kennedy was thus to slam the
gates of hope in the faces of the poor.
The shooting raises a second question
about the nature of American society,
and perhaps a more fundamental one.
How long can the American state itself
endure the strain of violence, which in-
creasingly undermines Its political pro-
cesses? The comforting reflection that
America was itself conceived by armed

more freely available and more frequent-
ly used.
WHAT IS WORSE, this heavily-armed
and deeply divided civil population
lives in a nation which has become a
major dispenser of violence on an inter-
national scale. Coolssal firepower is daily
flourished in South-East Asia: a per.
formance watched, in colour, by Ameri-
can families gathered in their living-
rooms. The state, in the Hobbesian sense,
has always been conceived as the domes-
tic peacemaker, the strong arm which
crushes the individual's urge to settle dis-
putes by force, and obliges him to seek
the arbitration of the courts. When the
state practises violence - even genocide
- abroad, how can it preach legality at
home? If the firearm is the preferred in-
strument of public policy, how can it be
denied for the redress of private griev-
ance? The double standard might work
in a society where arms are banned to
individuals and where divisions between
classes and races are narrow. But in
America to bear arms is itself represent-
ed (falsely) as a constitutional right; and
the gross inequalities which exist there
have repeatedly proved incapable of con-
stitutional solution.
These sombre reflections occur at the
opening of a summer which, even before
the murder of Martin Luther King and
the shooting of Robert Kennedy, prom-
ised unprecedented violence. Already it
is becoming increasingly difficult for the
normal processes of electing a president
to function; there are ,well-grounded
fears that the Democratic Convention, in
smouldering Chicago, will degenerate
into bloody riot. The renoval of the
apostle of Negro non-violence, and now
the incapacity of the one presidential
candidate whose election promised struc-
tural reforms, have blocked - perhaps
completely - the avenues of constitu-
tional advance. At least, this is what mil-
lions of the deprived will feel. And mean-
while. the unremitting carnage in Viet-

r1?f. . :

SYear of disenfranchisement


BARRING any further disasters
of recent proportions, and per-
haps in spite of them, the United
States will shortly see a presi-
dential race between Vice Presi-
dent Hubert H. Humphrey and
former Vice President Richard M.
Such a contest would be a poli-
rtical disaster of unprecedented
proportions, since neither man is
in the least qualified to be Presi-
dent of the United States in 1968.
And such a contest, which would
represent the ultimate failure of
the American democratic system,
would very likely cause turmoil
unlike anything this country has
seen or dreamed possible, even in
these unsettled times.
FOUR YEARS AGO, these com-
ments would have seemed absurd.
And to most of the American elec-
torate they undoubtedly still,
However, today it is difficult to
decide whether Humphrey or Nix-
on would be the greater disaster
as President. Hubert Humphrey
came to the vice presidency with
what were, for the times, impec-
cably liberal credentials. Humph-
rey's liberalism, however, is the
liberalism of the New Deal, and
the liberalism of the New Deal,
for all the great things it accom-
plished, simply no longer is appli-
For the New Deal was designed
to alleviate a situation in which
the majority of the nation's people
were in desperate economic straits
and the enemy was the small, but
powerful and cynical, money in-
TODAY, TIE majority of the
nation's citizens are prosperous
as never before. As powerful and
cynical as the robber barons they
wished to overthrow 35 years ago,
f-o "I.. . a r-r--i- i. i-

when asked "Why then this rest-
lessness" has any fitness whatso-
ever for the post to which the
Vice President aspires. It is mere-
ly perfuming the lily to add that,
Humphrey has yet to propose s ny
program which would do any-
thing to alleviate the American
malaise of 1968.
chard Milhous Nixon are too nu-
merous to list. I, for one, dont
especially want Dick Nixon to kick
around again. Yet, if Nixon"were
elected, there would be reasonable
assurance that there would be a
break with the policies of the
Johnson years. Nixon is a con.-
servative to Humphrey's liberal;
their programs and philosophies
are equally irrelevant to the Am-
erican condition.
A Nixon-Humphrey "race, thus,
would effectively disenfranchisej
millions of Americans, particular-
ly the 20 million American blacks,
whose social position is most des-
perate and who clearly have the
least to lose in the destruction of
a political process which has serv-
ed them so ill for 350 years.
Twice since the assassination of
Sen. Robert Kennedy I have been
told, once by a Negro community
worker in Monroe, once by a near-
ly illiterate janitor, "Every time
we get someone who cares about
us, they kill him. And the new lib-
eral to new left youth who have
been the prime movers behind
what little change has occured re-
cently in the political sphere
might add, "Every time we get
someone who is in touch, who
seems on the verge of a major
breakthrough, he is taken from
KENNEDY WAS not laid to
rest when the ever-popular "nut"
theory of assassination was served
ii n o -nin nvrv,.y,4-'. mn 11., T

the barrel of a gun and in this
case, the veto power possessed by
some politicians is much more ef-
fective in preventing change than
the power of bullets.
I speak only for myself, 1"ut I
say I will no longer sit by passive-
ly while I am progressively dis-
enfranchised by the Great Middle
I WILL NOT accept a choice be-
tween a troglodyte corporation
conservative and an erstwhile liG-
eral who served without protest
in an administration where the
Secretary of Agriculture turned
back more than $200 million un-
spent dollars while men, woraen
and children die of malnutrition
in the richest country in the
I will no longer accept the sub-
jugation of conscience to political
expediency. Eventually the mur-
mur of conscience rises to a scream
that can no longer be silenced by
waiting for things to get better.
We cannot wait any longer.
I cannot and I )Vill not.
If the political powers that be
Insist on maintaining their pre-
sent game of the politics of imme-
diate expediency, there is no
choice but to go outside' the pre-
sent political structure for solu-
tions. If it will take an extrapar-
liamentary opposition in the Wes-
tern European style, while I would
rather not see it come to that, so
be it.
I will never forget the hundreds
of people who stood on a Godfor-
saken railroad platform in Balti--
more and quietly and spontaneous-
ly sung their feelings while the
Kennedy funeral train passed.
Any country that produces such
people cannot be all bad.
The situation is not hopeless.
Rt. uhn+ i. nn.AamA 4i a aaAd. parhn

THE MAN - not the politician - had formless grace. There was
an airy glide to his manner, even when being touched and grasped by
the Indianapolis ghetto crowds. Unpredictable, remarkably sure in this
unpredictability in fact, he appeared pristine and innocent. His grin
came faster than any other I have ever seen. His ad-libbed joshing with
a tipsy heckler was almost embarrassingly good-natured. His failure to
ever "let down his guard" was mostly because he never bothered to
construct one. His manner was entirely fluid, adaptable, and honest.
The most telling incident which I observed took place around five
D'clock that Saturday afternoon. The campaign entourage had already
been bruised by brief stops throughout Indianapolis at over 10 street
corner rallies, many of them in Negro areas where the crowds were op-
pressively large and exuberant. After one such rally at a shopping cen-
ter, the candidate, his aides, the ten or 12 "Athletes for Kennedy"
(Roosevelt Grier, Herb Adderly, Deacon Jones, a few lesser names), and
the 100 or so newsmen and photographers retired to the banquet room
in a suburban restaurant, where we were greeted by a lavish spread of
cold beef, pastrami, potato salad and a very, very open bar - all at
the expense of the Kennedy organization. Of course, we took advantage
of the respite from the crowds - and, to be sure, the repetitiveness of
the candidate's speeches - and the forty-minute pause was quite en-
joyable. Particularly for one reason:
ABOUT TEN MINUTES before we were to board the press bus
again, Sen. Kennedy came out of his private room, stopping at tables
along the way to chat with one newsman or another, to introduce him-
self to those he hadn't met and to joke with those he knew well. He
stopped at the table that was encircled by the massive athletes, and
socked Roosevelt Grier, who is incredibly large, in the right arm.
"Getting tired, old timer?" is what Kennedy followed his jab with.
Grier proceeded to glare at Kennedy like a mischievous grizzly bear,
and punched the small, frail candidate right back. It was very surpris-
ing, and Grier, who was in the limelight last week as "a close friend
of the family," had only recently met Kennedy, barely knew him,
surely held him in some of the awe due a presidential candidate. But
his response was invited. Kennedy, by his very nature, had the remark-
able facility of being able to make a stranger feel like the oldest of
friends. He passed this along to the crowds on the campaign, and he
passed this along to those like me, who went to Indiana - and left
there - very much opposed to his candidacy, to his politics, and to his
style. When I came back, my opinions were the same, but the "private
"Kennedy" I had so briefly seen made me almost feel guilty for feeling
as I did. And this was his grace, what Norman Mailer called his
"passion," what made him a very formidable presidential candidate, but
also a very weak one. His "human-ness'" was unlike that of any other
candidate I have seen, and with its cordiality it also connoted a falli-
bility that does not fit the image of the great leader. It made you very
easily believe that this man, like you or me, could do bad things.
BUT THE bad things that Kennedy may or may not have done are
not now worthy of discussion. Now, "the Machiavellian man"' that he
may have been becomes vulgarly irrelevant. That he was, indeed, a


"man" is all that matters.

*. But first, time out for a commercial !'


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