The Battalion. (College Station, Tex.) 1893-current, March 13, 1981, Image 2

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Viewpoint The Battalion Friday Texas A&M University March 13, 1981 By Jim Earle Slouch “Before we begin, are you absolutely sure your ride doesn’t leave early?” ‘Outs' fail to reach voters with message By STEVE GERSTEL United Press International WASHINGTON — Despite their finest efforts, neither the Democrats nor the Re publicans have solved a vexing problem that plagues them whenever the other is ensconced in the White House — how to get the out-party message out to the Amer ican people. It just cannot be done well. The Democrats gave it still another whirl recently — a response to President Reagan’s economic message — and the re sult was predictable. It was pretty much of a flop. In no way could the Democrats’ response be compared to Reagan’s message — not in staging, not in drama, not in performance and certainly not in coverage. Don’t blame the Democrats. They were up against a set of circumstances that would have thwarted the magic of the most bril liant television producer. The Republican administration had as the star of its show not only Ronald Reagan the president, but also Ronald Reagan the master at communicating. The Democrats fielded three virtually unknown members of Congress: Rep. Jim Wright of Texas and Sens. Gary Hart of Colorado and Lawton Chiles of Florida. Wright, a grizzled veteran, is the House Democratic leader. Outside the House, the party and his district, he is hardly known. In choosing Hart and Chiles, Senate Democrats — trying something a little new — put on two, younger fresher senators, instead of the leaders or the veterans. But Hart and Chiles are also unknowns. Reagan delivered his message to a joint session of the Senate and House before a crowded audience that included many members of Congress, the Supreme Court, the Cabinet and the diplomatic corps. Wright, Hart and Chiles were taped. the small society by Brickman IT l£K'T OCX 411981 King Feature! Syndicate. Inc. World rignts reserved /-/6 r^ , i<si<MAr 0 Warped Two out of three ain’t bad As that time for deliverance from the more demanding aspects of university life, more commonly referred to as spring break, draws near, most students are no doubt saving a heavy sigh for this afternoon. And soon, many will join the annual mass exodus to the Texas college student’s Mecca — the Gulf of Mexico — to experience the healing properties of warm sunshine, liquid refreshment and laziness. For some, the trip will be a chance to release built-up energy and thereby elimin ate some of the “spring fever” infection. But for others, a few days beneath the sun and stars will do nothing more than compound the illness. Without a doubt, we deserve next week’s rest. A lot of students may be looking to the break as a temporary rescue or maybe a chance to catch up. But to those of us with suffering GPRs, it’s really no more than a stay of execution. We deserve it for what we’ve had to put up with for the last few weeks. The unsea sonably fair weather we’ve had recently tries the patience of even the most diligent student. Staff notebook By Bemie Fette Such weather has caused books, term papers, and in some cases, class attendance to drop to an all-time low on a student’s list of priorities. Finance has been replaced by Frisbee, Sociology by Sunning and Zoology by Zzzzzzz. the profits from sales of alchoholic be ages in the southern part of the state surely skyrocket. In fact, why not Ik the trip by spending ten minutes adayf ing up empty beer cans on the bead: When they return, you’ll find it ei; pick out of a crowd those whohavespe week at one of the seaside resorts. Ik be the ones whose complexions reset those of Hawaiian natives ... orinst cases, boiled lobsters. But then our profs should understand such a change in priorities ... shouldn’t they? After all, we need a chance to regain all the energy we’ve expended by fighting off the bag monster on one side and fending away the spring fever bug on the other. And so, as several friends andlprt for a three-day stay at Port Aransasi cheapest condo we could find, theiy promises to be not only recreational medicinal as well. Maybe just whattlf: tor ordered. I trust that ours will notk only marroon and white T-shirts adoc the South Texas beaches next week Crowded beaches and no-vacancy signs will likely be routine sights next week and So if the doctor prescribed sunshiit freshments, and laziness andiffbn: reason the sunshine is in short supply compensate with increased dosagesd other two. After all, two out of threcif bad. Reagan was televised live at 9 p.m. over all three networks. The Democrats' tape played on two networks the following Fri day at 10:30 p.m. The third network had “Dallas” in that time slot. The Democrats’ response — sometimes called the congressional reply, although it is always partisan — fared no better in the newspapers. In contrast to the play given Reagan’s message, it was generally kissed off. But the Democrats’ failure is by no means novel. The outparty in Congress has tried in vain for years and years to get it’s viepoint seen and heard. During Lyndon Johnson’s presidency. Senate GOP leader Everett Dirksen and the House Republican leaders teamed for periodic news conferences and responses. That led to the creation of the “Ev and Charlie (Halleck) show” and later the “Ev and Jerry (Ford) show.” Neither Halleck nor Ford were much in the way of entertainment, but Dirksen, an oratorical spellbinder and master show man, at least made the “shows” good enter tainment. Still, they proved weak as GOP responses. Then Senate Democratic leader Mike Mansfield, during the Nixon years, tried almost every conceivable combination with little success. The best effort came in the closing days of the off-year election campaign in 1970 after Nixon had made a widely rebroadcast speech dealing with crime and the streets. The Democrats picked Sen. Edmund Muskie of Maine, a Lincolnesque figure with a rich and resonant voice, and showed him responding live from his home in Maine. It was a marked success, not yet repeated. The Democrats — and somewhere down the line the Republicans — will keep on trying. They also will keep on failing. It’s your turn Handicapped deserve modification. Editor: In reply to Roberto Dillow Castaneda’s letter of February 23rd: Well, Mr. Castaneda, you certainly seem to have covered all of the bases. No matter who replies or how he or she replies, you have a classification for him. I guess by your standards I am a “Jesus Freak” and a “Good Samaritan,” or even. Heaven forbid, a “Polly Anna. ” Now that that’s all cleared us, you needn’t read any further. Mr. Castaneda, suppose you were to be involved in a serious auto accident; and as a result became a paraplegic. From the tone of your letter it is clear that you would decide to quietly row out to sea so you wouldn’t be a “burden to society.” Every living soul on this earth has value and needs to feel wanted and accepted. By designing buildings, sidewalks, classrooms and other facilities with the handicapped in mind we simply send out the message, “You’re O.K.; you’re welcome here.” De signing these facilities by ignoring their needs is simply selfish and unsympathetic. Why should we burden the physically im paired by ignorantly constructing every thing well out of their reach? These design modifications do not significantly add to the cost of any given structure if included from the beginning. The modifications to ex isting facilities is simply a way to correct our past oversights. The number of handicapped students on campus is of no consequence. If this school were to have only one disabled applicant I would say the modifications are worth it, because we didn’t scare him away with the futility of any individual effort. When we cease to think about our fellow human beings, we cease to be human ourselves. While the sidewalk ramps should be used by anyone on wheels who can be consi dered a pedestrian, we mustn’t forget their original intent. Wheelchair students have first priority. The question did not involve a willingness to share but an abuse of the ramps. You strike me as one who would park in a handicapped parking place when you have a little trouble finding another nearby spot, without regard to the intent of the reserved space. This practice has reached epidemic proportions at A&M, to the extent that the disabled student is often forced to park either illegally or far from the building which is his destination. This be havior is what renders such efforts a “waste of time, manpower, and money.” I’m sorry that such facilities for the handicapped in convenience you. Sit down sometime and calculate the exact cost to yourself to pro vide these services. It is less than you prob ably think. If you feel that you are required to shoulder more of the burden than is fair, I would welcome a personal conversation on the matter. Many of my friends are physically hand icapped in one way or another. They are good friends and some of the best students I have known. In my mind they have proved their worth infinitely farther than you have proved your own (you don’t seem to have anything important to say; you merely com plain.) In the true sense of the word, these people are not handicapped. You, Mr. Cas taneda, are handicapped. You are short sighted, close-minded, selfish, and I won der whether you have the capacity forIfi compassion, or charity. I don’t meantoi. names or sling mud; you truly have: sympathy. Jim Roger! Rifle team good, too ( By Scott McCullar WELL, GOOD /FORMING, HOW'S STUDYING FOR THE "KILLER test" going? / YEP, YOU LEFT YOUR /AIN D ON ALL NIGHT DIDN'T YOU? YEA, IT'S STILL i | WAR /A ... Editor: In response to a recent column Richard Oliver concerning successfulti at Texas A&M, we the members Fightin’ Texas Aggie rifle team wouldlik point out that another successful team exist. The team is recognized as a NO varsity sport and has been ranked in lL “ 20 nationally for the past two years, ally ranked teams that we have deli# thus far this year include: FloridaInstitiif Technology, University of Alaska, United States Air Force Academy. In regional standings, we are the ck pions of the Southwest Rifle Associat (our equivalent of the SWC), andhavek for four of the last five years. In three years we have been undefeatc Furthermore, we have not lost a matcl t.u. since 1975. In light of the above accomplishme:' we feel that we should be included in' ranks of successful teams at Texas A&M Michael B. Winzeler' Editor’s note: This letter was accompany by four other signatures. l The Battalion MEMBER ISPS <M5 Texas Press Association Southwest Journalism Congress Editor Dillard Stone Managing Editor Angelique Copeland Asst. Managing Editor Todd Woodard City Editor Debbie Nelson Asst. City Editor Marcy Boyce News Editors Venita McCellon, Scot K. Meyer Sports Editor Richard Oliver Focus Editor Cathy Saathoff Asst. Focus Editor Susan Hopkins Staff Writers Carolyn Barnes, Jane G. Brust, Terry Duran, Bemie Fette, Cindy Gee, Kathleen McElroy, Belinda McCoy, Marjorie McLaughlin, Kathy O’Connell, Ritchie Priddy, Rick Stolle Cartoonist Scott McCullar Photo Editor Greg Gammon Photographers Chuck Chapman Brian Tate ifiO The Battalion also serves as a laboratory students in reporting, editing and photography within the Department of Communications. Questions or comments concerning any should be directed to the editor. LETTERS POLICY Letters to the Editor should not exceed 350 woi length, and are subject to being cut if they are longer editorial staff reserves the right to edit letters for style*- length, but will make every effort to maintain the intent. Each letter must also be signed, show the and phone number of the writer. Columns and guest editorials are also welcome, not subject to the same length constraints as Address all inquiries and correspondence to: Battalion, 216 Reed McDonald, Texas A&M I'ni'f 15 College Station, TX 77843. EDITORIAL POLICY The Battalion is a non-profit, self-supporting newspaper operated as a community service to Texas A&M University and Bryan-College Station. Opinions expressed in The Bat talion are those of the editor or the author, and do not necessarily represent the opinions ofTexas A&M Universi ty administrators or faculty members, or of the Board of Regents. The Battalion is published daily during Texas A4. and spring semesters, except for holiday and eam '^ periods. Mail subscriptions are $16.75 per semester, per school year and $35 per full year. Advertising furnished on request. y j Our address: The Battalion, 216 Reed McDom ing, Texas A&M University, College Station ■nr>» United Press International is entitled exc ^ us )) e J ^: use for reproduction of all news dispatches cr ^ Rights of reproduction of all other matter herein re ^ Second class postage paid at College Station, sh CO re m us pe sh C £ mi th. ch tio sin si g sul