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November 09, 1980 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 1980-11-09

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I

OPINION

u_ _ , - _ .-.. -,

rage 4

Sunday, November 9, 1980

(The Michigan Daily 4

The Democratic burden lifted by a landslide

Call me a cruel bastard; maybe I deserve it.
But some sinister streak within me is glad and
relieved that Ronald Reagan and those droves
of scowling reactionaries around him will be
mtining the country-or trying to-January 20.
b Frankly, these last four years have been a
Wrden. The nation has been sinking into a
malaise," all right, just as Jimmy told us. But
ottr sour mood was not developed in spite of our
fearless leader's best efforts-it was because of
them. Andeach of us who faithfully went off to
tle polling booths in November, '76, and pulled
1O0 liquity /14
By Joshua Peck
the '.ever for that then-mysterious Georgian
bears part of the responsibility for four years of
embarrassment that followed.
IN MY CASE, there is even more reason for
sheepishness than for the average unshakable
Democrat. Sure, I made a token effort at
making, Mo Udall the Democratic nominee-a
little canvassing and phone calling-but once
James Earl became the man of the hour, I
dutifully fell in line.
I persuaded myself, and then other potential
Eugene McCarthy voters, that Jimmy was.
really part of the liberal tradition, that he could
be counted on to act in the faith of his

Democratic predecessors as president (except
for LBJ's bombing runs in Vietnam), that a
Carter, presidency might be able to put the
eight preceding years of Nixon/Ford "leader-
ship" to shame. Hee hee.
1976. I remember going to sleep on the night
after a busy Election Day feeling elated by the
day's events. I'd spent the morning on the
phone from Democratic headquarters (George
Sallade's State Street law office, actually),
calling registered Democrats and finding that,
yes, virtually all of them planned to get to the
polls to vote for our boy if they hadn't already.
THAT AFTERNOON and into the evening,
I'd been walking around Ypsilanti canvassing
for Carter. I had discovered that it was no myth
about Ann Arbor's neighboring community:
Ninety percent of the people I met really did
say "y'all" and "y'hear." Neither was the
fustian about Southern hospitality a falsehood.
I was offered a shot of bourbon or rye at every
third or fourth stopping place, a few of which I
forced down.
Best of all, these people were Democrats.
Growing up in a particularly liberal corner of
suburbia, I had started to believe that the
stereotypes were all wrong; that the
Democratic party and liberalism were really
for the affluent, not for the so-called New Deal
coalition after all. Yet here I was with people
who earned legs than half what my parents did,
ate different food, spoke an almost unin-
telligible version of our allegedly mutual
language, and who worshipped a God I regar-
ded as a superstitious invention. The Hatfields,
McCoys, and I turned out to share a faith after
all. We believed in what the party offered, and

we were going to put it to work for our collec-
tive good.
The dream has been dismantled. I won't say
no faith in the liberal approach remains;
Tuesday's vote is better read as a rebuke to one
specific man than as a condemnation of the
philosophy of the mainstream of his party. But
certainly the electorate has grown suspicious
of the promises and of the compassion of the
Democratic liberal wing.
WHEN I CAST my "protest vote" for Barry
Commoner last week, I was one member of the
eight-odd percent of the electorate that rejec-
ted the cream of the major-party crops. When I
first made my voting intentions clear, I was
subjected to much of the usual shrill derision
heaped on third party or independent adheren-
ts: "A vote for Commoner is a vote for
Reagan," went the mantra this time. Last
time, the names were McCarthy and Ford,
before that (and on the other side of the
political spectrum) they were Wallace and
Humphrey.
The chant is a lot of garbage, and elitist gar-
bage at that. People don't vote for a sure loser
because they think they can put him in office.
Nor do they vote for him just to teach the major
candidates a lesson. They vote for him because
he is saying something they believe, or because
he sees the world in a way no other candidate
grasps.
The media played into that game of warning
against Anderson, Commoner, and Clark votes
a little too willingly. They started pointing to
states that Carter would "surely" carry if not
for a heavy Anderson vote, suggesting that any
voter whose first choice was Anderson would

have Carter as his second choice.
NOT SO. The polls-which the media eviden-
tly only watch closely when it suits their pur-
pose-clearly indicated that 35-40 percent of
Anderson's supporters would be pulling the
lever for Reagan as a second choice. With a
near-balance among his- supporters, Ander-
son's reputation as a "spoiler" would seem to
have been misplaced. But what's a little distor-
tion when you're having fun?
I was particularly irked by the "Vote for
Commoner equals a vote for Reagan", chant
because I nearly succumbed to it. While most
of the surveys indicated Michigan was leaning
to Reagan, it still seemed possible that heavy
turnouts in Detroit and student areas might
throw the state into the Carter column. I was
strongly tempted to turn Tory.
But Tuesday morning I was reminded-in a
classroom, of all places-of an issue that ought
to have been central to this campaign, and that
might yet be in some other, saner one. The
issue was the United States' history of med-
dling in other nations' affairs. This was not the
history we learned in high school about the
Peace Corps' wonderful, charitable works
abroad. Nor did I hear about the miracles
American foreign aid dollars have done in the
Third World.
THE ASPECT of'our national foreign policy
that was discussed was the way the gover-
nment has almost always treated foreign
governments that do not look to be friendly to
American business interests.
We overthrow them. Guns, torture, rightist
totalitarianism; whatever it takes. These are
not hidden facts-our adventures in Chile are

well-known, our efforts in th rest of Latin
America, though more tenuously documented,
are perfectly evident. The Anerican inter-
ference in Iran, of course, isl the most far=
reaching and shameful story of 11.
Yet both Carter and Reag n, to varying
degrees, parrot the high schoo textbook very
sion of history; Washington is a glorious and
generous benefactor that bring the rest of the
world wealth and independen. Publicly, we
wonder why we are losing foreign friends left
and right. Privately, we conti ue about our
business of alienating ever greater numbers of
other peoples.
I'll vote for a Democrat again when one faces
up to American misdeeds and promises to
begin cleaning up our act, Stans$eld Turner be
damned.
UNLIKE THE many progressive commen-
tators who have emerged from Tuesday's
punishment screaming franti ally, I find
myself bathed in a feeling of r laxation and
relief. The nation's lot is not goi g to improve
over the next four years, but this time it'll look
like their fault. We're not responsible for put-
ting Reagan in office; the people of the.
American heartland, cities, suburbs, and
plains are. They're not evil, these Reagan sup-;
porters. They're decent, hard-working,
basically honest, and wrong. But how would
they ever have found out under a second term
of Carter mismanagement?
1984, anyone?
Joshua Peck is the co-editor of the
Daily's Opinion page. His column appears
every Sunday.

Editen n tanivt oa l
Edited and managed by students at The University of Michigan

Feiffer

4

MV165 7-~

Vol. XCI, No. 58

420 Maynard St.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109

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

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Purging the poor pigeons
IRST THERE was the Baboon On Thursday, the University, under
Seven, a group of primates used fire from animal lovers, ordered the
ainea pigs in car crash experimen- exterminating company to collect the
t the University. Then there was bird corpses and remaining poisoned
rat cat, a feline tortured and killed corn, effectively discontinuing the
iembers of a local fraternity. pigeon massacre.
id now there are the dropping . We- have mixed feelings about this
ons, whose pigeon droppings pose pigeon purge. Certainly the killing of
alth threat. any animal is abhorrent, and the
cording to officials in the Univer- Avitrol caused painful deaths for those
s Occupational Safety and En- 200 birds, some of which were seen to
nmental Health Office, pigeon walk off the roofs of buildings and
)pings present a public health plunge to their deaths.
ace because they collect a fungus Yet, the University has a legitimate
impairs natural antibodies. in interest in preserving the health of the
ans. humans in this community. Pigeons
, earlier this week, an exter- are a menace, and disgusting to
ating firm under contract to the boot-just take a look at any window
versity spread chemical-saturated ledge in the Frieze Building.
in favorite pigeon roosting areas Further, the spiked corn was inten-
aattempt to disorient the birds and 'ded only to confuse the birds, so
e them away. perhaps they might have flown away to
it for about 200 pigeons, disorien- East Lansing. The deaths were unin-
on turned to death as the tentional.
mical-Avitrol-caused pigeon The pigeon problem is no laughing
liac arrest. matter. We must all try to think of a
ozens of the birds were found dying way to avoid another pigeon pogrom.
gasping on the Diag Wednesday, to Maybe we could try little pigeon
orror of concerned passersby. Pampers?

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Conservatism is the answer'

THE MILWAUKEE JOURNAL/
-~1

(

YOUR HONORfTHE'
DEFENSE WOULD LiKE
TO CALL ON TWO
WITNE5E5$WO ARE

xli

The Michigan Daily has long
been thought of as a bulwark of
liberal student opinion. In that
tradition, it bemoaned the results
of the national election as a step
backward for America. A new
shift to rigid conservatism has
been effected, it said. The light of
liberal ideals is "dimming fast,"
it said.
I am a conservative, and I
believe what happened last
Tuesday is the best thing to hap-
pen to America in 40 years.
AS A STAUNCH conservative,
my basic belief is in government
reduction. I strongly support the
notion that there is almost
nothing done by the federal
government, outside of national
defense and protection of life,
that cannot be better handled by
free and private enterprise.
The main problem is posed by
the federal government, but the.
states' intervention in the natural'
order of economic and
social activity has also become
too large. Simply put, much of
government has to go.
While political analysts correc-
tly call Tuesday's Republican
sweep a grassroots surge, the
grassroots are also reponsible for
the liberal mess that caused the
problem in the first place. It
seems that whenever Americans
observe a problem they im-
mediately demand that gover-
nment do something about it.
This liberal mentality
unavoidably leads to an expan-
sion of the role government plays
in our lives. It's past time to
reverse the trend.

Franklin Roosevelt's brainchild,
carried now under Teddy Ken-
nedy's banner. Basically, it calls
for an expansion of the role
government plays in our lives. It
is repulsive.
The U.S. federal government is
now the biggest spending
organizationsthe world has ever
known. Its spending, combined
with that of the state and local.
governments, accounts for over
40 percent of the Gross National
Product. In 1929 they spent about
10 percent. Still, Kennedy and his
cohorts want to expand the
bureaucracy into, among other
things,a national health insuran-
ce company. It will, no doubt, run
with the same efficiency as the
national post office and Amtrak.
KENNEDY ARGUES that
national health care will help
people. I am not against people
helping people in need. I don't
think the "simplistic"
Republicans are either. I am only
against the federal government,
or any other government, trying
to solve our problems by going in-
to business.
Look at the Social Security
system and its failings. The ideas
and the intentions were good and
noble, as Kennedy's are now. In
practice, though, it has not
fulfilled its goals. National health
care is doomed to a similar
failure. All the good intentions in
the world will not make it any
more practical.
Some optimists say we can
clean up government, eliminate

By Mark Gindin

WITH THIS IN mind, I rejoice
in the defeats of Senators
McGovern, Church, and Bayh.
They are Kennedy clones with the
same misguided ambitions and
desires to play with and squander
other people's money.
One attack on conservative
ideology, originates in the idea
that government is the only
means we have to help - the
nation's unfortunates, that no one
else ,can protect us from our-
selves and our greedy tendencies.
First, I think it disgusting that
anyone would consider himself
helpless without government.
There are other more beneficial
and efficient alternatives .that
have never been tried.
ALSO, WHEN people want the
government to "do something,"
they do not realize that with
every action the government
takes, it removes another piece of
the collective pie. As the pie gets
smaller, the citizens lose out in
the long run. Sure, they get
"progressive legislation," but
with it they get more laws
restricting rights, a larger
bureaucracy, more taxes, and
worst of all, a bigger dependency
on Big Brother. Where will it
end?
It could end where England is,
at an almost 90 percent income
tax rate and almost total gover-
nmental control of industry.
Nationalized everything!
Whoopee!
Or it could end with a Soviet
system-total dependence on the

It is not against equal rights
that I stand, only against the
government having any influence
one way or the other. The gover-
nment attempts are noble, but on
the whole, over the course of
time, government intervention
has not done as much to promote
the general welfare as has the
profit motive and free enterprise.
That is why I gdvocate the very
thing the "evil and simplistic"
president-elect advocates, the
concept of less government. The
other two options havetbeen ex-
plained. Not very pretty, were
they?
Americans have finally
realized what has been hap-
pening for 40 years. The gover-
nment has grown, grown, and
grown (groan). The money to
support it had to come from
somewhere, and it came from us.
Are we better off as a result?
That is the question everybody
but the few remaining leftists an-
swered with a resounding "no."
Federal programs have not
produced anything near thei~'
cost. People are still poor ahd
people are still unemployed and
people still suffer under inflation:
WHAT DO THE liberal
McGoverns, Churches, and
O'Reillys "say 'to that? "Let's
have a bigger program with more
money! Why not! It's frees'
Finally, people realized it wasnt
free money. Because of theli
realization, America will not only
survive, it will grow in its neW-
found independence.
The liberal ideal. has beeni
rejected. Yes, a giant step back-
wards has been taken-apd it is a

EXPERTS ON ILLEGAL
BREAK-INS - BON
MITCH ELL AND
RICH ARD N IXON

!1lii ______11 N9111 f11t11URIJuI E1 X\: .

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