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April 01, 1980 - Image 13

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1980-04-01
This is a tabloid page

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On et iquette: Wereyoubrought
up in a barn, or. what?

Are pflie
spellng the1
end ofpat.
5s Kerth Srhi

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P ART @1 MMY Carter's
presidential job description
icludes b* leader @o the
den oratic party. But during his three
ad' e #half year tenure in thi office,
Carter has been having a hard time
keeping the troaps in line.
The rift between the president and
the Democratie Congress - was
iluminated particularly last summer.
In the space of a few months, Congress
rejected two of Carter's prepasals to
deal with the alleged psoine setage,
whi several coa reumen forased a
co 11 .tton to rei'u SatoM dwiN
K mmy as an altoenatve to Carter on
the 1 Presidential ticket. On the ad-
ministrative side, the president in-
stituted a mass cabinet purge, during
which time he fired and hired several
cabinet secretaries. The split in the
Democratic party that resulted
during Carter's presidency is at least
somewhat a product of our relatively
novel method of selecting the presiden-
tial candidates, the primaries.
The president's differences with
Congress over such strong statements
of ideology as energy policies might be
better understood, even anticipated,
when one remembers that Jimmy Car-
ter was never the protege of the
Democratic party, but rather the hero
of the popular vote. "Jimmy Who?"
became a household word during the
1976 presidential primaries, a system
that allows more for popular opinion
than for the old party die-hards' in-
house wisdom.
Carter is a political fluke, a stepchild
of the decade's presidential primary
reforms. Once upon a time, the
Former Daily editor Keith Rich-
burg has spent the past two months
covering thepresidentialprimaries.

{ '
" i

Dy'Katie Herzfeld
HETHER spent alone or with oth-
er people, mealtime has always
functioned as the core of our personal
and political lifestyles. Eating alone
may be a chance to think about and
establish yourself; sharing a meal with
a family, whether one of friends or
relatives, allows for diffusion of ideas
and feelings about the day; dining in a
dorm cafeteria. may make you inten-
sely aware of your individuality in the
mainstream; filling up at a fast food
chain may confirm your conformity.
When I was very young, my family
lived in an apartment complex. A
woman named Mrs. Tallas, who had
lived alone for several years since her
husband died, lived above our apar-
tment, and we befriended her. Once she
said to my mother, "Even if you eat
alone, set your table as if you were en-
tertaining royalty." That philosophy
was consistent with her general outlook
on life; Mrs. Tallas treated herself and
others well.
That respect for self and others has
always, and will always, be the key to
good etiquette. And while I grant that
being respectful has meant a great
variety of different things over the
years, it is only recently (in the past ten
years), that significant changes have
Katie Herzfeld is a member of the
Daily Arts Staff.

occured, and eating has become a more preserves in it, which I never had
relaxed, appreciable occasion. before with peanut butter." Or: "This
In Fifty Courtesies of the Table, quiche has too much nutmeg for my
perhaps the first book to deal solely taste, but I really like all the
with table etiquette, Bonvicino da Riva mushrooms."
wrote, "Do not scratch yourself in any
foul part while eating ... Do not cross W HEN EATING in a restaurant,
your legs on the laid out table . . ." His why hesitate to cr ticize your
book, published at the end of the thir- meal? Tell your service peon - that
teenth century, also said that "Guests is if you feel s/he will be open to such
should be given the choice portions; an conversation - what you enjoyed about
invitation to dine should be followed by your meal, and what could have made it
plenty to eat and drink; and guests better. If waitri, chefs, and managers
should never criticize the food they are discuss customer feedback and critique
served." themselves regularly, then restaurants
Esther Aresty's 1970 book The Best may improve.
Behavior, claimed these latter rules to And please, say please and thank you.
be "timeless and changeless." But Speaking from experience, those wor-
treating guests like royalty makes ds, or the lack of them, can. make or
hosts and guests both uncomfortable. break a waitperson's day; refrain from
What one person considers the prime calling female wait people any of the
ribs, another may consider hamburger, following: "girl,'' "sweetie,","baby,"
What's wrong with a simple, unpreten- "dear", "pretty girl", "waitress",
tious, even small-portioned meal? And "lady", "miss", "young lady",
if food isn't criticized, will it ever im- "honey", "ma'am", or "pretty lady".
prove? These names are derogatory in that
In proposing alternative etiquette they are intimate or sexist terms. Using
ideas, the suggestion of critiquing what them denies a waitperson
you eat is of major import. The word professionalism, and respect for.
"criticism", I think, is one of the most her/his job. While "waitperson" is
misinterpreted in our language. Given somewhat awkward and formal, it's the
and taken constructively, criticism most appropriate term we have in our
(whether of a rock concert, a friend's language - at this time.
idiosyncracies, or a casserole) allows Tipping 15 per cent is a must.
for enhancement. Anything less than that is cheating. A
What is offensive about saying;"I don't wait person's rent check depends on
like this peanut butter and jelly san- that money - and therefore your
dwich because it's got raspberry honesty. On the other hand, I have had
f r 44 . a e b4 5 , to s,,

customers whisper to me over a coun-
ter, "I can't afford to tip you right now.
I'm real sorry." And that meant more
to me than the whole day's earnings.
When eating at a friend's home, or if
you are having company over, I think
it's important .that everyone contribute
to the meal; whether that contribution
be flowers, dessert, wine, or helping
with the dishes.
Several months ago, after a lengthy
meal with a new friend, my guest of-
fered to help me clear the table.
"Oh, no, no," I said. "You are my
guest tonight."
But I have always offered, when I am
the guest, to help with washing dishes
and other mundane chores involved in
serving company. Actually, I enjoy
working in other peoples' kitchens -
even mundane work. (I must wonder is
that because of my socialization,
because I simply like to be helpful,
because "it's the thing to do"?.. .) Sin-
ce realizing this, I even ask my guests
to help clean up the mess. Call it.
feminist perspective, a desocialized
style of "entertaining," or just dif-
ferent, I feel much more comfortable
this way, and I think my company does,
So before fast food chains completely
chain our eating habits, or a commit-
ment to 600-year-old manners obstructs
the culture of 1980, perhaps we can slow
down our dinner hours, and enjoy our-
selves and food.
.4 b a-

tshow i the national co ietlons
were te State party maders, the tber
union bosmes, ai tha oltime etin
offcials. The rut o ,he day required
state delegations to vote as a bl', for a
single candidate. They would go to the
conventions encom itted, and they
would choose a nomiee to represent
the party through hard bargaining bet-
ween delegations, backroom polities,
and some of that old political give-and-
The turmoil of the ouS convention,
however, resulted in a sweeping review
of the old nominating system. New
rules were authored by a commission
headed by Senator George McGovern
(who would later become their chief
beneficiary). The new rules eliminated
some of the former elitism, opening up
the caucus process to blacks and
women. But the Democratic National
Committee feared this would mean ac-
tivists, particularly from the party's
volatile left wing, would dominate the
caucuses. So they urged states to in-
stitute presidential primaries. For the
1972 election, 23 states held Democratic
primary elections, which selected 63
per cent of the national convention
Once the rules were in effect
McGovern realized, just as Carter
would realize four years later, that
when over half the convention
delegates are selected in primaries,
candidates could - for the first time in
U.S. history - win their party's
nomination solely by entering them. A
candidate could win enough convention
delegates for a first-ballot convention
nomination by securing over 50 per cent
of the committed delegates before the

convention even esgeed. The swnxmer
prty eenventies could become, in of-
fect, merely for as to ratify what ad
already been esta lished in the
prinary season, January through June.
Nineteen seventy-two thai, for all
practical purposes, saw the death of the
political party. Party regulars could no
longer control the selection of a
nominee. And for the candidate with
presidential ambitions, it became more
ijrportant to build a grass-roots
organization that wod. vote on
primary day than to have the support or
endorsement of the establishment
politicians. Literally anyone could
become the party's nominee if he went
into enough primaries and won enough
In 1976, literally anyone did.
James Earle "Jimmy" Carter, Jr.
was about as outside the Democratic
political establishment as they come.
He was a former one-term governor of
Georgia, a former Georgia state
senator, and a peanut farmer and
businessman by profession. He was
relatively inexperienced, largely
unknown. No one knew who he was,
and, being a southerner, his credentials
as a Democrat were in question. Jimmy
Carter would not have been the choice
of the regular party leaders, if they had
anything to say about it. Unfortunately,
under the new rules, they didn't have
anything to say about it.
flee in January 1977 the
Democrats enjoyed a 2-1 ad-
vantage in both houses of Congress. But
the party was, undisciplined, full of
young, idealistic, and fiercely indepen-

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either theI
their pre"
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ticut's lib
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From early
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give Carte
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4 . v# 4

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