Shortly after President Carter announced on February 8 his proposal to register women along with men for a draft, debate over the gender of the registrants had driven all sorts of strange bedfellows into the opposition camp.
In the little town of Boone, Iowa, last month. Senator Edward Kennedy was asked one of the crucial questions of the 1980 campaign. The question was put by Mrs.
If his name had been Edward Moore, as Eddie McCormack bitterly observed in 1962, his candidacy would have been a joke, "but nobody's laughing." And the situation has been much the same for all the 17 years since Edward Moore Kennedy, then only 29, beat McCormack for the right to fill the US Senate seat of his brother. President John Kennedy. And even though Edward Kennedy has had probably as much public attention for all these years as any political figure except the various presidents, nobody's really been looking and listening, either.
In 1867 Charles Dickens reported on "the first meeting of the Mudfog Association for the Advancement of Everything." A dozen years ago, on the centennial of that occasion, I became Senior Fellow of the Center for the Study of Democratic Institutions at Santa Barbara, California. I was reminded of these moments in history by the news that the Center, after years of seedy gentility, has found a new benefactor. It has been taken in as a ward of the University of California at Santa Barbara.
In recent years American politics has been distracted by a new and destructive pluralism. This new pluralism disorganizes public policy and sets group against group. Its paralyzing and disorienting effects challenge citizens, leaders and above all the president to elicit and affirm a new nationalism that will again put us in mind of what makes us a people and again give direction to our public affairs.The problem is not the conflict of classes. Indeed, we may look back with nostalgia to the class struggle of New Deal days, which did much to make sense of politics and policies then.