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About The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current | View Entire Issue (Oct. 29, 1971)
Next week a peaceful revolution will take place on
12 college campuses across the state, including UNL.
The League of Young Voters, a non-partisan
organization, will set up booths on the campuses in an
attempt to register students to vote.
The league will man booths in the City and East
Campus Unions as well as residence halls in hopes of
registering up to 14,000 UNL students. State officials
have made registering a little bit easier by ruling that
out-of-town students can register in Lancaster County
or their home towns.
Once students register how will they vote?
A recent poll by Newsweek Magazine reveals that the
youth vote will not produce "a drastic convulsion for
the American political system." The poll showed that
no more than 42 per cent of the 25 million newly
eligible voters will vote next year-compared to the 62
per cent turnout of all voters in 1968.
However, the percentage of students who vote will
undoubtedly be higher. A recent Playboy survey of
students (who make up one-third of the newly eligible
voters) found that no less than 90 per cent of the
students intended to register and vote.
The Newsweek poll shows youth "are more educated
than their elders, more critical of government policy and
more independent when it comes to political
affiliation." The poll also reveals that liberals and
radicals outnumber conservatives, but that most youth
are middle of the road politically. The most unusual
aspect of the poll shows that Sen. Edward Kennedy is
the political leader the youth would most like to see be
President in 1972.
If you haven't registered to vote then next week's
campus registration drive will offer you a good
opportunity to do so. The youth vote will make a
significant difference in upcoming elections, especially if
a large percentage of young people vote. As one youth
said: "If I don't vote, I can't complain about who is
Looking for votes
The loudest and longest applause for presidential
aspirant George McGovern during his visit to the
University early in the month came when the South
Dakota senator promised if elected to declare an
executive amnesty for all Vietnam era draft evaders.
McGovern said his declaration would cover any
citizen who had gone to jail or into foreign exile because
of objection to the war.
McGovern isn't the only politician to support
declaring amnesty for draft evaders. Such a position is
bound to be popular among the country's newly
enfranchised young voters, who more than any other
American group sense the stupidity of the waste of
young lives in the war.
Any relief from this sense of waste would be
welcomed by young voters. Forgiving the young men
who left their country rather than be wasted would
provide some relief.
So Omaha Congressman John McCollister has jumped
on the bandwagon in support of amnesty for draft
evaders too. He is one of the politicians singled out by
Americans for Democratic Action as being in trouble
because of newly enfranchised young voters in his
When the Vietnam War is finally over, young
Americans in exile around the world may be free to
return to the U.S. thanks indirectly to the 18-year-old
vote. They deserve as much.
But the idea of amnesty for draft evaders can only
increase the sense of loss suffered by the families of the
thousands of young Americans who have been killed in
Indochina. Most of these men are daad because they
gambled and lost on tt military rather than accept the
penalties for draft evasion.
"Welcome to the realities of the 20th century . .
the complexities of which, I am trying to fathom
The star salesman
WASH INGTON--There was always
something a little too honest about old Sen.
George Aiken's advice on Vietnam. "Declare a
victory and get out," he said. It smacked of old
New England in a playful mood, like Robert
Frost's poem in praise of New Hampshire,
which winds up with the line, "At present I am
living in Vermont."
We could all repeat George Aiken's line. We
could smile knowingly at his wisdom. But we
couldn't make a policy of it, any more than a
man can admit when he goes out to buy a new
car that he intends to hoodwink himself into
thinking that the extras won't cost much. What
a man needs when he wants to hoodwink
himself is a star salesman. The same is true of a
That's why this country is fortunate.
Richard Nixon is a star salesman. By the time
he is through with his sales pitch, we are going
to lose the war in Vietnam, but we are going to
think that we won it. Most important, we are
not going to care.
In the sense in which Lyndon Johnson and
Dean Rusk once talked of our war aims, we
have already lost the war. Ronald Reagan to the
contrary, President Thieu's re-election is not
really very much like the unopposed first
election of George Washington.
True that Henry Kissinger did his level best
to persuadp Ambassador Bunker to persuade
Thieu to permit somebody to run against him
The fact is that in the name of
saving democracy and drawing the line against
communism we have set up a tinhorn
THE DAILY NEBRASKAN
dictatorship as repressive as any in history. So
much for our war aims.
The important thing is that nobody cares
about war aims. The salesman has mesmerized
everyone with his pitch about going to China
Nor will it matter very much if we
eventually lose the ground as well as the aim.
Nobody in official Washington thinks that
Nixon can persuade Peking and Moscow to call
off an offensive by Hanoi. But before he leaves
on his trip, the President will announce a
further troop withdrawal. By the time of the
next offensive season, there will be no
American ground troops in battle. If Thieu
should fall, and the Saigon government should
welcome the Communists, what politician will
demand that our ground troops go back in?
You have to hand it to the star salesman. He
inherited a nation heartily sick of the war. What
it wanted was a fig leaf-some excuse, any
excuse- to pretend that it was all right to get
out and to forget it. First, Nixon bought time
by invading a couple of countries. Then he
bought more time by announcing his visits to
Peking and Moscow. On Oct. 31, the
inauguration of Thieu will provide the fig leaf.
So the sale has been made. The deal is about
to be closed. The country is ready to take
George Aiken's advice and the chances seem at
least fair that by election time, the star
salesman will be able to talk about a victory in
Vietnam, just as though it were a fact of
Copyright 1971, Los Angeles Times
FRIDAY, OCTOBER 29, 1971
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