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August 02, 1980 - Image 4

Resource type:
Michigan Daily, 1980-08-02

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Page 4-Saturday, August 2, 1980-The Michigan Daily
si Totalitarianism and a
n 91, yia Reagan presidency


Good faith effortsi
can end strike
T HOSE BLACK and white (or purple and
yellow) people-movers have of late been con-
spicuously absent from the city's streets. As the
bus strike enters its 32nd day, the frustrated riders
have by now found alternative accommodations,
though probably more inconvenient and expensive.
The jobless strikers have had to find part-time
work, and the management wishes this was all a
bad dream. Tempers are rising, patience is
wearing thin, and the strike lingers on.
The strike has now reached an impasse, and the
prospects for an early settlement are dismal. One
side offers a proposal and the other promptly rejec-
ts it. Both sides then engage in sophomoric name-
calling, then proceed back to the bargaining table
where more lackadaisical efforts to achieve a
solution are made.
The strike has persisted long enough; it is time
that both sides commit themselves to resolving the
work-stoppage by bargaining in good faith, -and
putting aside all outlandish demands and
strategies both sides have thus far forwarded.
The AATA and the TEU have yet to show they are
fully committed to ending the strike. Though the
conflict has lasted for more than four weeks, there
has been only one weekend bargaining session. In
addition, instead of pursuing day-long
negotiations-which are painful but
necessary-both sides have dawdled at the
bargaining table for an average of three of four
hours a day. In addition, there was one seven-day
span in which no negotiations were conducted.
If the union and the management were sincerely
concerned about settling their dispute, then a com-
promise could be reached, whereby the dispute
either would be handed to a fact-finder, or submit-
ted to binding arbitration. It has become an
emotional issue, as many labor disputes are. But if
both sides continue to bargain from emotion rather
than reason, then a quick and fair settlement is but
a fantasy.

It is my belief that the Estab-
lishment - that elusive but very
real force in American life-has
of recent weeks opted decisively
for Ronald Reagan. I also believe
he will be elected president.
The reasoning behind that con-
clusion may be a bit -perverse,
however. I am convinced the
Establishment has decided that
authoritarian controls must be
imposed to get the country out of
the mess in which it finds itself;
that there is no other way to
preserve the power structure.
IN SHORT, IT believes that
democracy is doomed in a world
of shrinking resources and rising
expectations, but that the struc-
ture which surrounds it can sur-
vive if we abandon some of our
It would be fatal to such a
strategy if the man in the Oval
Office had even a whiff of the
demagogue about him: that
would be a dangerous warning
sign. What the strategy calls for
is a president who enjoys the con-
fidence of the people, a president
who is regarded as a nice guy.
Ronald and Nancy Reagan are
a familiar and likeable couple.
The former California governor
is a bright, if not original,
thinker. He radiates traditional
American values. He is not a
hater. He likes people. He ap-
pears to feel that there is good in
almost everyone. He is a very
secure man; what you see is what
he is.
is desirable, Reagan is the ideal
nominee. As controls began to be
imposed, people would not grasp
what was happening until it was
too late.
Ronald Reagan exudes the.
faith that happy days are just
around the corner, that there are
simple answers to complex
questions. And in these troubled

By Carey McWilliams
times he appeals strongly to
anyone who does not want to face
the unpleasant implications of an
era of limits and retrenchment.
Many Americans want
reassurance that the Great
National Barbecue will continue
indefinitely, and this is exactly
what Reagan offers. He tells us
that we are still the most power-
ful nation on earth; that we can
still do pretty much whatever we
want to do. He radiates an image
of the self-confident America of
the 1950s.
This, he tells us, is the reality.
The nightmare version of our
future is false. He is sincere, but
'The Establishment has
decided that authoritarian
controls must be imposed
to get the country out of
the mess in which it finds
a newspaper friend once remin-
ded me that sincerity, like virtue,
is an art.
figurehead presidency for an.
authoritarian Establishment is
one that I advance with great
hesitation. But there is reason to
believe that it reflects a
dangerous possibility and should
therefore be carefully con-
The structure of the Imperial
Presidency, after all, has not
been entirely dismantled. The
C.I.A. has ample capacity to
carry out dirty tricks and
domestic assignments. The
Republicans are publicly

favoring a relaxation of con-
straints on the F.B.I. as proposed
by Nevada Senator Paul Laxalt,
a close Reagan advisor. Local
police intelligence agencies have
the necessary files and dossiers
to facilitate widespread sur-
Under the guise of a "national
emergency," such controls could
simply be imposed in a piecemeal
fashion-and the events ahead
might well seem to warrant
them. Ronald and Nancy Reagan
may project a nice, friendly
image of security and happiness,
but a well-meaning Reagan
would be in no position to restrain
the military industrial
establishment, the joint chiefs of
staff, or resist a political strategy
of the sort I am describing in the
midst of crisis.
decide to be beastly? What then?
Reagan cannot move without the
powerful support of the
Establishment now lining up
beind him, which could mean a
crackdown on everything-and
everyone-the Establishment
sees as subversive. It could mean
a return to the mentality of
security clearances and loyalty
tests. It could mean that in-
dividuals suspected of holding the
wrong opinions will find it harder
to get and hold jobs.
It could recreate the "'us vs.
them" atmosphere which we
knew to our shame in the McCar-
thy era, and appear to have
shamefully forgotten today.-
The author, one of the
country's leading liberal think-
ers and editor of The Nation
for 30 years, died June 27.
This was one of the last articles
he wrote for Pacific News




Vote for Citizens Party

To The Editor:
On August 5th, you can do
something positive about our
decaying election process. A vote
for the Citizens Party in the
primary election is a plea for
sane government policy. By
voting Citizens Party, you can
have a real choice come Novem-
ber 4th.
The Citizens Party stands for:
" Immediate ratification of the
Equal Rights Amendment;
" Opposition to reinstitution of
the draft;
" A halt to nuclear power;
" A guaranteed job for
everyone who wants to work;
" Stable prices for the.
necessities of life;
" Public control of energy,
utilities and other key industries;
" Reduction in military spen-
ding; and,

" Freedom of choice for all
women, regardless of income.
The Citizens Party was formed,
because the two-party system no
longer meets the needs of the.
American people. The
Democrat and Republican par-
ties are really two wings of one
big-business party beholden to
corporate contributors, not to
The Citizens Party offers a long
range alternative, not a celebrity
campaign like that of John An-
derson. His nedia-made can-
didacy offers little, unless you
favor, as Anderson does, the
neutron bomb and cutting the
minimum wage.
Instead, the 1980 campaign can
be the launching pad for a new
party with a higher vision, for
American politics. We are a
citizen's party willing to face the

critical decisions of our lifetime.
Join the 31,000 people who
signed petitions for the August
fifth ballot access. Only 4,000
of these votes are necessary to
place Dr. Barry Commoner on
the November 4th ballot.
Please vote Citizens Party, un
der the Party Qualifications Sec-
tion, on August 5th for a new be-
-James Richmond
Michigan Citizens Party
August 1
Unsigned editorials
appearing on the left side
of this page represent a
majority opinion of the
Daily's Editorial Board.


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