NEW HUMANIST Volume 89 No 2 June 1973
Jector Hawton The Age of Consent
Mlchael De-la-Noy A School in Botswana
^aomi Mitchison Shelter Poems
Leila Berg Recruiting for the IRA
Hadden The Quest for Jesus
A. Wells Art and Polemic
J"eter Spence R° You Know Paul Goodman? 55 Ronald Fletcher Patriarchy is Alive and Well 58 Eva Figes Scientific Failures 59 Ann Dally > Word from Washington 61
cited by Morris Rubin ornething Wrong with Rock
JJ'chael Gray Research Report
f d,tor CHRISTOPHER MACY ^SSgclate Editor ROGER MANVELL l^ltorlal and Publishing Offices Lftlr,yLNQTON HIGH STREET, 01 ?£0N N1 8EL «1*228 7251/2 4 R i? ul0r#: Hatchetts CDP Ltd,
Regent Place, London W1 1 n i lScott * Sons Ltd, Oi.-SSyen*» Inn. London WC2A 2ED a ' 242 6284 and 405 4743
eubscrlption £2.25 post free s S8.75) NZ?!^ class postage paid at " g J o r k Post Office, By r en»berton Publishing Co Ltd 1973
Mr N ixon, after curious delays, has denied that he had any part in the Watergate or in the attempts to conceal it. Others have seemed to contradict him. Does it matter who we believe? Mr N ixon is in the age-old dilemma: either he is a villain or he is a fool. In either case the question must be asked: can he reasonably continue to be President o f the United States o f America? In Britain any minister close to such an affair, whether directly implicated or not, would be honour-bound to resign. Mr N ixon already has two convictions behind him for electoral misconduct and slander. There seems little likelihood that a man with such.a record and such an evident ambition for power is going to give it up easily.
If Mr N ixon was innocent this time, could he continue? In his television broadcast he made play o f taking responsibility but has not acted accordingly, O f course he must be responsible for the actions o f his subordinates, all the more so because they were men recruited directly by his office and by him personally.
There has so far been a huge hesitation in the USA, a shrinking from the prospect o f taking the matter to its conclusion. Somehow, it seems agreed all round, the President must remain above the fight, on the grounds that the personal implication o f Mr N ixon will be harmful to the role and status o f the Presidency, who should be above such matters. But ‘ should’ is not ‘ is’ . Moreover, by placing the Presidency above the realm o f responsibility, above the plane o f ordinary affairs, the Americans are in danger o f equating it with the semi-sacred emperorship o f ancient Rome.
Mr N ix on may indeed see h im self in this ligh t anyway. His pronouncements on national morality have .had a prophetical fervour savouring o f an old testament hounding o f devilish in flu ences which has always characterised Mr Nixon’s career. He also took on as
‘scientific advisor* none other than Mr Billy Graham, the evangelist who several years ago announced that America’ s wealth was a reward from God for national devotion. Indeed those o f Mr Nixon’ s staff who were the first to go were those recruited by him from the ranks o f Californian society which has been attempting to introduce religious indoctrination into the state sch ools and outlaw teaching about the theory o f evolution.
‘When you damage the President you risk damaging the nation’ said the Wall Street Journal. This can only be so if the President is sacred and inviolable, or if his conduct is so normal to the whole nation, that the indictment o f the man is an indictment o f all.
Mr N ixon cannot have it both ways and neither can America. While he and Vice-President Agnew were smearing and denouncing their political opponents as traitorous and immoral, their own party machine was engineering their re-election by means o f a criminal campaign o f telephone tapping, burglary, bribery, forgery, lying and libel. I f Mr Nixon was party to this he should clearly go, and so should Mr Agnew. If he was not, then he was not in control o f his own election machine and o f his own administrative executive. Is it tolerable that the White House executive should be controlled by and responsible to no-one, neither the President nor Congress?