Reston Speaks on J.F.K.
New York Times columnist James Reston reported last night the world view as seen from his vantage point in the nation's capital.
Speaking to a Boston College audience, he adopted a definition that calls the cold war "a stuggle to see which system can adjust faster to a changing world."
One of the greatest forces of change are the 16 million people yearly increasing the population of Communist China, Reston asserted. "This alone could be the greatest threat to world peace.
"I am not unaware that I am speaking in a Catholic institution, and that we disagree on the matter of birth control. But in Washington many people are beginning to see that this country is pouring out more and more in foreign aid and that it is getting eaten up just by the growing population. This means that there is no progress."
Reston stressed again and again that the United States must abandon its outmoded habits and bring itself up to data. On this point, he cited the following:
* the integration fight in Mississippi, one of the most tragic cases of conflicting tradition and present facts;
* Congress' senority system, which allows appropriations chairmen of the Senate and House to cut the Executive Department off without a cent while they wrangle about where to hold conferences on the appropriations bill;
* Kennedy's running the government by manipulation instead of education. This is his main problem in trying to get his program through Congress: He tried to force party discipline when he should have taught the nation and the legislature about the need for innovation.
"The present Administration has a tendency to go to the people only when it is in dire trouble," Reston said. "This is not education, but solicitation."