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August 08, 1980 - Image 4

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Michigan Daily, 1980-08-08

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Pnnaa4-Fridav. Auaust 8. 1980-The Michiaon Daily

Bitter convention could
help elect Reagan

D irge for the
Marc hing Band
WITH THEIR majestic uniforms, strutting
drum majors, high-step marching, and in-
valuable contribution to Michigan spirit, the
Michigan Marching Band is an institution at the
University. Whether it is the pre-game march from
Revelli Hall across the railroad tracks to the
stadium, or a performance before millions at the
Republican National Convention, the band has:
always been a showpiece for the University.
But because of budgetary constraints, the band
may not be able to attend any away football games
this fall. Running on a skimpy budget of $15,000
given by the Athletic Department, the band has:
found itself in a very unfortunate position. The
problem is that the Athletic Department, which has:
an. annual budget of $6.5 million, has stubbornly,
refused to dig into its pockets and assist the band
with its problem.
The Marching Band has always been an intrinsic
part of the spirit and revelry that accompanies
Michigan football on some of its road games. For
over a half a century the band has not only en-
thused the 'M' fans who have followed the team on.
away games, but has dazzled the host audiences as
well. But for the first time in over a decade, the
band may not perform at the classic confrontation
at Columbus.
The band has always put out for the Athletic
Department. It plays at pep rallies, homecoming
festivities, and other athletic events. And the main
attraction of the Shippensburg-Slippery Rock
game? The Michigan Marching Band, of course.
Yet the Athletic Department has ignored the quan-
dry of the band.
To the band members, football players, and
Michigan fans, the band's performance at away
games means a great deal. The Athletic Depar-
tment has shamefully demonstrated how it ignores
a friend in need.

The 1980 Presidential election
may well be decided on August
11. That's the first day of the
Democratic Convention, when a
vote is taken on the new rule
requiring delegates "to vote. for
the Presidential candidate whom
they were elected to support for
at least the first convention.
ballot, unless released in writing
by the Presidential candidate."
This rule, which would ob-
viously insure Jimmy Carter's
renomination, is controversial.
But moves for an "open" conven-
tion by disaffected congressmen,
combined with Teddy Kennedy's
decision to stay in the race, make
the way the rule is debated as
important as the actual vote.
Although procedural decisions.
usually don't matter much, this
August in New York could be like
Chicago in 1952, when .a bitter
fight over delegate certification
put Eisenhower in control of the
GOP Convention.
TRADITIONALLY, convention
delegates have been morally
obligated to vote for the can-
didate to whom they are pledged.
The new Democratic Convention
rule changes this to a legal
requirement, enforceablyby
replacing a delegate who shifts
his vote "at any time up to and
including the Presidential
balloting at the national conven-
tion." If any delegate pledged to
Carter votes for someone else or
abstains on the first ballot, this
rule apparently allows Carter's
organization to replace that
delegate during the balloting.
The vote of a defector, might
therefore be nullified even before
the end of the first roll-call.
If the issue merely concerned
Teddy Kennedy's candidacy,
the President would have little to
worry about. But Reagan's
strong lead in the latest polls,
aggravated by Billy Carter's
Libyan connection, is giving

By Roger Masters
many Democratic politicians
second thoughts. The resulting
call for an open convention,
designed to make possible a
Muskie or Mondale candidacy
means that the debate on conven-
tion rules will be critical.
THE PRESIDENT could
probably hold on to enough,
delegate support to be nominated
even without the new rule. But if
his forces anger liberals-and
even moderates-in order to win
the rules fight, the consequences
are incalculable. Although Carter
now lags behind Reagan, can-
didates have come from that far
behind to wina Presidential elec-
tion. But if Carter's backers split
the Democratic party by their at-
titude on the convention rules
(and the platform), the damage
to the President could be'
irreparable.
It is no secret that many voters,
especially among the young, are
very unhappy about the choice
between Reagan and Carter. A
recent poll in Massachusetts has
Anderson in second place,
leading the President by several
percentage points. But up to now,
an Anderson boom has seemed
quixotic; how can a candidate be
a national coalition all by him-
self?
IF THE Democratic Conven-
tion is badly split by the Carter
delegate rule, all this could
change.tDisaffected Democrats
want a place to turn to. So do
liberal or moderate Republicans
unhappy about Reagan's stance
on ERA and abortion (not to men-
tion his willingness to change the
constitutional role of the Vice
President by fiat to improve his
chances in November).
The electorate as a whole has
yet to realize how conservative
Reagan's position really is. A

New York Times-CBS poll last
spring revealed that, on a 0-20
scale of conservatism, Reagan
stood for 17.5; in contrast, Bush
represented 13.7 and Ford 6. Sin-
ce the average voter's position is
exactly middle-of-the-road (on
this scale), independents and
moderates of both parties are
still largely undecided and will
obviously determine the victor in
November.
Humphrey lost to Nixon in 1968,
in no small part because the
Democratic party couldn't heal
the wounds of a divisive conven-
tion. A bruising fight over rules,
or a high-handed dismissal of
Kennedy's platform proposals,
could push many Democrats into
Anderson's camp. And if some
disaffected Republicans also turn
to Anderson as a centrist alter-
native, many voters in both par-
ties seem ready to follow. In the
Times-CBS poll just mentioned,
Anderson represented the
national average, while Carter
was to his left, though not as far
left as Kennedy.
Carter's best strategy on
August 11 would doubtlessly be to
endorse the call for an open con-
vention, and to placate Kennedy
as well as Muskie or Mondale
supporters in order to reunite the
party. But having failed to follow
this strategy in late May, when
Kennedy seemingly offered a
face-saving way out of the con-
frontation, the President's sup-
porters give every sign of
repeating the blunder. If they
persist, they might convince both
politicians and voters to consider
seriously "the Anderson Dif-
ference."
Roger Masters is a
professor of government at
Dartmouth College and wrote
this article for the college's
newspaper, The Dartmouth.

I
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LETTERS TO THE DAILY:
New Libertarian ideology
is anarchy for the rich

4

7 ~ P To The Daily:
Recent commentaries on your
editorial page by proponents of
the "new" Libertarian
movement reveal a world view
that is skewed,,simplistic, and
ultimately dangerous.
Whether or not the "new Liber-
tarians and traditional
Republicans are political first
cousins is but a semantic quib-
ble; the end result of both philoso-
- hies is anarchy for the rich only.
Whether this end is achieved by
laissez-faire or government sub-
sidies is certainly of little concern
or consequence to the mass of
humanity.
Personal and political liberty
are not co-extensive with
economic liberty. To argue that
sexual freedom and unimpaired
Don't laugh - we ain't worked in years!political dialogue can only be
secure in the absence of any type

of economic regulation is to
argue that the Love Canal, rather
than eternal vigilence, is the
price of liberty.
The seductive power of the
current Libertarian movement
springs largely from the fact that
it has identified the source of
many of our society's woes:
governmental power. Liber-
tarians, however, have confoun-
ded the adjective and the noun it
modifies.
Government per se is not a
threat to liberty-power is.
Power, even in its most
benevolent guise, is by definition
hostile to liberty.
Where government is weak,
economic interests will
predominate. The absence of any
effective governmental power
historically has guaranteed that
power will devolve to and become

ever more concentrated in the af-
fluent. Liberty is these con'ditions
has been, at best, the freedom to
choose from a restricted range of
options.
The "new" Libertarians do not
seem to confront this manifest
truism. Indeed, they would look
foolish arguing that the
inevitable hegemony of their
vision, grounded as it is in
economic power, can somehow
be less inimical to liberty than
our current over-weening gover-
nment.
To paraphrase Anatole France,
this new "freedom," in its infinite
disavowal of compulsion, allows
both rich and poor to choose a life
of economic slavery.
-Lee Kirk
August 6

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