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November 12, 1972 - Image 9

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Publication:
Michigan Daily, 1972-11-12
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Page Twenty

THE MICHIGAN DAILY

Sunday, November

12, 1972

Sunday, November 12, 1972

THE MICHIGAN DAILY

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Small meetings, then great victories and last Tuesday . . defeat.

Whatever happened to baby h

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By ARTHUR LERNER
THE HUMAN Rights Party got blitzed last Tues-
day. Favored to win in two county commissioner
races and given an even chance in the state repre-
sentative contest, its candidates were buried in an
avalanche of Democratic votes.
Reasons for the slaughter abound, ranging from
George McGovern's coattails, low voter interest in
local contests, lack of HRP roots with labor or in
the black community, and the sparsity of HRP candi-
dates on the ballot to a lack of HRP hustle.
All of these have some validity, but none hit the
mark. Among those who desire radical social change
(HRP's stamping ground) too many believe that it
can be achieved. within the two party system-or
more accurately, that it can be achieved as success-
fully in the two party system as through the Human
Rights Party.
Party literature during the fall campaign boasted:
"The Democrats can't figure out why we continue
to grow. We have proven irrelevant cries of 'can't
win' . . ." Now HRP must again field "can't win" ac-
cusations - if it hopes to grow, both in membership
and in its ability to disseminate political information.
As the party maps strategy for the April City Coun-
cil elections and for long range expansion, it must
face, a little earlier than expected, the traditional
troubles of third partyism.
* * *T.p
The core of the Human Rights party was drawn

from students and former students of the Univer-
sity who had been deeply involved in radical campus
politics for years. And the party had to overcome
those in the community who initially insisted that
any participation in the electoral system was ex-
traneous and doomed to exasperating failure. (While
in town for the Free John Sinclair rally last March,
Dave Dellinger argued that effort within third par-
ties, as well as the two major parties, was wasted.)
* * *
After suffering some expected drubbings at the
polls in a couple of city elections, the party affiliated
with a statewide organization in July, 1971 and
changed its name from the Radical Independent Party
to the Human Rights Party. And then last April in
one exhilarating swoop, HRP captured two seats on
City Council and watched the city's Democrats,
caught in the squeeze, lose out in every ward.
Faced with liberal-radical Democratic opponents
in both the county commissioner and state repre-
sentative races this fall, HRP went to the attack.
'The Democratic Party has come under the domi-
nance of interests that want to keep America much
the way it is . . . The two parties reflect the interests
of the wealthy, not only because they receive large
contributions from them, but because the Democratic
and Republican politicians and party organizations
share the same basic values and ideology. Both par-
ties accept business' basic viewpoint-private cor-
porate profits are seen as vital to America's economy
and society."

City voters, however,
broad slams at the Dem
the Democratic county co
15th district, and State I
Bullard did not seem to I
dustrial complex. Moreov
orientations were almost
charged with little effec
mimicked HRP's platfor:
So HRP attacked the
attempting to co-opt rad
student-ish candidates. T
had both run in the Au
machine there is in Anr
was not persuasive. (Tli
Democrats have not no
running campus-oriented
pus.)
Charges that Bullard v
would be ineffectual bec
could not be stressed ope
spokespeople, for that imj
Democrat could be found
-and HRP insists that it
Attacking along a dii
sized the difference bet
Democrats. A Democrat
blasted, but might not d
soul to the devilish gree
HRP stressed that its car
(continue

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