A Public Service Message from the American Income Life Insurance CompanyExecutive offices, Waco, TexasBernard Rapoport, Pres. complain of as “over-zealous staff work,” and finally, a remoteness beyond what was contemplated almost a semi-celestial presidency. THE ROLE OF THE CONGRESS It is proper, for example, for the President to speak to the American people and use them as a megaphone to.react upon the Congress, but I believe that the time has come in the confluence of events when the Chief Executive should speak to the Congress openly and regularly. President Kennedy, had he appeared before Congress immediately after the Bay of Pigs, might have given the legislators an opportunity to assess and understand the dilemma he faced. Or Eisenhower, after the embarrassment of the U2 overflight, might have appeared before Congress with the opportunity for a vote of confidence. Icy distance from the House and Senate can only magnify the heated adversarial roles that the Legislative and Executive branches have begun to assume toward each other. Presidents of institutions of higher learning can attest to the need for continuous communication with their own “Congresses,” the faculty-student senates. Those who have not maintained internal accord have found themselves in an isolation not of their own making. The continuity of the American presidency, of course, continues on a term basis with periodic referendums for rejection or renewal. But the time has come to institutionalize a means of restoring the tidemarks of trust between the Executive and the Congress. In essence, I suggest the functional equivalent of a vote of confidence for having the president continuously accountable to the legislative branch. THE MCCARTHY PERIOD We are reliving a period quite like that of the 1950’s which brought a new term into the dictionary known as McCarthyism. At every conceivable gathering dinner or cocktail party people matched atrocity stories and there was a great wringing of hands about the dreadful state of affairs that was smothering the nation. But few did anything about it. Today all eyes are trained on the expose of abuses astride life at the top of our government. As the McCarthy period taught us, there is no time when charges should be loosely made. Consequently, I hasten to point out that convictions already obtained and acts already admitted to support the statement I have just made. As though that were not bad enough, the allegations which are yet to be examined in Congressional inquires and in the courts are striking in their enormity. It must be faced that the sum of all the allegations is that we were the victims of a coup d’etat or an attempted coup. I weigh my words carefully. I am aware that the strict definition of a coup d’etat is “a sudden decisive exercise of force whereby the existing government is subverted”. But, surely, an attempt to capture or retain control of a government by illegal means is action of the same genre. Many of the principal “figures” involved are products of the silent generation following World War II. These are not men unschooled; almost all are products of higher education. This should give us at the universities particular reason to wonder what went wrong and why. Did we either through acts of commission or omission contribute in any way to the malaise which besets us? Now academia has always been engaged in a search for truth. But have we passed that heritage on to our students? Is that an article of faith that has been rejected? Yet the concern now is less with reality and more with appearance the difference between what is and what appears to be. Can it be that “appearances” of the sort projected by television have had a greater impact than the “reality” we contend we deal with in higher education? Have we taught men the price of everything and the value of nothing? Did higher education merely provide tools and technology, but no sense of ethics and morality to temper the far-flung influence of the military-industrial complex, an awesome floating power largely free of restraint? In both the era of the silent generation of the fifties and the youthquake of the sixties, we have witnessed a lack of commitment to democratic ideals and processes. And we permitted situations to develop where we did not respect the rights of others. Regrettably, at some of our finest traditionladen temples of freedom, the right to listen as well as to speak was flagrantly violated and some of those scars have not only not been altogether erased, but they helped speed the university’s swift fall from grace in the public esteem. Is it unfair, then, to suggest that the happenings at our universities contributed to create a climate which permitted men at ‘the pinnacle of political power to see nothing morally wrong in dealing cavalierly with democratic ideals, processes, and justice? I ask you to ponder that question, not as an exercise of self-flagellation but as a way of pointing up what needs to be done. For whatever the universities’ responsibility, or lack of it, they can play a major role in restoring the tidemarks of trust. THE ROLE OF “EGGHEADS” Over the years there have been many disparaging themes about dethroning the eggheads from positions of influence in public affairs. What we need is just the opposite. Let us enthrone the egghead who is worthy of trust and the institutions that have nurtured their growth and immense capabilities. My source and documentation for this article of faith is unimpeachable an authoritative volume titled The Joy of Cooking. Boldly and in immeasurably clear language it sets forth this principle: “Treat eggs gently. They like this consideration and will respond to kindness.” Again from an equally authoritative source another stern warning: “The first principle that cannot be impressed too strongly is that eggs cook with a very low degree of heat.” Our universities comprise the nation’s most inventive spearheads. They have been through a traumatic ordeal some of it deservedly. But we need to restore our faith and reaffirm our confidence in them. This happens to be the track season. Remember, universities do not excel at the 100 yard dash. They are not sprinters. They are not geared to perform over the short course. They are distance runners and their performance and quest for excellence is enriched and ennobled over the long stretch. In preparing this presentation, I did so under the heavy constant reminder that I was born during a war and that for 24 of my 56 years almost half of my life this nation has been at war. And we are still not clear of conflict that defies the intellect. Not only the war, but the constellation of social, economic, and now environmental issues have brought colleges and universities to the very brink of perhaps their most difficult ordeal and trial. During the first third of this century, as Spain gasped, and choked with internal disorders and descended toward total collapse under governments unable to govern, the brilliant
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