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April 17, 1960 - Image 12

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1960-04-17
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-1 ---- .7--- - 11 1 -, --pt w RWM

these mean about him as a Presi-
dent.

Nixon

and

I of ---- I. - - -j I - .1..fw . 09, Mmwi f

His

Critics:

Li beral

IS afna inae penae ni THEY ARE NOT so much con-
cerned with the charge itself
" that the Democrats are soft on
Seek To Find the Man Communism. They are more inter-
ested'in the implications such a
charge holds for the individual
Ithe Political M ask who made it. They are worried
about a man who seems to believe

Behinc

By PHILIP POWER

"F NIXON is-elected President,
I'll leave the country!"
Considering the relative politi-
cal stability of recent American
history, such threats uttered by a
surprisingly large number of the
electorate have introduced an un-
usually discordant note into the
domestic political scene.
This wide-spread dislike for Nix-
on, often verging on hatred, is all
the more disconcerting in view of
Vice-president Nixon's excellent
chances of becoming the next
President of the United States.
It is this intense partisan feel-
ing, more than any other quality,
which characterizes Nixon in the
contemporary p o1it ic a1 arena.
When Nixon is being discussed,
and the preliminary hemming and
hawing is disposed of, debate in-
variably turns not around his ex-
perience, .skill or capacities, but
around the often frighteningly in-
tense emotions he generates.
But when most anti-Nixon peo-
ple are asked exactly why they dis-
like him, one is often given the
vague reply, "I don't trust him,"
or "He's an evil man. I can feel
it." Such common responses, often
grounded entirely on impression-
istic bases, make debate surround-
ing Nixon's candidacy for the
Presidency particularly emotional
and fruitless. At present, any at-
tempt at objective analysis of the
man always acquires an emotion-
ally super-charged atmosphere.
NOT THE least of the results of
casting the Nixon debate
largely in emotive terms is that
his supporters feel called upon to
a n s w e r t h e emotionally-based
charges against him on emotional
rather than objective grounds. If
this tendency is allowed to extend
to the overall level of the national
campaign, it could easily preclude
any meaningful debate on the is-
sues at stake.
Those who argue for and those
who speak against Nixon gener-
ally choose to emphasize differing
criteria in their analyses. Those
who support him prefer to em-
phasize his undoubted skill and
seasoning in public office and the
experience which led President
Eisenhower to call him "the best
trained Vice-President in the his-
tory of the United States."
Those who oppose Nixon seek to
discuss the less directly verifiable
questions of his personality, atti-
tude toward a position of public
trust and individual ethics.
Two major attacks have been
leveled at Nixon'sconduct: a rath-
er specific question about his fi-
nancial dealings, and a more gen-
eralized criticism of his campaign
tactics and philosophy.
The "Nixon Fund" that came
to light in 1952, consisting of $18,-
000 which Nixon had accepted
from his California backers as a
supplement to his Senate salary,
set off a long and often bitter dis-
cussion of Nixon's finances and
personal ethics.
NIXON defended his acceptance
of the fund in the now-famous
"Checkers speech," w h e r e h e
claimed that accepting the money
was "morally wrong if any of that
$18,000 went to Senator Nixon for
my personal use. I say it was mor-
ally wrong if it was secretly given
and secretly handled. And I say
it was morally wrong if any of the
contributors got any special favors
for the contributions which they
have made.
"And now to answer . .. Not
one cent of the $18,000 or any
other money of that type ever
went to me for my personal use.
Every penny of it was used to pay
for political expenses."
This speech convinced Eisen-
hower and much of the nation of
Nixon's honesty in the matter, and,
according to S t e w a r t Alsop,
Philip Power is Daily edi
torial director and a senior in

the literary college. I

"transformed Nixon from a youth-
ful would-be Throttlebottom into
the really major political figure
he has been ever since."
However, doubts still remain in
the minds of the anti-Nixon camp.
For example, of those contribu-
ting to the fund, real-estate, man-
ufacturing, and oil interests were
in the large majority. Nixon's vot-
ing record on public housing, cor-
poration taxation, labor and off-
shore oil has uniformly tended to
favor exactly these interests.

important, no-holds-barred strug-
gle for votes, he has ignored the
basic ethical considerations which
are essential even in politics and
subverted any rational utility any
campaign might have.
These charges on campaign tac-
tics center around a multitude of
incidents, some real, some large-
ly imagined. Critics point to three
particular cases:
1) In 1950, Nixon distribuated a
"pink sheet," linking his oppon-
ent for a California Senate seat,

.

litical purposes, without any sub-
stantial proof being brought for-
ward at the same time.
3) In 1954, Nixon described the
issues of the campaign as "Korea,
Communism, corruption, and con-
trols. This terrible foursome of
deep trouble for our Nation spelled
battlefield deaths in a war that
apparently had no ending."
Critics charge that such patent
oversimplification and emotional-
ism destroy any possibility for
rational meaningful debate in a
campaign. They further claim that
it leads to a press-agent-controlled
race for office, in which state-
ments and charges are made with
the headlines they might get f ore-
most in mind, and with little or
no concern for the facts and real
issues.

in all areas before 1956, citing his
questionable campaign methods,
financial dealings and a host of
other alleged inadequacies.
On the other hand, Nixon sup-
porters prefer to emphasize Nix-
on's achievements since 1956,
when a "reformed" Nixon suppos-
edly gained statesmanlike stature
in his world tours and vigorous
governmental leadership during
and after Eisenhower's illnesses.
IN SUCH A debate, Nixon's sup-
porters are usually forced to,
admit that Nixon may have been
guilty of some indiscretions in
the past. However, they then assert
that the "old" Nixon is no more,
but that he has now "reformed."
They point to his increased matur-

the process of winning more im-
portant than what one does when
one has won. They are frightened
of a man who may have willingly
subordinated means to ends.
They are worried about a man
who can say, "I can sell in the
mass. But asking some individual
to vote my way, for example, I'm
no good at that." And they fear
a man who conceives a political
campaign in terms of selling and
not in terms of discussion of is-
sues.
They mistrust a man who be-
lieves that one must be a politi-
cian first and a statesman second.
They have misgivings about a
man whose conscience is his ac-
complice and not his guide in his
dealings with interest groups. They
are frightened when they hear a
man say, "I try to be candid with
newspapermen, but I can't really

former Rep. Helen Gahagan Doug-
H1OWEVER, even such a critic as las, with the late ultra-leftist Rep.
William Costello (author of a Vito Marcantonio of New York.
biography of Nixon, The Facts The sheet asked: "Would Califor-
About Nixon) admits "Nixon was nia send Marcantonio to the Sen-
not bribed. The fund did not in ate?" and purported to demon-
any conscious way compromise strate a more than coincidental
his integrity or independence." similarity between the voting rec-
But Costello then goes on to ords of the two.
present a quote from a biograph- This contention was attacked
ical sketch by William V. Shan- vigorously. Charges of innuendo
non which illustrates clearly the and dirty politics were made, and
lingering worry the incident en- Nixon received for the first time
gendered: "He (Nixon) was not the nickname, "Tricky Dick."
a man of independent views enter- It now seems highly unlikely
ing politics in the conventional that Mrs. Douglas was either a
way and then 'bought off' by the Communist or one of their tools,
vested interests . . . A man can willing or unwilling. Even Repub-
be compromised only if he makes licans admit it was unfortunate
a conscious choice between his own that Nixon should have chosen to
moral standard and that of others. resort to tactics approaching per-
When the standards coincide, sonal slander to win the campaign.
there is no need for choice and Nixon himself recognized the dif-
no sense of guilt . . . ficulties the incident caused him
"Arthur Balfour, the British when he remarked, in response to
statesman, once remarked of an a question asking an explanation
opponent that 'his conscience is of .his campaign against Mrs
not his guide but his accomplice.' Douglas, "I'm sorry about that
It would be melancholy if such a episode. I was a very young man."
phrase were ever applied to an '
American President." 2) In the 1952 campaign, Nix-
Nixon's supporters assert that on said that President Truman,
acceptance of the fund involved Secretary ) of State Acheson and
no wrong-doing and find ."Nixon Adlai Stevenson "are traitors
blameless of any moral guilt. On to the high principles in which
the other hand, his opponents, many of the Nation's Democrats
while accepting the assertion that believe. Real Democrats are out-
he was not guilty of any explicit I raged by the Truman-Acheson-
crime, prefer to emphasize the Stevenson gang's toleration and
questions concerning Nixon's mor- defense of Communism in high
als and ethics that the incident places."
brought up. The close juxtaposition of "trai-
tor" and "defense of Communism
ANOTHER major area of criti- in high places" angered many, for
cism has centered around Nix- the speech implied, although did
on's campaign tactics. Critics not directly state, that Truman &
charge that Nixon has repeatedly Co. were traitors. It was pointed
indulged in campaigns of over- out by many critics that the heat
simplication, innuendo and near- -of the campaign could excuse
slander, and that in viewing the much, but not calling a political
political campaign as a supremely I opponent a traitor solely for po-

ity, his unmatched leadership1 em airdwit noe
IXON himself sees campaign yNot really with anyone, not even
tactics as a function of the training under political pressure my own family."
tacic a a untin o te as a member of the Eisenhower .
necessity of winning the race. "I administration, and his increased It is Nixon the man who is mis-
believe there is only one sure-fire awareness of the consequences trusted and feared, not Nixon the
formula for victory .. . We must and ethics of his actions. And they Vice-President, the Senator, e
start with the basic cliche, that accuse Nixon's critics of sterile, world-traveller, not even Nixon
an individual must be a politician politically motivated smear tac- the politician and campaigner. For
before he can be a statesman . . . tics when they attempt to dig up all these roles are derivative from
As my critics are very much aware, his political background. and dependent on Nixon the es-
I believe in vigorous sharp debate Ts sential man.
during a political campaign," heTsaying that the purpose of cam- And such personal mistrust puts
saidin1958.gcdamn-hs Nixon himself in an almost hope-
saidin 158.paign is to determine the issues less bind trying to answer it. For
Again, Nixon said in defense of and to better understand the men hescfotd rega swht he
his Checkers speech, "My concern involved. And they assert that the henceforth, regardless of what he
throughout was motivated by a Nixon of today is essentially the says or does, he will always be in-
coldblooded political judgment of same person as the Nixon of the terpreted in an unfriendly way by
what was best for the ticket, and Helen Gahagan Douglas campaign his critics. Such is what happens
that was why it was a pretty emo- or the Checkers speech. when reaction to a political figure
tional talk." Understanding a man involves hen eactio htsolitif
It is exactly these assertions, much more than merely examin-
that political considerations must Ing his statements and actions of
come before statesmanship and today. Rather it involves a care- THeANTI-N asOnforces may
everything else, that worry Nix- ful and (hopefully) dispassionate unrealistic nin basing so much
on's opponents. They fear tha t their concern on matters of:
analysis of Nixon's behavior and
Nixon has allowed the end of elec- motives, now and in the past. Nix- ethics, personality and conscience.
tion victory to dominate the way on's critics claim that it is im- But, they ask, whereifdnotmncna-
his campaigns are conducted. They possible for a man to undergo in uchnconsiderationsvalPresidencyare
fear (in the words of The Reporter only five or six years the change such cnieatins vali? Ehc
magazine) that Nixon is a"poli- some claim for Nixon. And they one of the two most important po-
tician who regarded winning elec- hold that one of the truest indica- one of he m hs iortd po-:
tions as a politician's first and tions of a man's character and at- stak o er i
most important function, and who titude is his past words and deeds, sk
was willing to use all the tricky not present claims. Any discussion of Nixon and the
debating techniques which he had And in saying that it is the man Presidency involves implicitly or:
learned as a boy to that end." A behind the press-agent-created explicitly a discussion of what the
man who is not only capable, but mask that they want to discover, ideal President should be, and a
willing, to subordinate means to the anti-Nixon forces are coming comparison of Nixon with this
ends is clearly dangerous to the to the real heart of their dislike ideal.
nation, Nixon'c critics reason. for him. For at bottom, what they The comparison is a difficult
When discussion turns to Nix- fear and mistrust is not Nixon's and complicated one. And it is one
on's performance in office and in performance as a public official or that the Political pundits have
his campaigns, another equally even the specific facts of his cam- en struggling vareid, the ed to
deep split in emphasis emerges be- paign techniques. What they fun- oCandidates, 1960, a series of bi-
ogaensNixon's supporters and his damentally are concerned about is ofCnd ofte19 aj candi-
critics. The anti-Nixon group lays Nixon the man, his attitude, his .datehtas saidThe ma rueon
special stress on Nixon's conduct ethics, his conscience, and what: thumb I have been able to come up
with is that of the rule of the men
and the boys:
"'The boys In politics are those
individuals who want position in
order to BE something. The men
are those who want position in or-
der to DO something.".
And those who dislike Nixon fear
even more that he may well be
one of the boys of politics.
Nixon is presently running as a
full and experienced member of
the Eisenhower administration. In
spite of his support for the poli-
cies of that administration, Nixon
has shown signs that he does not
entirely agree with all its positions.
BUT NIXON has not, up to this:
date, presented clearly his own:
philosophy of government or of-
flee. Various segments of the Re-
publican party claim him simul-
taneously as a true liberal and a
real conservative. Nixon has so
far seemed disinclined to present
the voting public with an unequi-'
vocal statement of his true politi-
cal colors.
Nixon foes take great glee in re-
telling the story, told by William
Costello, of a campaign meeting
:. in California which Nixon ad-
dressed. A particularly noisy, ob-
noxious heckler was threatening
to completely disrupt the meeting.
At last Nixon turned on him and
shouted, "When we're elected,
we'll take care of people like you!
Okay, boys, throw him out!"
Perhaps they're afraid of being
thrown out themselves.
SUNDAY, APRIL 17. 1960

Pro and
(These quotations are relirint
by William Costello, pub]
Political positions have alu
and it v as the right time and t
A little man in a big burr)
And speaking for a tinani
publican Chief Justice, Earl W74
gation in the nation's schools.
A man u-ho uwill exploit f&
does not have within his conscie
try has the right to expect in th
There is no man In the his
a careful preparation as has Vice
the duties of the Presidency, if
I do not consider a Peps<
actor's perfection uith lines, no
fications for high office.
The cons iction of Alger .
persistence alone. At last the st
government has been exposed b>
Apparently he is a man W)
he does not understand why, af
not simply forgive and forget.
bead that there are some thin'
to go on peacefully after an ele

You're my boy.

So far as we are concerned

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