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About The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current | View Entire Issue (March 29, 1968)
THE DAILY NEBRASKAN
Friday, March 29, 1968
but to whom?
There is definitely no place like Nebraska.
Or so Sen. Robert F. Kennedy and his speech
writers and his local backers apparently believe.
In what other state does a leading presidential
aspirant go before 12,000 enthusiastic college stu
dents and then appeal to their interest in agricul
ture? And in what other state would Kennedy's pro
moters attempt to excite the Coliseum crowd with
bluegrass guitar picking and yodels?
There were definitely some very important
things said at the Coliseum: the Senator presented
his views on the war, the draft and the president,
all matters of concern to college students today.
Sen. Kennedy also chose Nebraska, where Re
publican Richard Nixon has considerable populari
ty, to take his first swipe at the former vice pres.
But despite these important matters, and be
sides Kennedy's occasional appeals for campaign
aid, the brunt of his words seemed directed away
from the University crowd and towards the agri
cultural interests of the state.
Somewhere between his sweeping entrance and
his strong finale, Mr. Kennedy bogged down with
agricultural economics and philosophy.
While this may be an area of general impor
tance to the state, only a small minority of the stu
dents will ever be involved directly in agriculture.
And the vast majority are interested in many oth
er, more vital subjects.
As reflected in the post-speech questioning, the
students were not satisfied with the Senator's too
brief treatment of racial disturbance, the draft
and exactly how to negotiate peace in Vietnam.
With all this in mind, it is evident that Ken
nedy was speaking at the University, but he was
speaking to the mass of Nebraskans involved in
For this reason, Bobby Kennedy was a let
down. The charm was there. The enthusiasm was
there. But that enthusiasm ebbed as the Senator
slighted the issues of interest to the students.
There may be no place exactly like Nebraska,
but it is not that out of step with the rest of the
upon a cloud
I hold it a paramount duty of us in the free
States ... to let the slavery of the other states
alone. . ."Abraham Lincoln.
It was the spirit of Big Red and Lennon-McCart-ney
combined. It was the Second Coming on the first
visit. For both the doubters and the believers it was
just too much to comprehend. That seemed to be
the reaction Sen. Robert Kennedy made here yes
terday. Kennedy's appearance in the Coliseum was a
how that a whirlwind organization set up in four
days and it was a show that some people waited
over three hours to see.
The show was carefully planned, even to the
point of having a rotund Kennedy supporter come
on stage and coach the audience on bow to applaud.
Yet, after waiting 45 minutes longer than they
were supposed to and after being entertained by
jazz groups and guitarists the crowd's enthusiasm
was wearing off. Finally the Senator was introduced
and an unbelievable roar filled the coliseum.
His speech had its spots of eloquence but Ken
nedy occasionally fumbled in his delivery. Hlg voice
was strained and hoarse. He seemed to be tiring of
his strenuous campaign.
After the initial excitement had worn off, would
Kennedy fail? No, he did not. The cynics were
Kennedy played with his audience. He made
hecklers a joke and he made applauding a game.
Only Kennedy could come into Nebraska and
ask how many Republican! were In an audience
of 12,000, ask for their support, and receive a strong
His speech was toned down somewhat on the
war and was geared to the interests of Nebraska.
He mentioned the farm problem, made appeals to
patriotism and criticized Johnson. Yet, what always
got the best response was any mention of his own
How could this happen? Kennedy U the oppor
tunist, the cynical politician. College students are
disillusioned, stubbornly Idealistic and fed up with
politicians, to how conld this happen?
The answer may be that voung people aren't
all that idealistic. Some of America's greatest lead
ers from Abraham Lincoln to Franklin D. Roose
velt were atrocious schemers and opportunists. The
college student may be Idealistic but he probably
realizes that idealistic goals sometimes have to be
reached by skillfull maneuvering.
We saw a show Thursday that was professional,
glittering, and coldly calculated. This must have
been obvious. Yet, it was what the crowd wanted.
The word today is charisma. Is that what the
people will want next November? Is it right that
they should want that? And will they get that next
November? Who knows?
mSSSmm. e" . - fKm"' mmm
William F. Buckley
On nixing the Asian communists
I do not share the amused
disdain with which the critics
have greeted Richard Nixon's
statement that he will not dis
close the details of his pro
gram for ending the Vietna
mese War. That is the state
ment of a-serious man, that
is to say, a man who believes
that in fact he may end up
with the responsibility for ad
ministering the war.
What it 6omes down to is
this: knowing what we know
about Nixon, is it likely that
he would, upon being elected,
dramatically reverse himself
concerning our commitment
to Vietnam as bearing directly
on the prospects for the na
tional security? The probabili
ties are very much against
any such tergiversation.
That's why so many of
the people who dislike Nixon
They know that his anti
Communist resolution is as
firm as just about anything
in national politics. They don't
like that. And they don't like
Nixon, who affects them the
way Adlai Stevenson used to
affect some conservatives.
Now how about Rocky?
Even though he has ritualistic
ally withdrawn he does re
main a contender for the pres
idency. There is a rough one
for those critics who continue
to clamor for his nomination.
Why? Forget the domestic rec
ord for a moment, though of
course the liberals take the
same pleasure in viewing his
domestic record that a nar
cissist would. On the matter'
of Vietnam, Mr. Rockefeller
is saddled with a resonant
statement given in 1964. "Win
ning the fight for freedom
in Vietnam," he said in Ore
gon during the primary cam
paign, "is essential to the sur
vival of all of Asia. The Com
munist Vict Cong guerrillas
must be defeated."
Now Mr. Rockefeller is
speaking vaguely about the
need for an "accommodation"
(who's against that?). But
get this important difference:
his vagueness comes off as
statesmanship, in sharp con
trast with Nixon's, which is
taken as cynicism and for
a reason no more complex
than that Rockefeller rubs li
berals the right way, and
What the hell, so everybody
is talking, so will I. I have
had exclusive interviews with
Mr. Rockefeller and Mr. Nix
on in recent weeks. Mr. Nixon
answered in considerable de
tail questions on what he
would do In Vietnam, and the
whole of it was plausible, re
sponsible, non-gimmicky, and
a sound projection of the stra
tegical postulate that took us
into Vietnam In the first
place, i.e. that Southeast Asia
is a place where rampaging
Communism should be contained.
Election portends the future
Editor's Note: Today's con
tributor, Phillip Scribner, is
an Assistant Professor In the
Department of Philosophy.
The 1968 Presidential cam
paign is taking place under
a cloud of apprehension about
the future. We do not know
where the war is leading nor
how much more deeply our
leaders will involve us there.
Our effective abandonment of
the ideals of social justice
jeopardizes the future of our
cities and, indeed, the future
of our society. The younger
generation is increasingly
alienated, not only from our
paranoid political leadership,
but from a whole socio-economic
system which supports
it and threatens to repress
No one seriously doubts
that the war is the primary
source of these long range
worries. In the eyes of the
world, the United States is
the agressor in Vietnam. Our
unrelenting willingness to de
stroy that small people pre
cludes establishing the sort of
tion which could preserve the
peace and spread the prosper
ity. One wonders what would
have happened if John Ken
nedy had lived. Such specu
lations are precarious and of
ten self-serving (the reason
Robert Kennedy avoids this
sort of conjecture), but they
are not arbitrary.
Johnson hopes to share the
burden of his war policy with
the Eisenhower and Kennedy
administrations by claiming
his policy is not different from
theirs. But Johnson is simply
not telling it like it happened.
NO SEATO requirement
Before Johnson the United
States had not committed it
self to sending combat troops
to Vietnam. The SEATO
treaty requires only that we
consult with our SEATO al
lies and consider intervention
in accordance with our con
stitutional procedures. But
our SEATO allies in the West
have not intervened, nor have
we followed our constitution
al provisions for waging war.
All the evidence indicates
that the policy of military in
tervention is strictly John
son's. According to General
Gavin, who was privy to the
policy debates and the posi
tions of individual policy
makers, Kennedy was abso
lutely opposed to involving the
United States in any Asian
war. There is no reason to
think he would have changed
that attitude. Johnson's ef
fort to escape the responsibil
ity for this war is nothing less
than a hypocritical attempt
to bury his guilt with a dead
So what would have hap
pened if Kennedy had lived
and the war had been avoid
ed? With the test ban treaty
as a precedent, the nations
of the world could be develop
ing institutions of internation
al cooperation. There would
have been far brighter pros
pects of an economically uni
fied Europe capable of assist
ing less advanced nations in
their own development,
Russia would likely have
found that far more can be
gained through cooperation
with the U.S. than through
opposition. We could be try
ing to bring China into inter
national institutions which
would give her a stake in non
military means for achieving
her ends. The people of North
and South Vietnam could be
cooperating to build a viable
political and economic sys
tem. Funds would be there
There w ou 1 d have been
funds available to begin to
deal with the domestic crisis
in racial relations, and with
a Democratic congress
elected in 1964, there is every
reason to believe there would
have been a will to undertake
Instead, however, we en
dure examples of a John
s o n 1 a n interpretation of
American ideals in action:
billions of dollars diverted
from programs which would
alleviate in some measure the
cruelty of a thoroughly racist
society to a program designed
to destroy systematically the
social structure and liveli
hood of a yellow nation 10,000
We have instead a Texan's
Interpretation of fidelity to
commitments: profuse ex
penditure of money and men
to keep a questionable 'cora
mitent to a Tightest dictator
we ourselves set up while un
ashamedly refusing to recog
nize a commitment made to
millions of our own people to
grant them equal citizenship.
And the tragedy of all this is
that no one expects anything
more of the present adminis
tration. The war is the paramount
cause of concern. No doubt
our foreign policy reflects
mistaken assumptions which
lie far deeper than the char
acter of the President. But
even if we cannot be abso
lutely sure that Kennedy
would have avoided this war,
it is certain that Johnson, if
reelected, will continue it.
And that the war will go on
to destroy our society.
Guerilla warfare not all
Guerilla warfare in the ci
ties is only part of what the
future holds for us. The gold
crisis is only the beginning
of the international isolation
the United States will have
to endure. The draft system
which forces our youth to be
come murderers in" the name
of American imperialism and
the repressive drug" laws
which transforms their harm
less curiosity into criminality
will further alienate the
younger generation and un
dermine their allegience to
our political and social insti
tutions. We all know who H respon
sible, and we all know who
wants us to continue on this
course. The cynics never
cease to tell us that an in
cumbent President cannot be
denied renomlnation. And if
this nation of ours has no
firmer spirit nor deeper val
ues than a bunch of middle
aged cynics, secretly enjoy
ing their self-fulfilling prophe
sy, how can we avoid the im
Early in 1965, I received a letter from a friend
who was bitterly disappointed with the course the
Republican party had taken in 1964.
My friend discussed the dilemma of whether or
not to remain a Republican and added, "What is
the Republican party going to do? What am I going
to do? Perhaps you can give me the answer to the
first question, and that and the next few months
and years will help me to decide about the second."
Now it seems we have the party's answer to
that first question. The conservatives are still in
the driver's seat, although willing to make at least
the concession of nominating Dick Nixon rather
than Barry Goldwater again.
Who is at fault for this state of affairs? Liberal
Republicans, that's who.
For it was the Liberal Republicans who waited,
as did my friend, for the first question to answer
the second. But the answer to the first question was
determined by the liberal response, or lack of it,
to the second query.
It was liberal Republicans who wanted control
of the G.O.P., but who did not sacrifice the time,
the work and the money to get that control and to
put the party back Into the "mainstream."
We have no one to blame but ourselves, because
we were naive enough to believe the right-wing leo
pard would change his spots. I answered the letter
which I quote with the warning that this would not
come to pass and indeed it did not.
There was no lack of Republican liberals willing
to draft policy statements, draw up platforms, and
participate in strategy conferences. But there were
precious few of such people willing to take part in
the nitty-gritty of the political process taking over
county organizations, ringing doorbells, addressing
envelopes and the like.
As a result, conservatives held on to most posi
tions of leadership within the party by default. They
rationalized away the defeat of 1964. And now they
call the shots on who the party's nominee will be
Perhaps now liberal Republicans will believe that
the only way to change the course of a political
party is to work hard for that change.
Other assorted comments:
. . . It's foolhardy to make predictions, but
Nebraska sounds to me a lot like "Kennedy coun
try." . . . Your best chance to indicate support for the
progressive legislative program of Governor Tie-
mann is to vote for him in the race for delegate-at-large
to the G.O.P. National Convention. Mod-erate-liberal
Republicans should ponder this before
jumping parties to participate in the Democrats' in-tra-party
fray. Your vote can help.
. . . Mail a letter to your Congressman today in
support of the 1968 Civil Rights Bill, with the all
important open housing section.
. . . Bryce Bartu, campaign manager for Phil
Sorensen in '66, passes along an insight into the Ted
Sorcnsen speech-writing technique. Watch Bob Ken
nedy's speeches for sentences beginning with "ac
tion" verbs "give me your hand," "let us work. . .,'
"ask not what your country. . ." and the like.
... Most eastern Nebraska Republicans feel con
fident an energetic campaign will bring victory for
Congressman Bob Denney over Clair Callan. I think
so too, barring a major change.
The enclosed statement by the male seniors is
just one example of the action being taken here
at Reed College to oppose the draft and the Vietna
mese War. We have also set up a draft counseling
service and have organized the Reed Draft Union
to centralize information about the draft, to co
ordinate activities with other schools, and to unify
A legal fund has been set up to hire lawyers
and pay court costs to help students who are
brought to trial. The faculty has already been con
tnbutmg generously to this fund; in addition, thir-ty-mne
have signed the following pledge:
Opposition to our government's policy in Viet
nam compels me to support those draft-eligible
Americans who have pledged to refuse indue
tion. I believe that their decisions are legiti
mate acts of conscience opposing an unjust and
immoral war. I pledge to support those young
men with encouragement, counsel, and finan
Similar action has been taken at hundreds of
schools throughout the country.
Many of the students graduating from college
this spring will be drafted by the end of the sum.
mer We comprising 66 of the male seniors of
rSSff' Pcrt'a"d-,0regon, will not serve in
the armed forces of the United States
Our decision is irrevocable. Our consciences
do not permit us to participate in this senseless
and immoral war.
Wlarf iure t11 tens of thousands of student!
throughout the country will join us in resistance.
70 Male Seniors of Reed College
Vol. 91, No. 17
March . 196
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