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September 19, 1984 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 1984-09-19

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OPINION

Page 4

Wednesday, September 19, 1984

The Michigan

Doyd

14

Offering the

Libertarian alternative

Reading the news in an election year it is
easy to forget that there are more than two
political parties in this country. In fact, a
wide variety of political organizations are
represented on almost every ballot. The
Libertarians are one of the strongest such
alternative parties. The Libertarian can-
didate for Vice President of the United
States, James Lewis, visited Ann Arbor
recently for an interview with Daily
Opinion Page assistant Peter Kizilos and
talked about his party, its ideological basis,
and hopes for the future.
DialogUe
Daily: Can you briefly sum up the guiding
ideas behind the Libertarian Party and why
you think it should be an attractive choice for
voters this year?
Lewis : Well, the last two presidential elec-
tions were won by candidates who said they
were going to get government off our backs and
out of our pocketbooks and out of our
bedrooms. They must have had some appeal
because people voted both Carter and then
Reagan into office but they didn't do any of the
things they said they were going to do. We still
have this tremendous concentration of power in
Washington, and if people really want reform,
the Libertarian Party we would say, is the
rebirth of Mr. Jefferson's small government
party. The only way you're going to get this
reform in government is to build a new party.
Daily: Is there any way you can place your-
self on a political left-right scale?
Lewis: No, not really. I think it was Pat
Buchannan who interviewed Libertarian
Presidential candidate David Bergland on
"Crossfire" who commented, "Well from those
answers it would place the Libertarians two
degrees to the right of Reagan on his issues and
fifteen degrees to the left of McGovern on his
issues." You can't put us left and right. The
issue is freedom, and when' we're talking about
freedom we're talking about across the board.:
More economic freedom and civil liberties.
Daily: Could you be a little more specific
about what you mean by "economic freedom"

and how that is achieved?
Lewis: First of all the question of why do we
have in our view, a dying, shrinking economy.
You've got 8 to 11 million people out there,
depending on whose numbers you're looking at,
who in many cases would like to work. They
carry banners, march in Martin Luther King
marches demanding jobs and so forth, So the 8
to 11 million are, most of them, physically
able-bodied and willing to work. Why is it that
our economy is not growing and expanding to
absorb them? The Libertarians would look at it
and say because of all the coercive labor
legislation that has been passed over the last 50
to 75 years in this country. Minimum wage
laws, licensing laws, National Labor Relations
Act, Bacon-Davis Act, all the regulatory agen-
cies and all the red tape that's been put into the
economic system in our country has just
basically strangled it. So we would say get rid
of all those coercive labor laws and regulatory
agencies and just basically open it up and
establish a free market in jobs and wages.
Daily: Can you give us your impression of
the two main presidential candidates?
Lewis: Both of the old parties are big
government parties. The only difference is
where's the emphasis going to be? If the
Democrats or liberals are in the driver's seat
then it's going to be on the welfare state. If the
Republicans or the conservatives are in, then
* it's going to be on the warfare state.
Daily: How does Libertarian philosophy deal
with the issue of national defense?
Lewis: Right back to Washington, Jefferson,
and the early founding fathers if you will, and
that is that you should have as little to do with
foreign nations as possible-friendship, and
free trade, open borders, open immigration.
You can't have an open immigration policy the
way we sit today because we haven't got jobs
for our own people. But if we got the economy
opened up then people from other countries
should be able to come here and make a better
life for themselves. We would subscribe to the
plaque on the statue of liberty. Certainly the
Democrats wouldn't do that at their conven-
tion, they ducked it. They didn't even want to
deal with the Simpson-Mazzoli bill. We don't
have any problem with it. I guess the best way
to say it is that Libertarians' emphasis would
be to turn America into a giant Switzerland.
Daily: What principles would guide a Liber-
tarian foreign policy vis-a-vis the Soviet Union,
since you seem to be saying that the United
States would retreat from the present balance
of power formula?
Lewis: This does notmean that we're not
concerned-about the predatory instincts of the
Soviets, if indeed that exists - the big "Red
Menace" that we've all grown up with, right?

Libertarian Party is offering voters a sharp
break from that?
Lewis: Oh, absolutely. That center, if you4
will, really in our view is an effort not to take,a
stand on these different issues, because which
voting blocs are then not going to support you?
We don't have any problem with that since
we're operating on this underlying principle of
the emphasis being on the individual and in-
dividual liberty. Then it's very easy to be. a
candidate for this party because all the issues
tie right back to maximizing your freedon to
live your own life as long as you don't infringe
on my right to do the same.
Daily: Do you think that by decriminalizing4
"victimless crimes," such as drug use and
prostitution, other social problems can be
solved as well?
Lewis: The principle benefit would be that
we know from history that you can't legislate
morality. When you try to do that, what do you
do? You don't get rid of those problems, you
drive them underground and open up a market
for the organized crime element. So you still
have them. The problem now is that those vic-
timless crimes end up breeding violent crimes:
Daily: Although the Libertarian Party does
not yet have a large national following, do you
have hope that the party will continue to grow?
Lewis: Oh, absolutely. We're having a bal.
I can't think of anything more exciting than to
be out there rattling the cage of the establish-
ment, because look at who we're taking on.'
Who are the very powerful special interests
who obviously would fight us tooth and nailst-
make sure that in fact we don't get people in-
terested in more freedom and less gover-
nment? Well, the political party bosses of th
two old parties, right? No more patronage,
nothing to give. away due to the reduced cw-
centration of power in government. Labot
union bosses? No coercive labor laws, so what
have they got to sell? The marketplace witl
determine wages. They won't be able to throw
up a picket line and shut down a factory.
People will certainly be able to go and get other
jobs. International bankers. They certainly
aren't going to be happy to get rid of -the
Federal Reserve System and go back to an
honest money system backed by gold and silve"
or some such commodity. How about the Lee
Iacoccas of the world? No more corporate bail-
outs, no more subsidies, no more farm and dairy
price supports. None of that. So they're 'not
going to be happy with us. And finally
organized crime won't be, because if you
decriminalize all of those victimless crimes
they're out of business. They haven't got any
product line. So you know we really are taking
on some heavyweights. We know that. But I
think it's great.

Daily Photo by JAMES BOYD
James Lewis, the Libertarian candidate for Vice President of the United States, believes his party
offers the only real solution to America's problems.

The question that we would have is, if its such a
threat to us, if this evil system of communism
is all that it's cracked up to be, then how is it
that we're subsidizing it all over the world?
Both David Rockefeller and the President of
City Bank have said they don't see anything
wrong with making loans to these Eastern bloc
nations. In fact, Rockefeller said they are very
stable governments. To which I would say,
well David, are they stable governments
because you're propping them up with cheap

loans? Libertarians in fact would like to with-
draw all subsidies from the communist coun-
tries. Let's see if communism can operate un-
der its own steam. What we believe we would
be doing is making it possible for people living
under that boot of a totalitarian state to over-
throw their governments and win their
freedom.
Daily: Some political observers have noted a
convergence of the two main political parties
toward the center. Would you say that the

r

I I

Edie n m dt an f Mihia
Edited and managed by students at The University of Michigan

The fundamentalist registration push

Vol. XCV, No. 12

420 Maynard St.
Ann Arbor, Ml 48109

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

AT LAST THE American public
will be able to watch two can-
didates for the highest office in this
nation battle it out face-to-face in a
kind of constructive war-a war of the
minds.
Yesterday, the League of Women
Voters announced that there would be
two 90 minute debates between
President Reagan and his
Democratic challenger Walter Mon-
dale. One 90 minute debate will be held
between Vice President Bush and
Democratic vice presidential nominee
Geraldine Ferraro. It is definitely a
sign of progress that the two parties
were able to set up a public forum, but
it must be conducted properly for there
to be any real benefit.
There will be the tendency for
Reagan, who is some 30 points ahead of
his challenger in recent polls, to avoid
discussing specific policy questions.
Mondale, on the other hand, is
probably beginning to realize about
now that he has little to lose in this
debate.
However, if Mondale is to serve any
purpose in this campaign he will serve
it in these debates: he must show the
American people that Ronald
Reagan's stands on issues such as

philosophies of Reagan and Mondale.
They should not seek to be an exchange
of polished political one-liners but in-
stead, serious examinations of where
this country is headed if a Reagan
justice department, and a Reagan-
stacked Supreme Court do away with
affirmative action and the principles
embodied in the 1964 Civil Rights Act.
What kind of environment do
Americans want in the years to come?
Must people accept acid rain and toxic
wastes as part of this modern throw-
away society?
It will be easy for Mondale to simply
throw barbs at the president and to say
that he opposes his policies without of-
fering any alternative solutions. It will
be equally simple for the President to
wear his badge of optimism, denying
the tragic miscalculations in Lebanon
and the deterioration in relations with
the Soviet Union. But the long-term
well-being of this country will not be
promoted by empty discourse.
When the question of leadership
arises in these debates, it should be an-
swered. Good leadership does not
necessarily mean appearing strong,
unyielding, and buoyed by confidence
in one's power over others. It must be

By James Ridgeway
RALEIGH, N.C.-In the
nation's most venal Senate cam-
paign, incumbent Senator Jesse
Helms is dragging his opponent,
Democrat Jim Hunt, through the
sewers of the state.
Hunt, the state's popular two-
term governor, is no liberal. He
backs the death penalty, supports
constitutional amendments to
balance the budget and for school
prayer, and endorses a vigorous
defense policy.
HE'S QUIETLY pro-choice and
insists he supports the ERA,
though feminists say he never
really fought for it. He is a
spokesman for the New
South-an integrationist who en-
courages business to take advan-
tage of the state's low wages and
non-union climate.
Hunt has far more in common
with George Bush than with
Walter Mondale, and indeed he
has taken pains to underscore his
differences with his party's
presidential nominee.
In the campaign, Helms-who
threatened to bolt the GOP in 1980
if Bush was nominated as vice
president-has appealed directly
to his constituency within the
fundamentalist Protestant chur-
ches, particularly those of the
Moral Majority.
ON SUNDAY, Sept. 9, for
example, Helms received a stan-
ding ovation from 3,000 people
packed into Charlotte's Northside
Baptist Church-the state's
largest Moral Majority church.
After moving everyone to tears
with a sad storyofetwo little girls
killed on Korean Airlines Flight
007, he launched into a stern at-
tack on "secular humanism."
"These are the people respon-

pastor Jack Hudson with a letter
of salutation and congratulations
from President and Mrs. Reagan.
Hudson himself has attacked the
use of George Orwell's "1984" in
the schools, and, most recently,
criticized Betty Ford's views on
pre-marital sex and women's
rights.
THAT SAME day, Helms race-
baited Hunt on television,
charging that he supported
legislation for Martin Luther
King Junior's birthday and at-
tacked him for having received
money from gay groups.
The race is judged to be just
about dead even, with less than 10
percent of the voters undecided,
so the final outcome could be
determined by new voters. Here
the highly motivated and newly
registered conservative whites
may play a decisive role, despite
current political wisdom which
holds that black voter
registration will make the dif-
ference.
North Carolina trails only New
York and Texas in numbers of
unregistered black voters. Ac-
cording to the Joint Center of
Political Studies in Washington,
391,000 of the state's black voting-
age population were registered in
1982. Reagan carried the state in
1980 by fewer than 40,000 votes.
STATE FIGURES show black
registration up about 60,000, and
some experts believe that figure
will grow to more than 100,000 by
election day. Kenneth Johnson,
who works with a voter
registration project in the poor
black belt, says the level of
discrimination is hard to believe.
People who go to the polls and say
they cannot read, she reports, are
ridiculed, and registration of-

ficials offer no help with voting
procedures as required by law. -
At the May primary in Har-
tford County, she says, women's.
purses were taken from them and
held as they voted. People who
came to the polls in carpools were
frightened when police decided to
conduct license checks and stop-
ped cars. And people who have
never voted ask her how much it
costs.
Stories like these have led to
worries that new black voters
simply won't show up at the polls
in November-especially now
that Jesse Jackson is not on the
scene.
THERE ALSO is evidence that
increased efforts to register
blacks can generate a white
backlash. Last spring black can-
didate Kenneth Spaulding failed
to win the Democratic
nomination in one congressional
district at least in part because
unorganized new black voters
failed to turn out but frightened
whites voted in large numbers.
The state has an estimated
400,000 unregistered women
voters-another group supposed
to help Democratic candidates.
But women's groups working on
registration efforts have had
some surprises. In Greensboro,
volunteers in shopping centers
found that only 60 percent
seemed likely to vote for the
Mondale-Ferraro ticket in this
state where, until just recently,

virtually everyone was a
Democrat.
Meanwhile, conservatives have
been active. A year ago the
Moral Majority encouraged sup-
porters across the state. to
become registrars-"fishing for
conservatives in church waters '
As a result, some 150 to 200 people
now are qualified to register
voters in most of the state's count
ties and in all major cities.
"We feel confident that thus far
we have registered a little over
70,000," most between 20 and 35,
says Lamarr Mooneyham, for-
mer state president of Moral
Majority and now head of its
national field office.
State election officials think the
number may be much
higher-more than 100,000 of the
145,000 new white voters signed
up in the six months before the
May primary. Over the next four
weeks, the Moral, Majority will
press its 4,000 North Carolina
pastors to conduct voter
registration drives in their chur-
ches. Nationwide, Mooneyham
said the group hopes to register
more than 2 million new voters.
"It's just a conservative trend
that I think is from coast .to
coast,", he said. "I mean, they're
even saying the pledge of
allegiance in Berkeley."
Ridgeway wrote this article
for the Pacific News Service'

5 . 4

Unsigned editorials appearing on the left
side of this page represent a majority opinion
of the Daily Editorial Board.

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