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November 16, 2004 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 2004-11-16

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4 - The Michigan Daily - Tuesday, November 16, 2004

OPINION

+ 420 MAYNARD STREET
ANN ARBOR, MI 48109
1J A huun I 41V l~tctltltothedaily@michigandaily.com

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

JORDAN SCHRADER
Editor in Chief
JASON Z. PESICK
Editorial Page Editor

Unless otherwise noted, unsigned editorials reflect the opinion of the majority
of the Daily's editorial board. All other pieces do not
necessarily reflect the opinion of The Michigan Daily.

NOTABLE
QUOTABLE
I believe that now
that the election is
over, the time has
come for me to step
down."
- Secretary of State Colin Powell,
announcing his resignation from his cabi-
net seat in President Bush's second term.

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Apparently the times are changing
JASON Z. PESICK ONE SMALL VOICE
mericans are not the '60s. His Southern Strategy and his were willing to put their Social Security
especially good campaign for "law and order" exploited in jeopardy so that gay people can't get
at embracing Americans' discomfort with change, not married. Payroll tax revenue that should
change. Most Americans our discomfort with the injustices of seg- be dedicated to ensuring the long-term
are at once not incredibly regation and racial discrimination. viability of the program is being used to
tolerant and not incredibly Ronald Reagan began his 1980 presi- decrease the size of the federal budget
intolerant. We support the dential campaign in Philadelphia, Miss., deficit - a deficit that is in large part
pursuit of justice as long where in the '60s three civil rights work- being created by very large tax cuts for
as achieving it does not ers were murdered trying to register very wealthy individuals.
threaten us personally or blacks to vote. Reagan talked about the And U.S. Sen. Arlen Specter (R-Pa.),
require that we do much ourselves. importance of "states' rights". This was one of the few moderate Republicans left
Americans are uneasy watching soci- the dawn of Morning in America. in Congress, might lose his rightful spot as
ety change as the debate over gay rights Bill Clinton was surely personally com- chairman of the Senate Judiciary Commit-
has risen past abortion as the pre-eminent fortable with social change, but not always tee because he is a pro-choice Republican.
social issue of the day. But we're equally comfortable supporting it. He wanted This weekend, the Senate majority leader,
disturbed when Pat Buchanan launches Americans to know he shared their reser- Bill Frist (R-Tenn.), said on "Fox News
into a tirade condemning gay Americans vations about the excesses that can come Sunday," "Arlen made some statements the
and the progress the country has made with social progress. In the 1992 presi- day after the election. They were disheart-
over the past few decades, as he did at dential campaign, Clinton criticized rap- ening to me; they were disheartening to a
the 1992 Republican National Conven- per Sister Souljah, calling her statements lot of different people." There may no lon-
tion. And while Americans don't support "extremist" and comparing them to some- ger be a litmus test for federal judges and
racial discrimination, it took pictures of thing David Duke might say. U.S. Supreme Court nominees, but now
firefighters hosing down protesters to But now it seems that the country is on there is a litmus test for Senate committee
convince us to support the civil rights a rightward lurch for no apparent reason. chairmen.
movement. Gay rights have indeed risen to the fore- And further evidence of this lurch can
Our presidents understand this complex front of American politics, but the magni- be found in the fact that even though ABC
and the consequent primacy of modera- tude of that issue pales in comparison to has shown "Saving Private Ryan" on tele-
tion that can characterize the American that of the changes that took place during vision twice before, on Veterans Day, 66 of
people's ideology. Lyndon Johnson fore- the '60s. The conventional wisdom is that the network's 225 affiliates did not air the
saw the current two-tone U.S. electoral President Bush won his re-election on movie because of fears the Federal Com-
map of the United States 40 years ago moral and social values issues - moral munications Commission would fine them
when he signed the important civil rights and social values issues that he incubated due to the film's explicit language. Appar-
legislation of the '60s. He knew that he and put on the ballot. ently there's a growing movement in this
had handed the South to his opposition. All 11 attempts to ban gay marriage at country that believes people saving the
And different presidents have handled the state level passed this year by favor- world from the Nazis shouldn't be swear-
this attitude of the American people in able margins ranging from 57 and 59 per- ing while bullets are flying at them.
very different ways. Johnson pushed cent in Oregon and Michigan to 86 percent Our best hope is that this trip backward
Americans, making civil rights the cen- in Mississippi. And to many Americans, through time doesn't last very long.
terpiece of his domestic agenda. Richard that was the most important issue in the
Nixon took advantage of the uneasiness election. Pesick can be reached
Americans had with the progress of People who live paycheck to paycheck atjzpesick@umich.edu.
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

Daily's MSA coverage
neglects independents
TO THE DAILY:
I am writing in response to the Daily's
negligent coverage of the upcoming Mich-
igan Student Assembly election. There
have been multiple articles about the two
major parties running, but no mention of
the many qualified independents who are
also running, and deserve consideration.
There are 17 Independents running for
MSA alone, and many are worthy candi-
dates that the students should learn about.
Reading the Daily lately has made me
feel like Ralph Nader, in that I feel I have
much to offer the students, both in my
platform and in my extensive experience
with MSA, but because I chose not to run
with one of the two parties, the Daily has
not covered my campaign at all. I suggest
every voter visit vote.www.umich.edu to
view the platforms of the candidates that
the Daily has ignored, and make a more
educated decision, rather than voting
straight-party.
Mike Forster
LSA junior
The letter writer is an independent candidate
for MSA.
Terrorism, not Israel,
is the roadblock
to Mideast peace
TO THE DAILY:
I responding to yesterday's letter from
Tarek Dika (Unified Palestinian leadership
critical to Mideast peace, 11/15/04), advo-
cating for a strong and unified leadership
for the Palestinians in the post-Arafat
era. While I agree with the point that the
face of the new leadership will be critical
in determining how events will unfold in
the Middle East, I would like to point out
a more insidious subtext that was pres-

explicit threat: "If you want to end terror-
ism, you must end the occupation." When
did statements like these become okay?
Who else in Western Society would dare
have the audacity to claim that terrorism
(threatened or carried out) is a legitimate
means to achieve any end? How can we
expect to have a dialogue with people
who openly and brazenly admit to resort-
ing to acts of terror and yet claim it is not
the real problem? I call on all reasonable
members of the University, and especial-
ly those of the Muslim, Palestinian and
Arab communities, to quickly, loudly and
sincerely denounce Dika's hateful ideas.
Doing so would go a long way toward
restoring my faith in the possibility of a
negotiated peace.
Chaim A Schramm
LSA junior
Letter writer obscures
the homosexual plight
TO THE DAILY:
Jordan Genso's letter ('Marriage' is
a heterosexual tradition that should be
preserved for heterosexual, 11/12/04),
responded to a letter written Nov. 11 per-
taining to the Nov. 2 passage of Proposal
2 in Michigan and 10 other states. His
consolation for homosexuals on the issue
came in the form of a justification based
on a poorly assembled, incoherent and
hardly analogous ... simile. To remind
readers, Genso suggested comparing
homosexuals' rights to marry to Cauca-
sians' rights to use the "N" word in regard
to blacks. Please. Let not Genso nor any
voter that desires the passing of prop. 2
oversimplify the issue and right of mar-
riage to homosexuals. Let us not reduce
this profound issue to a trivial semantic
battle of I saw it first, so it's mine. The
term "marriage," like any other term in
the English language, belongs to no one
person or set of people. To claim that
the application of such a term should
be reserved for a majority is ludicrous,

riage," is staggering. This is a simple
representation of our population's sim-
plicity....a population that would hoard
a word out of greed and spite, not real-
izing the greater implications of such an
act. So now, I respond to a Yes voter on
Prop. 2 with anger, resentment - with a
sense that there is no hope for a portion
of the heterosexual community. When
will they see that homosexuals are like
any other emerging social minority: one
that should and will be integrated fully
into society as equals soon, but one that
needs social awareness and support of the
majority now? Sadly, this same majority
has anonymously proclaimed its igno-
rance and selfishness by voting on 2.
Perhaps that is how I would like Genso
and everyone to compare homosexu-
als' plight with that of blacks - not in
a semantic context, but as two minor-
ity groups who deserve equality but that
didn't, don't, and won't receive it fully for
years, if ever. And what can help ame-
liorate minorities' plights? Surely not
keeping social and semantic spheres dis-
tinct ... but instead a meshing of socially
distinct groups to promote social aware-
ness and values based upon substantive,
not superficial, ideals.
Values based upon a legitimate justifi-
cation instead of a semantic compulsion.
Steve Du Bois
LSA senior
LETTERS POLICY
The Michigan Daily welcomes
letters from all of its readers. Letters from
University students, faculty, staff and
administrators will be given priority over
others. Letters should include the writer's
name, college and school year or other
University affiliation. The Daily will not
print any letter containing statements that
cannot be verified.
Letters should be kept to approxi-
mately 300 words. The Michigan Daily
reserves the rieht to edit for length, clar-

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