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September 07, 1980 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 1980-09-07

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A

OPINION

Page 4

Sunday, September 7, 1980

The Michigan Daily

Edited and managed by students at The University of Michigan

Vol. XCI, No. 4

420 Maynard St.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109

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

Funding the marching band

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T KIND OF COMES down to war
movies in the plush surroundings
of the Campus Inn hotel or "Hail to the
:Victors" in Columbus, Ohio.
Every Friday night before a home
football game, yousee, the Michigan
Wolverines-nearly 100 of them-and
their coaches and trainers-nearly 30
of them-reportedly enjoy movies such
as Patton and The Green Berets in the
comfort of the East Huron Street
hotel-where Coach Bo Schembechler
can keep a safe watch over them.
Meanwhile, the nationally-
acclaimed Michigan Marching Band
can't scrape together enough funds to
travel to away games this year.
The athletic department pays for the
hotel holidays.
It won't give more than about $15,000
to the marching band, a figure which
~can't begin to cover travel or hotel
costs, let alone equipment and uniform
expenses.
As far as the athletic department is
concerned, funding the marching band
is the responsibility of the School of
Music. But the music school is faced
with budget constraints like almost all
other University schools and colleges.
It can't increase its financial support
for the band to compensate for the loss

of private donations that had sustained
the group for many years, but have
now fallen off.
The athletic-department, however, is
one University body that does not seem
to be suffering financially. It is fiscally
independent of the University's
general fund; many of its revenues
are derived from football ticket sales.
And the, marching band is an impor-
tant attraction at football games-it
functions principally for the benefit of
the football team and the athletic
department.
We are not necessarily suggesting
that the department cease funding the
hotel holidays-we suppose a case can
be made for secluding the team mem-
bers so they don't exhaust too much
pre-game energy on unsportsmanlike
pursuits. And the showing of war
movies strikes us as a rather creative
way to foster the competitive.
aggression needed during football con-
tests.
But we do believe the athletic depar-
tment can and should find money for
the marching band. That it can afford
the Campus Inn rates shows it has few
money problems. Without athletic
department funds, the band will be
playing "Hail to the Vanquished."

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Freedom for the weirdos, too

Reagan stumbles onward

EMOCRATS NEVER expected to
to have it so good. They thought
that once former Governor Ronald
Reagan no longer had to deal with the
likes of George Bush, Phil Crane, John
Connally, and John Anderson, he'd be
able to tighten up his operation and
keep his traditional disregard for the
truth and for intellectual soundness a
secret.
When other GOP candidates were his
competitors, the septuagenarian's only
major boo-boos were his expressed
ignorance of the term "parity" as it
applies to farmers and his frequently
voiced belief that there was more oil
beneath Alaska than beneath Saudi
-Arabia (the U.S. Geological Survey
doesn't quite see it that way).
But Reagan's misstatements have
flourished since he captured the
Republican prize. Some of them have
smelt only of mildly confused thinking,
like his criticism of President Carter
for opening his campaign in Tuscum-
bia, Alabama-"the birthplace of the
Klan," according to Reagan, but not

according to the history books. He had
a few apologetic phone calls to make
on that one.
More frightening is Reagan's ap-
parent intent to untie the knot his
predecessors have fastened with the
People's Republic of China. There is
not even much of a human rights con-
sideration on the China issue, as both
the Communist republic and its tiny
counterpart, Taiwan, are starkly op-
pressive by American standards.
An alliance with the Communists,
however, will do far more to secure
U.S. safety than ties to Formosa
possibly could. Reagan doesn't seem to
care. You can hear the wheels turning
in that machine-lie mind: Communist
bad; capitalist good."
No Reagan gem, though, is as flawed
as his characterization of the Vietnam
War as a "noble effort." The war was
not even supported by most of the
people it was intended to defend. To
call it "noble" ranks with the most
idiotic, jingoistic remarks of any
recent campaign. But then, that's what
the governor's campaign is all about.

Amonghe weightier duties of the editors of
tpage,of whom I am one, is selecting the
issues that our editorials will address. While
we try to select the most newsworthy and
significant issues objectively, it is never-
theless true that our personal prejudices
sometimes interfere with the objectivity of
our decision making. I would like to begin by
pleading guilty to the sin of
prejudice-perhaps to an extreme degree.
My particular pet issue is the second clause
of the First Amendment to the Constitution. I
am strictly and irrevocably opposed to any in-
fringement of freedom of speech, no matter
how heinous the group or individual trying
to do the speaking.
IN EDITORIAL Board discussions at The
Daily, I have defended the Danish News, a
local purveyor of erotica, against ardent
feminists. I have fenced with liberals on
behalf of the Ku Klux Klan's right to march
through Skokie, Illinois. I have stood up for
Brother Jed Smock's right to spout his
evangelist nonsense from his favorite bench
on the Diag. I am really quite unconcerned
with the specified brand of rubbish ideologues
want to peddle, so long as they attempt to
enact their ideas through persuasion and not
through force.
For all my absolutist posturing, I have
recently become increasingly aware that my
rhetorical monologues have too often omitted"
what perhaps is the most important arena of
all. I speak, of course, of the American elec-
tion process.
I see a de facto conspiracy in this country
the effect of which is nothing less than the vir-
tal squelching of any view deemed too far
from the mainstream.
NOW SOME READERS will proudly point
to President Carter and Ronald Reagan, two
leaders whose beliefs are supposedly widely
divergent. Indeed, it could be argued that our
choices in 1980 are as distinct as any since
Adlai Stevenson challenged that balding
Republican fellow in 1956.
But to suggest that all points on the political
spectrum are adequately represented today
is to wear blinders. To name just ten of the
fundamental questions on which Carter and
Reagan are in at least basic agreement:
Both think it necessary that the U.S. in-
crease military spending.
Both oppose any substantial move toward
nuclear disarmament.

I AM, OF course, allied with the candidates
on some of these points (the third, fourth, and
tenth, if you must know), and opposed on
others, but that is not my concern here. My
concern is that neither of the candidates is
ever forced publicly to re-examine the issues
on which they agree, even though there are
millions 4o Americans who would fight them
on each and every point.
Barry Commoner of the Citizens Party
regards "free enterprise" as a tool of slavery
in large measure. I suspect that were he ac-
corded a fair chance to air his views, he would
win many more supporters than he has.
Ed Clark of the Libertarian Party would
like ultimately to see a society wherein do-
gooders are free to donate their own money to
the poor, but not free to exact "donations"
from unwilling taxpayers.
THE SOCIALIST Party, Socialist workers
Party, Socialist Labor Party, Communist
Party, Revolutionary Communist Youth
Brigade, and dozens of other leftist factions
would like to "liberate" (nationalize) all in-
dustry.
The John Birch Society and the KKK would
purge Martin Luther King's name from our
list of folk heroes.
'Ours would be a healthier nation if all these
ideas were given equal opportunityto reach
the public. But the media aren't interested;
The political fringes have been pronounced
"not viable."

Obliquity
By Joshua Peck

Both favor a free market economy.
Both support some sort of minimal guaran-
teed income through welfare programs.
Both favor some restriction of abortion
rights.
Both support Israel's right to exist and op-
pose full rights being accorded the Palestine
Liberation Organization.
Both favor capital punishment in some
cases.
Both are Christians.
Both are inclined to reduce firearms
restrictions.
Both seem to favor racial equality, though
their methods are different.

Even within the major parties, the largest
media organs seem to be terrified of stances
outside the fold. Press political analysts were
so busy predicting Reagan's victory in the
Republican-race that there was scarcely any
space left to contrast his record and positions
with those of his opponents. Naturally.
Reagan won; in lieu of any other information,
voters just naturally went with the man the
media (endlessly) called the frontrunner.
OF COURSE, THE chief culprits in
the anti-third, -fourth, and -fifth party cabal
are not the media, but the Republican and
Democratic parties. They have arranged 0
funding scheme that virtually excludes any
but their own. They have conspired to enact
laws that make ballot access for minor
parties positively labyrinthine.
They have generally made themselves
unavailable for questioning from minority
viewpoint publications, and this year Carter
has gone so far as to attempt to bar John An-
derson, a candidate with a respectable per-
centage of the electorate behind him, from
debate.
What are they afraid of?
I'M NOT SUGGESTING that the courts
force the media and major parties to open the
door to more minority viewpoints. But with an
ever smaller percentage of the citizenry
voting each election year and a higher per-
centage of the voters dissatisfied with their
choices each time around, one would think
that even the party bosses themselves would
begin to welcome a freer marketplace of
ideas. The relative inaccessibility of the ex-
treme left and the right can only serve to
make them more appealing. '
Four years ago, an odd sort of coalition
formed of just about every offbeat political.
organization in Ann Arbor. The whole focus of
the coalition Was to get people to vote for a
candidate-any candidate-who stood outside
the Establishment.
In 1976, I thought the coalition bizzare and
wondered why any socialist group would
compromise itself by joining up with the
libertarians.
Now, nauseated with the Georgian and the
Californian, bored by their ever-converging
rhetoric, I may just opt for the weirdest can-
didate I can find.

Joshua Peck is the
Daily's Opinion page.
appear every Sunday.

co-editor of
His column

The
will

The new, young righ-to-lifers

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Wearing an Indian cotton
blouse and peasant skirt, Valerie
Evans switches on a Grateful
Dead album and sits down to
discuss her political activism. A
veteran of anti-nuclear and anti-
draft demonstrations, the 20-
year-old Berkeley student seems
the very picture of youthful
protest, 1980-style.
Except for one thing: She is
against abortion.
EVANS IS PART of a new
generation of young people
joining the ranks of the anti-
abortion movement out of an un-
swerving commitment to the
sanctity of human life-and not
because of conservative political
views. Some are anti-nuclear ac-
tivists whose concern for the next
generation grew from studying
the effects of radiation on the un-
born. Some work for the rights of
the disabled or retarded and fear
that infanticide will be practiced
on those born with mental or
physical handicaps. Others are
pacifists who find they can no
longer support abortion while op-
r~n i ._ ttn on oni - ne

political convictions is cited as
the number one reason most
young progressives join the right-
to-life camp. Juli Loesch, an anti-
nuclear activist in Erie, Pa., says
right-to-life groups challenged
her thinking on abortion when she
spoke to them about the dangers
of nuclear power: "How could I
talk about saving unborn children
from the potential hazards of
radiation while I was ignoring the
real danger from abortion?"
Given an unpleasant choice
between unwanted pregnancy or
unwanted abortion, this new
generation of idealists argues
that both are unacceptable.
"Abortion is viewed as a solution
to problems for which it really
isn't," Valerie Evans says. "The
answer to rape is not abortion,
it's stopping rape. The answer to
people not being able to feed their
children is not to abort them, it is
jobs and changing the system."
PART OF THEIR agenda to
"change the system" em-
phasizes better methods of con-

Nevertheless, . their own
rationale leaves some critical
questions in the abortion con-
troversy unanswered. Young
right-to-lifers have some dif-
ficulty rebutting the charge that
to make abortion illegal will
result in the proliferation of
dangerous back-alley abortions
once again.
And, in their commitment to
the preservation of human life,
the pacifist pro-lifers would even
deny abortions in the case of rape
or incest. In such cases, they in-
sist, the woman is still carrying
an innocent human life. She
should get support and love
during her pregnancy and, if
necessary, give the child up for
adoption after it is born.
MOREOVER, WHATEVER
their convictions on other mat-
ters, young right-to-lifers may
still be portrayed as part of the
reactionary right wing. Political
year 1980 was long ago targeted
by new right groups as the time
for a big push against abortion,

By Mary Claire Blakeman

ting with older, more conser-
vative right-to-lifers could also be
the beginning of a whole new set
of political alliances.
For the new pro-
lifers, the throw-away mentality
which disturbs ecologists also is a
threat to future generations. The
argument about unwanted
children, they say, turns infants
into consumer products, to be
discarded at will. Taking this
idea one step further, they fear
that acceptance of abortion will
allow society to rationalize the
elimination of defective humans.
"The people who make the
'quality of life' argument say that
if it's okay to detect and abort a
Down's Syndrome child before
birth-then why not after birth
also?," observes Rose Evans,
Valerie's mother, who teaches
retarded children. "It's the same
child. I think that's a dangerous
trend."
But it's not the only trend which
ties the new right-to-lifers into a
larger network of groups that
regard any manipulation of
human life as dangerous.

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