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September 22, 1984 - Image 4

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1984-09-22

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OPINION

Page 4 Saturday, September 22, 1984 The Michigan Daily

Campus conservatives learn rag trade

-t

By Matthew Kopka
One of the ideas central to our notion
of education is that it should provide the
criteria to make more intelligent and
rational choices. Indeed, although we
have an idea of intelligence as
something static (you either have it or,
you don't), no one would ever try to
educate him or herself without believing
that in doing so he or she would become
more intelligent.
Another old, cherished and very
American idea of education is that it
strengthens democracy, that it is
something to which all are entitled, and
that once equipped with it one is better
able to take an active role in society.
AND SO IT is our very good luck as
students to be in a position to do just
that. And perhaps it is not only our
privilege but our duty - especially to
those who do not share our good fortune
- to take advantage of it, especially in
examining and trying to understand
how our country is run and how it is
changing.
A strong conservatism, for example,
currently holds sway in much of the
nation. Though some would argue that
it is not new but the same conservatism
of old, and that it is not as powerful or
as broad-based as we are often led to
believe, no one would argue that it
doesn't exist.{
As future architects of this society we
will have to come to our own con-
clusions as to how we feel about this

phenomenon, whether we will embrace
it, resist it, or perhaps even attempt to
combat it. One way to do so might be to
examine it as it manifests itself here in
our midst, at the University itself, in
the shape of the Michigan Review, a
two-year old attempt to capture the
hearts and minds of Michigan students
made possible by some very powerful
people and organizations.
WHO ARE those people and in-
stitutions? Gerald Ford, Mobil Oil, C.
William Colburn, Irving Kristol, with
.'Special Thanks' to the Heritage Foun-
dation, funded by the racist Joseph
Coors, and Sun Oil, the Mellon family,
and 87 of the corporations of the For-
tune 500.
The general tone? . One of open
hostility toward unions, taxes (any
taxes whatsoever, apparently), and the
Soviet Union, as well as a more thinly
veiled hostility toward ecumenicism
(the ideal of tolerance between
religions).
Deciding what some of the articles
are trying to say may be a little dif-
ficult. One article, on "Drugs and A
Free Market", sets out to prove that
"independent of any moral judgement"
drugs should be legalized, all drugs ap-
parently, because its author is a great
opponent of government intervention in
free trade. But it is so strangely written
and so full of wishful thinking that the
tenses get a little mixed up, and it's
very difficult to see the point. Among
the more incredible statements con-
tained in it are, "Bashing someone on

the head is an involuntary action from
the victim's point of view. . . and not
consistent with the free market," and
"if drugs were not so expensive crime.
would fail."
BUT THESE people have money -
plenty enough to come up with an im-
pressive product - and the paper will
probably serve as a kind of training
ground for future authors and jour-
nalists. One can imagine that it will
improve.
I urge you, pick up a copy, read bet-

tising or directly, and try to decide just
what it is they want to persuade you of.
CONSIDER THE bias inherent in the
cartoon on page six, a clever attack
against the auto unions and part of a
general and careful preparation of
public sentiment against the auto
workers in the event of a strike (which
has since come to pass).
The cartoon depicts a "UAW-HAUL"
truck, labelled "CONTRACT DEMAN-
DS", so weighed down that the car to
which it is attached (labelled "US

'Are the editors of the Michigan Review
more Machiavellian than Jeffersonian? .. .
Just what do these people want you to think,
if indeed they want you to think at all?'

fairness of such an implication,
however, should be made plain by the
fact that the thrust of the UAW's
demands in its talks with automakers
has not been more money, but better
benefits, job security, and - looking
toward the future - assurance that
younger autoworkers will find jobs;
that Americans will find jobs, not
workers in other countries where the
automakers continue to move in search
of cheaper, more easily exploited labor.
The paper's editorial attacking the
MSA makes the assembly sound like a
subversive left-wing group rather than
a democratically elected body of
University students. It attacks the
student government for its majority
stand against the Regents' proposed
Non-Academic Code, calling the
assembly 'irrelevant' and seemingly
wishing to wrest it of any relevance
whatsoever, concluding that MSA
should deny itself a voice in represen-
ting the students on the question..
William Smith's "Commentary" on the
same theme, entitled "Yell If You Can't
Think" seems to urge you to remain
silent if you can, and goes on to liken
protests against the proposed Code to
demonstrations against the Vietnam
War. Forgetting repeatedly that the
MSA represents the University student
body, he says that "preventing the
recurrence of such a violent climate is
the true purpose of the Code", in-
dicating that removing Vietnam-style
radicals from "such groups" as the
Michigan Assembly is exactly what the

code would make possible. And having
been the first to try and sentence the
MSA under the Code for a "violence"-it-
has not committed, he closes with 'an
elegy to Mahatma Gandhi, someh6w-
trying to create a contrast between th6-
great thinker and champion of his
people (who must be doing back somer-
saults in his grave) and the overt or
covert violence and fierce hatred he ac-
cuses the MSA of wishing to rekindle.
There is a quotation from Machiavelli
on the letters page. It says, "Men in
general judge more from appearances,
than from reality," which is an unfor-
tunate truth. It continues, "All men
have eyes, but few have the gift of
penetration." Untrue. Penetration is a
virtue that one develops, through
study and the acquisition of,
knowledge, something a great univetk
sity tries to aid its students i'a
acquiring. Machiavelli was a man who
believed that his high birth and wealth
made him somehow superior, gave him4
the right to make decisions and control
the lives of others - not a particularly
American ideal. He was not a man we
now study because of his great love for
the development of the democratic
ideal. Are the editors of the Michigan
Review more Machiavellian than Jef-
fersonian? Pick up a copy, decide for
yourself. Just what do these people
want you to think, if indeed they want
you to think at all?

ween the lines, examine it carefully. It
may take more than a quick read to
realize that an article about George
Orwell, for example, may be a well-
timed attempt to offset any (potentially
dangerous) notions students might
derive from reading him during the
centenary of his birth when he is
naturally getting a little attention.
Remember the connections that the
makers of this very professional-
looking publication have, who gives
them money, either through adver-

AUTO RECOVERY") cannot move,
while a man outside urges the driver to
"Floor it!" Clearly, the implication is
that UAW salary demands will ruin the
recovery not only of the auto industry,
but by extension, our general economic
recovery as well. Will the autoworkers
be one of the eventual scapegoats
should the economy go into another-
tailspin in the middle of a Reagan
second term? We may want to wait and
see. The outcome of the strike will of
course be a deciding factor. The un-

4

Kopka is a senior in the Residen-
tial College.

i

Edited and managed by students at The University of Michigan

Sinclair

[EW~S Iirt4: RE IICAIJS FV1D NW Sa~

ON CP+aMQ &0SC

Vol. XCV No. 15

420 Maynard St.
Ann Arbor, MI148109

Editorials represent a majority opinion of the Daily's Editorial Board
Reasonably free speech.

l4

v
1

VICAR, MYVSBER,
MY GIRLM, AN
MY ES(PEFNT.::.

4

4

ARVARD UNIVERSITY President
Derek Bok gave some wise words
of advice Thursday to a campus
audience. Bok said: "No one has the
right to decide for others which
speakers are fit to be heard or which
public discussions deserve to take
place. Because the right to speak
freely and the opportunity to enjoy an
open forum for debate are so closely
related to these central purposes, the
university has a stake in free speech
that goes beyond the interests of its
members."
Bok also went on to say that the in-
tegrity of an educational institution is
diminished each time an individual is
denied the right to speak his mind.
Officials from the University of
Michigan, Dearborn would do well to
listen to Bok's words. Officials from
that campus banned 43-year-old John
Belisle from buildings and properties,
allegedly because he had harassed
female University officials by talking
with them for hours. But Belisle
claims that when he was asked to stop
talking with the employees he did so,
and claims he is guilty of harassing no
one.
Belisle believes the real reason for

the officials' decision to bar him from
the campus is his political activism
and continual questioning of authority.
In 1982, Belisle protested a reduction
in the University's library hours - of-
ficials said the move was necessary to
cut costs. He ended up passing out
1,500 leaflets to students proposing
other ways to save the school money.
This included a suggestion that the
University lay off one administrator
and let the rest punch time clocks.
President Bok's words on the value
of allowing individuals to express
themselves came in reference to the
heckling of speakers invited to the
Harvard campus. This incident is
similar to the heckling of Gen. Alexan-
der Haig on this campus last year.
Bok's words could very well apply to
the Dearborn officials' criticism of
Belisle.
Though Belisle's speech may seem
unworthy of protection, this University
thrives on a free flow of ideas.
As university students should avoid
heckling speakers invited to this cam-
pus to express their views. University
officials should avoid trampling on the
free speech rights of students, or non-
students, with whom they disagree.

j<A

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4

4

LETTERS TO THE DAILY

A good arrow shot at

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To the Daily:
The editorial "Religious
leaders behind politicians"
(Daily, September 14) leaves me
with some doubt as to the quality
of political commentaryprovided
in such great quantity and high
calibre by the Daily.
The basic statement of the ar-
ticle is that "Walter Mondale and
Ronald Reagan actively court the
support of 'religious' leaders just
as evil and hate-filled as
Farrakhan." Kopel then goes
on to "prove" this statement,
ending with a self-righteous call
for the two presidential candidates
to "repudiate their own allies of
hate." Sounds good, doesn't it?
Too bad it's false, libelous, and
other such trivial matters. He
makes the statement that Walter
Mondale has had associations
with The Jewish Press, a right-
wing tabloid, as has had
President Reagan. Then by
V'4<""nirf film _TawichAT Pmraviji

claims Meir Kahane as their
"religious leader." The fact is
that Meir Kahane is the head of a
political party in Israel know as
"Kach", something apparently
unimportant when it comes to
Kahane and politics. Oh well.
Not that I am in any way
apologizing for The Jewish Press
or Meir Kahane. I share Kopel's
aversion to both. Especially with
regards to Kahane, it is a
sickness that such a madman
would be allowed to write for an
American newspaper, no less
hold a seat in an Israeli
parliament. Nonetheless, to even
imply that either of the two major
presidential candidates have
anything to do with him is ab-
surd. As for their seeking the en-
dorsement of The Jewish Press, I
appeal to logic: if a newspaper
has a circulation of 200,000
BLOOM COUNTY

amongst a politic
ethnic group,
candidate be stup
their endorsement
that a communist
dorses Mondale (
imaginable) mean
"Communist le
politicians?" Com
As for Reagan's
Rev. Swaggert,
relation betwee
views on Calvinis
state issues. Aj
agree more withl
of Swaggert's rel
But that is not w
here. What is
president consul
leader of a largec
ters which directly
Like it or not, Jim
a religious leader
tance, enough s(

wrong target
ally influential finds his view on church-state.
wouldn't a issues of value. Does this mean
id not to want that, somehow, Jimmy Swaggert
? Does the fact is "behind" Ronald Reagan? I
newspaper en- doubt it.
(or Reagan, if Kopel is not shooting a poisoned
n that there are arrow; he is merely shooting a
aders behind good arrow at the wrong target.
Le on now. Bigotry of the type we have seex
talks with the in the types of Louis Farrakhan,
I see little Meir Kahane, and Jimmy
n Swaggert's Swaggert ought to be met with
;m and church- public outcry. But I have yet to
gain, I cannot see Walter Mondale hugging
Kopel's opinion Meir Kahane, nor Ronald Reagan
igious beliefs. call Jimmy Swaggert "my
hat is involved brother." The comparison
involved is a works, to my great disappoin-_
ting with the tment, with the Rev. Jackson; it
church on mat- ought not be extended any fur
y relate to him. ther, in reality, or as in this ar-
my Swaggert is ticle, in imagination.

A

4

m

.

of some impor-
o that Reagan

-Dan Vaisrb
September 19
by Berke Breathed

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