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February 03, 1972 - Image 4

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1972-02-03

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elle tr 44am n
Eighty-one years of editorial freedom
Edited and managed by students at the University of Michigan

Nixon: Running on his laurels?

420 Maynard St., Ann Arbor, Mich.

News Phone: 764-0552

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



Bolstering the Thieu govt.

LAST FALL, under the guise of support-
ing "democracy" in Vietnam, the
Nixon administration lent its support to
an election that was blatantly dishonest.
At that time, South Vietnamese
President Nguyen Van Thieu ran unop-
posed after succeeding in forcing his
would-be opponents out of the race
through a variety of repressive and in-
timidating tactics-enacting harsh se-
dition and election laws, closing down
opposition newspapers, and ordering po-
lice to "shoot to kill" anti-government
The "election" was met with outrage
from around the world. In Saigon, a
newspaper reported finding three million
blank ballots - apparently to be used
by Thieu in the event of a low voter
turnout. In Washington, 130 congressmen
signed a petition calling the adminis-
tration's support of the Thieu regime "a
mockery" of democratic principles. In Da
Nang, meanwhile, demonstrators battled
with police outside polling places.
ND NOW, IT is the Nixon's adminis-
tration's continuing support for the
corrupt Thieu regime that appears to be
a mnajor factor in delaying any negotiated
political solution to the war.
Yesterday, the National Liberation

Front stated unequivocably that Thieu
must resign immediately if negotiations
are to begin. Under this plan, a tempor-
ary coalition government would be set
up to organize free elections; and in ex-
change for a firm withdrawal date com-
mitment, the American POWs in North
Vietnam would be released.
Nixon's latest peace proposal, however,
would not ensure free elections, and cer-
tainly; provides Thieu with another
chance to run a rigged election. Ac-
cording to the Nixon plan, Thieu would
step down from office one month before
the election. But no provision is made for
dismantling the Thieu political machine
after he leaves office, or for stopping the
president from enacting discriminatory
election laws before he steps down.
It is apparent that neither the Viet
Cong nor the North Vietnamese will ac-
cept a peace settlement that invites
Thieu to turn the next election into a
re-run of last October's one man show.
CLEARLY, a political solution to the war
will only be realized when the U.S.
government divorces itself from the
Thieu dictatorship, in favor of free deter-
mination for the people of South Viet-

With the major presidential prima-
ries r a p i d l y approaching, political
pundits are assessing the strength and
tactics of major candidates. In this
article and two to follow, Daily re-
porter Tony Schwartz offers his as-
sessment of the presidential contenders.
THE MOST common refrain sounded
when the subject of Richard Nixon's
re-election arises is, "It's inevitable."
Curiously the source of the claim can al-
most always be traced to bitter liberal
opponents of the President.
The reasoning is partly a case of resign-
ed cynicism. But it is also partly the
"buffer principle". Nixon's opponents seek
to buffer themselves in the early going
from a second shocker akin to 1968. Nixon,
like the ethereal Lazarus, rose from the
political grave where most thought he
had been buried in California, 1962.
Indeed at first glance - perhaps even
at second glance - there is ample logic
to the refrain. There are two visible rea-
First, Nixon is an incumbent and most
of us are hard put to recall the last in-
cumbent to lose a re-election bid. Most
voters wpren't even alive when FDR out-
distanced incumbent Herbert Hoover in
1932. The incumbent can call on a power-
ful store of goodies including access to
all of the media, a wealth of stored fav-
ors and in Nixon's case particularly, a
seasoned campaign team with the legacy
of a win to look back on.
The second reason is, quite bluntly, that
Nixon is Nixon. He is a perennial candi-
date who is'tougher and more savvy than
ever in the wily art of modern political
(campaigning. For a quarter century,
this man has been far more at home
running for office than holding it. The
challenge of the battle and the glory of
the effort have been a deeply ingrained
part of his constitution since his earliest
days in Southern California.
FOR THE 1972 campaign, Nixon has
ferreted out yet another role. If one
were to compute the number of "new
Nixons" over the past 25 years, the
figure would certainly approximate the
number of campaigns he has undertaken.
In what is almost certainly his very
last political campaign, Nixon has placed
himself in the middle folds of his party,
preying once again on the "silent major-
ity" he is convinced elected him four
years ago. Interestingly, Nixon's modern
stance is at blinding odds with the one
that first put him on the political map
in the late 1940's and early 1950's.
At that time he was a tenacious ideolo-
gue, battling Alger Hiss and the Com-
munist threat; speaking from the van-
guard of the Republican far-right wing.
Of late, the man who was once Dwight
Eisenhower's "Spiro Agnew" h a s drift-
ed to a middle ground. This more moder-
ate and flexible role has endeared him
to such former adversaries as self-ac-
claimed' moderate New York Gov. Nelson

Security for the Davis trial

T HAS BECOME almost an American
tradition that when trials provoke
a- great deal of controversy, they tend
to become an event in themselves, gen-
erating their own questions of law and
justice. Such a trial is the current case
against Angela Davis.
Most people are familiar by now with
the details of Davis' arrest and the
charges against her. In fact, beyond the
attention one would expect the commu-
nist press to pay to Davis' trial, various
media from around the world have
flocked to San Jose to give accounts of
what is going on.
Beyond the construction of new press
facilities and increased security precau-
tions--to the tune of $70,000-those
present have been witness to enforce-
ment of a strange exaggeration of court-
room rules.
Utilizing a California state law passed
in 1970, the judge in Davis' case has

banned any demonstrations within a
square mile of the courtroom, supposed-
ly fearing that demonstrations might in-
fluence or put undue pressure on jurors.
While one doubts that the judge's in-
terpretation is quite in character with
the law, which bans demonstrations only
within "sight or sound" of the court-
room, it seems a slightly ridiculous pre-
caution in view of the expensive secur-
ity measures. Precautions included brick-
ing up of all the courtroom's windows
and various means of sequestering -the
JRONICALLY, THE arrests of 24 this
week who refused to obey the ban,
will probably make only more apparent
to the world's watching eyes the limita-
tions courts have imposed on freedom
of speech.
As for the jurors, one hopes they know
it already.

The tenor of the upcoming battle for
Nixon will be conducted in two distinct
stages. For as long as possible, Nixon will
seemingly stay above the sweaty arena of
partisan politics, waving instead the more
dignified presidential banner.
Nixon has admitted himself this stra-
tegy, but the most tangible evidence to
date is reflected in the campign slogan
on his bumper stickers. The uncharacter-
istic audacity of 1968's "Nixon's the One"
has been replaced by the shrewd and
apolitical "Re-elect the President."
THE METHOD is clever. While Nixon's
Democratic opponents chew each cther
up in overcrowded primaries, a beaming
President will command the headlines as
he trumpets the unreproachable concept
of. "world peace" from China. The dirty
work in the Republican primaries will be
' handled by a group of competent presi-
dential surrogates.
His advisors count on minimal threats
in the primaries. Rep. Paul McCloskey
(R-Calif.), on the left flank, is judged no
more than an ephemeral annoyance. Rep.
John Ashbrook (R-Ohio), on the right is
taken somewhat more seriously. The Nix-
on team's sentiment, however, is /that
. Ashbrook's eforts will not meet with sub-
stantial support and that hard-line con-
servatives will eventually return to the
Nixon camp.
It is evident that when Nixon finally
does enter the political arena which he
relishes, he will run on his and Congress'
record. A muted campaign is likely to
center on the request to ". . . let us com-

plete what we have begun."
Nixon will seek a base of r upport
similar to the winning combination of
1968. His greatest hope of adding to his
take is centered on the South, where
he may now be more popular than four
years ago.
NEVERTHELESS, Nixon's re-election
is by no means reassured. Beginning with
the speculative nature of the record on
which he will run, there are a variety of
obstacles he must overcome in the up-
coming months.
The basis of Nixon's campaign rhe-
toric is likely to focus on three issues:
Opening the door to an era of negotiation
with the Russians and particularly the
Chinese, a decisive and successful chal-
lenge to the dual economic threats of un-
employment and inflation and a winding
down of the war in Indochina.
Nevertheless, at present the campaign
claims are a tenuous proposition.
In Indochina, the war continues. The
claims of a successful Vietnamization pro-
gram have been countered recently with
increasing speculation on a major T e t
offensive by the North Vietnamese. That
such a move would arouse the bellicose
ire of Nixon is almost certain. In any
case, Nixon has resumed heavy bombing
of the North in the past few months.
As to the president's latest p e a c e
speech, it too is an unknown quantity.
If the voters decide that Nixon's offer was
a fair and flexible initiative met by an
intransigent enemy, mark one for the
Republicans. On the other hand, if the

Democrat's can use the disclosure to sub-
stantiate their claim that the war is not
winding down, Nixon may have a prob-
ON THE ECONOMY, Nixon has doubt-
less grabbed center stage from Gardner
Ackley and the Democrats who had been
calling for wage and price controls for
more than a year.
Nevertheless, Nixon's move was a gam-
ble and has been beset by a wealth of
kinks and roadblocks. Despite generally
confident predictions for 1972, both un-
employment and inflation remain at pa-
tently unacceptable six per cent levels.
Moreover, Nixon's early successes in
courting the labor vote have come on
hard times. George Meany's AFL-CIO has
already expressed a militant desire to de-
feat Nixon in the upcoming campaign.
UAW leader Leonard Woodcock and
AFSCME head Jerry Wurf have joined the
Muskie bandwagon, bringing considerable
influence and votes with then:'
All this aside, it is likely that Nixon's
economic standing with the voters will
be finally determined by how many are
unemployed and by whether the price
spiral has been checked come election
The 25 million newly enfranchised vot-
ers - or more specifically the 10-12 mil-
lion who are expected to vote - form
a second looming question mark for Nix-
on. With registration running slightly more
than two to one democratic, Nixon must
woo a large portion of opposition party
voters. His alternative is to capture a large
proportion of the huge bloc of young vote
ers who are registering as "independ-
Cognizant that a substantially Demo-
cratic youth vote could defeat him, Nixon
is already putting much energy into de-
termining the nature of this mysterious
group. He is steering away from the col-
lege voters in the hope that making a
convincing pitch to the large majority of
young people who are workers and house-
wives will suffice.
THERE ARE two final unknowns which
the President must face. The degree to
which the Democrats can emerge with a
relatively unscathed and uniformly sup-
ported candidate; and the unknown cours-
es of possible third party candidates like
George Wallace and Gene McCarthy are
sources of much concern to both Nixon
and the Democrats.
At this point, it is sobering for impet-
uous political prognosticators - profes-
sional and amateur alike - to recall the
situation at a similar date four years
At that time, Lyndon Johnson was des-
tined to re-election; Richard Nixon was
still a dogged but doomed loser. In short,
predicting the direction of American poli-
tical campaigns holds about as much
water as each day's long-term weather
bureau forecast.
TOMORROW: The Democratic

A 4


Freedom versus the draft

WHILE MANY MEN bad good reason to
rejoice when they heard their draft
lottery numbers yesterday, there are
still those for whom the next year and
a half will be characterized by uncer-
tainty and fear.
Though it is likely that very few men
will be drafted this year and next, the
basic evil of unnecessarily denying peo-
ple their liberty remains, as long as any
men are forced to enter military service.
In court cases dealing with govern-
ment surveillance of individuals, courts
have ruled that the state must show an
"overriding interest," such as an interest
in national security, in order to abridge
any of the freedoms, human or civil, that
are guaranteed us as Americans or hu-
man beings.
Cannot the same principle of "overrid-
ing interest" be applied to the draft, for
what is a more fundamental freedom
than thefreedom of personal self-deter-
Editorial Staff
Executive Editor Managing Editor
RICK PERLOFF ......Associate Editorial Page Editor
PAT MAHONEY ... Assistant Editorial Page Editor
LARRY LEMPERtT....... Associate Managi~ng Editor
LYNN WEINER Associate Managing Editor
ANITA CRONE ........................Arts Editor
JIM IRWIN...................Associate Arts Editor
ROBERT CONROW .................Books Editor
JANET FREY .. ............... .Personnel Director
TERRY McCARTHY..............Photography Editor
NIGHT EDITORS: Pat Bauer, Rose Sue Berstein,
Lindsay Chaney, Mark Dillen, Sara Fitzgerald,
TanmyJacobs, Alan Lenhoff, Arthur Lerner, Hes-
ter Pulling, Robert Schreiner, W.E. Schrock, Geri

USING THE PRINCIPLE of "overriding
interest" in national security, the
country can only commit as many troops
as can be raised by recruiting when the
national security is not at stake.
In such cases, the military need is not
great enough to balance the affront to
individual freedoms.
The present world situation would fit
,into this category-our present military
commitments are not essential to na-
tional security.
In terms of American troops in
Europe, present and past administra-
tions have argued the necessity to help
protect Western Europe from the threat
of Soviet invasion.
This is based on the assumption that
the. countries of Western Europe cannot
sufficiently defend themselves or deter
an invasion without massive A.merican
support present at all times even though
the, world war has been over for more
than 25 years and those countries have
made fantastic strides toward rehabili-
Of course, the main rationale for
drafting men in the past few years has
been the Indochina War. However, it, is
doubtful that our support for military
dictatorships such as South Vietnam is
essential to the national security of the
United States.
INDEED, THE ONLY circumstances
that would constitute a threat to na-
tional security would be either a direct
attack or an attack on a neighbor that
would have a clear and direct damaging
effect on this country.
Even if a legitimate interest in main-
taining large troop levels in Europe and

rK4 f' -
"",, . " --t !141' +" .
_ _ 7r


"It's quite simple ... if devaluation works,
a Republican gets the credit . . . if it fails,
a Democrat is responsible!"

Winding Down the War


Letters: On the Cheryl Clark hearing

To The Daily:
detti's editorial, (Daily, Feb. 1)
says of the new complaint p r o-
cedure under which the C h e r y 1
Clark case is now being consider-
ed: "If Clark's charges are again
rejected, the case could end in
federal court, thus proving once
again that the University is un-
able to handle its own deficien-
Does that mean that the arbi-

Polly Warner which appeared in
your January 27, 1972 issue points
up the confusion which probably
exists in the minds of most peo-
ple regarding the upcoming citi-
zen advisory vote on the city in-
come tax.
Ms. Warner indicates that we
will be asked to vote on a one per-
cent income tax accompanied by
the 7.5 mill reduction in property
taxes. That is not the wording
(nor likely the intent) of the

many reasons why a city income
tax should not be enacted at this
time, the purpose of my letter is
to make clear that the electorate
is not being asked to support a
one percent city income tax but
rather to give City Council the
power to enact whatever tax rate
the state permits without having
to come back to the citizens for
further approval.
If the referendum question is
passed by voters who understand

President Robert Knauss (Daily,
Jan. 21) describes him as a "satis-
factory though not an outstanding,
vice-president." The editorial then
goes on to discuss the difficulties
surrounding his position, and his
performance despite those difficul-
ties, in terms which would seem
to me to add up to his having been
outstanding. Indeed, the editorial
itself concludes that he has "serv-
ed well . . . a pleasant surprise."
I agreed that he has served well

papers realize the implications of
the meticulous file which they
keep so as to avoid duplications?
It is inconceivable to me that a
student would allow information
of this kind about himself to be In
a file which has such potential for
blackmail. Talk about data banks!
Prof. Bernard A. Galler
Computer and Communi.,
cation Sciences and

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