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View Sample Pages : Cedar Rapids Gazette, November 18, 1974

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Cedar Rapids Gazette (Newspaper) - November 18, 1974, Cedar Rapids, Iowa S^S5S88SSS88SS8S8S: Traditional vote-pitch discredited now Editorial Page Monday, November 18, 1974 HIMNM»■ MNM Registration is a must Perhaps the most illogical statement made during the recent campaign was a ca’! for repeal of the new statewide voter-registration law that takes effect next Jan. I. 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 voting. He would prefer a uniform situation where no registration is required to one where it is required 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 50.000 or more population. That’s what we’ve had for the last few years. Only voters in counties of 50,000 or more, plus cities of 10,000 and over in counties of less than 50,000, are required to register now. Prior to that, registration was required only in cities of 10,000 and over. It was optional in cities of less than 10,000. Unmistakably, the way would be open for utter chaos on election days in metropolitan areas if there were no way to identify voters, thus insuring that no individual could vote more than once. Inasmuch as Iowa's constitution contains a section requiring uniform application of state laws, it follows that the constitutionality 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 registration 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 IO days prior to elections. Voter-registration on a statewide basis is a must in Iowa to insure untainted elections and uniform treatment of all citizens, regardless of their place of residence. Ruling out ? A woman leader of the women’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. Women have been credited for centuries 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 everyone so easily, alas, is most improbable. Some points of inconsistency in Dr. Vilar’s own arguments illuminate the problem. “Women soldiers would deflate for the male the myth of service at arms,” she contends, “and counteract any he-man image 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 become a more concrete danger than before.” Hence, their greater urge to call it off. A measure of intensified self-interest to that end indeed could help. But women’s strong selfinterest 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, essentially 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 popularity and be prevented oftener when draftable men and draftable 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’ organizers, where it counts. Undirected chaos By Jim Ftebig No one knows how it happened, whether it was a communist plot, evil spiritual forces at work or just a gigantic electronic snafu, but on the evening of Oct. IO, 1976, not one network TV' commercial carried the warning, “Use only a> directed Millions of American', saw ads for painkillers, hair sprays, ointments, cough syrups, vitamins, sleeping pills and scads of other health, hygiene and beauty aids — without once seeing the words, ‘Tse only as directed And just as the government knew it would if the people weren't told to follow directions, all hell broke loose. All over the country In New York City alone, 8,OM people were admitted to emergency wards af ter attempting to treat minor headaches by striking themselves repeatedly with aspirin bottles In St. Petersburg, Fla , 300 rioting senior citizens were arrested after ov erdosing on Oritol. Thousands reported temporary blindness after applying hair spray directly to their eyeballs Millions swallowed their mouthwash without even bothering to gargle Hospital switchboards were flooded by panicky callers who had taken foot powder internally. Two Chicago women barely escaped strangulation after drinking Kcol-Aid — directly from the packet. In Los Angeles. a man s hands had to bt' pried loose from his head by firemen after he shampooed with a denture adhesive. The government, which is still investigating the nationwide tragedy, has ruled that “Use only as directed” must now be shown constantly on the screen by TV networks. Even between commercials. Gvntroi FtoufM Corporation 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 today’s electorate. Voters now reject the standard rhetoric fed to them by campaigners, and if future candidates hope to win, they are 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 to the people’s fears about race, communism or the bias of the media. For the last 41) years, the primary stance of the Democratic party has been the promise to give voters special benefits and government handouts. Yet, in a survey conducted as people went to the polls Nov 5. it now appears that many of these easy appeals to fear and promises of financial relief may well bt' outmoded: • By 80-13 percent, a lopsided majority feels that “a candidate is not being honest when he tries to get the 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 Marion Fine Arts Council, I wish to express our thanks and appreciation for the outstanding community support we received in our recent raffle-fund-raising project. But of more importance than the nearly S3,(KHI raised, or that a ( linger Metcalf oil painting now hangs in a Cedar Rapids home, is the fact that once again this community has reaffirmed 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 concept 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 priorities. “You gotta have art,” and art has to have the resources and facilities to bt* all that it ought to be. John VV Swanson, chairman Cedar Rapids-Manon Fine Arts Council 127 Third street NE Handwriting To the Editor I see by the news media that the Democrats won. Goody, for I was getting 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 submarines 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 FC 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 Alabama did well in the 1968 and 1972 Democratic 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 believes 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 involved in.” Perhaps the most notable and successful theme used by former Vice-president Spiro Agnew in the pre-Wa tergate period was his repeated attack on the media establishment. But after Agnew 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 Democrat*’ rather obsolete New Deal politics. • By 77-13 percent, a massive majority 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 times over in higher taxes ” People feel they are not only paying too much in taxes now, but also that they are not getting 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 to keep farm prices high, shortchanges farmers and consumers alike.” This represents a major reversal of public opinion because for many years, agricultural budgets, sup- |M,,t prices and subsidies have been sa cred cows in government, • By 69-19 percent, a majority also feels that “the kind of politician who promises one group of people something from government more than most other candidates ought not to be trusted ” Yet for many years, including 1974 s recent elections, most politicians have structured their campaigns on the premise that if you can divide up lh*' electorate into HI or 15 key groups and find out how to make promises to each group, you ll be assured oi at least ,)i percent of the vote on election day. The mood of today s voting public can be found in the 85-9 percent majority 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 office 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 be a major political story for the res of the 1970s Chicago Tribune New York News Syndicate appmt - EWQ- ^ ^ & May I please have your undivided attention . . However, they shouldn’t have worried. The Democrat senators along with the reporters did a pretty good snow job on Nixon and the Watergate mess, as we can see from the way the election turned out. I noticed, though, that they don't seem too 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 that they have lost all reason to what is right or wrong. They have the idea that a Democrat administration will act like instant tea. *that their 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 they been doing to help high prices? They have a voice in congress and senate. We saw that rn the Watergate deal. . .. W ill 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 government as the Democrats. I am nonpolitical, but that doesn ^ mean I can't read the handwriting on the wall. Joann Bnggman 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 population to increase. It doesn’t seem he and others use much judgment. I wonder if they ever thought the nations 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 to 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 or even enough for our own use? Do they expect to help us then? What a laugh. Ceria La Rose Springville To who (sic) it may concern Chauvinist-belaboring inelegance decried ,    ....    ..    I    /    L.    .    ti    ll    .1    I    I 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 to come from well educated women with sound argumentative powers, yet at the end they 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 airn^ everybody else who craves attention these days Elegance* in waging an assault makes it more deadly in a civilized way, whereas bluster and billingsgate degrade the cause in which it is made and leave us wondering whether even the best of causes is worth the battle. After Pearl Harbor Winston Churchill sent the following words to the Japanese ambassador. “In view of these wanton acts of unprovoked aggression committed in flagrant violation of international law and particularly of Article I of the third Hague convention relative to the opening 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 the honor to bo, with high consideration. “Sir. our obedient servant. ‘ W in stun S Churchill” Some people. Churchill recalled, did not like this ceremonial style. “But after all,” he said, “when you have to kill a man it costs nothing to be polite.” That was elegance, in the way that Senator Goldwater’s reminder that the United States 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 scrota, a harmless and useful beast of considerable animal intelligence who is neither for nor against the feminist movement so far as anyone knows. Destroying the reputation of jioor dumb beasts for monetary political gain is certainly not elegance Destroy ing an excellent English word like “chauvinist” is anything but elegance ‘Chauvinism." according to the American Heritage Dictionary, means “militant 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 it trips smoothly on the tongue and is fun to say. The decline of elegance seems to correspond with the decline of regard for the language, of which the perversion of “chauvinist" is an example It would be unfair, however, to suggest that the feminists are in any v jy to blame for the present love of aarbansins which is turning English into a blunt instrument. Russell Baker The feminists have merely laminated by the plague been con* It is not surprising that they resort to ear grinders like “sexism’’ and “consciousness raising” lo express perfectly sound ideas, for they live m a national hubbub in which the language is mostly compounded of grit (expletives deleted), bombast (Muhammad All) and nonsense (most of what is heard on television). Moreover, the rare party who has elegance is unlikely to be heard over the racket of the vandals sacking the mother tongue. Frank Gifford has it on that Monday night football show, and nobody seems to (are. Edwin Newman has it on NBC. and th** network seems to keep him locked in the attic Radio stations refuse to hire disk jockeys who know that “presently” doesnt mean now,” for you can drive 50# miles and lie informed by 95 radio stations that “the temperature is jin s ently” whatever it is at that very mo ment “Presently” doesnt mean now. it means “soon,” and not knowing the difference is definitely not elegance Not long ago, I heard a radio new-, man announce that three convicts had “successfully escaped” jail. If he had had elegance he would have explained how they might have unsuccessfully escaped, but he lacked it, and sure enough, a moment later he gave me the weather forecast for ‘’the upcoming weekend. ” Elegance is giving the weather forecast for the coming weekend, or even tor the weekend, hut they don’t hire them kind of guys no more I he saddest news of all comes from Theodore Bernstein, one of the most careful authorities on American usage. Bernstein now proposes that we give up trying to make the distinction between who arid whom, whih none but the truly elegant can understand and which few of these could use correctly without fail Give up the struggle with “whom”? Come on, Benzein, don't let the banner fall It s only a short step from quitting on whom lo agreeing that maybe presently really does mean “now," and tlien that male pigs really can fie militantly and boastfully devoted to their own country, which wotilfl put us all in the sexist position of ascribing fancier power* to male pigs than to their female counterparts — "female counterparts* being the sort of inelegance you tall into which you are too bullied to say ‘ their ladies “ N*# Yark f mo SffYiC# ;