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November 07, 1996 - Image 4

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1996-11-07

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4A , The Michigan Daily - Thursday, November 7, 1996

(14je it4iottlt a , trdu

420 Maynard Street
Ann Arbor, MI 48109
Edited and managed by
students at the
University of Michigan

Editor in Chief
Editorial Page Editors

Unless otherwise noted, unsigned editorials reflect the opinion of the majority of the Daily's editorial board. All
other articles, letters and cartoons do not necessarily reflect the opinion of The Michigan Daily.
Bil's chores
Clinton to make the grade in his second term

'I feel privileged to have been offered this singular
opportunity to lead one of the nation's
most distinguished universities,'
-University President-select Lee Bollinger
-d J

T uesday, Bill Clinton became the first
Democratic president to be re-elected
since Franklin Roosevelt.
The battle is hardly over; now that
Clinton has managed to return to office, he
faces several pressing issues - such as the
looming bankruptcy of Social Security and
much-needed improvement of the Welfare
Reform Act - that voters expect him to
address. With campaign concerns out of the
way, the president must focus on the refor-
mation of specific federal policies to carry
the nation into the 21st century.
Clinton's first priority in his second term
should be reforming health care. In his pre-
Pious term, Clinton failed to create afford-
able health care coverage for every
American. Health care must be solved
quickly but carefully - the president must
take incremental steps to achieve universal
coverage. He did make strides toward this
goal already by signing the Kennedy-
Kassebaum bill, which allows many people
to retain their health care coverage after
switching jobs.
. Moreover, as the baby boomer genera-
tion nears retirement, Social Security is
increasingly important - millions of elder-
ly depend on Social Security and many
mkore will need it soon. The secret has been
out for some time - Social Security is -on
the brink of bankruptcy. By the end of his
second term, Clinton should restore the pro-
gram's solvency -- in a bipartisan effort.
Clinton also will need to focus on sup-
plementing welfare. He recently signed the
GOP-drafted law to end federal guarantee
of cash aid to the poor. The bill shifts more
responsibility to the states and sets lifetime
caps on work benefits. Yet the bill does not
provide many services to the needy, such as
job raining, childcare and transportation to
work. Clinton signed the act - now he
:must deal with the consequences.
One [W

Clinton will have to put energy into sev-
eral other national issues. Clinton is one of
the tougher presidents on crime in recent
history, from stiffening gun control to
increasing money for police officers and
prisons. However, the president's work is far
from done. Instead of proposing weak, cam-
paign-friendly legislation - such as requir-
ing teen-agers to pass a drug test in order to
receive a driver's license - Clinton needs
well thought-out, concrete actions that will
address issues like skyrocketing teen-age
drug use.
Clinton also is expected to work on taxes
- in his previous term, he promised a mid-
dle-class tax cut that did not appear. He has
proposed a program of tax cuts for working
families that focus on education and child-
rearing. He also proposed tuition scholar-
ships for students who succeed in commu-
nity colleges. Clinton should take the steps
necessary to put these long-awaited pro-
grams into action.
When not attempting to mend the nation,
Clinton is expected to follow through on his
foreign-aid plans. Clinton has supported
peace or democracy-restoration in areas
such as Bosnia, the Middle East, Northern
Ireland and Haiti. More than just support,
Clinton should actively work on post-war
alliances - several countries depend on the
United States when trying to craft peace
Other topics, from affirmative action to
the environment, will continue to vie for the
president's attention, giving Clinton a full
plate for his second term. He was re-elected
on the basis that he can continue the posi-
tive work he already has done. He also was
re-elected because voters are willing to put
their trust in him to mend significant pro-
grams like Medicare, instead of blotting
them out.
Clinton's work is cut out for him.
rful mdv

hNEoN nWonrdiwnlro m wm
~Clinton's nontraditional role must re-emerge

Students to
for Amnesty
On Monday, Nov. 11, the
campus group of Amnesty
International will be kidnap-
ping some professors from
large lecture and speaking
briefly to the class about
human rights, human rights
abuses and Amnesty.
We are also having a cage
set up on the Diag, with pris-
oners in it, and group mem-
bers collecting signatures on
human rights-related peti-
One of our goals is to
educate campus about
Amnesty International, an
international human rights
organization that advocates
no form of government, and
works to free all prisoners of
conscience, to ensure prompt
and fair trials for all political
prisoners, and to end disap-
pearances, torture, extrajudi-
cial executions and the death
But we also want to give
students an idea of what it's
like to live in a country
where human rights abuses
occur daily. Politically active
friends "disappear" or are
arrested; your professor who
criticized some government
policy is found dead in the
Arb; your uncle the labor
activist begins getting death
threats; the police are always
giving you speeding tickets,
littering tickets, jaywalking
tickets, but every time they
stop you, they end up ques-
tioning you about your room-
mate who is in the College
Republicans, or your best
friend who is in Alianza.
This is not to say that there
are no human rights abuses
in this country, but there are
many countries where people
live in constant fear of their
own government.
Sometimes it seems that
every where we go on cam-
pus, someone wants some-
thing, wants us to give
money to a bucket drive, or
take their leaflet, or sign their
petition. And sometimes all
we want is to be left alone,
not to worry about impris-
oned political activists thou-
sands of miles away. But as
we are always being told, it is
an increasing global world,
and we all suffer for human
rights abuses that take place
anywhere. We cannot expect
to have well paying jobs in
this country when the United
States sells weapons to gov-
ernments that imprison their
own labor activists and allow
multinational corporations to
pay workers a few dollars a
Refugees do not come to
the United States because
they don't love their own
countrv. they come seeking

refuge from the terrible
things that their own govern-
ment has or has threatened to
do to them. And too often,
these governments are sup-
ported by the United States.
Practically, justiceafor
anyone cannot be built on the
exploitation of another. And
as citizens of a rich and pow-
erful country that is more
accountable to its own citi-
zens than many, we have a
responsibility to be aware of
what is going on in the world,
and how we can and do affect
it. Once we are aware, it is
our choice what to do with
that knowledge. We at
Amnesty would ask that you
would use that knowledge to
help guarantee human rights
to all humans, no matter how
far from Ann Arbor they are.
Consult your
Apparently, some of your
reporters need to look at a
map. The article in Monday's
Daily ("Dole stumps in
Brighton as part of 'victory'
tour," 11/4/96) concerning
Dole's campaign stop in
Brighton stated that Brighton
is a "small town about 30
minutes west of Ann Arbor."
In fact, Brighton is almost
directly north of Ann Arbor,
and I can make it from cen-
tral campus to the first
Brighton exit in about 15
minutes. Trust me, I do it
every day.
'U childcare
will reduce
other costs
I found Rebecca Ewing's
views on child care to be
remarkably short-sighted
("Paying for others' mis-
takes," 10/23/96).
While it is true that peo-
ple need to take responsibili-
ty for their own actions, and
that in a perfect world no one
would be forced to pay for
the mistakes of others, the
situation here is more com-
plex than Ewing seems to
If the University does not
provide child-care, we, as
members of the community,
will still incur costs. If a stu-
dent cannot stay at the
University because he or she
has to stay home and take
care of a child, then we lose
the contribution that that per-
son could have made as an

educated member of society.
If the child is put into a com-
promising situation, and does
not receive the care that she
deserves, then we as society
must later face an adult that
has not had a healthy
A person who has a child
before they can support it
financially has made a mis-
However, we at the
University should recognize
the courage it takes for the
single parent to try and go
beyond that mistake by going
to school.
A University education
will better the life of the par-
ent, the child, and society in
Institutes of higher learn-
ing (especially those support-
ed by state money) are and
must be open to everyone,
not just those who have never
made a mistake.
Gender bias
misquote is
Despite my request to
check back with me if I were
quoted, the reporter who
wrote the article on gender
bias failed to do so, and I
was thus misquoted in the
Daily ("Gender biases may
exist in evaluations,"
11/5/96). Here is what I
intended to communicate:
Across campuses in the
United States, the average
student ratings of women fac-
ulty members average at least
as high as those of male fac-
ulty members, perhaps a little
higher. Students tend to
achieve more when they feel
that teachers have a personal
interest in their learning.
One of the major factors
in student-rating scales is a
"warmth" factor that includes
items in student learning. The
factor is related positively,
both to student achievement
and to ratings of teaching
Women faculty members
tend to be rated higher than
men on the "warmth" factor.
One can, however, be cold
and impersonal, and be effec-
tive. There is no one style that
is effective for all students, all
teachers and all courses.
Although cold, imperson-
al teachers may be rated
overall as high or low
depending on other charac-
teristics, female teachers who
are cold and impersonal tend
to receive lower student rat-
ings than comparable male

Frankly, my
dears, we must
give a damn
jE lection '96 coverage was a pretty
flashy affair - it seemed every-
one was jumping on the high-tech
zippy graphic bandwagon. Since the
1992 elections, television newcomers
MSNBC and new
CNN affiliates
gave us more TV
coverage choice
this year than ever
before, and the
multimedia con-
nections snagged
a new generation
of information
consumers - the
'Net surfers.
Even old tradi- ERIN
tional networks MARSH
like CBS made
election coverage into a video game.
Viewers were treated to a virtual reali-
ty-type backdrop as Harry Smith
pointed to maps that weren't really
there and explained graphs he couldn'
see. All he needed was a disco ball an
some platform shoes and he could've
had himself a rave.
MSNBC gave the "torn-between
my-TV-and-my-hard-drive" groupies
lots of pretty graphics that were, for
the most part, unintelligible: "So, let
me get this straight: The red is up by
some number of - are those votes or
percentage points? - and the blues of
- is that Minnesota or Montana? -
are down because voters didn't under
stand the issues. I can't even under-
stand the damn graph! Clarity!
Clarity! Please!"
CNN ran an ESPN, "The Bottom
Line"-type system for giving state-by-
state results for the Senate and House
races, ballot proposals and presidential
percentage breakdowns. It wasn't
exactly as much fun as waiting for col-
lege football scores, but it was still a
pretty good system. And bar-bet cheer.
ing was still possible: "Go Rivers!
Wooo hoo! You owe me 50 bucks,
Election '96 coverage matched the
presidential race itself - flashy cam-
paigns, pretty pictures and lots of
sleight-of-hand-type tricks. For all of
the bells and whistles and zippity-do-
dah coverage, though, nobody showed
up at the polls to show their apprecia-
tion. Election Day in other countries i
usually a national holiday and usual
required some kind of civil war to
secure voting rights. In the United
States, we can't even get the majority of
the voting age population to stand in a
line and check some boxes. How sad.
The U.S. presidential election drew
only 49 percent of the voting-age pop-
ulation to the polls. That low showing
is abysmal, but not surprising.
National statistics for the 18- to 24
year-old population tend to be a little
better, but not by much.
1 have to wonder if
political activism will
be as cool among the
20-somethings once

N ow that President Clinton is firmly
reseated in the White House, his elec-
tion-year political schemes must come to an
end. One of the most important campaign
tactics to ditch - hiding his wife, Hillary
Rodham Clinton, from the spotlight.
During the 1992 campaign and beginning
of the president's term, she played a major
rile and contributed greatly to his adminis-
tration. To save face for her husband's
knmnistration, she has subdued her politi-
cl activity. A woman of her intellect should
be free to live up to her potential.
The first lady had an important part in
The beginning of the first term of the admin-
istration. In 1993, the president appointed
her chairperson of the Task Force on
National Health Care Reform. From this
position, she led a 19-month study to deter-
'mine how to reform health care best to
ensure that citizens receive the help they
need. In doing so, she transcended the tra-
ditional role of first lady - from compan-
ion to co-pilot.
She also favored sensible welfare
reform. Last summer, the president signed
the Welfare Reform Act into law, a bill that
she originally opposed. To avoid election-
year media badgering, the White House
presented a less vocal and more complacent
Hillary Clinton with the hope that the
whole situation would blow over. The
Democrats tried to cover their backs politi-
vally and unfortunately, Hillary Clinton's
voic was subdued as a result.

which most presidential spouses contented
themselves. In many ways, the political
experts molded her into the "first house-
But Hillary Clinton is capable of much
more - her intelligence and political savvy
back up the claim. She is a strong political
leader and a role model for women in poli-
tics. Evidence of her positive impact
appears at many levels, including Ann
Arbor's "Friends of Hillary" club - the
largest chapter in the country.
Shoving her aside to downplay her
strength and determination is a damaging
signal to send to up-and-coming female
politicians. Women who look up to Clinton
to see her ideals and beliefs are getting the
message that women are to be repressed
when they present politically risky ideas.
The president and his political strategists
must allow Hillary Clinton the political
exposure she deserves. With the upcoming
changes to welfare, the first lady would be
a good choice to guide and help implement
improvements on the current WRA. With
experience as chair of Arkansas' Education
Standards Committee, she also offers her
ability to guide the president's education
reform efforts. She would prove to be a
strong asset to her husband's administration
- again.
Hillary Clinton must be allowed to work
for Americans - like her husband. The
White House should cultivate her position
a a role model for women. Her ideas and

the 'Choose or Lose'
bus runs out of gas.


Lately, its become very hip to take
an active interest in politics, but I have
to wonder if political activism will be
as cool among the 20-somethings once
the "Choose or Lose" bus runs out of
gas. MTV stirred up a visible, loud
drive for young voter registration, but
I don't know if anyone caught on that
there are better reasons than Tabith
Soren and "Rock the Vote" to take a
interest. Once MTV abandons its self-
serving campaign; will young voter
activism halt, too? No more snazzy
rock star commercials, no more free T-
shirts and bumper stickers, no more
like, ah, "you hear it first, dude"
updates. What will we do?
Here's anidea - let's take an inter-
est for ourselves. Not for colorful
graphics, not for glib political analysts
and certainly not for Tabitha Soren4
but for tangible issues and the small
matter of our future.
The state of California dropped the
ball - voters there succumbed to
Republican Gov. Pete Wilson's nation-
al temper tantrum over affirmative
action and voted Proposition 209 into
reality. In doing so, they voted affir-
mative action out of California. The
fight for affirmative action is worth
more attention than 20 "Choose oM
Lose" buses - but all those who pro-
claimed their dedication to saving
affirmative action in California some-
how let their votes wander away.
A CNN news report predicted a
"record showing" in the state of

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