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September 17, 1981 - Image 4

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OPINION

Page 4

Thursday, September 17, 1981

The Michiaan_ Da l

.Th a. Mi.Vnn laI",

r

Edited and managed by students at The University of Michigan

-

U.S.: Just ignore 'em

Vol. XClI, No. 7.

420 Maynard St.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109

Editorials represent a majority opinion of the Daily's Editorial Board

Sndra vs.
T HE FEARS of one-issue politics
blocking the confirmation of
Supreme Court Justice Sandra O'Con-
nor appear, for the most part, to have
been dispelled. Tuesday, 17 of 18 mem-
bers of the Senate Judiciary Commit-
tee voted in favor of her nomination.
Only one senator on the commit-
te-Jeremiah Denton of
Albama-chose to make the single
issue of abortion his reason for not
voting for the justice appointee's con-
firrpation. Denton, who, voted
"present" called O'Connor a
"ditinguished jurist" but added he
codld not vote for her because she did
not: criticize the Supreme Court ruling
that legalized abortion.i
When grilled by many of the conser-
vatives on the committee about her
SENTO. Bari
ENATOR BARRY Goldwater's
remarks this week regarding the
Moral Majority and other members o
the so-called "New Right" is an in
tetesting-and needed-criticism o
Jerry Falwell and his disciples.
The Arizona Republican suggeste
on Tuesday that the Moral Majority
and its allies seem to be seeking to dic
tate their moral convictions to al
Americans, and that their activities
art contrary to the spirit of the Con
st ution.
Vspite all those silly ideas Gold
w r has thrown out over the years
mach of what he says about the Mora
Mpjority is justified.
'fheir tendency' to ignore the
se aration of church and state is
distressing and, further, as Goldwate
said on Tuesday, the divisiveness
inherent in basing political decisions
ortstrictly religious principles could b
v~'y dangerous if groups like the
Moral Majority continue to gain
stiength.
'he control of potentially destructive
factions is indeed one of the reasons

Jeremiah ..

0

stand on abortion, O'Connor.
f repeatedly answered that she per-
- 'sonally opposed abortion, but would
not express her legal opinion on the
- matter because it may face her as a
- Supreme Court Justice.
Unfortunately, Denton. chose to let
single-issue politics stand in the way of
f his support for a fine appointee. Even
Sens. Strom Thurmond (R-S.C.) and
Charles Grassley (R-Ia.), men noted-
for the fierce anti-abortion stands,
were able to look beyond the issue and
A vote for the appointee.
The entire Senate may vote on
O'Connor's approval as soon as
tomorrow. The senators-even the
strongest pro-lifers-should not follow
- Denton's narrow-minded lead and ap-
r prove O'Connor's appointment.
ry vs. Jerry
s behind the Constitutional separation of
.e church and state. As James Madison
f pointed out in one of The Federalist
- Papers, for the religious, there is no
f higher authority than the diety which
can be invoked in an argument, and to
d establish one religion through the
y government can thereby irrevocably
- Weaken the government.
1 But there is justification for that
s separation that goes beyond the desire
- for propagation of the state. The
separation also has a great deal to do
- with the notion that tree individuals
ought to be able to choose their beliefs
j freely-a notion which the Moral
Majority sometimes seems to forget.
e The conservative Goldwater's
s remarks are interesting, particularly
r because they represent criticism of the
s Moral Majoritarians from a corner
s that has been conspicuously silent.
e They may not represent a disin-
t tegration of the forcesof conser-
n vatism, but they certainly are well-
founded criticism that may limit one of

For the past sixty-four years, the United
States has tried basically two approaches to
the Soviet Union. Just after the Bolshevik
revolution, we tried building a cordon
sanitaire around Russia, to keep the infection
within.
During the 1920s, we gave food to the
people of Russia, trying to create a foundation
of goodwill we could exploit when the
Bolshevik regime collapsed, as we were cer-
tain it would. On the contrary, however, our aid
helped the new government through a serious
economic crisis, thus stabilizing its rules.
AFTER WORLD WAR II, the Grand
Alliance shattered by mutual suspicion and
opposing conceptions of the postwar world,
the United States resorted to a more complex
cordon sanitaire, under the rubric "con-
tainment."
This policy failed to bring about the desired
"gradual mellowing" of Soviet power,
however, so in the 1970s we tried coddling up
to Russia by offering gifts and political con-
siderations, trying to induce them to
cooperate in an American world. This policy
has been discredited, with the official line
claiming the Russians took advantage of our
gifts while giving nothing in return.
Now, the Reagan administration is chasing
its tail around the issue of Soviet policy. On
the one hand, the United States denounced the
Soviet Union as the cause of-every imaginable
evil in world politics; whenever something
goes wrong for the United States, the Soviet
Union is surely behind it.
THE PRESIDENT has sent Secretary of
State Alexander Haig around the world to

By Dave McIntyre
whip up support for a crusade against "Soviet
aggression," and has initiated the largest
military build-up in U.S. history to balance
the growth of Soviet capabilities.
On the other hand, the adminsitration
pledges itself to sell more grain to the
U.S.S.R., helping it through a serious
economic crisis, and freeing valuable resour-
ces which will undoubtedly be spent on their
military. This contradiction within the
Reagan policy can result only in confusion
and self-fulfilled prophecy, as the Russians
respond to our build-up with more of the
same.
In all of this, one possibility has never been
considered, let alone tried:
IGNORE THEM.
When the Soviet Union adds twenty ICBMs
to its already obese stockpile, why can't
Reagan say, "So what?" When the Soviets
sign a freindship treaty with some third world
country, and send it tanks and advisors, why
can't we say, "So what?" Why can't the
United States conduct its own foreign policy,
based on friendly relations with all states, in-
stead of damaging those relations by stam-
ping our feet and wailing about some
mythical "Soviet aggression"?
Where is this aggression? After all, most of
the things we are accusing the Russians of are
things we have been doing for years. Their
latest military build-up is basically a respon-
se to our, previous increase. We too have

signed friendship treaties and sent weapons
to small countries, and the world has not
blown up. For centuries, Russia has tried to
imitate the. West while at the same time
asserting its distinctiveness. Let's play it low-*
key for awhile, and maybe it will catch on.
American policy needs to get a grip on
reality, and to be aware of its own capabilities
before exaggerating the capabilities of
others. The U.S.S.R. is in no position to set out
on a quest for world domination; rather, it is
watching the disintegration of its own em-
pire. It can't even feed its own people-so why
would it want to take responsibility for
others?
The use of chemical warfare in Cambodia
and Afghanistan is not aggression; that oc-
curred when the initial invasions took place,
and what could we do about them? Take the
chemical issue to the United Nations, pass a
resolutionscondemning the Russians, and
score a few political points with the rest of the
world. There's nothing more we can do about
it, anyway.
The picture is not this simple; world politics
never is. I am not suggesting that we pay no
attention to Soviet actions. But why can't we
leave Russia alone to deal with its own
problems while we deal with ours? The world
might be a better place to live in if everyone
would just mind his own business. Let's think
about it.
McIntyre is a first year graduate
student in political science.

Weasel
HE (, NICE.
FW YOU T ,
CANS !

By Robert Lence

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Dealing with unemployment

the conservative movement's
dangerous tendencies.

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SALINAS, CALIF.-Mention President
Reagan's proposal to bring 50,000 workers in-
to the United States and you wrinkle Juan
Franco's forehead.
"Tell them in your newspaper what you
already see-that there are people out of
work," he shouted in Spanish to a reporter.
"What do we do if we want to work but there is
none?"
IN A VALLEY touted as the nation's salad
bowl, Franco is 833rd on a list of more than
1,000 United Farm Worker union members
currently waiting for a job. He doesn't want to
hear about guest worker programs.
President Reagan's two-year experimental
guest worker program would enable
Mexicans to enter the United States and work
for nine to twelve months. But to its opponen-
ts, Reagan's plan is nothing more than a
warmed-over version of the bracero program
which imported 4 million workers into the
United States between1942 and 1964.
THE BRACERO program was viewed as a
reserve labor pool for U.S. argibusinessmen
who experienced a shortage of domestic farm
workers, most of whom refused to work for
low wages.
A farm worker since 1957, Franco himself
got his first taste of American farm labor as a
bracero in the late 1950s.
"It was legalized exploitation," he recalled.
"You'd work like mules, and when you went
to ask for some kind of benefit, they'd cancel
your contract. You could be sent back to
Mexico any time the farmer wanted it."
WHAT MOST PEOPLE don't know is that a
bracero program of sorts still exists. Through

By Roberto Robb
the H-2 program, under Section
Immigration and Naturalization
15,000 workers are allowed to en
job market each year. "What do
companies bring in 50,000 work
Franco asked.
Unemployment in the
valley-pushed by local plant co
by spring of 1982 will have idled
two years-runs 7.2 percent.
minimum for UFW members is
$6.20 an hour. By the end of Sep
Teamster-guaranteed minimum
agricompany will be $6.30.'
Nationwide, "there does not se
major shortage of farm worker
said U.S. Department of Agricu
labor specialist Robert Coltrane.
During peak labor demand peri
harvests, there may be small loca
he noted, but the numbers are
Two years ago, onion producers in
trouble finding laborers and recei
permission to import Mexican w
these instance are rare, Coltrane s
"NOW, IF YOU were to ask if t
plentiful supply of U.S. citizens3
work, that would be a different qu
added. If the Reagan administrati
cut off the flow of undocumente
Coltrane said, then there could be
ply problems and a need for bring
side workers.

salad bowl.
ledo Currently, about half of the H-2 workers
harvest sugar cane in Florida, with the rest
being used to pick apples in the East Coast.
According to Coltrane, West Coast growers
,101 of the rarely request workers under the H-2
Act, up to program because, it is commonly believed,
we do ift th they employ large numbers of illegals.
we diThe VFW is adamant in its opposition to any
ers more?" temporary worker programs. At all levels of
the union, it is feared that many of the gains
Salinas won over the years-often through bitter
sings which strikes and labor-employer confron
2,500 in just tation-may be diluted by a guest worker
Contract program.
spegged at MOST ORGANIZERS predict widespread:
tember, the battles for employment and erosion of wages
at a local among both documented and undocumented
workers.
em to be a "It will cause more problems and confusion
rs," either, whenever contract negotiations are held. If
ilture farm growers are having problems with the union,
they know where they can go for labor," said
ods, such as one UFW member.
1e shortages, Workers and union officials alike are hard
very small, pressed to identify any place in the country
n Texas had where there is a shortage of labor. "Where do
ved special they have a shortage of farm labor in this
orkers. But country?" asked the Teamster's Mendoza.
haid. "You tell me where and I'll go to work," she
there was a said.

to do farm
iestion," he
on does not
d workers,
labor sup-
ging in out-

Robledo is a staff writer for the Salinas
Californian. He wrote this article for
Pacific News Service.

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