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October 02, 2003 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 2003-10-02

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4A - The Michigan Daily - Thursday, October 2, 2003

OP/ED

UIIe Attitgan atij

420 MAYNARD STREET
ANN ARBOR, MI 48109
letters@michigandaily.com

EDITED AND MANAGED BY
STUDENTS AT THE
UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN
SINCE 1890

LOUIE MEIZLISH
Editor in Chief
AUBREY HENRETTY
ZAC PESKOWITZ
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.

NOTABLE
QUOTABLE
If the person has
violated law, that person
will be taken care of."
- President Bush, promising to deal with
the unnamed officials responsible for
revealing CIA agent Valerie Plame's
secret identity, as reported
yesterday on CNN .com.

STEVE COTNER AND JOEL HOARD OPERATION PUSSYCAT

Building the anti-organizational organization
ZAC PESKOWITZ TimE LOWER FREQUENCIES
espite Wesley Party," spoke to a generation of activists interests, has been largely replaced by the
Clark's awk- alienated from the Democratic Leadership role of individual beliefs and worldviews.
ward unveiling Council's control of the party. But more NGOs and interest groups have sprung up to
to the national electorate importantly, Dean's confrontational approach monitor politicians on specific issues and
two weeks ago, the toward the Democratic Party appealed to the more voters than ever before base their politi-
retired four-star general electorate's distaste for large organizations. cal decisions on one issue.
has won himself a posi- From the demise of machine politics to the The rise of Howard Dean was the latest
tion at the top of several massive decreases in union memberships, that chapter in this story. Dean billed his cam-
national polls. But based hallmark of the industrial age, the large organi- paign as a challenge to the entrenched atti-
on last Thursday's Wall zation, has endured a slow and steady decline as tude s and interests of the federal
Street Journal/CNBC debate in New York individuals become disenchanted with the cul- government. He vigorously caricatured his
City, most of the Democratic field has cho- ture of the large organization. They are viewed opponents as a personification of party
sen to ignore Clark, dismissing him as a nov- as conformist, intellectually stifling, faceless and fealty, a collection of political hacks
elty who, lacking the necessary political antiseptic. In short, everything we despise. In whose entire careers are due to their
machinery, will wither in the snows of Iowa the world of business, no one leaves college unyielding service to the party. He utilized
and New Hampshire. Instead they have spent intending to spend his life with one company the Internet to expand his appeal to narrow
their time slicing apart former Gov. Howard along the lines of the archetype criticized in subgroups that usually garner little atten-
Dean of Vermont, casting him as a compatri- William Whyte's "The Organization Man." One tion in presidential races.
ot of Newt Gingrich and skewering him as an of the prime factors discouraging college gradu- Now Dean is taking a different tack to bat-
anti-Israel radical. Dean now has spent his ates from pursuing a career in the federal gov- tle the Clark candidacy. Dean's criticisms of
week plotting the opening stages of his cam- eminent is a profound disinclination toward Clark echo the attacks Connecticut Sen. Joe
paign against Clark, the only candidate in the bureaucratic culture. Everyone wants to be a Lieberman's campaign staff levied against
field besides Dean who can plausibly sell rugged individual, oozing charisma. People Dean this summer. In their minds Dean would
himself as an outside-the-Beltway antidote to hope to take a year off and write screenplays, upset the Democratic establishment, hijack the
the Washington establishment. backpack through the Hindu Kush or start a party leadership and cripple the party in the
Howard Dean has sprung a surprising boutique consulting firm. The good life has process. These arguments were based on the
gambit to corner Clark and limit his appeal. evolved along a decidedly individualistic bent underlying assumption that the party is some-
Speaking to The Washington Post's Terry over the past 40 years. thing that needs to be defended and, as a result,
Neal, Dean said of Clark, "This is a Republi- The ramifications of these developments they had little traction. Voters barely took
can who just converted to being a Democrat. for the world of politics are particularly sig- notice of the Lieberman criticism, dismissing it
That's going to be a big problem for a lot of nificant. The days of enormous blocs of vot- as intramural squabbling. The Dean campaign
people." Dean generated much of his early ers uniformly following the diktats of their has yet to learn the secret to its success: It's the
support with his blistering attack on the precinct captains are long gone. Ticket split- ideas and the attitude, not the organization, that
Democratic Party status quo and his familiar ting is at a historically high level. Loyalty to matter now.
refrain, appropriated from the late Sen. Paul parties has decreased. Political behavior has
Wellstone of Minnesota, "I'm here to repre- become less predictable as the fundamental Peskowitz can be reached
sent the Democratic wing of the Democratic cleavage of the industrial age, economic atzpeskowi@umich.edu
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

I
4

Picard's judgment of Greek
community irresponsible, a
betrayal of her sisters
To THE DAILY:
I was thoroughly disgusted to read
Alyssa Picard's letter (Greek community
irresponsible, possesses 'poor self-policing
skills,' 10/01/03). It was grossly irresponsi-
ble of her to judge the entire Greek com-
munity, composed of thousands of students
on campus, based on the actions of only a
few of its members.
The reaction that I had to the hazing
incident, along with my pledge sisters and
other members of the Greek community,
was one of shock, sadness and disbelief.
For Picard to imply that not only are
members of the Greek system stupid
enough to allow this behavior, but that all
of the members condone such actions, is
appalling.
The campus community is so quick to
point out the shortcomings and misjudg-
ments of members of the Greek system.
The campus and city media are clearly
focused.on giving the Greek system a bad
name. Yet, they conveniently fail to men-
tion all the positive activities and philan-
thropies that the Greek community
participates in.
But I think what I find most reprehensi-
ble about Picard's letter is that she is a
Greek who trashes her own sisters, her
own system. She, more than the average
adult, should know what goes into the
Greek system, and the Pan-Hellenic system
of sororities. She has been through sorority
rush and knows that it does not consist of
the beer bongs and degradation that she
alludes to, but rather long hours of going
from house to house, speaking with more
sisters than you can count. Not only does
she have the audacity to make a mockery
of this year's Greek slogan, but she also
fails to draw the distinction between the
fraternity and sorority systems which have
very different systems of rushing.
If this University is going to continue
to judge the masses on the actions of the
few, then every member of the student
body is irresponsible and lacking self-
policing skills. If Picard wants responsibil-
ity on campus, she should start with
herself. She should have been responsible
enough to not immaturely iudge an entire

presented - for example, our finding that dur-
ing the first six months of the current uprising,
The San Francisco Chronicle was 30 times more
likely to prominently report the death of an
Israeli child than a Palestinian child - our
entire reports are available on our website,
www.IfAmericansKnew.org under the media
analysis tab.
ALISON WEIR
Alum
Paul's ignorance and
contradictions prove what's
wrong with liberals
To THE DAILY:
Class is back in session. Today, we
will be acting as Ari Paul's substitutes
because he is on permanent leave for
being an arrogant moron. The claim that
Paul makes about the lack of liberal bias
in academia is baseless and completely
unfounded (What liberal academia?,
10/01/03). Facts, which Paul has conve-
niently omitted, indicate that liberal pro-
fessors have dominated the university
political discourse for years.
According to a study by the University
of California at Los Angeles's Higher Edu-
cation Research Institute, 48 percent of
undergraduate professors identified as "lib-
eral" or "far left" while only 18 percent
described themselves as "conservative" or
"far right." Furthermore, a study by Paul
Kengor in Policy Review found that, of the
political makeup of 190 social science and
humanities professors at many of the
nation's top universities, such as Cornell,
Stanford and the University of Colorado,
184 professors identified as registered
Democrats and only six identified them-
selves as Republicans.
Paul goes on to contend that conserva-
tive organizations are on equal footing to
their liberal counterparts because of large
donations by groups such as the Collegiate
Network. What he forgot to point out was
that the overwhelming number of liberal
groups on college campuses are sufficient-
ly funded by the universities themselves
and have no need for further funding.
Interestingly enough, Paul goes on to
accuse conservatives of being, essentially,
anti-Semitic and "inherently racist"
because of "the tendency of conservatives
to attack things like Hollywood, the media,
iir --n r n a s eaTan afa -and nn_

Daily and Daily columnists
biased and misinformed
TO THE DAILY:
Ari Paul and David Horowitz have one
thing in common: They both appear to do
zero research before submitting their opin-
ions, preferring to make broad generaliza-
tions about particular groups to get their
respective points across (What liberal acad-
emia?, 10/01/03). I agree with Paul that it
is important for universities to maintain
their academic freedom and not have to
worry, for example, that the Michigan Leg-
islature be given authority to do an item-
ized scrutiny of every class offered in the
curriculum (e.g. efforts to eliminate the
"How to be Gay" class).
Granted, everyone is entitled his or her
own opinions. And as long as they allow the
opinions of others to be heard and are at
least willing to listen there should be no
problem. The problem is, from my experi-
ence, this has not been the case in the social
sciences. There is also a time and place for
everything, and when my biology professor
goes off on a tangent about the Bush admin-
istration and how the invasion of Iraq is
wrong (during last winter term), I question
what that has to do with the day's lecture.
I also lost respect for Paul when he
decided to label the business community as
"professions of avarice," and his assertion
that "well informed people in general tend
to vote liberal." He also crossed the line by
asserting that the modern conservative
movement is inherently racist and especial-
ly anti-Semitic even though Paul Wol-
fowitz is currently deputy secretary of
defense. Should I ask Paul for evidence
about these theories?
It is true that the Collegiate Network
spends $200,000 a year to support conserv-
ative campus newsletters. But one should
ask why such a network was created in the
first place. It may have something to do
with the fact that most of the primary cam-
pus newspapers nationwide, such as the
Daily, which receives university funding,
are heavily biased toward a liberal bent.
The Daily in the past has explicitly and
proudly asserted that it is a progressive/lib-
eral newspaper. Fine, but the Daily, as the
official school newspaper, is speaking for
the entire university. And it appears, con-
sidering the several columnists who write

6

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