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AN OBSERVER DEBATE Charles Alan Wright John Silber Wright, professor of law at the University of Texas, and Silber, associate professor of philosophy at the same universityboth writing as_individuals, not as spokesmen for the universityon this page debate the Nov. S election. WHY 1 AM FOR NIXON A Republican View It is the glory of the American party system, and a major source of strength for the nation, that each party represents a wide diversity of views, that we resolve our differences at the party conventions, and that in November the choice for the voter is between two broadly similar programs, each intended to appeal to the man in the middle, with Senator Goldwater and Senator Javits united on one side, while Walter Reuther and Ben Ramsey make common cause on the other. When, as in 1860, the party mechanisms fail to perform this function and leave the voter free to choose between extreme positions on a grave national issue, disaster is likely to be the result. Thus I am glad that this year both parties are offering programs which would have seemed impossibly liberal even twelve years ago and that both candidates are men of such ability and intellect that the nation will thrive, whatever Tuesday’s outcome. Charles A. Wright But even though the programs and the men are similar, they are not the same. There are four major reasons which persuade me that America will be best served by the election of Dick Nixon. 1 I have more confidence in Mr. Nixon’s wise administration of foreign policy than I do in Senator Kennedy’s. The policies themselves of the two candidates are, happily, virtually indistinguishable. But in an era of personal diplomacy and push-button war, the soundness of a president’s first judgment may decide the fate of the nation. Mr. Nixon has participated in the making of executive decisions as to foreign policy; Senator Kennedy has not. Mr. Nixon has experience in personal diplomacy; Senator Kennedy has not. Twice during this campaign Senator Kennedy has had to retreat from ill-advised foreign policy pronouncements. Even the New York Times calls his promise to “strengthen” and “support” anti-Castro forces a “blunder.” Fortunately he has backed off from this, and now says that his bold words promised nothing more of substance that a few radio and TV programs. Senator Kennedy’s ‘present position is that he would defend Quemoy and Matsu if an attack on those islands were a prelude to an attack on Formosa. Yet in the second debate he asserted flatly it would be a “mistake” to defend them under some circumstances but not others, and he proposed drawing the line to exclude the offshore islands. The Vice President, on the other hand, has consistently adhered to the administration policy. The next president will not be able to retract several weeks later what he tells Khrushchev at the summit, nor will he have time for second thoughts in evaluating ambiguous evidence that Russian missiles are headed toward the United States. On the record, there is reason to think Mr. Nixon is more likely to be right the first time. 2The Democratic fiscal policy is either unknowable or unworkable. Again even the New York Times, though endorsing Senator Kennedy, expresses “concern” about this question. In one breath the Senator promises low interest rates but guarantees the continued independence of the Federal Reserve Board. He can’t have both. The Democrats promise “no increase in present tax rates,” the Senator says “I am committed to a balanced budget,” and yet candidate and party both offer new and expensive federal programs. They can’t have all three. Artifically low interest rates are politically popular. They are also inevitably inflationary, and would speed the very flow of gold away from the United States which Senator Kennedy justly deplores. The Democrats engage in double-talk when they suggest that increased expenditures are possible without raising taxes and without a deficit. 7 The Republican Party believes that the federal government cannot stand idly by where there are problems in our national life which individuals, or smaller units of government, are unable to solve. But we believe also that federal intervention is not desirable where it is not necessary. The Democrats, as I understand them, believe that the federal government should help us whether we need it or not. Take school aid for example. Republicans agree that there is a temporary shortage of schoolrooms which the federal government must help alleviate, but we think a one-shot program, with the money distributed according to need, will solve this problem. The Democrats want a permanent school aid program with the money handed out regardless of need. Such a programaside from the fact it is unnecessaryoffers a very real danger of federal control of the local school. Despite Senator Kennedy’s protestations, the fact is that federal grants-inaid are always accompanied by ,federal standards and federal controls. There are plenty of other examples. We support federal assistance for medical care to those aged persons who need such assistance. The Democrats want to give such aid to all old people, rich and -poor alike. We wanted to give $53 million to those areas which everyone agrees were depressed. The Democrats would have given no more to those areas, but they would have given an extra $346 million for areas which are not seriously depressed. The Democrats promise federal aid to commuter railroads, though such railroads serve the wealthiest areas in the land, areas where the states and cities can meet the problem, and in some instances already do. One need not be a states’-righter to conclude that the Democratic policy is one of “too much, too soon.” A I have more confidence in Dick Nixon, the man, than I do in Jack Kennedy, the man. I cannot vote for a candidate who to this day does not view McCarthyism as an issue of moral principle, as is said of Kennedy by his own friendly biographer. Mr. Nixon’s record in this area is not perfect, but his personal participation in the Hiss hearings is a model of how a responsible lawyer -and congressman can investigate Communism without threatening civil liberties. I am proud that Mr. Nixon refused to let McCarthy campaign for him in 1950, that he denounced McCarthyism before the Army-McCarthy hearings, and that, according to McCarthy himself, it was the Vice President who organized the opposition to him which led to the censure vote, a vote, incidentally, which Jack Kennedy ducked. It is a good thing for America that both parties have taken a liberal position on civil rights. But it is a matter of concern when State Sen. Dorsey Hardeman can, with justification, rant about “the Republican integrators” and say that Kennedy and Johnson have “admirable records” on civil rights. A civil rights record which a Dorsey Hardeman can admire would not seem. admirable to me. Kennedy and Johnson both voted to send the 1957 civil rights bill to that famous graveyard of such legislation, Senator Eastland’s committee. Mr. Nixon made the ruling which permitted it to bypass the committee and come to the floor. Both Democratic candidates voted for the jury trial amendment to that bill. Mr. Nixon led the opposition to the amendment. Both parties are making splendid promises about -civil rights; Mr. Nixon’s record is concrete evidence that he will fulfill those promises. I do not believe, and I will not say, that a Democratic victory Tuesday would be a national disaster. I do believe that the election of Dick Nixon offers more assurance of responsible conduct of foreign affairs, a sound fiscal policy, a proper balance between individual enterprise and governmental help, and rapid progress in civil rights. A Democratic View President Eisenhower and Mr. Nixon do not trust the American people to assess the facts and issues of this campaign for themselves. Relevant information has been suppressed ; in its place these men have issued statements attacking Mr. Kennedy for daring to look at the facts as they are and for daring to criticize the Eisenhower-Republican administration. John Silber As a matter of fact, the most serious threat facing America today may well be the threat to freedom of speech as expressed by Nixon and Eisenhower. We have the right and the courage, under the leadership of John F. Kennedy, to criticize the lassitude and incompetence and corruption of the Republican administration, to awaken this nation to the necessity -of providing the free world the vigorous, imaginative leadership that it now requires. What is the basis for the Democratic criticism of the last eight years of Republican drifting? We may begin by noting the diplomatic disasters. A few months after Eisenhower became President on the promise to ‘stop any and all communist aggression, he rejected the advice of Dulles and refused to commit the United States to the defense of Vietnam. As a result, the communists took over North Vietnam and 62,000 square miles and 13,000,000 people went behind the Iron Curtain. In July 1956 Secretary Dulles public 1 y humiliated President Nasser of Egypt by hastily withdrawing all United States support for the construction of the Aswan Dam. Nasser seized the Suez Canal and accepted the eagerly proferred aid of the Soviet Union, and began the systematic disrupall pro-western alliances in the Arab nations. When England and France proposed to intervene, Dulles raised no objection. But -after they inter’ened Dulles joined in condemning them before the United Nations. We must approve this condemnation, but we must note and condemn the incredible bungling that led, first, to the humiliation of Nasser and the disruption of our Arab alliances and, second, to the humiliation of England and France and the disruption of our Atlantic alliances. We must not overlook the blunders of the Eisenhower administration on the U-2 incident. By insisting upon his own responsibility for the U-2 flight after his staff had already explained that he had not ordered it, Eisenhower proved to the world that his administration issued falsehoods to the public, and he gave Khrushchev a plausible excuse for destroying the summit conference. The Cuban situation is just one more example of the in-competence of the Republican administration. On April 15, 1959, Castro came as a hero to Washington to confer with Nixon and Herter. At this point the United States should have been ready with a plan for the economic development and political stability of Cuba. As usual, the State Department had nothing in the way of ideas or aid to offer. In the face of this policy vacuum, Castro turned to the one man on his staff with definite, systematic, and persuasive ideasGuevara, a dedicated Communist. Thus Cuba with its 65 million people and 44,000 square miles had moved into the Soviet orbit. The Castro regime is now being armed with Stalin tanks and MIG aircraft. While an island 90 miles from our coast is allowed to become a base for communist military activity, the Republican administration and Nixon talk boldly about the defense of Quemoy and Matsu. When Harry Truman was President the following achievements the United Nations organization was founded and stopped comthe Marshall Plan produced ecoTruman Doctrine saved Greece the Point Four program for the development of under-developed Japanese peace treaty was signed and the Japanese-American althe freedom of Berlin was protected. In addition to failing in foreign affairs, the Eisenhower administration has failed to move ahead in the defense of this nation. The. Rusians have put many heavy satellites into orbit, have struck the moon, photographed the moon, and retrieved animals from outer space. The Eisenhower administration has consistently denied that these triumphs have military significance. We all know better. Our allies know that a rocket that can hit the moon can hit any city on earth. The United States has been content to vacillate and procrastinate instead of entering upon a crash program to catch up with the Russians in missiles. The fiscal and economic policies of the Republican administration offer no better support for Nixon’s candidacy. It is true that the in terest rate is high and that bank profits are up 55 per cent over 1952 levels. It is also true that steel production is at 51 per cent of capacity, that four million people are out of work, that housing starts are down 29 per -cent from last year, that business failures are at an all-time high, and that farm income has drastically declined while the cost of the farm program has increased. When Mr. Truman left office in 1953 the national debt was $3,300,000,000 less than it was at the end of the fiscal year 1946. When Mr. Eisenhower leaves office, the debt will be approximately $21,000,000,000 greater than it was in 1953. Over $11,000,000,000 of that increase will be due to increased payments to the banks for the financing of the debt itself. The mess in the government consists, not merely in the operation there of Goldfine and Adamses, but in the fact that conflict of interest is no longer taken seriously as a bar to public office. What are a few mink coats in comparison with Mr. Humphrey’s gift to the :banks, of $5 billion of the people’s money in the form of higher interest on the national debt, on housing, and on private loans! This Republican record is so bad that Nixon wants to dissociate himself from the Republican Party. Since the American people will not support the Republican Party, Nixon decided he could not afford to run on a Republic-an platform. He chose instead to run on the platform which Nelson ‘ Rockefeller wrote after reading the Democratic platform. The recipe is basically the same and the Rockefeller flavor is only on the surface. After the election Senator Goldwater will be restored to his place of eminence in the policy-making councils of the Republican Party. Until Nixon can honestly run on the program of his party and expect the support of a Republican Congress has has no right to expect the support of the people. A vote for Nixon is a vote for divided government, since the Democrats will rule Congress. In these critical times we cannot afford a weak and divided government. With Kennedy to lead us in the formation of executive policy, and with Mr. Johnson to lead us in transforming that policy into legislative action in the Democratic Congress, our country can look forward to its brightest days of leadership and service to the free world and to all its citizens. We