YR'S AND SDS
To the Editors of the Harvard CRIMSON:
It is said that Republicans are never happier than when they are fighting with each other. I, however, am not at all happy in calling down those of my fellow Republican Club members who crashed the recent SDS election in an attempt to win that organization's co-chairmanship. Their action was not only in poor taste, it went contrary to their stated purpose of "starting a dialogue" with the SDS. If such was their aim, why did not they work through the Republican Club itself and request time to make a friendly challenge to SDS at one of its regular meetings, instead of ridiculing both themselves and the electoral process of last Friday's session?
My chief criticism of SDS is its emphasis on working outside of the political institutions, prefering to picket rather than support sympathetic candidates for office, to jeer at McNamara or Goldberg rather than to encourage a Vance Hartke or Mark Hatfield. Republicans, on the other hand, believe in the wisdom of working within the institutions and have often proven its success. Yet the Club members who pulled last week's travesty violated this principle in making a mockery of the SDS elections. In so doing they immediately tossed themselves in the same political category as the people with whom they wanted "dialogue."
Some distinction was made in your article between a "serious" and a non-serious group of GOP crashers. To my mind there is no difference: both sets showed great political irresponsibility and lack of judgment. Perhaps the best punishment for the so-called "serious candidate" for the co-chairmanship would have been for him to be elected and required to serve!
The Republican Club earnestly seeks to set up free exchanges of opinion with the SDS and others - through debates, panels, policy statements and the like - the better to stir up a politically one-sided Harvard. We do need dialogue but not demagoguery. I hope the chance for such discussion may survive last Friday's unfortunate fracas. Charles G. Untermeyer '68 Vice President Harvard Young Republican Club