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September 12, 1984 - Image 4

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1984-09-12

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4

OPINION

Page 4

Wednesday, September 12, 1984

The Michigan Daily

4

I

Thi

By Jonathan Boyd
Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel.
-Samuel Johnson, 1775
President Reagan has given new
meaning to Samuel Johnson's maxim
on scoundrel-hood. Reagan has not
only proven his skill with patriotism,
but has been trying his hand at morality
as well. If Mr. Reagan wants to win the
election and our hearts, with perhaps a
few souls thrown into the bargain, he
needs a few tips in good, old-fashioned
Judeo-Christian morality. By lying to
us about morality with his conser-
vatism, he is losing at his own game.
First off,-the truly moral man doesn't
raise himself up so that all can see his
"piety" as he prays., Mr. Reagan,
however, has made such ostensible
"righteousness" the very basis of his
campaign. People are all abuzz over
the carnal Democrats who must all be
God-haters because they aren't
Republicans. Not only has Reagan
claimed that religion and government
are necessarily connected, but he has
also made such a claim self-fulfilling
prophecy; no politician dare speak
against religion, any religion, now. In-
deed, the truly moral man does not
need his politics to be conspicuously

e pre
connected to any religion. H
are already moral and just en
BUT THAT'S the rub.
policies aren't moral enougI
own. He needs to rely on
atively petty issues of anti-
ti-abortion, and pro-praye
schools to cover up his shofitc
the other, more critical ar
needs to learn that, while thel
make a distinction between]
females (as does any Biolog
also asserts that the worker
his wages, whether he be
female. Reagan needs to re
an underground, bargain
abortion is far more hazards
legitimately supervised one.
to be reminded that, as a C
will pray wherever I damn w
even in the presence of min
(and schoolteachers), thank y
It is in the moral issue
proportions that Mr. B-mov
falls short. The truly moral n
cerned for his world: his i
collection of individuals, asz
environment, and as a we
munity. Sadly enough, the
also has received nothing1
from the Reagan administrz
elimination and severe cu
economic assistance progra
feed, clothe, and house m
Americans is a travesty
Reagan's self-proclaimed r
Jesus didn't wait for his bli
"trickle down" to the indivi

acher and the scoundrel
is policies on high; he went straight to the leper,
ough. the beggar, the hungry, and yes, even
Reagan's the tax-collector.
h on their The moral man, appreciating true
the rel- beauty, cares for his physical en- ADD 1E B R
ERA, an- viroment. He recognizes the treasure
Sin the to be found in sea shores left pristine,
omings in unsullied with government leases, and
eas. He the blessings to. be shared when
Bible does families with small children have pure
males and water to drink. The President,
y text), it however, has shown contempt for
deserves America and her natural richness with
male or the appointment of incompetents and
ealize that the toleration of inefficiency. He ap-
-basement parently missed Jesus when he spoke in
ous than a respect of his natural environment.
He needs Finally, and most emphatically, the
hristian, I moral man is concerned for his world
ell please, as a community of men. He properly
e enemies places great priority on warm relations
you. with his neighbor, whether he lives
s of epic across the street or over the North Pole.
ie himself Indeed, he is instructed to leave his
nan is con- place of worship to clear up any dif- A
world as a ficulties before resuming his prayers.
a physical Tragically, Reagan's only street map of
orld com- Moscow is in the War Room.
individual This is not to say that all candidates
but scorn for public office must subscribe to
ation. The Christian morality. May it never be!
It-back of But if Ronnie says he's a good boy, he'd
ims which better be. So, don't refuse to vote for
pillions of Reagan because he doesn't really live
of Mr. up to Christian standards. Refuse to
morality. vote for him because he's a liar.

wommommoppp-

I

4

essings to
dual from

Boyd is afreshman in LS&A.

4

I -_

die b s tdan o a n
Edited and managed by students at The University of Michigan

High-tech futurism in the GOP

Vol. XVC, No. 6

420 Maynard St.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109

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

Attempted escape

F or the fifth time in eight years Ai
tax repeal proposal will appear on
the Michigan ballot. Once again a
group of anti-tax fanatics are trying to
take power away from the duly elected
state legislators. What will the men
and women elected to represent this
state find to do if Proposal C passes?
Should the proposal take effect, tax
measures-which are always the most
unpleasant things legislators must
vote on every year-will no longer be
solely in their hands. State senators
and representatives can rest easy at
night if a required four-fifths vote of
the legislature is not met. The issue
would then be placed in the hands of
the citizens, the burden of the
measure's impact placed on their
heads and off of the heads of the
legislators. The proposal would un-
doubtedly drop state and non-voted
local property taxes to their December
1981 levels. State representatives
would neatly escape responsibility for
the negative effects of this reduction.
They won't have to worry about being
ousted by angry single-issue voters
anymore. Just let the citizens decide.
That's government by the people,
right?
Wrong. While legislators may be
caught up in sometimes unproductive
partisan battles and plagued by special
interest commitments, they do happen
to spend their working day studying
the needs of this state and have a
broader outlook than the average per-
son.

Joe and Suzie citizen just know that
taxes take a big bite out of their
already meagre income. They neither
have access to the information that
their legislator sees regularly, nor do
they have a broad enough interest in
issues above and beyond their own
personal finances.
And this is to be expected, not
everyone has the desire to be a state
senator or representative.
There were very important reasons
why the U.S. constitution was not
drawn up to include direct popular
voting on an issue by issue basis. For
one, it simply takes too long. Elections
are costly to run, and the public is often
extremely apathetic and uninformed
on the issues-as awful as that is to
admit.
Democracy isn't perfect. But so far
it has worked having a representative
government. The people of this state
hire their representatives to do a job.
Let's let them do it. Proposal C would
set this state back by not only $1
billion, as the Citizen Research Council
of Michigan estimates, but would ruin
philosophically the very foundation of
checks and balances provided by good
government. Legislators should be
held accountable for the difficult
decisions facing them. The wisdom of
this state's individual representatives
is the only guarantee of a government
guided with the best interests of the
people always in mind.

By James Ridgeway
Once again the most audacious
political thinking in an election
year has come roaring out of the
conservative wing of the
Republican Party-setting forth
a bold new philosophy which
should not only dominate debate
in the GOP for years to come but
is clearly intended to appeal to
neo-liberal Democrats as well.
It is a heady blend of high-tech
futurism, conservatism, and
populism, which is also anti-tax,
anti-welfare state, and strongly
anti-communist.
THE MOST visible proponent
of these new ideas is
Congressman Newt Gingrich
from Atlanta, who already is at-
tracting the sort of following that
grew up around Jack Kemp in
1980.
Gingrich is founder of the Con-
servative Opportunity Society, a
group of 15 or so young GOP
congressmen who have waged
guerrilla warfare against House
Speaker Tip O'Neill. They are
ideological and confrontational.'
"A period of tremendous
change," says Gingrich, calls for
"the driving force of ideological
vision."
Gingrich played a major role in
drafting this year's Republican
platform. "What we do now," he
says, "will determine whether
the post-Reagan Republican Par-
ty is a dynamic, conservative
vehicle or whether it reverts to a
moderate, defeatist GOP."
CLUSTERED around Gingrich
are Vin Weber, the young
congressman from Minnesota
who chairs the society's
meetings; Daniel Lungren of
California, who presses fortough
crime bills; Connie Mack of
Florida, a former Democrat tur-
ned Republican who sponsors
legislation to balance the budget;
Mark D. Siljander of Michigan,
who argues for the flat 10 percent
tax rate; Toby Roth of Wisconsin,
who wants to limit trade in high
technology to protect national
security and argues for com-
petitive bidding in military con-
tracts; Barbara Vucanovich of
Nevada, who backs merit pay in
school and reduced federal con-
trol in education, and Robert
Walker of Pennsylvania, a keen
advocate of commercialization of
space.
The spine of the new Conser-
vative Opportunity Society-as
outlined in Gingrich's book, "The
Window of Opportunity," and in a
series of briefings by him and
others at Dallas-is space com-
merce. This begins with
Reagan's manned space station
and grows to encompass tourism,

the industrial revolution, provide
thousands of new jobs and jolt the
economy forward.
AT THE SAME time, society
itself will be rekindled by
adherence to conservative ethics
and a spare, decentralized
government that emphasizes
hard work and free enterprise. A
few examples:
-More prisons should be built
for hard-core criminals. Within
these prisons, the convicts must
work to pay for their keep.
-The information revolution
allows work to be decentralized
and returned to the home, which
will strengthen the family.
-Adolescence, a concept
devised to remove children from
the mills and mines, will become
outmoded. Rather, teens will en-
ter the workforce as apprentices
laboring for a modest wage.
-Education must become a
lifelong pursuit focused on lear-
ning. Here, reward is the key.
Gingrich suggests as an ex-
periment offering "a $500 bonus
for any child who enters the first
grade reading at a fourth grade
level.
"If we combine that with an
October 'Achievement Sunday' in
some local churches at which the
bonus winners are recognized, we
would have created a social and
economic reward system that can
have real impact in poor neigh-
borhoods and change the reading
habits of entire communities."
But Gingrich offers some real
surprises when it comes to
welfare reform. "Individuals,
families, and poor communities
should receive cash and credit
card vouchers directly," he has
said. "These services going to
the neediest should be seen as
state charity and should be
generous rather than stingy."
THE DISABLED elderly
should be helped outright, but
younger, able-bodied adults
should work or study if they wish
to receive aid-including unem-
ployment insurance. Tax laws
should be changed to exempt
working poor parents. Public
housing projects should become
condominiums which can be
acquired through sweat equity.
"We should consider a nutrition
program which makes the most
basic foodstuffs-flour, cheese,
rice, red beans and a dozen
similar items-available free or
at a nominal cost in grocery
stores," he argues. "This would
cost far less than the current $12
billion annually for food stamps.
There would be no food stamp
fraud, and there would be no
popular fury at seeing luxury
goods paid for, on occasion, by
food stamps."

4
54

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Associated Press
Ronald Reagan: Herald of the new conservative populists.

Gingrich and the others are
strongly supportive of the family.
"I am divorced and remarried,"
Gingrich told a Republican
audience in Dallas. "I still
believe very deeply in the family.
I believe that male sexuality
should be tied directly to paren-
thood. One of the great destruc-
tive factors of the welfare state is
that it separated males and made
them irresponsible."
HE CLAIMS that mothers are
in poverty "because they let the
males walk off. So let us bring
back together at a minimum the
economic relationship and I
suspect you will find that it in-
creases the likelihood of the
psychological relationship.".
Conservative Opportunity
Society politics represent another
bold move to forge new
bridgeheads against the
Democrats. The language is
positive and meant to appeal to
adherents of high-tech,
sometimes referred to as Atari
Democrats, who lined up behind
Gary Hart's campaign.

These activists also appeal to
those environmentalists who see
space as the key to a new- era
based on renewable energy.
There are strands here strongly
reminiscent of Jerry Brown.
At the same time, Gingrich at-
tacks modern environmental
politics head on by dismissing the
very idea of limits to growth as a
negative, stagnant idea of the
liberal welfare state. Similar at-
tacks stood Ronald Reagan in
good stead in 1980.
But Gingrich fits into no con-
venient slot. He appears to have
taken over portions of the
proposals for social reform
argued out within the Democratic
Party during the mid and late
'60s. Indeed, his emphasis on
decentralization, his attacks on
bureaucracy and his proposal for
giving away farm commodities,
etc. sound almost as if they might
have come out of the New Left
Port Huron statement.

I
I

AGED RAIN4 IT'It.1AVE
'( D

Ridgeway wrote this article4
for the Pacific News Service.

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