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February 05, 1972 - Image 4

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1972-02-05

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aI1L 3w44an
Eighty-one years of editorial freedom
Edited and managed by students at the University of Michigan

Third parties: A challenge in.


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 to noted in all reprints



NiXon's 'national interest'

UNDER the guise of "protecting the na-
tional interest" and maintaining a
hands-off policy during "delicate nego-
tiations" many presidents have gained
political advantage.
Richard Nixon is a master at the game.
In 1968, he Managed to make credible a
plan to bring the War in Indochina to
an end without ever once disclosing the
nature of. that plan.
Re used as an excuse the fact that Lyn-
don Johnson's pegotiating team in Paris
was involved in sensitive negotiation's. He
claimed that any statement he made
would undercut the legitimacy of those
The political gain was evident. Incum-
bent Johnson's policies were highly un-
popular. By claiming to have an alterna-
tive, Nixon. drew a significant core of
support. By refusing to outline his plan,
oppositior was crippled. They had noth-
ig tangible to discredit and no grounds
on which to criticize.
NOW the President is, using the tactic
from the other side. As an incum-
bent, he has unleashed a serious attack
on Democratic opponent Ed Muskie (D-
Maine) for daring to criticize his recent-
ly disclosed Vietnam peace plan.
Moreover, he chose the unusual figure

of William Rogers, Secretary of State,
through which to voice his unhappiness.
Rogers, toeing the administration line,
denounced Muskie's speech as "most in-
appropriate and harmful to our national
The Nixon team chose to interpret the
national interest as the interest of their
own administration. Muskie saw the na-
tional interest differently; his peace plan
entailed fewer preconditions than the ad-
In a sense, these political bickerings
are unimportant. What is noteworthy is
that a war continues. Despite widespread
opposition, it has been perpetuated by
three presidents.
It is in the National interest to end
the war quickly.;And, in general, the na-
tional interest demands that Nixon's op-
ponents be allowed-and encouraged-to
offer constructive solutions to continuing
IF NIXON could have it his way, his ac-
tions would not be open to criticism
in order that his myriad secrets and sur-
prises continue unexamined. To succumb
to this is to place too much trust in Nixon
and too little in his opposition.

(Last of three parts)
YHE FLORIDA Democratic pri-
mary, which already promises,
to be a multi-ringed circus, will
also be the scene of an interesting
challenge to that long treasured
American institution known as the
two-party system.
George Wallace, who freely ad-
mits his heartfelt aversion to Dem-
ocrats, will likely walk away from
that party's primary with a con-
vincing victory. His reactionary
style of southern populism a p -
pears more attractive to Flori-
dians than the mainstream cen-
trist politics of Muskie & Co.
However, Wallace's scenario for
this year's campaign remains,
even at this late date, as shroud-
ed in mystery as the politics of
his major party opponents. He has
at least temporarily abandoned
the American Party banner under
which he garnered almost ten mil-
lion Presidential votes in 1968.
This time he is running as a Demo-
crat - to the dismay of the Demo-
cratic party.
If Wallace should decide to fol-
low the Democratic primary circuit
in the hope of exacting conserva-
tive concessions on the party's
platform, his influence is likely to
be minimal.
Even if concessions like an anti-
school busing are extracted,
the party stand plank is a
traditionally inconsequential docu-
ment. The party nominee is under
no obligation to adhere to it. In
fact, he almost never does.
IF, HOWEVER, Wallace decides
to return to the American Party
he conceived, his impact could be
considerable. To meet the filing
deadlines, he would be forced, in
turn, to abandon his Democratic
race before that convention.

A 1972 campaign would likely
be far different from his surpris-
ingly succesful, wildly disorganiz-
ed race of four years ago. Wallace
was barely reelected governor in
his home state two years ago and
observers say, his southern
strength has diminished. M o r e-
over, many observers claim Pres-
ident Nixon has consolidated his
influence in the South consider-
ably since 1968.
If Wallace were to choose to
limit his campaign to the South
in 1972 and to play another evi-
dent spoiler role, many voters
might be averse to throwing away
their vote a second time.
But if Wallace should attempt
a second national campaign, it is
,onceivable that his strength out-
side the SQuth may increase not-
There is a "New Wallace" this
7ear. He pushes a more moderate
line, underplaying race and pro-
jecting a presidential cabinet full
of national major party leaders --
including Wilbur Mills (D-Ark.).
He wears nattier clothes, has lat
his hair grow and no longer greas-
es it back. He has an attractive
new wife who is a seasoned and
effective campaigner.
As to issues, Wallace's best bet
is certainly a hard line against
busing to achieve racial balance.
Combined with his fimiliar pitch
against the corporate interests and
the intellectual establishment, Wal-
lace may hit home hard with Nor-
thern workers (many of them re-
gistered Democrats) .
A significant number of t h o s e
who harbored thoughts of voting
Walace in '68 may actually do so
this year, with a disgusted back
ward glance at Nixon's four years
in office.
The Nixon they voted for has
taken a liberal line with the con-

Arson: An abhorrent tactic'

TrRE'S AN arsonist in Ann Arbor
The arsonist might be trying to free
Angela Davis. Or to discredit Davis' sup-
porters. Or to create victory for the Irish
Republican Army-Ann Arbor police and
fire officials suggest this, having found
IRA supporters' leaflets near some of the
fire sites. -
More likely, the arsonist who set seven
fires in University buildings Thursday
just likes playing with matches ahd see-
ing the glow-certainly the other three
goals are not going to be achieved by
burning library books.
The thought that the fires might have
been set to further political ends is
frightening. Regardless of the validity of
those ends, setting fires in University
buildings is both abhorrent and counter-
productive as a tactic.
An anonymous caller told The Daily
that the fires "will continue until Angela
Davis is set free." Taking the call at face
value, one would assume the fires to be

an attempt to draw attention to Davis'
A RATHER poor attempt-the normal
reaction is more one of horror at the
damage done to library books, the poten-
tial danger of fires in crowded Univer-
sity libraries, than of interest or involve-
ment in the Davis case.
University officials obviously are not
able to free Davis to stop the fires; and
community members learn nothing new
of her circumstances by reading of such
The same argument holds true in the
event that the fires were set by IRA
FURTHER FIRES at the University will
neither help nor hurt Davis, nor will
they change the situation in Northern
It is to be fervently hoped that the
University community will be spared a
repetition of such destructive acts.

munists and is pushing guaranteed
welfare. More important, crime is
as rampant as it was four years
ago and neighborhoods continue to
Because Wallace himself has
made no comprehensible statement
about his future( most observers
believe that he is adopting a wait-
and-see attitude, subject to adjust-
ment after the votes in Florida
have been tallied.
THE SECOND great unknown is
the poet, Eugene McCarthy. If
he ran on a 3rd or 4th party
slate, his vote wog ld come almost
exclusively from the portion of the
left which either deserted or mar-
ginally supported the Democrats in
Among the obvious tests for the
Democrats in the upcoming elec-
tion is their ability to consids te
ell possible party forces behind the
nominee. McCarthy's inroads, even
if they were in the range of 4 or
5 per cent in a few states, would
'almost certainly eliminate any
possibility of a Democratic victory.
At this point, the likelihood is
that McCarthy won't run an inde-
pendent campaign. The screaming,
legions who supported him in 1968
are in large part gone. For same
of them politics has lost its ap-
peal; others have joined ;he cam-
paigns of McGovern, Lindsay and
Moreover, the degree of M c -
Carthy's interest in a third party
is largely inscrutible. His glib and
hazy statements of the prospect
make his seriousness and commit-
ment suspect.
In McCarthy's absence, it has
already been determined +hat Dr.
Benjamin Spock will run in his
place. But Spock does not com-
mand the national political credi-
bility of a former Senator and his
impact is likely to be as minimal
as Eldridge Cleaver's was in 1968.
Perhaps the greater question
which is raised by the possible
candidacies of Wallace and Mc-
Carthy - one which far outsbines
their particular impact in this elec-
tion - are the long term implica-
tions for the two-party system.
THE PARTY system is clearly
not what it used to be. The days
of political patronage - B o s s
Tweed helping out a destitute fam-
ily in tacit exchange for their six
votes - are largely obsolete.
More recently, the power of
neighborhood party organizations
has diminished. No longer can the
bright young precinct captain,
through steady work and steadfast
loyalty, translate his efforts into
a nomination for an office or even
into a convention delegate seat.
Much of the reason is that the
modern mobile voter is of a sub-
stantially more independent breed,
identifying less with the "party"
than perhaps ever before.
The best evidence for this is of-
fered by Walter DeVries, a Uni-

versity political scientist who has'
just published a widely acclaimed
book entitled "The Ticket Split-
ters." His conclusion is clear: the
1970's have ushered in an era in
which nearly half the voters in an
election split their tickets.
Moreover, DeVries breaks with
the traditional political theory
whichassumes independents are
by-and-large less informed, i e s s
educated and less likely to vote.
"The ticket splitter" he writes,
"is slightly younger, somewhat
more educated, somewhat more
white collar and more suburban
than the typical voter."
AND THEN there are the young.
In the furor over which party will
capture the affection of the newly
enfranchised, analysts have4often
ignored the fact that fully 42 per
cent call themselves independents,
a figure which exceeds the number
who identify themselves with eith-
er major party.
By 1980, 53 million potential new
voters will form the majority of
the voting population. If present
events are any indication the like-
lihood is that they will be approx-
imately twice as independent as
the voting population they suc-
Another group which may ex-
hibit an independent bent are the
large numbers of people who have
been traditionally barred from po-
litical influence - and who are
now demanding a stake. The
young, women, blacks, and other
"minority" groups will all seek
candidates (and perhaps parties)
more responsive to their particular
Shirley Chisholm (D-New York)
represents at least two of these
constituencies (and perhaps t h e
young as well). Although her cam-
paigns, which has recently picked
up consolidated support from black

long-term influence may be neg-
Explanations and past examples
are abundant. The moderating na-
ture of the two-party system is
evident. Given the wide spectrum
to which each party must appeal,
it becomes a question of which
"centrist" can extend himself in
both directions along the ideolo-
gical scale - simultaneously -
to include most of the parties fac-
THE COMING of age of televis-
ion has exacerbated this non-is-
sue, ultra-image orientation.
Ideology -is sublimated to g o o d
looks:; to the appearance of
thoughtfulness, energy and leader-
ship rather than the fact of it.
In addition to the independent
constituencies forseen, there is
some tangible evidence that dents
are being made in the hard arm-
our of the two-party tradition.
George Wallace's national suc-
cess remains, of course, the best
modern example. Many party lead-
ers write off Wallace's effort as
just another example of an iso-
lated, minor threat to the system.
But in addition to Wallace, there
are independent candidates for les-
ser offices who have won elections.
When John Lindsay was denied the
Republican mayoral nomination in
1968, for instance, he formed his
own party and went on to win
And, when conservative N e w
York Republicans found Charles
Goodell intolerably liberal, t h e y
mounted a campaign for James
Buckley under a third-party ban-
ner. Without much money or major
support, Buckley defeated b o t h
Goodell and Richard Ottinger -
despite the latter's fenzied tele-
vision campaign.
SERIOUS THIRD party candi-
dacies by both Wallace and Mc-
Carthy could have a ,dramatic ef-
fect on the two-party system. If
their combined support managed to
throw the election into Congress,
the present system would simul-
taneously be thrust into a state of
The familiar Wallace plea "that
there's no more than a dime's
worthof difference" between ma-
jor party candidates would take
on visible meaning.
Two responses are possible.
One would involve radical re-
form of the major parties. Many
feel, however, that this prospect


... the power of neighborhood party organiza-
tions has diminished. No longer can the bright
young precinct captain, through steady work
and steadfast loyalty, translate his' efforts ino
a nomination for an office or even into a con-
vention delegate seat.
y y Nr.tJ ::...: Lr's - t :" .}

On the fourth human sweepstakes
by lynn weiner

leaders, is being carried on with-
in the Democratic party, it does
not adhere to mainstream party
In addition, there is a signifi-
cant proportion of committed
ideologues - on both the right and
the left - who are fed up with
the muted pablum the m a j o r
parties feed them. Even incum-
bents are not immune to challenge
as evidenced by the candidacies
of McCarthy in '68 and of Mc-
Closkey and Ashbrook in '72.
If Chisholm chooses, however, to
stay within the Democratic party,
her voice will be heard but her

is, by nature, impossible. The un-
ruty size and scope of the major
parties - these people say - may
make fringe candidates patently
The blocs standirg in the way
of deeply ideologically-based part-
ies are considerable. And t h e
greatest bloc is the voters them-
selves, most of whom are lethargic
and complacent. Although t h i r d
parties won't reach preeminence
immediately, the increasing blocs
of voters alienated by the two
party system may make 1972 a
year of serious challenge to that
venerable institution.


FOURTH annual draft lottery seemed to just slip
right by.
No one seemed to notice. For the first time, there were
no demonstrations outside the selective service center
where the numbers were pulled.
There were no editorials in the nation's newspapers,
no speeches, no outrage. Students did not walk the
streets wearing numbers on their sleeves, as they did
in the first human sweepstakes of 1969.
Fewer people, after all, are being ordered to mop up
the messy Indochinese war. Volunteer enlistments, for
one, are rising in the New Action Army, thanks to in-
creased pay and a McDonalds-like cafeteria service. And
it's an election year when young voters will go to the
polls, so no President would be foolish enough to kill off
those votes before November.
Besides, the war is shifting to the use of technology,
rather than people, as its weapons.
So the lottery was ignored by almost everyone.
Except the nation's 18 and 19-year-old males.
TO THEM, especially to those who pulled low numbers,
the reasons everyone else forgot the lottery do no
make much sence.
What of those whose birthdays decreed potential death-
days because they were alloted one or two-digit num-
bers? They may yet be called to the dangerous task of
"winding down the war."
Approximately 2,000 young men here at the University
- now without the buffer of the student deferment - were
afected by ,Tuesday's gamble. One-third of these, or
about 700, probably received numbers below 120.
In the dorm lunchlines Tuesday, the customary noise
and clatter was smothered by a silence punctuated by
the roll call of numbers transmitted by portable radios.;
in many dorms, the freshman with the lowest lottery num-
ber won a consolation lottery cf money, or records.
Even if the lottery doesn't affect most people here,
we must acknowledge and recognize those who cannot
escape the context of the draft, in spite of inequities

Letters to The Daily

Dick . . . no. 197

Bill . . . no. 24

Campus fires
To The Daily:
a gross violation of the basics of
journalism and, in doing so, has
unquestionably caused real dam-
age. In reporting the rash of fires
on campus yesterday, (Feb. 3)
and the anonymous phone call
they received concerning these
fires, The Daily was so inept as
to print no comment by the Ann
Arbor Committee to Free Angela
Davis, despite the alleged moti-
vations of the arsonist: to "free
Angela Davis!" The manner In
which the story was written more
than implied some link between
the fires and Angela's supporters,
and may have damaged the image
of Angela Davis in this town
Angela Davis has maintained
since her arrest that she is inno-
cent of the charges of conspiracy
to commit murder and kidnapping
because, as a Communist, she is
ideologically opposed to the use
of terror as a revolutionary tactic.
The attempt by the FBI to connect
her with the San Rafael incident
reflects the desire of the right-
wing machinery to destroy the
Communist Party and, especially
young Black militants within and
outside that party. The Daily has
unconsciously capitulated to this

ciation may have grave conse-
quences. Why did The Daily not
reprint from their article of Jan-
uary 27 what Mrs. Davis did say,
since they bother to mention the
event at all, and in so doing,
weave an intriguing plot?
It is ridiculous to assume that
these fires were set by anyone
who desires freedom for Angela
Davis. An attempt has been made
-and not an ineffective attempt
at that - to destroy the image
of Angela Davis and her sup-
porters in Ann Arbor, as is being
done in the nation-.at-large. As
the major purveyor of news on

this campus, The Daily bears a
tremendous responsibility. In this
case, the paper has re-inforced
the idea promoted by Reagan,
Nixon and Hoover, that Angela
Davis should be presumed guilty,
and shut up in a well-fortified
hotel to await death. The arson
committeed here is the act of
a wretched individual or-who
knows? - group of individuals,
intent upon securing a similar
fate for Angela's sapporters. Let
us hope The Daily will not pro-
vide the groundwork for a witch
--John Clinton, '72
Feb. 4



John . . . no. 3

Neil . . . no. 2

tIIl I Ailil 11 ii .-i E ' &UI IaTIMM U IR

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