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October 12, 1979 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 1979-10-12

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Page 4-Friday, October 12, 1979-The Michigan Daily

Kennedy antagonists and protagonists: r

Ebe Sidigan BaiIy
Ninety Years of Editorial Freedom

Youngest Kennedy offers leadership

. . .

Vol. LXXXX, No. 32

News Phone: 764-0552

Edited and managed by students at the University of Michigan

Remembering Dr.

King

eleven years later

T HOSE WHO bemoan the slow pace
of government might find fuel for
their cause in the case of one bill in-
troduced in Congress by Rep. John
Conyers (D-Detroit) eleven years ago.
That bill, which Conyers introduced
four days after the 1968 assassination
of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.,
would make Dr. King's birthday the
nation's'10th federal holiday.
That the civil rights leader's accom-
plishments to world peace are finally
being recognized after a decade is
enough cause for some solace. And
that those accomplishments are finally
being acknowledged in Dr. King's own
countFy, more than a decade after his
commitment and dedication to peace
were rewarded by the Nobel Prize
Foundation is also in itself good news
for those whose lives were made better
by King's relentless fight for equality
for all.
But by that same token, that such an
obvious tribute to such a great and
deserving American should come only
after 11 years should cause each one
whose life was touched by Dr.
King-and that includes most
Americans-to shed a tear for the
American system of government by
procrastination.
It is also ironic that Dr. King him-,
self, in his own plight to raise the
nation's consciousness and force us to
live up to our ideals, was confronted
with the same inefficiency and gover-
nment malaise that has held up the
requisite tribute for the man 11 years
after his death. If Dr. King had one
fault, it was that he refused to
acknowledge that change could-not

come immediately and that even those
on his side, the side of equality and
peace, were too often confronted by a
stubborn and intransigent system em-
bodied in our national way of doing
things. King had no tolerance for
procrastination in the pursuit of simple
social justice.
So just as much of the long-overdue
legislation for which King fought was
bottled up in that slow-moving system
until after his death, so did the one bill
to acknowledge his accomplishments
meet a similar fate until only this
week. So has been the fate of other
pr9gressive legislation in a system
buit on the premise of gradual, in-
cramental change. So is currently the
f-ate of other attempts to institute
sweeping social change, at the
moment, in a system rooted in
tradition and slow to move except
when shoved by the most extreme of
catalysts. It took the great depression
to create a climate receptive to social
security, it took mass demonstrations
in the south to create a voting rights
bill in the 1960s, and it took a major
efiergy crisis and a summer of long
gasoline lines to create at least the
consensus that a national energy
policy is the next major item on the
national agenda.
It- took 11 years for the House Post
Office and Civil Service Committee to
bring the Conyers bill out to the floor.
Now, with just a little hope that the
system can overcome its own lack of
inertia, maybe, just maybe, the banks,
schools, and post offices will be closed
next January 15 in honor of the late Dr.
King.

President Carter and his ad-
visors have misread two political
phenomena, one which is par-
ticular to our time, and another
which is enduring. They are two
reasons why Edward Kennedy
likely will be elected president
next year.
First, people in America are
not suffering from a malaise of
spirit, as Carter recently
claimed. What we are suffering
from is repressed goodwill.
Second, we do not need "a
government as good as its
people," because Americans are
both "bad" and "good", that is,
we are as apt to define our in-
terests narrowly as we are to
define them broadly.
IN THE upcoming presidential
campaign, these may be the
deciding factors. People may hot
choose only on the "issues,"
which in a campaign are often
slogans and distorted ones at
that, or even on "personalities"
which can be the media's
creations.
Americans will elect their next
president because of something
we feel inside. If the 1960's were a
decade of the romantic which in
the end was disappointed and
betrayed, the. 1970's were a
decade where generosity was out
of style.
In three months this decade
will be over. Good riddance.
Narrow - self-interest will not
disappear on January 1, but the
question is, what is coming for

the 1980's? If it is goodwill, it will
be Edward Kennedy.
No one doubts that President
Carter is a good man; he just has
not been able to bring it out in the
rest of us. That is what Roosevelt
and Churchill were able to do,.
and it is the essential task of the
political leader.

By John Ellis

worked under Jimmy Carter
because the participan-
ts-organized lobbies, the
Congress, geographical regions,
each of us-have been talking
"take."
Why will Edward Kennedy
bring out the "givhe," which
remains one-half of the American

"No one doubts

that President

Carter is a good man; he just has
not been able to bring it out in

the rest of
Roosevelt a

us. That is what
nd Churchill were

Hunter Thompson in The
Rolling Stone once spoke of the
duality which is the peculiar
character of the Americgn
nation, both the souless giant and
the wellspring of hope. If that
latent desire to reach beyond our
narrow interests is tapped, w~
will elect Edward Kennedy.
ALMOST EVERYONE in this
fragmented country will find at
least one issue where we will
disagree with what his campaign
will say. Some of his positionssreb
only beginrging to emerge, but in
civil rights, the economy, foreign
policy, Kennedy's stands will
likely reflect the practical and
creative abilities he has shownin
17 years in the Senate. A
Much of what we hear now
abouthSenator Kennedy's'views
are the distortions and second
guesses of his critics. Soon we
will hear him and he will likely
speak to our heart and our will ,as
well as to our mind.
Senator Howard Baker was
only half-right when he said that
Edward Kennedy's charm will
not resolve our differences or
solve our problems. Not his
charm, but what he can get us-to
do.
John Ellis, a frequent con-
tributor to the Daily's editorial
page, was a campaign worker
for Senator Kennedy's broth er
Robert in his presidential
campaign.

able to do, and it is the essential
task of the political leader. "

In private industry, the
motivation is clear: money -
which becomes comfort, power,.
mobility, acquisition. In gover-
nment, the motivation is ser-
vice-redressing grievances,
making available. subsistence,
guaranteeing freedoms, perhaips
in the end, only minimizing the
damage. In one, it is take, in the
other, give.

character? No one fully knows
why Kennedy can inspire so
many people; we just know that
he does. When he asks, people
seem ,to want to give, not only
give to him, but give to each
other.
John and Robert Kennedy had
that ability but it does not come
from a bloodline. Each of these
men individually, with the lights
available to them at time, has
asked us not only what we need,
but what we can do to help.

GOVERNMENT

HAS NOT

t

%6.+ b ribf9
I IE '.1II.Vt KEMJOUlRNALI
0,wio :.'

Sen,. Edward M. Kennet is 4 man of many roles. as leader of the disunited left, as a legacy of the legend of his brothers, and as, many
people say, the only man who can move the country from its current state of malaise.
.0 .But is charisma alone enough?

Sometime next month, the media will have
a field day on Capitol Hill. For it will be Teddy
Kennedy Day, and the whole world will know ;
it.
Surrounded by loyal congressional leaders,
his 95-member staff, and scores of media
representatives, the Massachusetts senator
will deliver the speech he's spent months put-
ting together. As the enthusiasm, tension, and
excitement builds to a peak, Kennedy will an-
nounce his candidacy for the White House.
HE'LL TELL US he's running because the
country desperately needs a leader to cope
with the economic crises of our time. He'll tell
us Jimmy Carter is a good; honest man but is
incapable of leading the country into the
decade of restraint. He'll tell us that he is that
leader.
On that dark day for Jimmy Carter, Ted
Kennedy will be on the top of the world. The
momentum will be overwhelming; he'll be in
the headlines in every newspaper across the
country. With such a powerful mandate, the
youngest Kennedy may seem impossible to
stop.
Well, not exactly. In fact, from then on it
will be a horserace to the finish.
FOR TED KENNEDY will have to start
talking, and nearly everyone will be listening.
As a powerful senator and non-candidate, he
was a free man, immune from the media's
prosecutors, he could ramble on about how
Jimmy Carter has messed up the nation, and
nobody would disagree with him.
In May, he criticized Carter's plan to decon-
trol oil prices and call for a windfall profits
tax. He insisted the consumers would be the
losers under Carter's proposal.
Maybe, but did anyone ask Ted Kennedy
what was his alternative? Did anyone ask the
youngest son whether the status quo would
present the nation with a solution to the
escalating oil prices, the longer gas lines and
an ever-increasingly disconcerted public? Of
course not. He was only one of 100 senators
responding to a president's proposal.
AND WHEN HE put down Carter's health
insurance plan as nothing more than a

By Michael Arkush.
there are some people who will not like his an-
swers.
IN ALL THE political polls conducted in the
last few months, the senator has whipped the
president among voters of all political
philosophies. Even staunch conservatives
prefer. the heavy-spending liberal over the
frugal chief executive. But that surprising
statistic has more to do with the public's
unawareness of Kennedy's stances than a
willingness to ignore them. People simply
don't know how liberal Kennedy really is.
Sensing this public mood, the 47-year-old
senator has already begun shifting to the
right - ever so slightly. Speaking before
business leaders in Boston last month - a
constituency that has been Kennedy's fiercest
enemy - the senator said he supports gover-
nment intervention in the economy only as a.
last resort.┬░That news was just what the
business leaders wanted to hear, a liberal
Democrat opposing government interference
in the private sector.
In addition, Kennedy has become in-
creasingly vocal in his strong support for
revisions in the criminal judicial system. As
chairman of the influential Senate Judiciary
Committee, Kennedy has reported out a bill
that would impose stricter penalties, give the
FBI brogder wiretapping powers; and
establish the death penalty.
AND TO APPEAL to hard-liners in the
military establishment, Kennedy has come
out in support of registration for all 18-to-20-
year-olds.
Thus, there's no question that he's been
moving away from his liberal image. For
while it's true the Kennedy mystique is so
overwhelming, many voters will begin to
ignore his name if they disagree with his
policies. His spell-bounding charisma will.
mean little if the public perceives him as a
wild-spending liberal who could put inflation
into even higher orbit.
In the last decade, the Democrats have

stituency. They won't desert him; after all,
there is nobody else.
If Kennedy does win the nomination, and
the election, it will be because he was able to
capture a coalition of liberal and middle-of-
the-road Democrats plus a bunch of moderate
Republicans. Such an alliance would give
Kennedy the mandate he needs to prove his
ability as a leader.
But it won't be the utopian liberal leader-
ship desired by some of his supporters. Those
liberals who supported McGovern and Udall
are not as enthusiastic about Ted Kennedy.
Though he espouses many of their same
views, his leanings to the right are real apd
likely to remain stable if he is elected. Sup-
ported by this coalition, Kennedy will not be
able to risk losing it.
DURING THE DEMOCRATIC mid-term
convention in Memphis last year, Senator
Kennedy pleaded to the party organization
that it must "sail against the wind" of the
current, movement toward fiscal conser-
vatism. While Carter supporters lauded the
chief executive's "lean and austere" budget
for the 1980 fiscal year, Kennedy backlers
slammed it, arguing there weren't enough
allocations for social service program.s
Kennedy has picked up on that thence
throughout the past few months, preachir
that it is possible to balance the budget and
still provide sufficient funds for social service
purposes. He recognizes the current inflatidn
crisis, but also reminds everyone of tole
unemployed and underprivileged in society.
By proposing an expensive national health
insurance program and calling for-cuts in toe
defense budget, the Massachusetts lawmaker
has incurred the wrath of many fiscal consor-
vatives, both in Congress and across toe
nation. Especially when one considers that
the majority of Americans favor limitatiobs
of the government budget, it becomes df-
ficult to see how Kennedy could accomplilh
.his aims.
And with a moderate coalition behind hiiM,
Kennedy will be hard-pressed to push far
social expenses while also controlling i-
flation.
His supporters say he has the leadcersl4p
auii 1tie'. to niersua 1d na onse~rvativiu~.nded

St

I liked that part where he talked about sharing the wealth!'

01 be Micbzgan 19 at-IV

EDITORIAL STAFF
Sue Warner................................. EDITOR-IN-CHIEF
Richard Berke, Julie Rovner...........MANAGING EDITORS
Michael Arkush, Keith Richburg ..... EDITORIAL DIRECTORS
Brian Blanchard........................ UNIVERSITY EDITOR
Judy Rakowsky .................................. CITY EDITOR
Shelley Wolson ...................... PERSONNEL DIRECTOR
Amy Saltzman ............................ FEATURES EDITOR
Leonard Bernstein........................ SPECIAL PROJECTS
R.J. Smith. Eric Zorn ........................ ARTS EDITORS

SPORTS STAFF
GEOFF LARCOM ............................... Sports Editor
BILLY SAHN............. ........ Executive Sports Editor
BILLY NEFF ......................... Managing Sports Editor
DAN PERRIN........................ Managing Sports Editor
PHOTOGRAPHY STAFF
MAUREEN O'MALLEY ................... Chief Photographer
JIM KRUZ................................. Staff Photographer
LISA KLAUSNER .......................... Staff Photographer

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