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October 24, 1980 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 1980-10-24

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OPINION

11

Page 4 Friday, October 24, 1980 The Michigan Daily'

che it,6tigan til
Edited and managed by students at The University of Michigan
420 Maynard St.
Vol. XCI, No. 44 Ann Arbor, Ml 48109
Editorials represent a majority opinion of the Daily's Editorial Board
No! Galileo was right?

I

Reagan: The Obsolete Man

WELL, NO ONE can accuse the
Catholic Church of denying its
mistakes. It took a while, but on Wed-
nesday the Vatican announced it was
reviewing the 347-year-old heresy con-
viction of Galileo.
Galileo Galilei, you may remember,
was the 17th-century astronomer who
was condemned for using telescopes to
prove that the Earth revolved around
the sun. The Church's Inquisition com-
pelled Galileo on threat of torture to
recant his heretical theory that the sun
was stationary and placed him under a
type of house arrest.
PLO vs.Is
F AHAD KAWASMEH and Moham-
med Milhem are the Palestinian
mayors of two towns on the occupied
West Bank in Israel. Both have
frequently enunciated support for the
efforts of the Palestine Liberation
Organization to secure an independent
Arab state within the borders of land
now under Israeli control. Neither one
has ever indicated that he opposed the
violent activities of the PLO, which
have included the slaughter of Israeli
schoolchildren and infants, among
other macabre acts.
But failing to speak out against
violence is no more a crime in Israel
than it is in the United States. Just as
Americans with a sense of justice
would protest if a domestic radical
were imprisoned simply for condoning
a bombing here, Palestinians and fair-
minded Israeli Jews are concerned
about the harsh penalties dealt out to
Kawasmeh and Milhem recently in
retaliation for certain West Bank
crimes. Because the mayors' opinions
are held to have inspired a rash of
violent incidents around their towns of
Hebron and Halhoul, they were both
exiled to Jordan, there to dwell in
isolation from the townspeople they
were legitimately elected to govern.
Yet they have never been accused of
actually committing any crime.
j Themayors' situation is lamentable,
and it does seem unfair that they
should have been punished for crimes
that they have never even been ac-
cused of. We hope to see the Israeli
courts reverse their earlier decision.
There is, however, a disturbing ten-
dency among some Americans to get

The investigation-part of Pope John
Paul's effort to show that modern
science does not negate Christian
teaching-will be conducted with
"'complete objectivity," promises the
vice president of the modern day
Vatican equivalent of the Inquisition.
It's really quite encouraging to see
the Church try to correct itself after
three and a half centuries. Just
think-long about the year 2327, the
Vatican might review its antiquated
opposition to birth control, divorce,
homosexuality-...
Brael justice
too single-minded about Israeli justice,
or lack of it. The Palestinian penal
system, to name just one, is every bit
as cruel to its adversaries as the
Israeli one. Far more so, in fact.
When Mayor Kawasmeh visited the
United States last year, he stopped in
Ann Arbor for a speech and an inter-
view with the Daily staff. Kawasmeh
was asked about the case of a
Palestinian religious leader from the
Gaza Strip who dared to support more
moderation in Palestinian relations
with ,the Israeli government. The
leader was rewarded for his
reasonable approach with
assassination, allegedly at the hands of
PLO guerrillas.
Kawasmeh did not deny that the
murderers were PLO militants, yet did
offer what he seemed to think was a
sound explanation for the
Palestinian's assassination: "He was a
traitor," the mayor calmly explained.
Whether or not Kawasmeh and
Milhem win their current suit, it should
at least be noted that they had a chance
to appeal their case in court. The
Palestinian leader on the Gaza Strip
had no hearing, no judge, and no jury.
He was simply pronounced guilty. Sen-.
tence was carried out by gunfire. What
kind of justice is that?
Unsigned editorials ap-
pearing on the left side
of this page represent a
majority opinion of the
Daily's Editorial Board.

By Tom Hayden
Realizing that it's officially bad taste to
sound shrill or personal about the possibility
of a Reagan presidency, let me say that I like
Ronald Reagan, view him as a "populist" in
his own way, and find his company curiously
enjoyable.
We have lived as neighbors on nearby
"ranches" in the Santa Ynez Valley for
several years, and I don't find him
especially objectionable. Of course, he does
use zoning loopholes to pay virtually no local
property taxes while my family paid $6,500
last year, but he doesn't believe in gover-
nment and we do, so why complain.
IN MY ONE lengthy conversation
with Reagan, late one evening last year
when we found ourselves on the same flight
from San Francisco to Los Angeles, he tried
his honorable best to convince me that I
should follow his own evolution from left-
liberal to conservative. I agreed with much of
his criticism of government bureaucracy. I
was fascinated by his comments on the
elitism and covertness of the 1940s Hollywood
left. What disturbed me was that I couldn't
get a straight answer to the simplest kinds of
questions. If he opposes bureaucracy so much,
why does Ronald Reagan focus his fire only
on government and not on the waste and
secretiveness of big corporations, and why
only on government social programs but
never the FBI, the CIA, or the Pentagon?
The problem with Ronald Reagan is not
that he's bad, callous, or selfish. It's that from
an archaeological viewpoint, he is Obsolete
Man.
Because there is no viable candidate
representing the future, and because the Car-
ter status quo seems so insupportable, a
majority of Americans may well release their
subconscious nostalgic impulses and vote for
the Republican version of The Way We Were.
RONALD REAGAN was not shaped by the
Sixties-like Jerry Brown-or the New Deal
of the Thirties-like Ted Kennedy. He's not a
reflection of Jimmy Carter's New South of
1959. His consciousness was shaped by the
Golden Twenties, four political generations
removed from the children of today. He is a
direct descendant of the "Republican Ascen-
dency" of Calvin Coolidge and Herbert
Hoover.
Ronald Reagan believes in gunboat
diplomacy. He believes in dismantling
government and letting big corporations loose
to mold the world in their image. Of course,
he is capable of compromise, and his im-
pulses can be restrained by public opinion,
the media, and Congress.
But it is dangerous for an outmoded vision
to be located in the White House. Dangerous
to Third World countries, dangerous for the
arms race, dangerous for working people and
the poor, dangerous for organizers and ac-
tivists, and most dangerous for the next
generation of young people. Even if we are
spared war and repression under Reagan, the
effect of his benign incoherence will be to
drive the young into apathetic and private
lives.
CAN ANYTHING be done to head this off?
Yes. Between now and November 4, the
disillusioned voter can decide to vote for
Jimmy Carter. That's right, Jimmy Carter.
It is true that the Carter presidency, in
overall terms, has been such a failure that it
allows Reagan to be the first conservative
representing change. And it is true that Car-
ter's policies are primarily to blame for the
defections of liberals into the Anderson camp,
into the smaller and more principled Com-
moner group, or into nihilistic indifference.
But the larger truth is that non-votes or
Anderson votes are de facto votes for Ronald
Reagan. Assuming a close race, the 5-10 per-
cent defection vote will make the difference in
big states like New York and California.
THERE ARE VITAL margins of difference
between Carter and Reagan: support for the
Panama Canal and SALT treaties,
recognition of Zimbabwe and Nicaragua,
backing for the ERA, the quality of future
judicial appointments, labor law reform ver-
sus a "right to work" approach, tolerance and
partial support for progressive movements in-
stead of repression and exclusion.

Any rational person would recognize these
differences, but politics is anything but
rational. We are witnesses to an election in
which Carter is counting on a repeat of 1964

but the outcome is likely to be 1968.
I find that these two presidential elections,
1964 and 1968, still influence my consciousness,
my skepticism, toward electoral politics. I
don't think I'm different from millions of
disillusioned voters of the '60s generation,
fewer than half of whom have ever bothered
to register to vote.
IN 1964, IN my first vote for a presidential
candidate, I chose Lyndon Johnson because of
my fear of Barry Goldwater. We in Students
for a Democratic Society (SDS) adopted the
slogan, "Part of theWay with LBJ."
But instead of Johnson's promise of "no
wider war," we got napalm, B-52s, millions of
casualties, and moral disgrace. When 1968
came around, millions of us refused to sup=
port Hubert Humphrey as long as he upheld
Johnson's Vietnam policies. I voted for him,
but wouldn't admit it to anyone for years af-
terward. Humphrey remained loyal to John-
son, and lost by 100,000 votes to Richard
Nixon.,
In 1968, we learned the consequences of not
voting for the lesser evil. Not surprisingly,
you get;the greater evil. While I'm not sure
whether Humphrey would have ended the In-
dochina War any sooner than Nixon was for-
ced to, and while Humphrey's economic
policies might have been a failure, there is
one thing I am certain of: Humphrey would
not have authorized and carried out
Watergate. He might have dealt with
domestic radicals harshly, but I doubt if there
would have been a Gordon Liddy on the White
House payroll scheming to kill Jack Ander-
son. From my point of view, and my personal
experience, Watergate was the closest we
have ever come to a domestic police state,
and it was only narrowly averted.
REAGAN'S CAMPAIGN minions include
plenty of the types needed to rekindle
Watergate again, this time disguised as a

"moral majority" instead of a "silent
majority," employing the rhetoric of
Christianity instead of "law and order."
Reagan's victory will give the' "Radical
Right" the momentum and legitimacy it
needs to try again where Goldwater and
Nixon failed.
I am more worried about a repeat of 1968
than 1964, and therefore I am voting for Carter
without guilt or hesitation.
The day after the election will be soot
enough to resume the challenges to Carter,
and to form a strong coalition to change Car-
ter's direction if he is re-elected; a coalition
that can launch a determined effort to
revitalize the Democratic Party around a newo
vision of economic justice.
CARTER WILL need to listen to those he
has ignored for the past four years, or face a
future of failure and non-accomplishment. If
he wants to preside over ratification of the
ERA, or a SALT treaty, or see a meaningful
energy conservation program established,
Carter will have to coalesce with those forces
who now mistrust him the most.
If this sounds bleak andchancy, imagine
January 21 under President Reagan. He has
pledged to achieve major changes in his first
"100 days." And if he falters, there is always
George Bush, who contemplates the "win
nability" of nuclear war, ready to become the.
first head of the CIA to be president. A nice
move for the spies: victory through elections,
but without public knowledge or consent.
Be ready for it.
Former Daily editor Tom Hayden was a
founder and leader of the Students for al
Democratic Society. He is currently the
chairman of the Campaign for Economic
Democracy.

LETTERS TO THE DAILY:
Mental health bill misrepresented

To the Daily:
The letter from members of the
Citizens Commission on Human
Rights (Daily, October 15)
misrepresents the intent of
Senate Bill 866, which I spon-
sored.
The purpose of SB 866 is to
bring more professionalism and
training into the commitment
process. It is not to put more

hospitalized until he or she is cer-
tified mentally ill twice-the first
time by a physician or
psychiatrist, the second time by a
psychiatrist, and then only after
a court hearing where less
restrictive alternatives have
been considered.
SB 866 is addressed to the needs
of rural areas especially, where
distances can be long and

psychologists, social workers,
and psychiatric nur-
ses-qualified to do first cer-
tifications and knowledgeable
about local resources-may help
to prevent the hospital route at
all. We hope that with this bill
people will be helped in the com-
munities where they live.
The writers mentioned the use
of electro-shock therapy. I

concern of the writers is about
mental hospitals in general andO
commitment procedures in par
ticular. Commitment procedures
are a concern to me, too, and for
that reason Rep. Claude Trim'
and I have agreed to hold joint
Senate-House hearings on the
subject in early 1981.
-Edward Pierce
Chairman

litK I 4 ,t m ,~r

I

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