In the history of both the University and the country, the months since September, 1953, have been anything but uneventful. The proprietors of the CRIMSON editorial columns try to keep up a running commentary on both scenes, an experience traumatic, but nevertheless Invigorating. For the benefit of returning alumni and others who wish to review our policy over the months, here is a summary:
Fall of 1952 brought with it the most enthusiastic election campaign in twelve years. The CRIMSON jumped into one corner early. On October 6, the full board voted to support Adlai E. Stevenson for President, saying
"We support Stevenson because his views are a matter of earnest, intelligent thought and his record a matter of its honest application. He has shucked liberalism of its blind dogmatism and left only what is good. . . . Many thought it would be Eisenhower who would freshen up American politics, but he has only added to its staleness. . . . By making rapprochements (with Jenner and McCarthy), Eisenhower has strained the theory of political unity to the point of dissolution.
In Massachusetts, the CRIMSON split its ticket to support Christian Herter for Governor and Henry Cabot Lodge '24 for Senator.
In the course of detailing the issues of the campaign, the CRIMSON had this to say about Asian policy:
"An invasion of China would consume hordes of men and millions of dollars in an operation which . . . would be fruitless. In the battle's midst, the public would sicken of the drain and the campaign would grind to a farcical halt. . . . Using Chiang would be employing a discredited army and a has-been who is considered reactionary and dictatorial throughout the Far East. It would . . . burden this county with the worst sort of albatross."
And on Communists in government:
"What has always been the most curious to us is the undoubted fact that a number of Communists in government has never been more than a handful, a fraction of the numbers which have been assaulting France and Italy for years in vain. . . . It is natural to be troubled by the idea of foreign agents in one's government, but . . . it is well, now and then, to apply the test of pragmatism to vexed ideological issues: an Everest of feathers may turn out to weight only a few pounds."
The CRIMSON, having supported Secretary Acheson's policies all along, summed up its opinion of him at the start of the new year:
"One of the nation's finest Secretaries of State left office last week. . . . Between his becoming undersecretary and now, the free world was forced to recognize the danger of modern Russia. As Secretary, Acheson was the one primarily responsible for solving the vast problems that appeared during the transition from hope to reality. He had to set the very premises of foreign policy.
"People who have not seen the dangers in meeting craft and patience with breast-beating and haste, have attacked the Secretary because he forebore a Damn-the-Torpedoes search for quick results. . . . The Republicans may make fewer mistakes and they may even have more dramatically final victories to display four years from now. But regardless of their fortunes, they begin with an advantage over their predecessors: a solid foundation to build on. For this, the Republicans can thank the man they have attacked so wildly during the last four years, Dean Acheson."
Soon after the election furor arose a new one, over investigations into education, which tied up Harvard and the nation so closely that the CRIMSON wrote, in all, seven editorials on different phases of it. The CRIMSON, while gradually recognizing the inevitability of the investigations as a sop to public opinion, has consistently opposed the men and methods of their conduct. On January 15, we said:
"Education has a disease worth investigating, but it is not too many Communist teachers. Their number is so small that it constitutes no menace to a society already so zealously anti-Communist. What, ought to be investigated is the number of teachers terrified of purges and investigation, of men who cower and bootlick and teach less than they know because they are in danger of losing their jobs if anybody so much as points an accusing finger at them. When teachers start to withhold knowledge, it's time for students to stop going to school."
"Rather than have either Senators or Congressmen plunge into colleges like so many amateur sleuths, President Eisenhower might appoint a group of distinguished lawyers and judges officially unaffiliated with universities to do the investigating. Such a committee would have a better idea of just what is a subversive influence, and they wouldn't scream every unconfirmed rumor into a banner headline."