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Cedar Rapids Gazette Newspaper Archive: November 18, 1974 - Page 6

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Publication: Cedar Rapids Gazette

Location: Cedar Rapids, Iowa

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   Cedar Rapids Gazette (Newspaper) - November 18, 1974, Cedar Rapids, Iowa                                Traditional vote-pitch discredited now Editorial Page Monday, Nnvsmbet 18, 1974 Registration is o must Perhaps the most illogical statement made during the re- cent campaign was a ca1! for repeal of the new statewide voter- registration law that takes effect next Jan. 1. It came from State Sen. James Schaben, the Democratic candidate for governor, at a routine news conference during his final pre-election visit to Cedar Rapids Oct. 31. Schaben took the position that there is no real need for citizens to register as one of the several eligibility requirements for vot- ing. He would prefer a uniform situation where no registration is required to one where it is re- quired of everyone, he said. Later, in the same news conference, Schaben softened his stand, conceding there probably is a need for registration, as the means of identification of voters, in counties of or more pop- ulation. That's what we've had for the last few years. Only voters in counties of or more, plus cities of and over in coun- ties of less than are re- quired to register now. Prior to that, registration was required only in cities of and over. It was optional in cities of less than Unmistakably, the way would be open for utter chaos on elec- tion days in metropolitan areas if there were no way to identify voters, thus insuring that no indi- vidual could vote more than once. Inasmuch as Iowa's constitu- tion contains a section requiring uniform application of state laws, it follows that the constitutionali- ty of a voter-registration law that applies to some citizens and not to others was in doubt. Even so the legislature failed to move toward statewide regis- tration until the U.S. supreme court struck down a residency requirement for voting in a Tennessee case. This also struck down the Iowa residency requirement. It opened the way for voters to cast ballots in nonregistration areas by- declaring residency on the day of elections something they could not do in registration areas, where registration is closed 10 days prior to elections. Voter-registration on a state- wide basis is a must in Iowa to insure untainted elections and uniform treatment of all citizens, regardless of their place of resid- ence. Ruling out wars? A woman leader of the wom- en's equality movement in West Germany has come up with an idea for ridding the world of war: Draft women into the combat forces of a nation, says authoress Esther Vilar, and their presence there will be a sturdy pressure for preventing wars. If this were all it took, it would be absolutely great. Wom- en have been credited for centu- ries with anti-war influence, and if the simple step of drafting them to fight would clinch their power of prevention, every country in the world should do it day after tomorrow. But so great a boon to every- one so easily, alas, is most improbable. Some points of in- consistency in Dr. Vilar's own arguments illuminate the problem. "Women soldiers would de- flate for the male the myth of service at she contends, "and counteract any he-man im- age of militarism." This would come about, of course, only if women trainees showed the strength, skill and toughness of their male counterparts. And feminine ferocity would hardly be a soothing force to turn them all away from war. Combat-drafting women, Dr. Vilar also claims, would lead them to become "more engaged politically, since war would be- come a more concrete danger than before." Hence, their great- er urge to call it off. A measure of intensified self- interest to that end indeed could help. But women's strong self- interest in protecting sons and husbands from destruction has never sufficed. Self-protection urges would add little, just as men's self-preservation urges haven't, either. Possibly the biggest hole in combat-drafting women as a war- prevention force is the fact that combat-drafting regardless of sex gathers people who have no desire to fight in the first place. If they do, they volunteer instead of waiting out a draft. Few drafted men, in short, es- sentially hanker for going to war. These men seldom manage to postpone a war or get it canceled. Neither could women conscripted to fight. Wars may take a dip in popu- larity and be prevented oftener when draftable men and drafta- ble women together along with all others who hate the idea find more effective ways to sell the concept of war's follies and stupidities among wars' organiz- ers, where it counts. Undirected chaos By Jim Fiebig No one knows hew it happened, whether it was a communist plot, evil spiritual forces al work or just a gigan- lic electronic snafu, but on Ihe evening of Oct. 10, 1976, nol one network TV commercial carried the warning, "Use only as directed." Millions of Americans saw ads for painkillers, hair sprays, ointments, cough syrups, vitamins, sleeping pills and scads of other health, hygiene and beauty aids without once seeing (he words, "Use only as directed." And just as the government knew it would if the people weren't told lo follow directions, all hell broke loose. All over the country. In New York City alone, people were admitted to emergency wards af- ter attempting lo Ireal minor headaches by striking themselves repeatedly with aspirin bottles. In St. Petersburg, Fla., 300 riolmg senior citizens were arrested after ov- erdosing on Gcritol. Thousands reported temporary blindness after applying hair spray directly lo their eyeballs. Millions swallowed their moulhwash without even bothering to gargle. Hos- pital switchboards were flooded by pan- icky callers who had taken fool powder internally. Two Chicago women barely escaped strangulation after drinking KooI-Aid directly from the packet. In Los Ange- les, a man's hands had to be pried loose from his head by firemen after he shampooed with a denture adhesive. The government, which is still in- vestigating the nationwide tragedy, has ruled that "Use only as directed" must now he shown constantly on the screen by TV networks. Even between com- mercials. Jim Fiebig By Louis Harris The Harris Survey Judging from the election of two weeks ago, the old style politics used by the Democratic and Republican parties in the past simply will not work with to- day's electorate. Voters now reject the standard rhetoric fed to them by cam- paigners, and if future candidates hope to win, they arc going to have to be considerably more straightforward about their platforms and intended accomplishments. For many years, the Republicans have won substantial victories by either a subtle or blatant appeal lo the peo- ple's fears aboul race, communism or the bias of the media. For the last 40 years, the primary stance of the Demo- cratic party has been the promise to give voters special benefits and govern- ment handouts. Yet, in a survey conducted as people went lo the polls Nov. 5, it now appears that many of these easy appeals to fear and promises of financial relief may well be outmoded: By 80-13 percenl, a lopsided majori- ty feels thai "a candidate is not being honest when he tries lo gel Ihe votes of white people by scaring them about integration with blacks." People's forum Support for arts To the Editor: On behalf of the Cedar Rapids-Mar- ion Fine Arts Council. I wish to express our thanks and appreciation for the out- standing community support we re- ceived in our recent raffle-fund-raising project. But of more importance than the nearly raised, or that a Conger Metcalf oil painting now hangs in a Cedar Rapids home, is the [act thai once again this community has reaf- firmed its belief in the value of the fine arts, and the impact this has on the quality of life for our area. The fine arts represent one of our most precious natural resources: human talent. They are a direct expression of our culture. They must be nurtured, cultivated and preserved. As the con- cept of a civic center becomes more and more a reality, we must remain ever mindful of the needs of the fine arts, and insure that they retain their rightful position within our community's priori- ties. "You gotta have and art has to have the resources and facilities to be all that it ought to be. John W. Swanson, chairman Cedar Rapids-Marion Fine Arts Council 127 Third street NE Handwriting To the Editor: I sec by the news media that the Democrats won. Goody, for I was get- ting rather uneasy with that Russian battleship sitting out there in the Gulf of Mexico and the other ones in the Pacific and the Atlantic, along with the sub- marines in Cuba. They had us pretty well covered. This isn't as far-fetched as it might sound. Remember, Khrushchev boasted that he elected John F. Kennedy. Louis Harris In the past, Richard Nixon tried to capitalize on this issue by taking a strong position against forced school busing. Gov. George Wallace of Ala- bama did well in the 1968 and 1972 Dem- ocratic primaries on the same issue. It is entirely possible from these results that appeals to racial prejudice will no longer result in a harvest of votes. By 56-23 percent, a majority be- lieves that "a candidate for President who says he'll be tougher with the communists is a hypocrite because he is almost sure, if elected, to try to make peace with communist countries." By 48-35 percent, a plurality of the public feels that "the politician who complains that the press and television are brainwashing the people is probably trying to hide some scandal he's in- volved in." Perhaps the most notable and suc- cessful theme used by former Vice- president Spiro Agnow in Hie pre-Wii- lergale period wus his repeated attack un the media establishment. But after Agi'.ew's resignation, such tactics.are unlikely to meet anything but a rather cynical public response. But if the Republicans' tactic of exploiting fear is no longer working, neither is the Democrats' rather obso- lete New Deal politics: By 77-13 percent, a massive majori- ty believes that "the trouble with your getting special benefits and handouts from government these days is that you'll have to pay for it four or five limes over in higher taxes." People feel they are not only paying too much in .taxes now, ,but also that they are not gelling their money's worth. By 79-16 percent, a majority feels negatively about government programs generated from taxes. By 70-12 percent, a sizable majority also feels that "the candidate who promises to pay farmers subsidies of government money lo keep farm prices high, shortchanges farmers and con- sumers alike." This represents a major reversal of public opinion because for many years, agricultural budgets, sup- prices and subsidies have been sa- cred cows In government. By till-Ill percent, a majority also feels liial "the kind of politician who promises ouo group of people something from government more than most other candidates ought not to he trusted." Yet for many years, including 1974's recent elections, most politicians have structured (heir campaigns on the premise that if you can divide up the electorate into III or 15 key groups and find out how to make promises lo each group, you'll be assured of at least 51 percent'of the vote on election day. The mood of today's voting public can be found in Hie 85-9 percent majori- ty that feels "most government leaders are afraid to tell it like it is that is, tell the public the hard truth about inflation, energy and other subjects." Most of these results 'run counter to the way most politicians in elective of- fice have been raised. Whether these public officials get the message and adapt to the change that is taking place or are voted out of office will bo a major political story for the res', of the 1970s. Chlcooo Tribune-New York News Svndicofe 'May please have your undivided attention However; they shouldn't have wor- ried. The Democrat senators along with the reporters did a pretty good snow job on Nixon and the Watergale mess, as we can see from the way the election turned out. I noticed, (hough, that they don't seem loo jubilant over their victory. Why should they, considering some of the ones who were elected? There are good people still around. I'll admit they are few and far between, but the people didn't want good people; they were so brainwashed and mass- hypnotized (hat they have lost all reason to what is right or wrong. They have the idea that a Democrat administration will act like instant lea. .that (heir problems will be instantly solved. These very same Democrats have been there all along. Just adding a few more won't help matters. What have (hey been doing lo help high prices? They have a voice in congress and senate. We saw thai in the Watergate deal. Will the people have to come under the yoke of communism to learn the hard way? It's already at our door. God says He will send them strong delusions that they believe a lie_and be damned. The scriptures might be fulfilled. Therefore the Christian people of this nation know where this all is leading. At any rate we have the consolation of knowing we will have just as good gov- ernment as the Democrats. I am nnnpn- litical, but that mean 1 can't read the handwriting on the wall. Joann Briggman Manchester Food runout To the Editor: So now Pope Paul seems to think he should criticize the rich nations for the food problems, and then wants the popu- lation to increase. It doesn't seem he and others use much judgment. I wonder if (hey ever thought the na- tions which have been giving (yes, I mean giving to the poor nations) ever get tired of doing more and more, while the poor ones do nothing but complain. They surely show no appreciation. It seems to me quite a few of those nations that think the United States should support them had better realize we have duties lo our own people and that we just may run out of food, money and other help. What do they think will happen when we no longer have food for them nr even enough for our own use? Do they expect to help us then? What a laugh. Verla La Kuse Springville To who (sic) it may concern Chauvinist-belaboring inelegance decried By Russell Baker I have been saddened recently by receipt of several letters characterizing me as a "male chauvinist pig." What has become of elegance? These letters seem lo come from well educated wom- en with sound argumentative powers, yet at the end (hey cannot resist making their points in the coarse loudmouth style we have come to take for granted in professional athletes, television clowns, congressional candidates and al- most everybody else who craves alien- lion these days. Elegance in waging an assault makes it more deadly in a civilized way, whereas bluster and billingsgate de- grade Ihe cause in which it is made and leave us wondering whether even the best of causes is worth the bailie. After Pearl Harbor Winston Church- ill sent the following words to the Japa- nese ambassador: "In view of Ihcsp wnnlon acls of unprovoked aggression committed in flagrant violation of international law and particularly of Article I of the third Hague convention relative to the open- ing of hostilities, to which both Japan and the United Kingdom are parties, his majesty's ambassador at Tokyo has been instructed to inform the imperial Japanese government in the name of his majesty's government in the United Kingdom that a state of war exists between our two countries. "I have Ihe consideration, honor to he, vvilh high "Sir. obedien! son "Winston S. Churchill" Some people, Churchill recalled, did not like this ceremonial style. "But aft- er he said, "when yon have lo kill a man it costs nothing to be polite." Thai was elegance, in the way thai Senator Goldwater's reminder thai the United Stales could deliver a nuclear warhead on the men's room in the Kremlin was not elegance. Cinching arguments by crying "male chauvinist pig." is not only not elegance but also a gratuitous abuse of sus scrofa, a harmless and useful beast of consider- able animal intelligence who is neither for nor againsl the feminist movement so far as anyone knows. Destroying (he reputation of poor dumb beasts for mon- etary political gain is certainly not ele- gance. Destroying an excellent English word like "chauvinist" is anything bill ele- gance. "Chauvinism." according lo Ihe American Heritage Dictionary, means "mililanl and boastful devotion to and glorification of one's country; fanatical patriotism." As used in the feminist battle cry, "chauvinist" is inelegantly stripped of its meaning and used as a meaningless modifier, presumably because il Irips smoothly on the tongue and is fun lo say. The decline of elegance seems In cor- respond wilh Ihe decline of regard for the language, of which Ihe perversion of "chauvinist" is an example. II would be unfair, however, to suggest thai Hie feminists are in any way lo blame for Ihe present love of barbarisms which is turning English into a blunt instrument. Russell Baker The feminists have merely been con- taminated by the plague. It is not surprising thai I hey resort to ear grinders like "sexism" and "con- sciousncss raising" lo express perfectly sound ideas, for they live in a national hubbub in which Ihe language is mostly compounded of grit (expletives bombast (Muhammad All) and non- sense (most of whal is heard on televi- Moreover, Ihe rare parly who has el- egance is unlikely to be heard over the racket of the vandals sacking Ihe mother tongue. Frank Clifford has il on that Monday night football show, and nobody seems In care. Kdwin Newman has il on NBC. and the network seems In keep him locked in Ihe attic. Radio stations refuse lo hire disk jockeys who know thai "presently" doesn't mean for you can drive 500 miles and be informed by iiri radio stations that "Ihe temperature is pres- ently" whatever H is at (hat very mo- ment. "Presently" doesn't mean it means and not know- ing the difference is definitely nol ele- gance. Not long ago. I heard a radio news man announce that three convicts had "successfully escaped" jail. If be had had elegance he would have explained how they might have unsuccessfully escaped, but he lacked it, anil sure enough, a moment later, he gave me the weather forecast for "the upcoming weekend." Elegance is giving the weather fore- cast for the coming weekend, or even for the weekend, hut they don't hire them kind of guys no more. The saddesl news of all comes from Theodore Bernstein, one of the mosl careful authorities on American usage, benisloin now proposes thai-we give up trying lo make Ihe distinction between "who" and which none but the truly elegant can understand and which few of these could use correctly without fail. Give up the struggle wilh Come on, Bernstein, don't lei the banner fall. It's only a short slep from on "whom" to agreeing that maybe "presently" really docs mean and then thai male pigs really can be militanlly and boastfully, devilled lo (heir own country, which wouljl pul us nil in Ihe "sraisl" position of ascribing lancier powers lo niiile pigs Ih.m lo llH'ir female connlrrparls "female counterparts" boirii; Ihe sorl of inele- gance you tail inln which you arc loo bullied to "their ladies."   

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