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July 09, 1975 - Image 4

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Text
Publication:
Michigan Daily, 1975-07-09

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The monster from t

By GORDON ATCHESON
WASHINGTON - Demago-
gues and rabid dogs have a lot
in common - at a distance they
are unnerving but up close they
are just plain terrifying.
Both snarl, howl, and at least
figuratively foam at the mouth,
But while the diseased dog is
rightfully viewed as a danger to
those around him, the dema-
gogue all too often becames a
hero and a symbol.
Today, one such man com-
mands a legion of follow3rs
across the country and threat-
ens to wield his power merci-
lessly in the upcoming presiden-
tial election.
Born and raised in tiny, rural
Clio, Alabama, George Waliace
grew up in humble surround-
ings - as he is fond of telling
his listeners who probably come
from the same kind of place -
to become the only three-time

governor of that state.
Along the way, he has caught
the fancy of millions of Amer-
icans who feel left out and for-
gotten by the big wheels in gov-
ernment. The deep south segre-
gationist, the white auto worker
in Pontiac, and the small-time
businessman have all heard the
Wallace word, and many like its
sound.
THE 55-YEAR-OLD governor
tells 'em that Washington is be-
ing run by a bunch of 'ttstern.
elites with high-falutin degrees
from Ivy League scho ils and
very little understanding of the
seeds of the middle class. '
It's an emotional appal, stud-
ded with homilies, anecdotes,
and one-liners, but few concrete
proposals or insightful thoughts.
"The people from colleges
come out carrying briefcases
loaded with papers, and when

The Michigan Daily
Edited and managed by Students at the
University of Michigan
Wednesday, July 9, 1975
News Phone: 764-0552
P rks b ost fto c ter cityf
CITY COUNCIL'S Monday night move to acquire three
sections of land at Division and Liberty for city park
should go a long way toward alleviating the severe lack
of recreational facilities in the center city area.
The Division property, along with a park planned
for construction at the Summit Street location of the
Lansky and Sons scrap metal, yard, will serve the needs
heavily populated downtown and the northwest side
areas, many of whose residents lack ready access to
nearby parks and whose cramped homesites don't afford
them a bare modicum recreational outlets,
Over the years, the city leaders have maintained an
attitude, whether expressed or not, that the center city
area should be reserved for and designed to cater to the
needs of business, and that the pursuit of leisurely inter-
ests should be left to outlying areas.
MONDAY'S ACTION indicates that Council is starting
to realize that residents of Ann Arbor's congested
and depressed areas-have just as pronounced a need for
convenient open areas as do more affluent sections of the
city.

one of them becomes a bureau-
crat the government has to
create two more bureaucrats
just to think up things for him
to do," Wallace recently told a
gathering of small businessmen
here.-
"Well, I would rake those
briefcases and fil them up with
peanut butter and jelly sand-
wiches and throw them into the
Potomac River and then I just
might throw some of the bur-
eaucrats in, too," ne says to a
peal of laughter and applause.
So goes the entire speecn. For
IS minutes, Wallace takes pot-
shots at Congress, the N e w
York Times, and whomever e'se
seems to be part of "the ultra-
liberal intelligencia."
USING STORIES he's told 100
times before, he charges t h e
crowd with the emotional equi-.
valent of static elect-icity; it
seems to crackle from one side
of the bunting-drapen auditor-
ium to the other.
The message is hammered
home with piercing looks, a
sneer that almost instantly
changes into a grin, a pounding
fist, and his voice, a rising, fal-
ling southern accent drenched
not in honey, but in acid.
"I understand that when the
Communists overran Saigon,
Mrs. Gandhi over in India said
she was glad to see South Viet-
nam 'liberated'," Walace says,
leading into another little ditty.
"If I am president next year
and she asks me for wheat to
f-ed her starving peopte, I'll tell
her to get it from the North
Vietnamese," he declares trium-
nhntly to a standing ovation.
Throughot the spiel, Walace
waves the Red flag, attacks he
tax system - under which "we
have to support the ultra-rich on
the one hand and those who re-
fse to work on the other," and
the nermissive courts that have
made American streets ultsafe
by freeing criminals who shodd
b- locked up. '
WALLACE in actin -cowjires
"n images of Joe M1CCart' and
Ffav Long playing on n-ople's
fears and ignorance, its a des-
ni~ahle, vet an effectiv. way to
win converts, and, like the old-
time oatent medicine asiesman,
Wallace knows how ti s-ll his
product.
The governor could be dis-
missed if his apeal were ot so
widespread and his sigsta were
not set so high. He's eysing the
White House, which some pt i-
tical insiders give him an out-

ie deep south
side chance of winning n e x t 1972 until he had to withdraa
year. after a gunman's unsuccessfu
Right now, the Democrats assassination attempt left bin
have a pack of nobodies ecramb- paralyzed from the waist down
ling for the party's nomination. IRONICALLY, Wallace's whee
None of them has been able to chair has become one of his bes
muster the kind of support ne- political assets. Following Ar
cessary to get the nod, and that thur Bremer's attack, Wallac
sps Wallace's political stock a developed an image as a fighter
good bit. a scrapper, and a comeback kid
Then again, many influential That, along with a good deal a
Democrats have said they want sympathy, allowed hi-n to she
no part of Alabama's sweetheart the racist tag he had previousl
and that could be enough to de- worn.
rail any Wallace hopes for the Of course, just about every
presidential or vice presidential body still links Wallacs with se
nomination. gregation, but the governor doe
And a Ted Kennedy candidacy not talk about race anymore.
would certainly do it. He has broadened his pitch an
now hits economic injustice, di
BUT WALLACE will probably creased defense spending, as
go to the convention floor with other bread and butter issue
a lot of delegates which trans- hard.
fates into the bargaining chips But it remains an emotiona
necessary to strike a deal with though substantively empty, sa
someone for some'hing pretty vo aimed at people who are dit

W
l.
el
ct
r-
,e
r,
d.
Df
-d
ly
Y-
e-
s
id
e-
=d
es
il-
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"Wallace in action
conjures up images of
Joe McCarthy a n d
Huey Long playing on
people's fears and ig-
norance. It's a despic-
able, yet an effective,
way to win converts,
and like the old-time
natent medicine sales-
man, Wallace knows
how to sell his pro-
duct."

significant.
Likewise Wallace reportedly
has no qualms abo:t runrint a
third party campaign as he id
in 1968. He very nearly became
the king-maker then, when it
appeared as if Nixon and Hum-
phrey might deadlock placing
the outcome in the hands of the
Ho-se-of Representatives, where
Wallace held the key votes.
Another close contest c o u I d
actually put him in that pivotal
position.
In both his earlier tries for the
presidency, Wallace has done
well. Seven years ago, he polled
10 million votes as the American
Independent Party candidate.
He was piling up impressive
primary election vote, totals in

couraged with the mess that sur-
rounds them, and feel powerless
to change those conditions.
For them, Wallace offers a
promise of something better.
Still, the promise is built only
of words. There art no blue-
prints for turning in mt a real-
ity.
But his followers doart know
that. If they do, thev don't -are.
They stand and applaud the man
anyway, and on sleclion day go
out and vote for hin. That's
what is most terrify ng.
Gordon Atcheson ist h e
Co-Editor in Chief of t h e
Daily, and a summer intern
with the Knight Newspap-
ers Washington 3ureau.

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