Sunday Gazette-Mail from Charleston, West Virginia on August 13, 1972 · Page 41
Get access to this page with a Free Trial
Click to view larger version
August 13, 1972

Sunday Gazette-Mail from Charleston, West Virginia · Page 41

Publication:
Location:
Charleston, West Virginia
Issue Date:
Sunday, August 13, 1972
Page:
Page 41
Cancel
Start Free Trial

Page 41 article text (OCR)

Election This Year No One Issue Stands By Samuel Lubell (Copyright, 1972) Man! Look at What He Did to That Iron Bar! " --hxcheftt, Syracuse Herald-JournoJ , . . Alone, But Nixon's Position Very Strong The Author Samuel Lubell is a well known public opinion analyst who with his staff has been reporting r on national voter trends witnre- markable accuracy since he began sampling in 1952. He began his newspaper career on the Washington Herald in 1937 after graduating from the Columbia School of Journalism. Later he screed as a war correspondent for the Saturday evening Post. He broadened iiis opinion sampling experience as assistant to James F. Byrnes in the Office of Economic Stabilization and later as assistant to Bernard Baruch in the advisory unit of the Office of War Afobi- It zation, and finally as director of the Opinion Reporting Workshop at Columbia University. He is the author of numerous bno!;s._ including "The I'uture of American Politics in U)~y2, and has been, a' radio and TV com- mental or for both CBS and NBC. This is the first of a series of pre-election stories by Mr. Lubell. They will appear in the Sunday Gazette-Mail and the Gazette on an unscheduled ba- On the eve of the Republican convention in Miami, Richard Nixon seems well on his way to re-election with good prospects of carrying states like New York and Pennsylvania. In 39 carefully chosen election precincts across the country, every fourth person interviewed/who voted for Hubert Humphrey in 1968 now talks of shifting to Nixon. The President is also attracting the bulk of George Wallace's 1968 vote in the South, and two of every three 1968 Wallace supporters in non-Southern states--a heavier shift to Nixon than prevailed last April before the mining of North Vietnam's harbors. ON THE HOPEFUL side for George McGovern, his one real surge of support comes from young first voters, who back him by a three to two margin in the election precincts sampled. These precincts range widely in voters makeup, from worker neighborhoods to well-to-do Republican suburbs. Many youths are breaking from the voting of strongly Republican parents. Always the protest runs "Nixon promised to end the war but didn't" or "he takes troops out of Vietnam and, sneaks them around the corner to Thailand." The youth vote by itself will not elect McGovern. What gives the South Dakota senator a fighting chance for November are the fierce passions and disgusts that divide so many voters. In city after city--New York, Los Angeles, Denver, Buffalo, Rochester, Indianapolis, Detroit--one finds people denouncing both Nixon and McGovern. The same voter who will explode against McGoyern as "a gutless coward" or "a defeatist who'd sell out to the Communists" will go on to attack Nixon as "a tool of big business," or complain, "Nixon froze my wages but let prices go up" and Sunday GazeJte-.Wail ·Vurreiit A ffairs Charleston. Wvst Virginia ID August 13,1972 "he's letting these companies send too much work overseas." McGovern may also be helped by a "tell me more" curiosity that still prevails. A Bronx housewife (in the Marble Hill section) remarked, "I'd like to vote Democratic but what could someone from South Dakota know about our problems?" L. T.Anderson A Mansion for the Shy, Place for Bible Thieves When they buried Dick Workman, he was wearing socks of different color and he had four good cigars in the breast pocket of his coat. He wore his glasses with the hinged sun visor tipped upward and outward, as he wore it in life. Betty, his wife, told me he was attired in accordance with his own instructions. Workman, who was a newspaper reporter before he went into the tire business, was unconventional to the last. YOU MAY WONDER why the receipt of a book of sermons by the Rev. Carl R. Key should summon up memories of Dick Workman, who used to come to my house and, finding no one at home, simply went to sleep on the living room couch. I will explain. When I was the city editor, I sent Workman out to steal a Bible. Years later, when Mr. Key found out about it, he sent a Bible to the newsroom. As atonement, presumably. We needed Holy Writ in order to extract a quotation for a long-forgotten feature story. We had no Bible. Giving the problem my editorial attention, I recalled that I have read somewhere that the Gideons were delighted when their Bibles were stolen, for'.this 'meant they would be read. This was the explanation I offered Workman when I suggested that he go over to the Kanawha Hotel, where doors usually could be found unlocked, and steal a Bible. Workman shuffled amiably out the door, carrying his loaf of bread and quart of milk, and returned later in the day with a Kanawha Hotel Bible. He covered City Hall, and habitually consumed a loaf of bread and a quart of milk at lunchtime in the mayor's antechamber. desk, hiding from a publicist from the Boy Scouts. It was Jim Haught who told Mr. Key about Workman stealing the Bible as a city desk assignment. Mr. Key at the time was secretary of the West Virginia Council of Churches. Haught at the time wrote a column in which he reported on sermons to which he listened in different churches each week, his skepticism mounting at each encounter with formal religion. He and Mr. Key had a mutual sociological interest in snake-handlers, often described by Haught as morally superior to the average Presbyterian. · Mr. Key attached more significance to stealing Bibles than I, and upon hearing Haught's tale dispatched to the city desk a handsome Standard Revised Version. I prefer the soaring Elizabethan language of the King James Version, but I was hardly in a position to quibble. Anyway, Mr. Key's gift has since been misplaced, or--I might as well face it--stolen. Mr. Key now lives at 205 Vallis St. in Spencer. His volume of sermons is entitled "A Timely Message for Our Day." The price is $2.20. Naturally, Mr. Key hopes to sell as many volumes as possible, and the circumstances compel my assistance. BUT THE DIFFICULTIES McGovern has to overcome run deeper than his own .controversial views or personality. The real key to the election, in fact, lies in one astonishing yet almost forgotten fact. Exactly a year ago Nixon seemed certain to be defeated. Even among Republicans, the comments voiced most frequently about him then were, "He's too slow" and "he takes too long." In some precincts a third of the Republicans interviewed were ready to vote against him. So turned off were most voters that even his announcement that he would visit Red China was shrugged off. One typical comment given me was, "He should go there and stay there." Not until he instituted the wage-price freeze did the voters tune him back in. How the mood of the electorate was altered with such blitzkrieg speed in a single year remains the great untold story of the 1972 election. The effects of that year of decision will dominate the remainder of the campaign and shape much of the future of our country after the voting is over. are intensifying arguments that "the economy needs a war to prosper." Some echo the protest of a school janitor in York, Pa., "Why hasn't the President made any preparations for the jobs we'll need when the war ends?" Along with such grumbling, support is rising to "step up defense spending" as a means of taking up the slack in jobs. Among workers in defense-sensitive areas, who feel threatened by defense budget cuts, quite heavy voting shifts to Nixon are taking place. The new defense budget could provide much the same political yield for Nixon as WPA did for Franklin Roosevelt in his 1936 landslide. THE PRESSURES for increased defense spending seem also to be intensifying voter demands to "cut back how welfare is dished out" and "make them work and not depend on the middle class." These heavier assaults on welfare could be particularly damaging to McGovern. A number of voters have been arguing, "McGovern wants to cut defense just to have more money to blow on welfare." Reviewing this whole eventful year, one conclusion stands out: By now no campaign issue stands alone. All have become packaged together into totalities of voters emotions. Some voters remain torn by the pull of conflicting feelings on different issues. But my interviews indicate that a majority of the electorate may be linking the same feeling about sticking it out in Indochina, expanding defense, cutting welfare, ending school busing--into one whole, which could become the basis for a lasting coalition of Republican power. Can McGovern's campaigning break apart these linkages? To answer that let us examine the more critical battles of voter opinion still being fought, beginning with the war and why "getting out of Vietnam" has become a phrase that means nothing and anything to everyone. NEXT: What "getting out of Vietnam" really means. Nixon's "It Looks Like More Nonmushroom Weather to Me" x ------- ./" --,- ' ., ' y f ^ / » x J " . £. j v * A_... ..--V ·:·· ^xd-^M f " -\ ·! * t*^^~? · IF' , SK ImA AtMt-Dlcp0icli "tfoic'd This One Get In Here?--' Re-Elect Nixon'!" gn THIS AND OTHER Workman stories ·re enshrined, I am told, in a collection maintained by Nancy Haught, wife of newspaperman Jim Haught. Also in tne collection is an account of my formal introduction to an editor of the New York Herald-Tribune while I crouched under a WITHOUT THE PRESSURE of moral obligation, I would go to the rack before reading anything entitled "A Timely Message for Our Day," which is the Protestant answer to "Father Joe Talks Straight from the Shoulder to Bobby and Sue." Both produce the image of an Edgar Guest poem on a slab of varnished cedar. But I am glad I read Mr. Key's sermons, which are far better than his unfortunate title. Mine isn't an unqualified endorsement, however. Even as I approve "Our unfinished work lies in areas of spiritual welfare, politics, economics and social progress," I profoundly reject the proposition that religion should be cheerful. The joyful whooping and heaving that has replaced dignified church services pains me sorely, not only because it is phony but also because of the implication that one must be an outgoing sales manager in order to enter the Kingdom. Surely there is a Mansion for shy believers, just as there is a Place, I am positive, for Bible thieves. BETWEEN THE SUMMERS of 1972 and 1972, there were three happenings: First, the whole election was turned into a gigantic psychological contest--more accurately a psychological war--with the voters themselves serving as the terrain of battle, rigged for emotional booby traps and economic ambushes. ' Second, in the course of waging his end of this psych war, Richard Nixon transformed the presidential election process,, probably for good. Specifically, he organized and pushed through what can be described best as our first total election--total in the precise sense that virtually nothing was overlooked that might change of sway voter feeling. Other presidents--notably Franklin Roosevelt--employed every power at their comman to gain re-election, but the process has never been carried through with such skill and totality as under Nixon. From reducing war resistance by easing draft calls, and selling feed grains to the Soviets, racial actions and inactions, wage-price controls and scattered tax subsidies through the economy--no aspect of American life has been untouched. Third, during this year of total psychological war, several critical battles of opinion were fought out, pitting Americans against Americans, and bringing dramatic changes. A year ago the national mood was dominated by two desires--to "pull out of Vietnam" and "get to work on our own domestic problems." Even avowed hawks declared, "If we're not going to win, let's come home." IN RECENT WEEKS, though, the public temper has been swinging against quick withdrawal from. South Vietnam. The dominant urge now is to "bomb North Vietnam until they come around." In fact, my interviews indicate that Nixon has won public support for staying on in Indochina after the election, despite any end-the-war Senate vote, and until a settlement "with honor" can be forced. During the past year as well, unemployment, supposedly the strongest of all Democratic political guns, has misfired and become a Nixon political asset. Thoughts that the war may be ending Old Wine in New Bottle Special To The Washington Post/Outlook By Ronald Steel It was a year ago that Richard Nixon l a u n c h e d h i s n e w v e n t u r e i n WELTPOLITIK, to the consernation of many and the puzzlement of nearly all. By breaking the 20-year taboo on China and announcing that he would pay a visit to the Asiatic headquarters of what he used to call the "International Communist Conspiracy," he horrified his admirers on the right, confused his critics on the left, and threw the Japanese and the Europeans into a state of shock from which they have yet to recover. WHEN HE FOLLOWED up his sojourn in Peking with a visit to Moscow a few months later--thus becoming the first American president to set foot in either the Chinese or the Soviet capital--it became clear that some fundamental changes in American foreign policy were in the making. Out the window went the ritualistic anticommunism that American politicians in general, and Richard Nixon in particular, had made a stock in trade. Equally out-of-date, although the signs were more muted, was the assumption that nations had to be either friends, enemies, or neutrals. It now appeared that the administration no longer believed that its adversaries or its allies were eternal. Instead, it was wooing the former and ignoring the latter, thus upsetting a quarter-century of cold war dogma. A new fluidity, and a new uneasiness, has seeped into American diplomacy. Wilsonian idealism, with its rigid categories.of good guys and bad ones and its messianic vision of America as the savior of the world, is being diluted by a heavy dose of Metternich's cynicism and Bismarck's selective use of force. WHAT NIXON has done, to the embarrassment of his liberal critics, is to Ronald Steel is writing a biography of philosopher Walter Lippmann. In the following article, he assesses President Nixon's foreign policy during the past year. have accepted the basic outlines of their foreign policy critique. He has retreated from the more grandiose illusion and windy pronouncements of globalism--as practised by every president from Truman to Johnson--to a more traditional concept of national interest. Gone is the interventionist phrasing of the 1947 Truman Doctrine, with its inflammatory declaration that "It must be the policy of the United States to support free peoples" against subversion or intimidation. Instead there is at least a verbal emphasis on mutual accommodation, on recognizing traditional spheres of influence for the great powers, in drawing a sharp distinction between vital interests and peripheral ones, and an effort to keep recalcitrant allies in their place. From the apostle of anti-communism, Richard Nixon has become--under the guidance of Henry Kissinger-the high priest of the balance of power. No more "making the world safe for democracy" no more "rollback" or "liberation," to use two of the slogans of Nixon's own vice* presidency; and no more Vietnams. involving our soldiers in post-colonial wars far from our shores and our interests. Instead we are told that the world will be safer if "we have a strong, healthy United States, Europe, Soviet Union, China and Japan, each balancing the other, not playing one against the other, an even balance." Assuming the President is serious, what this means is a return to a global form of the balance-of-power diplomacy that was the staple of European statecraft in the 19th century. It was this system that Woodrow Wilson inveighed against and swore to abolish at Versailles by creating the League of Nations. It was balance of power that Cordell Hull, a generation later, vowed would be ended forever by the United Nations that succeeded the league. Balance of power, European and American statesmen believed, was responsible for the tribal slaughter of World War I and they asserted it never would be repeated. Instead they sought to build the peace on regional alliances and international organizations. WHILE THE COLLAPSE of the balance of power did lead to World War I, the equation was not that simple. There were other factors drawing the European nations toward war. The balance of power could not resist, the forces of nationalism and the breakdown of the old empires. But for all its inadequacies, it did more or less manage to keep the peace in Europe for the better part o f ' a century--from the Congress of Vienna that ended the Napoleonic wars in 1815, to the outbreak of what the Europeans still call the great War of 1914. What the new Nixon doctrine implies is some global version of the balance that pervaded in Europe in the 19th century. But is Nixon serious? And if he is, is" balance of power a viable policy in the nuclear age? There are a number of reasons for being skeptical. First, a stable balance requires each of the five powers to be roughly equal in strength, if we are to have a state of "each balancing the other, not playing one against the other." But this is hardly the world we live in. or one that is likely to emerge within the foreseeable future. INSTEAD OF FIVE powers of roughly equal strength, we have two superpowers armed to the nuclear teeth and pursuing a global rivalry for influence and prestige. The other three are not now in the race regardless of what their eventual expectations may be. Please tun? to Page 4D

Get full access with a Free Trial

Start Free Trial

What members have found on this page