Cedar Rapids Gazette (Newspaper) - September 1, 1974, Cedar Rapids, Iowa
The Cedar Rapids Gazette: Sun., Sept. I, 1974
lockable anachronisms: Cuban quarantine, Henry’s histrionics
By William Satire
ASHING ION — Nothing succeeds * * like succession
I ho suddenness of President Ford's emergence, the delight with which he is ridels embraced for the virtue of not being his predecessor, and the correctness of his demeanor have combined to create the atmosphere of success in which success is more likely to he achieved
Consider the question of Cuba, which was raised and neatly sidestepped at President Ford s first press conference Richard Nixon’s personal dislike of Fidel < astre, along with Bene Rebozo's passionate espousal of the cause of the anti-
< astre » uban refugees froze I S polio toward Cuba — and. therefore, toward the rest of Latin America — throughout the period of spectacular ‘'normalizations."
C S policy was — and. the President indicated, still nominally is —
to isolate the police st att* in the Caribbean in a |>olitical and economic qua; anime. Everybody knows that the policy like a bawling baby. is waiting to be changed
One reason why The quarantine is becoming ludicrous, since six members of the Organization of American States have opened embassies in Havana and more are to follow soon The old fear that Castro would export his communist revolution has diminished, because dictatorship of the left is not as efficient as dictatorship of th*' right.
Another reason, which will provide the figleaf for the American turnaround, is that Premier Castro has been looking for the moment to drop his overt hostility, and the best moment is the succession of a new I S President The half-billion dollar-a-vear Soviet subsidy does not sat-Exposure at a price
isfy him; because he thinks he can do better in normal relations with Western Hemisphere neighbors, ne has been sending signals of amity
In one of the most bizarre examples of diplomacy in a television age. Premier Castro has set forth a series of conditions about ending the freeze via a filmed television interview with news entrepreneurs Kirby .lories and Frank Mankiewicz But that olive branch on film awaits sale to a C S television network; like a diplomatic note sent across the seas before tile invention of the wireless, it makes its stately way to overtake events
With lout policy coming apart in full view of the world, with the express reason for your policy — the hostility of the Castro regime — now being removed; and with a need to show that you. too. are capable of "bold, new initiatives." what would you do if you were a new American President?
You would change the policy and be a hero. right0 Only partly right; the way you handled it would make all the difference
lf you were to handle it Kissinger style, you would order up a top-secret National Security Council memorandum; you would dispatch your national security adviser to a secret Hurting on a fishing boat within sight of the lights of Havana, and you would announce on national TY. with a mystery guest standing in the wings puffing a large cigar, that you have ended the threat DO miles from our shores thai plagued three previous Presidents (To stifle criticism/you would produce a boatload of freed political prisoners, along with a boatload of sugar to help fight inflation I
That would lie The Easy Way. and it is to be shunned if we are to create a foreign policy to advance our interests rather than to interest our advance men There is no need to follow the Nixon shohkui in Japan with any Ford choques in Latin America
Former Assistant Set rotary of State Sol Linowitz. heading an independent committee to pave the way for I S -Cuba relations, says ’ The greatest irony would be to lake such a step lit a way that
would alienate the very Latin American leaders who want us to take that step
Neither our Latin American friends nor the American public needs another twist of fait accompli We can let the na finns of OAS dicker with Cuba individually as we debate Hie pros and cons of establishing relations with Castro s government out in the open
The Kissinger foreign relations committee. formerly the senate foreign rein turns committee, would ordinarily be the proper forum for this examination of developing policy, but the committee members and staff are too hopelessly committed to promoting tin* restoration of relations with Cuba to permit a real debate, and too much taken by Henry s flattery to offer him more than a sounding board
Is there a house foreign affairs committee? Is there any forum, within or without government, that will call attention to the drawbacks inherent in any necessary change of international relations, pose questions about what the change will cost taxpay ers, make at least a few moral peeps about encouraging totalitarianism. and suggest certain standards to be met before a deal is struck ’
Our secretary of state, accustomed to dealing iii secret with dictators, is now the agent of a President with a different style He would do well to surprise us with no surprises, go public to make his case. and thereby use the fact of Ford s succession to turn the Cuban anachronism into our Latin American opportunity.Or inionPage
Why politicians panhandle
By Jenkin Lloyd Jones
THF MAN who lives in part at least, off what he condemns and deplores is in an anomalous situation, like the pious landlord who rents rooms to the girls upstairs.
And it occurs to mc that there is something a hit ironical tongue clucking by various television pudits over illegal campaign contributions when it is the medium that supports them which has driven many politicians into prostituting themselves for campaign funds
Television time is expensive Television is the only known method by which a candidate may make his pitch personally and simultaneously in thousands or millions of living rooms
Except for those candidates who make a terrible TV impression and would do better if never trotted out, office as pirants do gain from personal exposure in these living rooms If Candidate A gets this exposure and his opponent doesn t success tilts toward A So his opponent is tempted to do what is necessary to raise the countercash
The prostitution, of course, is implicit But few large campaign gifts are disinterested You can’t nickel-and-dime even th** shortest prime-time TY spots So in the past 2d years we have watched American candidates panhandling desperately on a Male hitherto unknown
This is not a knock against TY, It is. frankly and admittedly, the most commercial of all media Even its news is sponsored Bure public service programming is rare But lf exposure has a price, so docs the price have a price And the price has been a depen demy upon lug giving that far exceeds any previous obligations entered into by past generations (if American politicians
Martin Yan Buren and William Henry Harrison never felt such pressures They xjMikc, at Iwst to a few thousand They bought some placards and perhaps they bought a few pliant newspaper editors as well Harrison gave away a bit of hard cider, but apples were cheap Neither expected to have his face seen and his voice heard simultaneously iii cabins from Arkansas to Maine These were.
indeed nickel and dime campaigns
The situation today has led to some demand for public financing of campaigns But the dollar deductible on iii come tax returns has Iwen a resounding flop Arid if public financing were to be tried the unanswered questions arc
VVhat makes a political party eligible to
Jenkin Lloyd Jones
tap tax money to conduct a campaign? ( an any handful of clowns form the Perpetual Motion Party and come with their tagging howls0 Or shall money he allocated on the basis of previous vote totals, thus giving the most money to that party which has recently been most popular?
And as to candidates — should the government lend a hand in primaries or only in general elections? lf in primaries, what formula would he used to distinguish frivolous or nutty candidates from viable ones?
lf government aid is offered only in general elections for federal offices no evils will bi1 cured in those states where a primary victory is equivalent to election
In anv attempted limitation on privately donated campaign funds, what value, if any. would be placed on enor mously helpful cashless contributions. a> when a union hierarchy orders the rank and file out to ring doorbells?Way with words
By Theodore M Bernstein
AD DR PION AGAIN rh* ad men love puns and apparently so do many others of us A New York department store had leather coats and jackets to offer and went at it this way "Hide and chic (America's newest fashion game I lf you’ve got the ‘chic’ we’ve got the ’hides ” The ad man must have laughed himsell horse over that one
Broadened word In Cohoes, N Y . there is a place where residents can go lo borrow tools to repair and maintain household equipment, much as they can borrow hooks at the public library It s an unusual idea — mi unusual that there arc only two or three other such places iii the whole Cullen Stales
What is equally unusual is that they all call themselves tool libraries, Thai is
Hew would one balance the advantage the ‘ ins" have in gaining TY exposure bv making news? In the Nixon ease, of course, the reverse was true and it was his enemies who gained the chief exposure But normally , simple phone calls to the three networks put a C.S. President on all operating TY sets
Or how would one balance the habit of pundits and talk show impresarios of endlessly interviewing their favorite politicians to th** exclusion of others who might have views worth airing?
Would TY tune Ik* commandeered by government order in an effort to provide balance without cost to candidates or parties? In justice, then, newspaper advertising space should also be commandeered These would be government-ordered confiscations of privately owned commodities Who would decide the extent of such seizures" Who would select the beneficiaries?
What we have. then, is a new age in which a saturation of exposure is nearly vital to success in a campaign for high office, hut in which political honesty is becoming increasingly difficult if such exposure is to he purchased
Everyone says that something ought to be done Right " And no one has come up with a reasonable cure Right*
Theodore M. Bernstein
strange' because a library is a repository for IxMcks, the idea of hooks is inherent iii the word Underlying it is the Latin liber, meaning hook
But words sometimes take on mean ings broader than their original ones Cavalcade, for instance, originally meant a procession of horses, but now it means any kind of procession Not only that, but the -cade part bus been broken off to mean procession or exhibition and that has given us motorcade and aquacade All IU all. theist* of library lo designate a tool-lending place is tolerable What cise* are you going lo cull ll — a toolaryf
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