April 18, 1969 CONGRESSIONAL RECORD- SEN ATE S3823
THE GAP Bl1TWEEN THE
Mr. MANSFIELD. Mr. President, 1n
the April 29, 1969, issue of Look magazine
is a.n article entitled "To a.n Angry
Old Man," by Leo Rosten. I have read
the article several times, and I must say
that in my view Mr. Rosten's comments
are to the point of what is happening in
the world today with respect to the relationship
between the older and younger
There have been serious difficulties
among young people, to be sure, but there
has also been a good deal of fanaticism
in reaction. In this situation, there is no
justification for pomposity on the part of
the older generation anymore than there
is for anarchism on the part of the
That there is a gap between the old
and young is an inescapable biological
reality. Nothing can be done about that
except to accept it. That there is a lack
of credibility or of mutual tolerance of
ideas between .the generations is also a
fact. That difference, too, has a certain
inevitability; down through the generations,
it has been more the norm than
the abnorm between old and young.
We need only go back, in all honesty,
to our own younger days to sense the
similarity between past and present.
There were strains and tugs then as there
are now. The principal difference is that
we who are older, now, were younger then
and were doing most of the straining and
The older generation has its faults
which, in my judgment, tend to center on
a shirking of responsibilities toward the
young who, 1n their own way, for better
Q.r for worse, are striving to grapple with
a world which they did not make. The
faults of the younger generation, in tum
seem to me to center on a tendency to
reject whatever has gone before as, at
best, irrelevant. On the part of the miniminorities,
moreover, there is an apparent
determination not merely to reject
the past but to rampage over past, present.
and future and reduce them all to
a rubble heap.
What is needed is a realistic appraisal
of the situation. The present generation
of youngsters was bom into a world
which they did not make and which we
elders helped to make. These kids are not
to be dismissed as some sort of monsters
from another planet. They are, after all,
our progeny. If we start from that point,
perhaps we can bridge the gaps between
the generations with a degree of honesty
and humility, even if we cannot close
I would also have the temerity to suggest
to young people that they resist the
temptation to blame everything on the
previous generation. Those of us who are
older should, in tum, act our age and
stop the flatulent berating of youngsters
when we ourselves are not without
blame. Young people have to make their
own lives. They ha.ve to find a way to
face the responsibilities which go with
life. They have to make a.nd correct their
own mistakes along with the accumulated
mistakes of the past and, 1n that way, to
come forward, as we tried in our tum to
do, with a responsible a.nd reasonable
way of life of their own.
I urge my colleagues to read Mr. Rosten's
article. In my judgment, he has
a lot to say that is worth saying about
the diffi.culties which confront us and
about our most profound obligationyoung
and old~which is to keep this
society, this Nation and this world livable
not only for ourselves but for those
many generations which will come after
Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent
to have printed in the REcORD the
article entitled "To an Angry Old Man,"
written by Leo Rosten.
There being no objection, the article
was ordered to be printed in the REcoRD
To AN ANGRY OLD MAN
(NoTE.-! could massage your heartstrings
or curl your hair, depending on your polltics,
by quoting !rom the torr en tlal reaction
(laudatory, furious, flattering, venomous)
to my evangelical letter To an Angry
Young Man (Look, November 12, 1968). Before
it was printed, a friend urged me to
soften my stand, saylng. "It may play into
the hands of the Right!" And of the sermon
you are about to read, others may
say, "It will play into the hands o! the
(Both positions seem to me !nde!ens!ble.
Surely, the validity of an Idea has nothing
to do with who agrees or disagrees with it.
To censor the expression of your thinking
because of whom It may please or displease
!s simply to let others do your thinking for
you. I detest thought control. Here, sans
apology, is my answer to some overheated
letter writers from the Right.)
DEAR Mn. X: Thank you for writingand
that's about all the thanks you'll get from
me. You say, "Let's throw all these young
rebels out of college!" Over my dead body.
Free speech does riot stop at the gates o!
a campus. On the contrary, it should find a
special sanctuaty there, for it is Indispensable
to the search !or truth. A student has
a perfect right to protest, picket, petition,
dissent. When students riot, set fires, throw
rocks, stop others from attending classes,
use bullhorns to disrupt the peace--they are
acting not as students but as hoodlums.
Let the law attend to them-the swifter
But you want students "thrown out"
simply for protesting, which !s what the
Communist& and Fascists do-from Russia
to Spain, China to Cuba. They expel, intimIdate
or imprison those who question or
complain. Don't emulate them.
You say, "Draft these college punks Into
the Army and let our GI's knock sense
into their heads!" You horrify me. I don't
want anyone to "knock sense" into anyone's
head. To put the point sharply, I quote a
great jurist: "Your freedom to move your
fist ends at the point where my nose begins."
I have a long nose.
As !or the draft: I consider the present
draft Impractical, unnecessary and morally
Indefensible (it would take more than this
page to explain why. The young have every
right to speak, petition and argue against it
(thls has nothing to do with Vletnam)peacefully.
"Why let these creeps wear stinking clothes
and beards? Line them up, hold them down,
bathe them, shave them, wash out their
mouths with soap!!" I loathe your bullyboy
views more than their childish filght into
dirtiness. Kooky clothes break no laws
(though courts have ruled on schoolboard
regulations governing dress, hair, etc.).
Young slobs pollute the nearby air--but the
courts have not yet ruled on th!l!t·
The defiant cultivation of filth lS, of course,
a clinical sign o! psychological disturbance.
I feel sorry !or the kids who canntlt know the
psychological price they wlll pay for re-greasing
to the anal level. But your excees1ve
response to the dirty Is as dl.etaatetul to me
1\11 their sad glortt!.catlon at dl.5comtort disguised
You pmlse me tor "spealrlng out tor thooa
studenta who are not newsworthy because
they don't riot" end add: "Defend our wonderful
Establishment!" Well, the only El!tabUshment
I defend Is the one called Reason.
I find violence abhorrent, !ana tlclsm disgusting,
and demagoguery unspeakable. The
terrorist tactics o! adolescents may pe.rade as
"ldeal!sm," but they shatter that consensus o!
clvlllty that Is the very heart at a clvlllzat!
on. Your blind veneration or the statUs quo
cannot help us solve problems that must
and can be solved-by intelligence, not force.
You ask, "What do students have to be so
unhPppy about in our colleges?" A great
deal: gargantuan classes and bursting dormitories;
professors who hate teaching because
lt interferes with their research: educator-
bureaucrats who reward the publication
of trivia much more than dedication to
students and teaching; academic tenure.
which encourages some pedants to "goo! off"
in lectures and subsidizes others to Indulge
their nonacademic hobbles.
But this does not mean we should turn
our colleges over to self-dramatiZing mll!tants
whose most conspicuous talent ls a
capacity to oversimplify problems whose
complexity they do not begin to comprehend.
Rabble-rousers (Right or Left) are rabblerousers,
no matter what songs they sing, with
what lumps in their throats, with whatever
ambiguous dream.s in their eyes. Na.z:l students
also flaunted "rights" they held superior
to the lawful processes of "hypocrltiool."
"fake" democracy-and many of their professors,
ln Germany and Austria, cheered
Rebels who think they shoUld prevail because
they dissent are deluded: Dissenters
have no greater moral of pol! tical rights than
You n.sk, "What has basically bugged these
hippies, anyway?" First. their parents, I suspect,
who confused pol!tlcal l!berallsm with
lndeclslveness: who felt so guilty about discipline
that they appeased temper tantrums
and rewarded rage with concessions (forgetting
that infants want boundaries placed on
their freedom); who never gave their progeny
a clear model of responsible conduct. I think
many militant students are unconsciously
searching for adults who will act as adults-without
apology or ambivalence or guilt;
adults who will not be bamboozled by adolescent
irrationality; adults who respond
with swift rebuffs to those challenges to authority
that are, at bottom, a testing by the
young of the moral confidence of their elders.
Pro!. David R!esman says we are witnessing
the rebellion of the first gGneratlon in history
"who were picked up whenever they
You say, "Why not show the young how
wonderful our education system Is?" It ls
remarkable in what it has done (the greatest,
widest mass education ln history) and in
what it can achieve. But I hold a very gloomy
view about schools that can produce students
(and teachers) who are so strikingly
ignorant about (1) how this society actually
works; (2) what the economic bases o! a democracy
must be; (3) what the Irreplaceable
foundations of freedom, and the Inviolable
limits of clvU liberties, must be; (4) how
conflicts between minorities and majorities
must be managed. (Suppose that Ku Klux
Klanners in Alabama occupied classrooms,
asserted the right to appoint faculty, threatened
to burn down buildings, and demanded
total amnesty In advance?)
Immature students are mesmerized by utopian
slogans that rest on fantasies: and they
are ill-educated enough to mouth the obsolete
cliches of anarchism, the "revolutionary"
nostrums even Lenin called "lnfant!le
leftism," the grandiose " demands" that
demonstrate a plain lack of sense and a massive
ignorance of hist>ory. ("Student power"
Mike Mansfield Papers, Series 21, Box 44, Folder 71, Mansfield Library, University of Montana
S3824 CONGRESSIONAL RECORD- SENATE April 18, 1969
has simply ruined South and Central AmerIcan
You ask, "Why doesn't anyone brand these
troublemakers as the Communists they
are?!" That organizers plan and foment
trouble, going from campus to campus, ts
becoming clearer each day. That they are
professed Communists Is neither clear nor
likely. Student Incantations about Ho Chi
Minh, Che and Mao are not so much evidence
of Communism as of na~vete. The young enjoy
baiting their elders .wtth shocking symbols,
and Ignore what Che, Ho and Mao stand
for-total despotism over the mind. Dictatorship
Is no less vicious because It claims to
seek "superior" freedom.
Students who are not Communists are,
a.Ja.s, employing CommunlstjFa.sclst tactics:
"confrontations" designed to force the authorities
to call In the pollee--and then to
force the pollee to use force, which ls decried
(and telev1sed) and used for propaganda.
purposes. They dare not reflect on
wh&t Mao has done to the Chinese "student
cadres" he encouraged; or on what happens
to students who criticize the Establishment
In Moscow or Havana.
You say, "Professor Marcuse should not be
a.llowed to teach at San Diego!" Dr. Marcuse
has a. right to say or wrt te whatever he
wants-however mushy, opaque, unsupported
by data, Insupportable In logic and
ludicrous as economics It Is. His competence
and Integrity a.s a. teacher are for his colleagues--
not you or me--to decide. And If
San Diego has no professors who are able to
punch holes In old Herbert's gaseous balloons,
It should promptly hire some.
Incidentally, Marcuse, like you, wants to
deny freedom of speech to "certain" people;
you and he differ only on whom you want to
confer the blessings of dictatorship: Ma.rcuse
has publicly said (at Rutgers, June, 1965)
that since Negroes are "brainwashed," and
pre~~umably vote In a hypnotized manner, "I
would prefer that they did not have the
right to choose wrongly." Such thinking 1\lls
prisons and concentration camps.
Finally, to my angry old and young compatriots:
It we cannot pursue knowledge
with moderation and mutual respect In our
colleges, then where on earth can we? "Society
cannot exist," wrote Burke, "(without]
a controlling power upon will .... The less of
It there 18 within, the more there must be
without ... Men of intemperate minds cannot
be free. Their passions forge their
P.S.-Once, after long and sober research, I
estimated that 23.6% of the human race are
ma.d. I was wrong. I am now convinced that
Mr. AIKEN subsequently said: Mr.
President, I rise, first, to express my
wholehearted agreement with the remarks
of the Senator from Montana
(Mr. MANSFIELD), the majority leader,
which were made at the beginning of the
I would like to add further, however,
that I hope the public is not condemning
the youth of today. In my opinion, it Is
a very small percentage of youth, the
lawless and the extremists, who undertake
to commit acts and demonstrations
which could lead to a breakdown of government,
or at least to a breakdown in
the management of the colleges and universities
which they are attending.
Unfortunately, it is the worst element
that gets most of the publicity. Sometimes
I think this worst element monopolizes
the news media. I am sure that 90
percent of youths attending college or
other educational institutions today are
seriously concerned not only with the
functioning o! their government but also
with their own welfare and the welfare o!
the world generally.
Furthermore, it is not always the students
who create dltncultles. Sometimes
it is the management of the institutions.
I am sure of that. Sometimes it is members
of the faculty. I might point out
that a few days ago I read a report that
the faculty of Tufts College voted to do
away with the ROTC, when a .:-reat majority
of its students asked that the
ROTC be retained.
I feel that we should be very careful,
and not condemn the great majority of
law-abiding students for the reckless and
irresponsible acts of a small percentage
Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent
to have printed at the conclusion of
my remarks an excerpt from the annual
report of Lyman S. Rowell, president of
Vermont University, entitled "The Challenge
to Our Nation's Colleges and Universities."
There being no objection, the excerpt
was ordered to be printed in the RECORD,
THE CHALLENGE TO OUR NATION'S COLLEGES
(Excerpt from the annual report of Lyman S.
Rowell, president of the University of Vermont)
Colleges and universities all across our
country are being challenged by new and
sometimes conflicting forces.
Students have made clear they are not
satisfied with colleges the way they are,
at the same time that they compete In ever
greater numbers and ever greater Intensity
to enter college.
Perhaps unfairly, those students who have
made the most noise, who have been most
disruptive, and who are least representative,
least sincere In their desire to win constructive
changes-those students have won most
of the headlines, most of the focus of television
Less known to those constituencies who are
not closely associated with college life today
are the more significant efforts of a majority
of today's students to obtain a meaningful
and constructive dialogue by which they may
work with administrators and faculty to
make the college and university of today anc',
tomorrow a better, more responsive Institution.
Perhaps It Is wrong to limit this to college
and university students, for toda.y's high
school students are very much a. part of this
Traditionally, faculty members have
tolerated administrators as, at best, necessary
evils. Today, teachers are more concerned
with participating In the administration of
colleges and universities. They are seeking
membership on board or trustees, participation
In all levels of decision making Including
key roles In the selection of college presidents.
Part of the renewed action by teachers for
a greater role Is the result of an awakened
understanding by teachers that st·.idents are
often more critical of faculty rules and regulations
and attitudes than they are of college
and unlveTslty administrators.
Students wish to participate In faculty
evaluation, ln changing curricula, and-In
particular, In tn·•roduclng more courses reflecting
current social and political concerns.
Colleges and universities are being challenged
as well by a. free enterprise society
which more than ever recognizes a dependency
on U.S. higher education not just for
a continuing supply of recruits, but for a.
growing program o! research and service. Any
county, state or regional development orga-nlzo.
tlon can 1\ttest that bualneM and Industry
today more than ever prefer to locate
In communities, countlee, states or regions
where there are strong higher education Institutions--
preferably with graduate and research
Perhaps the greatest challenge to higher
education today comes from government-from
the smallest loca.l to the largest f!lQeral
unit. More and more do governments
look to higher education to provide resources
which government may bring to bear on the
most pressing array of problems which society
At the same time, the rising costs which
have affected all sectors and a.ctlvltles of our
free en terprlse economy have greatly complicated
the relationship between government
and education. At the same time that
education Is seen as a. cornerstone upon
which continued freedom and prosperity rest,
the cost of funding quality progrsms of education
from kindergarten through post-doctora.
l levels haa Increased and will continue
to do so.
The federal government, since WWII, has
Invested vast new sums ln support of higher
education. This support, howeveT, has tended
to go to areas and programs at special Interest
to the Congress and to the President
and the men and women In this Cabinet. It
has tended, as well, to go to the nation's largest
and strongest universities.
It Is significant, I think, that In November
seven major U.S. higher education associations
joined ln urging direct federal lnstl tutlonal
grants to all accredited higher education
Institutions, public and private, two
year and four, colleges and universities. Their
statement, which I endorse, ca.lled Institutional
support "the number one unmet need
In the pattern of federa.l relations with the
academic community," and said a. new program
of Institutional grants should complement,
not supplant or diminish present federal
Never has our future been more uncertain.
But I choose to Interpret that positively.
Never have we enjoyed a greater opportunity
to seek and find In an uncertain future those
certainties which advance the continuing potential
that tomorrow's children shall have
a greater opportunity than today's.
Mike Mansfield Papers, Series 21, Box 44, Folder 71, Mansfield Library, University of Montana
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