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July 31, 1984 - Image 6

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Publication:
Michigan Daily, 1984-07-31

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OPINION

Page 6
,Obe Mict-gat Bti
Vol. XCIV, No. 31-S
94 Years of Editorial Freedom
Managed and Edited by Students at
The University of Michigan
Editorials represent a majority opinion of the
Daily Editorial Board
Missing the point
R ECENTLY, REP. Joseph Addabbo, (D-
New York), issued a report on military
readiness that concluded that the United
States was incapable at this time of sustaining
a military action for a prolonged period.
White House reactions to the report have
ranged from frothing accusations of political
manipulation to denunciation of the
Democrats for creating the problems in the
first place. Secretary of Defense Caspar
Weinberger feared that the report will give
our enemies the wrong impression and harm
our national security.
Unfortunately, the administration's reac-
tion misses the central issues raised in the Ad-
dabbo report.
Not even Weinberger has denied the validity
of the report. The situation, it seems, is that
even with the largest peace-time defense
budget in history, our military leaders have
been unable to produce adequate results.
The blame for such a failure is not partisan.
There is something wrong with the entire
structure of America's military posture.
In the waning days of this session of
Congress, proposals have been put forth to
further increase our defense budget. As well,
both major party candidates favor defense in-
creases.
The recent failures on the part of the Depar-
tment of Defense to become any more efficient
only weaken the defense establishment's case
for more money. Increasing the budget for a
woefully inefficient department-at a time
when the entire country screams out for lower
taxes and increased social programs-is
nothing short of obscene.
Accusations of political manipulation by
both parties are mere dodges for the real
problem.
Real changes must be made in the Defense
Department-changes which involve a serious
reassessment of the role U.S. troops stationed
abroad, a reexamination of the nation's
eagerness to interfere in the affairs of other
countries, and a systemic reorganization of
the military bureaucracy.
The Addabbo report indicates that a serious
problem exists, but the nation's politicians
continually refuse to address the problem on
its own terms. The question is not so much
over American preparedness for war-impor-
tant as that issue may be. The question is over
the failure of a system and over the continued
waste and danger that failure has produced.

Tuesday, July 31, 1984

The Michigan Daily

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Will Hart's supporters
work for Mondale?

0

By Mary Ellen Leary
Will Gary Hart's followers
work for Walter Mondale?
The activists who came to San
Francisco this month may have
had their appetite for cam-
paigning sharpened, but the bulk
of the Hart supporters back home
are yet to be enlisted. Self-'
consciously independent, they,
will not be "delivered," they
must be won. "We're not all-out
Democrats. We're more like in-
dependents," said delegate
Wayne Koonce of Illinois.
THE YOUNG urban
professionals, the "yuppies",
constitute a whole
generation-affluent, educated,
successful, but with ideals.
These are the MBAs who deman-
ded ethics courses in b1-siness
school, the lawyers giving "pro
bono" service to special causes.
Most, grew up outside of
politics. Vietnam and Watergate
put blinders on them that con-
fined theirinterest to thetper-
sonal. Yet, one by one, these
young men and women became
alarmed about the environment,
nuclear weapons, military policy,
federal deficits-all concerns
which candidate Hart managed
to address.
Their most striking charac-
teristic is that they have no in-
bred party orientation, no
political loyalty beyond en-
thusiasm for Hart, although
many share a repugnance at
Ronald Reagan's policies.
FOR MOST,the Hart campaign
was a first venture into politics, a
spontaneous, unstructured
citizen's movement, outside the

party organization at first.
When they tried to become
delegates or set up Hart
headquarters, they drew
together many novices like them-
selves and fancied their faction
as wholly unlike the old-style
politics that yielded backroom
bosses such as the chosen
Georgian, Bert Lance.
"We are issue-oriented," one
said. "Some are for the Equal
Rights Amendment, some for the
freeze, some for getting out of
Central America. Most are
cynical about old politics. In fact,
many admit they never voted
before."
THE ONE thing that links them
to the party now is the platform
which supporters consider
replete with Hart's "new ideas."
"This platform is dramatically
different from past party
statements," said Rep. Tim Wir-
th of Colorado. "It recognizes
changes in the nation's economy
and in the world economy. It is
concerned with a work force that
needs retraining, and with the
private sector. It's about today's
world."
Winning the support of Jackson
and Mondale delegates for their
strengthened plank against
military interference in Central
America refreshed Hart suppor-
ters' belief that they already
have influence on the party and
can have more.
If the Hart ideas in the plat-
form-on nuclear freeze, on in-
dustrial gearing up for foreign
trade, on retraining workers, on a
tighter defense budget-remain
the Mondale message, the Hart
contingent is likely to bring its
zeal into the Democratic cause.

BUT THEY need to be convin-
ced. Geraldine Ferraro will be
their catalyst if she is kept cen-
tral to the campaign.
"Reagan had us intimidated
coming into the convention," said
California Lt. Gov. Leo McCar-
thy. "We came in split and
scared. But since the selection of
Ferraro the psychology of this
party was completely changed.
You can feel it. Now we are
looking at a close race with a sub-
stantial chance to win."
But John Revens, majority
leader in the Rhode Island state
senate, sees changes in the party
which reach beyond the Hart con-
tingent.
"All through the party, in state
governments and in Congress, we
have a new generation of young,
strong-minded leadership," he
said. "There are some tremen-
dous young Democrats moving
into key offices all across the
country, and they have firm con-
victions. We want to control
spending and build a stable
economy. We want to strengthen
women's role and protect the en-
vironment."
"We've got to beat Reagan
because he is bankrupting the
country with that deficit. A lot of
us stsrted out to back Hart, but
we are going to stay with the par-
ty and make sure the new ideas
work."
Leary wrote this article for
the Pacific News Service.

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