It is not good for representative government to have any one class, however distinguished, overrepresented in government. The rich are overrepresented now, and unless something is done the imbalance favoring the rich in Congress and in high government positions will increase. The Federal Election Campaign Act of 1974, as amended after the Supreme Court found it defective on at least two major constitutional points, was more than just an insurance policy for the incumbent parties, the Republicans and the Democrats. It also was a rich man's license to hunt in the fields of politics.
When staring out the window of our offices here on Nineteenth Street in the nation's capital, we have the privilege of overlooking the entrance to the Washington Palm restaurant. Of the apparently endless number of expensive restaurants that have opened around Washington over the past few years, the Palm is especially notable for its delicatessen decor, mediocre food and absurd prices.
How H.L. Mencken would have skipped his paunchy knee and twinkled his china-blue eyes in cynical rapture over the Neutron bomb as another example of human folly. Really, the thing is wasted without Mencken around. The Neutron bomb, you see, is small, it's "clean"; it's teensy-weensy; it's a cutrate H-bomb that kills all the people in the neighborhood with radiation but lacks the punch to destroy buildings. How economical. What a weapon tor cleaning out cities. And what a plaything for the generals. At last we have invented a humane bomb: humane to buildings.
In the middle ages, and continuing well into modern times, the kings of France and England touched for scrofula, a disease which doctors today call tubercular adenitis. It was endemic in certain regions of Europe, and the kings claimed that a simple touch of their hands could cure it. So the disease was called mal de roi in France, and "the King's Evil" in England. The monarchs were astute. Although one or two of the early kings claimed to touch for other diseases, they quickly decided to confine themselves to scrofula. It is a disfiguring rather than a wasting disease, and hardly ever fatal.
One of the roots of the confusion of the American press about its proper role lies in the kind of privileges it now thinks it can claim. There is and there can be, for example, no "right to know," the most ludicrous of claims for the press to make.
From The Editors: This week, our historical piece is “Press Against Politics,” Henry Fairlie’s 1976 call to arms for more passion and more conviction from the listless class of political journalists covering the Carter-Ford election. (He was clearly upset: “The fact is that James Reston writes now like a sports columnist on the slope of Olympus.
Philadelphia--Six days before the end of this miserable presidential election campaign, Gerald Ford was half through a road trip that had turned out to be fundamentally phony. In glimpses caught on television screens at stops along the Ford route, Jimmy Carter appeared to be cautious to the point of fright and to be justifying the skepticism about him that reporters traveling with him reflected in published accounts and in conversations. A choice between this unimpressive pair being obligatory, I choose Carter.
If you adhere to the conventional wisdom of the press—that all presidential campaigns are decided by issues or personality—you will have a devil of a time understanding the voter's frame of mind in 1976. If the campaign were reduced strictly to a question of issues, one should be able to predict a solid victory for Carter. To the extent that any issue has dominated public concerns, it has been the economy.
Both China and the USA during 1976 look to their own body politic, and not much at broad world vistas. Yet from different starting-points. We focus on who the next President will be and now the list is pruned to two. But the election issues are as hard to sight as corks on a choppy sea. In China it is the personnel stakes that are elusive. The issues being debated under the orange tiles of Peking's palaces are, on the other hand, clearer than usual. And the "what" may be as momentous for China's future as the "who." Glimpse six items that reflect what is controversial in China.