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October 28, 1986 - Image 4

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1986-10-28

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41

OPINION
Page 4 Tuesday, October 28, 1986 The Michigan Daily

Edited and managed by students at The University of Michigan

Build

a

workers-party

C

Vol. XCVII, No. 39

420 Maynard St.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109

Unsigned editorials represent a majority of the Daily's Editorial Board
All other cartoons, signed articles, and letters do not necessarily represent the opinion of the Daily.

Stop re(
IGNORING ISSUES of importance
to his constituents, incumbent U.S.
Congressman Carl Pursell (R-
Mich.) has called his Democratic
opponent, Dean Baker, a socialist.
The race should be decided on the
basis of the candidates' abilities
and stands on the issues, not in
reaction to name calling.
Pursell uses as the basis of his
attack the fact that Baker received
the endorsement of the Democratic
Socialists of America (DSA). The
DSA is a group which endorses
progressive candidates primarily
within the Democratic party.
Candidates it has supported in the
past include such well known
radicals as Walter Mondale.
As was reported in the Daily
last Friday, most socialist
organizations don't support Baker.
They take the sensible position that
if Baker was a socialist he would
run as a socialist and that since he
has been nominated by the
Democratic party, he is a
Democrat. The endorsement of the
DSA may well suggest that Baker
is a Democrat who supports some
socialist principles but this does not
make him a radical as Pursell
suggests.
By declaring simply that an
endorsement by the DSA makes
Baker an unacceptably "ultra-
liberal" candidate, Pursell is in
effect writing off his iAnn Arbor
constituents who widely support
DSA endorsed candidates. These"
include state Senator Lana Pollack
(D-Ann Arbor) and State Rep.
Perry Bullard (D-Ann Arbor) as
well as Democratic city councilmen
Lowell Peterson and Jeff Epton.
The implementation of
Pursell's strategy has an

d- baiting
underhanded and sneaky aspect to
it which suggests that Pursell
knows his charges lack validity.
He made his charges in his final
remarks during the candidates'
debate at a point when Baker had
no opportunity to respond. He sent
out a flyer addressed to "fellow
Americans" on which Baker's
picture appeared with the caption
"endorsed by Democratic
Socialists." This flyer was not sent
out to Pursell's Ann Arbor
constituents but has been
distributed here by the Baker
campaign and, ironically, has
proved to be an effective tool
against Pursell.
Though Pursell's strategy
throughout the campaign has been
to paint Baker as an extremist,
Baker's support actually comes
from a wide base of volunteers.
Ann Arbor Democratic chairman
David DeVarti calls the Baker
campaign the most effective
mobilization of grassroots support
he has seen since the 60s. Baker
has received such wide and
energetic support because he has
run a populist campaign based on
issues such as* ending U.S.
intervention in Central America,
preventing further cuts in student
loans and social security, keeping
jobs in the district and relieving the
plight of the unemployed, and
ptotecting the rights of winen and
minorities. Besides the ISA,"
Baker has been endorsed by the
AFL and the UAW as well as local
chapters of the National
Organization for Women.
Pursell's redbaiting campaign
indicates that he has nothing to say
on the issues. Voters should take
this into account November 4.

Though he hasn't been given much
press, Workers League candidate Martin
McLaughlin will be running for governor
in the upcoming election. He may not
get the majority of votes, but
McLaughlin, a former student
government president at the University in
1969-70, hopes to send an important
political message around the country that
there are people concerned with building a
third party alternative based on the
working class. He spoke about his views
with Daily Opinion page editor Karen
Klein.
Dialogue
McLaughlin: First of all we're not
claiming that the election of one
individual is the way in which everything
is going to be changed. The main
purpose of our campaign is to build up
support for a labor party. We're talking
about a completely different policy and
program; that requires a struggle by the
whole of the working class. We believe
that billions of dollars should be put into
education and the social services, into
rebuilding the cities, and repairing the
enormous damage that's been done by the
economic crisis and the slump in the auto
industry and so on. Funding should come
from the military budget, from taxing big
business, from expropriating corporate
profits. We're putting forward a Socialist
program; we're saying that the auto
industry should be nationalized under the
control of the workers in the UAW and
should be run on that basis.
Daily: There is a perception that
President Reagan has brought economic
growth. How do you respond to this?
M: If you judge Reagan even by his
own rhetoric before he got elected, he
denounced Carter for massive deficits
and high government spending. A $200
billion deficit is not a sign of economic
prosperity. Democrats and Republicans
'will have to attack social security and any
remaining social programs to pay the
government's bills. They've been holding
back on those programs geared toward the
middle class such as guaranteed student
loans and medicare.

There will be major military moves.
The Democratic party shift this summer
on Contra aid demonstrates a consensus
in Washington for military action in
Central America. Some sort of big
provocation will take place and they'll
announce that a terrorist has killed an
American in Central America and we're
going in.
D: What is your opinion of
Washington's recent South African
sanctions bill?
M: While the senate and house have

show dissatisfaction with the two party
system but Socialism can't come in
through the ballot box. The choice
between the Democratic and Republican
parties is illusory, particularly over the
last few years with the worsening of the
economic position. The Democratic party
controls the House of Representatives; if
they wanted to obstruct Reagan's
policies, they could. The reason they
haven't is because they basically agree
with him. They voted for the tax cut;
they voted to cut social programs; they
voted for the military budgets, to fire the
air traffic controllers. The senate recently
voted not to allow any rehiring of the air
traffic controllers. This is after five years.
If you're an air traffic controller, there's
only one place you can work, in an FAA
control tower.
D: How has the air traffic controller
decision affected policy toward unions?
M: It has set tones for policy toward
union recognition in the labor movement.
Failure to take a stand against Reagan
was a disaster from which unions haven't
recovered. It sent the message to every
employer that union leadership wouldn't
oppose destruction of the union by the
federal government.
Now the same thing is taking place in
the steel industry, where steelworkers
have been locked out since Aug. 1. I cgn
imagine what would happen in Michigan
if Ford said, we're not going to talk to
the UAW any longer.
The issue that we're raising is that
trade union officials don't represent toe
interests of the rank and file; there is a
need for new leadership, within the
unions. Everyone knows the CIO was
built by socialists and communists.
Unions are not just the bureaucrats;
that's a common misidentificaton. Labor
is a mililion auto workers in this
country. It's a half million steel workers;
it's coal and auto workers; it's all your
public employees. And there's a difference
between the leaders of the union, which is
a privileged bureaucracy, and the worker
who has to struggle every day to make a
living.
And the saddest part of all this is that
there's a whole younger generation of the
working class without choices. What kind
of a future do they have? McDonalds?
Going into the military and ending up as
a corpse in Beirut or Nicaragua?
Permanent unemployment?

Martin McLaughlin:
Workers League candidate
passed a very mild sanctions bill their real
position toward the struggle in South
Africa is better shown through the vote
on aid to Jonas Savimbi in Angola, who
is a right wing guerrilla working under
South African control. Congress claims
they are for sanctions to dismantle
apartheid but they are providing military
aid to an anti communist campaign
organized by the South African army.
They're doing the same thing against the
government in Mozambique.
We are for a revolution in South
Africa. The only way that system can be
changed is through armed overthrow of
the apartheid state by the blacks.
D: Is voting a significant way of
changing things?
M: A vote for a Socialist candidate will

I

I

Worthless penalty

AT THE GOVERNMENT and
corporate level, the rush is on to
violatecivil liberties in the name of
cracking down on drugs. The
Daily has written a number of
editorials on the subject (e.g.
10/2/86, 9/26/86, 9/22/86) and a
few readers have written to say that
the Daily stance is soft on drugs.
On the contrary, it is the Reagan
administration and Congress that
are soft on truly dangerous drugs,
such as alcohol and heroin. Only a
positive program that improves life
in the schools and at work and
gives opportunities to the
unemployed and ex-convicts will
really solve the drug problem.
The Congress has considered
legislation, which Nancy Reagan
favors, to establish the death
penalty for drug-dealers. Yet, the
government shows that it is
unwilling even.to criticize some of
the world's leading drug-dealers
including many heads of
government (see Daily, "Allies'
drug habit," 10/2/86). Even on its
own terms the death penalty is
ridiculous: considering the cost of
the continual appeals process, the
death penalty is significantly more
expensive than incarcerations.
This policy would focus on
retaliation rather than rehabilitation.
For example, an agent of
Salvadoran death squad leader and
Constituent Assembly member
Roberto d'Aubuisson was caught

soft on the Contras, the head of
Panama and the Afghani rebels,
who are all heavily involved in
drug trafficking. Each year the
Afghani rebels alone are
responsible for producing the raw
materials necessary for producing
six times -the annual heroin
consumed in the United States.
While undermining the civil
liberties of U.S. citizens and
letting a handful of millionaire and
billionaire drug-dealers get away,
the U.S. government and some
corporations hope to stop the drug
problem at the user end. Perhaps
the current crop of anti-drug
crusaders wants to put a few
million users in prison; but putting
people in prison treats the
symptoms, not the causes of the
drug problem. There is every
possibility that such an attempted
solution would only make the
problem worse.
It is impossible to really get
tough on drug abuse without
addressing the causes of the drug
problem. Boredom from
unfulfilling jobs and schools,
despair caused by unemployment,
cynicism born in youth from
witnessing a hypocritical
government in action, political
passivity and alienation encouraged
by an atmosphere that restricts civil
liberties and the aspirations of
minorities and a penal system that
merely punishes without reforming
or offering its prisoners

7}{6 INCUM~ENT ACCUSED RIS O?oNNTS
fcDS OF LYING MoUT XI1 LIES
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SHOULD TH4ERE BE A MAND4ACoPY PERTI
PENALTY FOR CAAIGN CNULTANTS?

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LETTERS-*.

" """.

Dorm and library users should quiet

4

To the Daily:
Studying in the libraries on
campus is nearly as difficult as
studying in the dorm.
- As we all know, the UGLi
is notorious for noise. It is
more of a social club than a
library. Now I ask the

library be the scene for social
gatherings? There are places
designed for just that. Try
meeting friends at the Union.
There's food, sometimes
entertainment., and even some
nice and fairly quiet spots if
you want to study and socialize
at the same time. Or, why

not go back to your dorm
room? There is loud music, a
packed fridge, and above all the
convenience of your own
room.
My appeal to all dorm loud-
stereo-players and library-social
gatherers (and that includes

each one of us at one time-or
another) is this: Please be
considerate and thoughtful c f
your neighbors' needs and
requests.
-Michelle Doyle
October 5

question:

"Why must the

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A r I-1 -1 - & 1,4

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