October 1969

Student calls Moratorium Day "lunacy"

   I was dismayed, disgusted, and deeply dismayed by the October 15 moratorium day observed by Vietnam dissenters and by the prevailing attitudes and opinions held by a large number of its participants.
   The moratorium's meaningless irresponsibility, hypocrisy, undemocratic methods and lack of respect for government leaders deserve condemnation.
   Assuming the American people and government now would both like to see American troops leave Vietnam raises the question on how the demonstrators differ from the nondemonstrators. While feelings of the desirability of leaving are similar, proposed courses of action differ only with the rate of troop withdrawal and even this had become fairly minimal.
   Yet, unfortunately, today's demonstrators were not gracious victors and persist in bitter tirades, failing to acknowledge government concessions, and forever attempting to drive the government into total subservience; forcing the government to fulfill every iota of their demands.
   Complete intimidation through show of numbers and disruptive tactics seem to be the strategy of today's demonstrators.
   While professing belief in true democracy, and claiming the use of democratic tactics, demonstrators and their leaders show an appalling lack of knowledge of basic democratic principles and through ignorance, feigned or real, threaten the foundations of the most democratic nation on earth.
   Undoubtedly the most revolting action of many demonstrators is their attempt to organize an increasing number of moratorium days each month until the government capitulates. This is not democracy. This is not the rule of the majority. This is mob rule, dictation of policy by the most fanatical, vociferous minority. It is the lowest form of brazen coercion humanly possible.
   Government exists for the people, but not to follow their opinion in every whim and fancy. Citizens are elected to government positions because of the people's faith in their character and belief in their ability to carry out the role of government.
   In the holding of mass rallies, the circulating of nationwide petitions, and having observances such as the moratorium day demonstrators imply they, as the people, are being wronged because the government is not heeding their cry. Apparently they feel George Gallup would be better as president than President Nixon. The role of government is to lead not to follow.
   The lunacy of the moratorium is further revealed when it is recalled exactly what had been happening in Vietnam in the weeks prior to the day. President Nixon had announced the withdrawal of 60,000 men with the prospect that more were to follow. The death rate had reached lows of less than 100 for three consecutive weeks and a lull in fighting had become pronounced.
   Hubert Humphrey, last election's Democratic presidential candidate, had announced approval of Nixon's Vietnam policy. With such facts in mind, one wonder's why the moratorium day was held at all.