The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas on November 2, 1996 · Page 12
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The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas · Page 12

Salina, Kansas
Issue Date:
Saturday, November 2, 1996
Page 12
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_SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 2, 1996 THE SALINA JOURNAL OPINION George B. Pyle editorial page editor Opinions expressed on this page are those of the identified writers. To join the conversation, write a letter to the Journal at: P.O. Box 740 Salina, KS 67402 Fax: (913)827-6363 E-mail: SalJournal © Quote of the day ' "We're going to hit the road. We're going to reach out to everyone we can ( at every truck slop and every • all-night diner." r Bob Dole "launching a final, * round-the-clock, campaign blitz | By GEORGE B. PYLE / The Salina Journal Docking and Thompson THE ISSUE Tlie United States Senate THE ARGUMENT Tlie Democrats have the real world experience T his is an unusual election year. Not only will Kansans have the opportunity to choose two new members of the U.S. Senate, they will be able to choose two people who have spent most of their lives working and living in the real world or two people who live, eat and breathe big-time politics. What is particularly unusual is that the professional politicians in both contests are Republicans, while those seeking to bring their private-sector success to the Senate are Democrats. Jill Docking, a stockbroker, and Sally Thompson, a CPA and banker now serving as state treasurer, are running as Democrats. Docking is seeking to fill the two years left in Bob Dole's term. Thompson wants the full term left up for grabs by the retirement of Nancy Kassebaum. Both should be elected. The choice of Docking is a wholly positive one. She is smart, articulate, energetic and has an unusually level head on her shoulders. Level, in this case, means balanced or, if you will, moderate, in the Kassebaum mold. She knows that all of us — working through our government — have a duty to the elderly, the children and the less fortunate. She also knows how to add. Docking has no patience for politicians of either party who dodge the fact that our entitlement programs cannot be allowed to run on as they are. Social Security and Medicare need reform. They need to be put on a sound financial basis. They need to'be there for those who have no other means, and those who do have other resources should be expected to rely on themselves first and the government last. Docking's approach to balancing the federal budget — sharing the burden fairly — is much more likely to actually come to pass than the slash-and-burn method favored by her opponent, Rep. Sam Brownback. Brownback's record on protecting the environment is abysmal, while Docking backs a conciliatory approach that cleans up our air and water in ways responsible industry can live with. The choice for Thompson is just as clear, though made with less joy. The state treasurer, frankly, has not run a good campaign. She has been too negative, and not stood up well under return fire. The primary reason to vote for Thompson is that she is not Pat Roberts. Roberts, seven- term congressman from Western Kansas, is Bob Dole lite — all the arro- THOMPSON gance with none of the heroism. Roberts knows Washington inside and out, but the only way he has found to improve it has been to call his colleagues on their overdrawn bank accounts and overdue lunchroom tabs. Roberts has not cleaned up Congress. He has re-enforced the public's contempt for it, making it more likely that our legislative branch will continue to be in the thrall of the special interests that revel in the mud of the Capitol instead of the real working people who can't stand the stench. Roberts has also lied about Thompson's record managing the Municipal Investment Pool, which she created and used to make hundreds of millions of dollars for Kansas cities and counties. The pool never lost $20 million, as Roberts claims. The pool made $20 million less than it would have made had Thompson not restructured it in a time of fluctuating interest rates. The fact that Thompson has not done a better job of explaining that is a point against her. That Roberts deliberately distorts it is unforgivable. Roberts never faced a serious challenge in any of his campaigns. That left him arrogant and aloof. When Thompson ran a hard-ball campaign such as ' Roberts had never seen before, it made him angry. He called her a "bitch." Kansans should remind everyone that both those seats in the Senate belong to us, not to transparently ambitious and arrogant professional politicians. We should send Sally Thompson and Jill Docking to manage our affairs in Washington. T ON MY MIND Both parties are awash in foreign money A.M. ROSENTHAL Tlie /Veic York Times America should wake up to our leaders' support of Chinese dictatorship W ake up, America! Why doesn't America wake up? Yes, Bob Dole, yes, yes! Wake up America! Wake up to the truth that Bob Dole and the Republican leadership are partners with President ' Clinton and the Democratic leadership in building up the Communist Chinese dictatorship and its armed forces. For a while, I hoped that the scandal of Indonesians exporting money to the Democratic Party — laundered but not enough to smother the stink — would lead to national examination of two deeper scandals. The lesser is that both parties have been taking money * from foreign bag men for years. The Republicans took it from the Philippine dictatorship way back in the Reagan days. But that is merely a symptom of the greater scandal: both parties have worked together to empower Asian dictatorships, particularly the Chinese, by enriching them ever more with trade and investment that strengthen their military and police. The Lippo affair has not put American focus on that moral and political illness beneath it. The Republican and Democratic campaigns shush any noise about that, ever so protective of the slumber of press and public. International investment and trade can be a blessing. But they become suicidal for the United States when they enrich military dictatorships that stand for everything democracy detests and fears. China is a classic case — one more lesson to add to Nazi Germany, Imperial Japan, Iraq, the whole list. The great part of U.S. business in China is with companies and cartels controlled by the Chinese military. Huge profits go not to the American people, who get only a $30 billion trade deficit. They go naturally enough to the owners, often concealed — China's army, air force, navy and missile detachments. They use the profits to increase their military power and sell missiles and nuclear technology to other dictatorships with the right attitudes. But ask riot why Americans don't wake up — the answer is obvious. The candidates keep mouths shut about the embellishment of Chinese power. They know they are in this together, chained soul to soul. They became shackled to each other when T CAN SHE SAY THAT? IF BUT LETS NOT FORGET THAT TUES> SAJ/E UYE5 ON -WE DRIVER'S SIDE. President Clinton surrendered to China-lobby pressure, enthusiastically backed by Dole, and tore up his written promise to the Chinese and Tibetan people to use trade as a lever for even a slight lessening of Communist repression. One military achievement by Clinton that his courtiers do not mention is how that decision helped the Chinese armed forces. China's government is the most dangerous kind — a paranoid political dictatorship trying to balance itself atop a huge, nationalistic and virtually independent military machine. A question will occur to Americans if China, alone or in partnerships with other dictatorships, turns openly against the United States after it sufficiently strengthens Beijing. The question will not be who lost China but who lost America's guardian principles. Who ruled that the purpose of American foreign policy was no longer to protect American freedom by promoting freedom abroad but to promote trade with the enemies of freedom? Who decided that the China trade, draining though it is to America, was more important than'rising Chinese military power? Who decided we should water Chinese military capa- bility from the springs of democratic capitalism? Who offers only the whine that if the United States does not enrich the masters of the Chinese and Tibetan gulags, our allies will? By rushing to the trough the United States sacrifices any chance of influencing other nations,, Who refused out of shared guilt to make a campaign issue of China's missile sales, its increasing oppression of dissidents and how American capital underwrote both? Who decided for us that liberalism and conservatism, indispensable political philosophies in America, should both abandon the political struggle against the daily terrors of police states because they destroy brains, bodies and hopes? Why did both candidates rob the American voter of a choice between their loyalties to democracy? Talk of sleaze, this was bipartisan: oh, say, does that cash register still ring? And will the American people go on saying about the assault on American principle andi safety that they did not tell us so we do not know, when we do, once again we do? • Maybe something good can come of this MOLLY IVINS fort Worth Star-Telegram Foreign money is a drop in the bucket compared to homegrown special interests S till hoping that something useful will come out of this dreadful campaign, let's focus again on the money. As the Clinton/Indonesian money connection continues to develop nicely, like a photograph coming up in a chemical bath, we will want to remember a cpuple of important points. One is that the problem is not foreign money. I have a vision of us in one of our xenophobic snits deciding that shifty Asians of nefarious intent are out to subvert the Amurkin Way. Follow the money: Shifty Asians aren't even in it. Millions and millions in unchecked corporate money is pouring into the parties. No v sloe-eyed foreigners — just good ol' red-blooded Amurkin corporations looking for special favors. According to the Center for Responsive Politics, 52 percent of Americans want major changes in the way campaigns are financed and another 20 percent believe that we need to make minor changes. And there is a direct cor- • relation between those who know the political system best and those who want to see serious changes. If all we get out of the current mess is a law that says "No foreign money allowed," we will have blown our best shot for reclaiming a truly representative democracy. We will continue to be governed by a corporate oligarchy. The good news is that it ain't that hard to fix. Public campaign financing, funded through a voluntary check-off on the IRS form with a $100 limit, would create a more than adequate pool of public financing. Minor parties could quality for a cut of the money, as Ross Perot did, by a decent showing at the polls. Costs can be held down by making free television time available. None of this is new, unheard of, risky or untried. It's old hat in most European countries. If all we get out of the current mess is a law that says "No foreign money allowed," we will have blown our best shot for reclaiming a truly representative democracy. We will continue to be government by a corporate oligarchy. As for the rest of the sad campaign, BobDole could perform one last service for his country by following the Mike Dukakis model. When Dukakis realized that he was going to lose, he did not go quietly, but he did go with dignity. He stopped attacking his opponent and returned to the themes that give Democrats their identity. He preached them with passion (well, with what passes for passion with Dukakis) to ever-larger crowds as the campaign ended. As a political performance, it was considerably superior to "Where is the outrage in America? Where is the outrage in America? Where has the media gone in America? Where is the outrage in America?" The other day in University Park, Texas, Dole made the unlikely assertion that "the outrage starts right here at SMU." Right — Southern Methodist University, natural home of outrage. The sorority girls will just whip those bows out of their hair and start a revolution. Then there was the old media bias theme. "We've got to stop the liberal bias in this country. Don't read that stuff. Don't watch television. You make up your mind. Don't let them make up your mind for you." Dole owes his "outrage" theme to the media, which went out and dug up the Indonesian connection, just like we're supposed to, so this seems churlish of him. As always happens when candidates attack one another instead of promoting their own ideas, we're all left with the impression that we have two terrible people vying for office, no one has any ideas and the system is so bad that DOONESBURY it's not even worth voting. I'm still unable to discern why BobDole thinks his character, whatever that means anymore, is superior to President Clinton's. Better war record, better war — that's about it. 1 Dole has flip-flopped on issues and changed his stand at least as often as Clinton has and, given how much longer he's been doing it, probably a lot more often. • I was startled to see that according to two different estimates by two nonpartisan groups, Clinton has kept or tried to keep either 60 or 70 percent of the promises he made during his '92 campaign. The reason that startled me is because I've been buying into all the endless chatter about how he doesn't keep his word,' doesn't stand for anything. An indignant colleague from Washington, D.C., in "the liberal media" showed his bias by demanding, "Well, at least you've got to admit Clinton will do anything to get re-elected." Look at a rather large "anything" that's been staring the Washington press corps in the face for four years. What branch of the media can you name that wouldn't kill for an interview with Chelsea Clinton? The duckling with braces on he,r teeth has turned into a lovely young swan 'be : fore our eyes; she could be on the cover of every teen mag in the country. Name a newspaper that wouldn't love to interview her, or a television network, or a chat show (Oprah Winfrey, Rosie O'Donnell, Diane Sawyer) — every one of them displaying the charming, poised first daughter talking about what a wonderful dad our pres is. Bill Clinton has never exploited his daughter for political purposes. She has gone, through what is probably the single worst time of any human's life, her adolescence, without so much as a peep out of the scuzziest tabloids about "Chelsea's First Kiss" or any other nonsense. It takes some seriously hard work to keep a kid in the White House that protected: But her parents are widely deemed not to have a scruple between them. Meanwhile, Dole is dragging this poor 43- year-old woman, his daughter Robin, all over the country with him. As far we anyone" knows, they haven't been close since he' walked out on her mother when she was 18; Character, anyone? By G.B. TRUDEAU tUZKE 6OIN6 TO TAK£A

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