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August 21, 1974 - Image 4

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
Michigan Daily, 1974-08-21

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TlE
Michigan Daily
Edited and managed by Students at the
University of Michigan
Wednesday, August 21, 1974
News Phone: 764-0552
Unconditional, candlor
4 LTHOUGH PRESIDENT FORD'S limited amnesty pro-
posal is not exactly what is called for, we welcome
this step toward healing the wounds of the Vietnam war.
Ford seems set on carrying forth his ideals of con-
ciliation, compromise, and cooperation into the presi-
dency. He truly wants to carry out the hollow promise of
the Nixon campaign to "bring us together."
While Nixon said "never," President Ford is recep-
tive to some form of amnesty for the real prisoners of
war-the ones who fled the country because they could
not, in conscience, fight in an illegal and immoral war.
Amnesty implies overlooking an offense. We see
nothing wrong with refusing to fight in a war that was
wrong from the start. Therefore, we see unconditional
amnesty as the only answer.
But "Ford has a better idea" than his predecessor.
At least he is willing to listen and to try a limited form of
amnesty.
WE MUST ALSO APPLAUD the president for his cour-
age in makin" hipsprunosal in front of the organiza-
tion most onnosed to amnesty -- the Veterans of Foreign
Wars. The VFW has lone been in the forefront of the
"love it or leave it" frowd and has opposed any form of
amnesty at all. Frd w' not ,frsid to speak out in front
of them rather thin mamore friendly audience. He is
willine t( t'We h-it frsh hre"Pe of candor he brought
to the Whitt -n'oe ont to the rest of the country. Noth-
ing could he more welcome. you should pardon the phrase,
"at this point in time."
Watereate Tas a direct manifestation of the para-
noia generated in the corridors of the White House by
its own iTndochins naliev. That is why Nixon opposed am-
nesty: like so many nower-hungry men, he could never
admit he was wrong. Watergate, Kent State, and Viet-
nam are interwoven in the political tapestry of the Nixon
years.
But Ford has no such shackles on him, and perhaps
this is why he felt he could make such a proposal.
4 FINAL PERSONAL note: this editorial writer is a Viet-
nam veteran. We veterans of the Indochina conflict
know from firsthand experience what horror our coun-
try sowed in Southeast Asia, and what psychic scars it
left on us. Had we known that before we went, we, too,
would have taken that road to Canada to escape. We do
not see that they shirked their duty; rather, they per-
formed an act of moral courage that we could not, They
fought the hardest battle of all.
-GARY THOMAS

JERRY DONS HELMET
Up from banalit
By BETH NISSEN We have barely been given enough time to
IT HAS BEEN ALMOST two weeks since the begin diagnosis of our past illnesses, let alone
nation watched a withdrawing power-addicted comment on our present condition. We are rely-
Nixon give up his Presidency. Since then, we ing on the pages of weekly newsmagazines docu-
have had time to catch our political breaths menting the life of the Fords, and the nightly
and begin to comment on the changing of the comments of Walter Cronkite or the video-taped
White House guard from a retrospective vantage instant replays of Fords speeches thus far to
point of thirteen days. give us some indication of how we are doing.
Nixon's resignation was not a startling sur- From all written and verbal accounts, our new
prise; increased Capitol Hill and public senti- President seems honest through to his spinal
ment against him following his Monday release fluids. He seems totally lacking in that shift-eyed
of an additional two tapes was considered by political shrewdness that was the trademark
press, advisors and colleagues as his Seventh and of his predecessor.
Final Crisis.
Still, Nixon's resignation was a political action FORD SEEMS BOTH unaffected by the power
we were not altogether prepared for. The only of his office and highly affected by its responsi-
related experience in our history when a Presi- bilities and his own limitations. Ideologically,
dent prematurely left his office was under the Ford seems to be travelling down the same path
sorrowful condition of assassination. as his precursor, but facing in an opposite direc-
Under the conditions of Nixon's resignation, we tion. Where Nixon seemed to face inward upon
could grieve over any death unless it was that himself, Ford seems to be facing outward and
of the former President's political career, nor upward to an even higher power than that which
could we be joyous at the fall of an administra- accompanies his office.
tion visibly spoiled by a cultured mold of cor- Ford seems a hihly sociable man; his style
ruption and personal gai when that admimstra- is easy and unpretentious. His public speaking
tion had cost the lives and careers of many and style has a definite and refreshing - if Walt
wasted the time of a country Disneyish - sense of humor. Ford shows pro-
mise of keeping friendly paths between the White
PERHAPS WE LIFTED a national eyebrow House and Congressional chambers well-worm,
over Nixon's actual voluntary departure after and of opening friendly exchange between Press
months of beligerent self-defense and televised andopeing frth angereteen Prss
assurances that he was welding himself into his and President for the first time in almost six
office, come hell or high water. When both the years.
hell of loss of personal prestige and the high So far, Ford has done little that is objection-
waters of Watergate descended, Nixon separated able. His two blockades to acceptance by the lib-
himself from both the blame and the office and eral populace are his reputation as a block-
relinquished control to his hand-picked successor. headed moronic political center and his horrify-
Neither the nation nor the designated first fam- ing voting record - support of increased mili-
ily had more than twenty-four hours to adjust to tary spending, support of the Cambodia bomb-
a new President. ings, and opposition to almost all progressive
There was less shock than nervous anticipa- social legislation, including Rat Control.
tion in reaction. Would someone fumble and
drop the country in the process of passing it from THERE IS NO REASON to assume he will
hand to hand? What kind of President would change his way of thinking, but since he took
Gerald Ford be? He was not elected to his new the Presidential oath, he has been less willing to
office; the only Americans to ever cast votes make decisions without first recognizing his in-
for the new President-designate lived in the abilities to make decisions alone, and then ask-
Grand Rapids area of Michigan. ing for advice from those who are reputed ex-
perts. The results has been a show of a surpris-
THE SILENT UNDERRUNNING question fol- ingly progressive attitude for a characterized
lowing Nixon's resignation announcement was not brick-brained conservative.
so much whether the nation would survive what The only people who may be bemoaning Ford's
it had been through, but what it was exactly occupation of the Presidential parking place in
that it had been through, and what it was left the White House garage are those special in-
with. terest groups who paid a high and heavy fare
We cattiously checked our body politic for for Nixon's entrance to the White House and his
broken structure: we seemed to be intact and promised protection of their interests. They are
recovering amazingly well from the sudden re- left with little to do but cry over spilt milk
moal of an operable cancer. money.
A MNEsTY7
FOR
N ON.
NIXON'S
X^
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'Say. Isn't that Ronald Reagan leading the new wave
of permissiveness?'

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