Cedar Rapids Gazette (Newspaper) - August 21, 1974, Cedar Rapids, Iowa
Th? Cedar Rapids Gazette: Wed., Aeg. 21, 1*74
Other coverup unacceptable, too
Nixon’s fall imperils Teddy
By William V. Shannon
1X7ASH1NGT0N — in going over the * * side, Richard Nixon may have taken Adward Kennedy down with him
Sen Kennedy remains well in the lead as the prospective Democratic nominee in 1978 lint Nixon’s collapse makes the /lamination worth considerably less to him than it would have been otherwise After the public has rebelled against a coverup at the Watergate, will it buy a coverup at ('happaquiddick?
lf Nixon had been less directly involved in Watergate, he could have survived in office until the end of his term That would have been ideal from a Democratic party viewpoint The next presidential election would then have been fought between two non-mcumbents with the DOI* candidate carrying the burden of an unpopular, scandal-stained administration.
As it is. President Ford comes on as Mr ( lean and will have the advantages
William V. Shannon
of incumbency The 1978 campaign may thus turn on normal economic and foreign policy issues.
The problem for the Democrats, however, is that if Kennedy is their nominee,,it will be hard to focus attention on those normal issues and on such mistakes as Ford may have made by then Instead, the Republicans will have no difficulty establishing a* the prime question — do you believe Sen. Kennedy’s story of what happened that night at ( happaquiddick.’
The drowning of Mary Jo Kopechne and Kennedy’; failure to notify police promptly or to seek help from a nearby house would have become an issue whenever he ran for President. But if
Nixon had clung to power through the next election, Kennedy and his managers might have been able to establish iii the public mind the fiction that Chappaquid dick was an old story, that it had all been hashed over before, and that it was in rather bad taste for any Republican to bring up the subject. As the saying goes, why rake up the dead past'’
Under those circumstances, the ('happaquiddick story would only have percolated below ground But after the paroxysm of press expose, public indignation, and congressional investigation of Watergate, there is no chance that the ( happaquiddick story can be pushed underground. It has become a legitimate topic of political controversy The public will expect to get all the facts and will expect to make a judgment on those facts as it did on Nixon’s case.
The facts have not been forthcoming yet No autopsy was performed The coroner’s inquest was a feeble and inconclusive affair Senator Kennedy’s speech to the people of Massachusetts was in the inglorious tradition of Nixon’s “Checkers” speech, a mixture of partial and self-serving information mingled with and overwhelmed by an emotional plea for sympathy. It cannot stand as Kennedy’s final word on the affair
Robert Sherrill’s article in the New York Times Magazine for July 14, 1974. entitled “( happaquiddick Plus 5” was a major political event Sherrill raised pertinent unanswered questions and pointed out serious discrepancies in the authorized Kennedy version of events Unless Kennedy can clearly respond to those questions and reconcile those discrepancies, they will dog his footsteps throughout the next presidential race
His reluctance to face the ( happaquiddick issue confronts his party with another problem. As long as he remains a potential candidate in 1978, his shadow keeps the sunlight from reaching any other putative Democratic nominee
It is easy to understand why
Aside from his famous name and his family's legend, he is a superb candidate He is an excellent speaker able to put serious issues in clear and dramatic
terms; he has physical presenc e, an easy charm, and goes at the grueling business of campaigning with verve and gusto Contrary to what was said of him when he first ran for the senate a dozen years ago, ho would be a formidable candidate today even if his name were edward Moore. But because his name is Kennedy he has a devoted constituency that would make him a hard man to beat in a Democratic primary in any northern state.
That loyal constituency can nominate him but by itself cannot elect him. Can he persuade the independent voters as long as the full truth of ( happaquiddick remains unexplained? That is the question that haunts other politicians in his party, including many who are sympathetic to him
The Democrats are not bereft of other talent. Aside from several well-known senators, there are others deserving of serious consideration such as Rep. Sidney Yates of Illinois and Rep Morris Udall of Arizona, Mayor Kevin White of Boston and former Mayor John V. Lindsay of New York, and Governors Reubin Askew of Florida and John Gilligan of Ohio.
But these alternative candidates cannot capture sufficient attention to be discussed seriously As of now , none of them has his visible political strength but it is entirely possible that one of them could be elected in 1978 and that Kennedy could not Until he resolves the ('happaquiddick mystery to the satisfaction of fair-minded people or withdraws from the race, however, the Kennedy problem will loom darkly over the Democratic party’s future.
Now York Times Service
Competing on equal terms
‘Blindness needn’t be tragic’
(The following remarks were excerpted from Dr. Jermgon s May 18 commencement address at Seton Hall university. He represented the National Federation of the Blind, of which he is president.)
By Kenneth Jernigan
Iowa commmission for the blind
AS WITH other minorities, the blind contend with an “establishment,” which tries to put us down and keep us out and which denies that we even exist as a legitimate and cohesive group with common problems, common aspirations, and common interests
Not only is our “establishment'’ composed of the general sighted public but. more particularly, of the network of governmental and private social sendee agencies specifically created to give us aid. Principal among these repressive agencies are the American Foundation for the Blind and the National Accreditation Council for Agencies Serving the Blind and Visually Handicapped (NAC).
We have organized to take concerted action. In fact, the National Federation of the Blind (established in 194<h predates most of the activist groups of today. We. too, have our Uncle Toms. We have tokenism; we have efforts to divide and conquer, we have attempts to buy off the troublemakers; we have threats and intimidations; we have professional-sounding studies and reports; we have impressive meetings and conferences; we have talk about positive and constructive action; we have the force and prestige of tradition and custom; and we have a hundred other delays and obstacles
But underlying all of these things (and far more complex) are our own problems of self-awareness and the need for public education and public understanding We of the National Federation of the Blind, for instance, affirm that the ordinary blind person can compete on terms of equality with the ordinary sighted person, if he gets proper training and opportunity
We know that the average blind person can do the average job in the average place of business, and do it as well as his sighted neighbor In other words the blind person can be as happy and lead as full a life as anybody else
Fven so, blindness has its problems Properly understood and dealt with, it need not Im- the major tragedy which it has always been considered It can be reduced to the level of a mere physical nuisance, but it cannot be reduced below that point
Fven if we were to contend (atid we don’t contend it, as I will shortly indicate) that there is absolutely nothing which can be done with sight which can not In* done just as easily arui just as well without it, blindness would still be a nuisance, as the world is now constituted Why'’ Because the world is planned and structured for the sighted This does not mean that blindness need be a terrible tragedy or that the blind are inferior or
that they cannot compete on terms of equality with the sighted
Blindness can, indeed, be a tragedy and a veritable hell, but this is not because of the blindness or anything inherent in it. It is because of what people have thought about blindness and because of the deprivations and the denials which result. It is because of the destructive myths which have existed from the time of the caveman — myths which have equated eyesight with ability, and light with intelligence and purity It is because the blind, being part of the general culture, have tended to accept the public attitudes and thus have done much to make those attitudes reality.
As far as I am concerned, all that I have liven saying is tied up with the why and wherefore of the National Federation of the Blind If our principal problem isInsights
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True happiness ... is not attained through self gratification, but through fidelity to a worthy
Way with wordsDevalued
By Theodore M. Bernstein
THE ELECT, a word that has both good and bad meanings is elite and Rebecca Stern of Melrose Park, Pa , wants to know where the word comes from She says she knows it is a French word, but says it also sounds like a Hebrew word pronounced allah that means raised up.
No, it is strictly French, derived from the Latin eligere, meaning choose or elect. Its normal and good meaning is a group that is the finest, the most distinguished or the strongest
But a bad meaning, a fad meaning, has come up these days iii educational circles, where those who favor a strong academic program are criticized as being an elite composed of elitists who favor elitism, that is, the training of only the best Advocates of good basic training in schools, such as the Council for Basic Education, resent being termed elitists, and there is much to be said on their side
One or the others. Strict construe-
the physical fact of blindness, there is little purpose in organizing. However, the real problem is not the blindness but the mistaken attitudes about it These attitudes can be changed, and we an* changing them
The sighted can also change. They can be shown that we are in no way inferior to them and that lh** old ideas were wrong — that we are able to compete with th** sighted, play with the sighted, work with the sighted, and live with the sighted on terms of complete (“quality. We the blind can also come to recognize these truths, and we can live by them.
The blind are able to compete on terms of absolute equality with the sighted, but blindness (even when properly dealt with) is still a physical nuisance We must avoid th** sin and the fallacy of either extreme. Blindness need not tie a tragic hell. It cannot be a total nullity, lacking all inconvenience. It can, as we of th** National Federation of the Blind say at every opportunity , be reduced to the level of a mere annoyance.
We, the blind, must neither sell ourselves short with self-pity and myths of tragic deprivation, nor lie to ourselves by denying the existence of a problem
We need your help. We seek your understanding. We want your partnership in ( hanging our status in society There is no place in our movement for the philosophy of the self-effacing Uncle Tom. but there is also no place for unreasonable and unrealistic belligerence Will you work with us?
tionists insist that alternatives art* restricted to two. They base their insistence on the fact that the Latin alter means the other of two
The rest of us, however, while cooeed mg that the Latin derivation would seem to limit the word to two choices, are also aware of the fact that the word has boon used by reputable writers for a century and a half to apply to more than two possibilities
Most authorities agree that usage has thus established the broader meaning. That will bo sad news for the Montreal reader who wrote in that she favored the restricted meaning, “but I am outnumbered in the office where I work
Word oddities. The word glossolalia, derived from the Greek glosso , meaning tongue, and lalia, speak, would appear to Im* a simple word meaning to speak with the tongue Actually, it has the sense of a gift of tongues and has a religious connotation. The Holy Spirit is believed by some to manifest itself by causing glos solatia — speaking in tongues — in which the worshipper ecstatically utters unintelligible syllables that are regarded as a manifestation of a profound religious experience.
New York Times Syndicate
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