The Nixon Administration is "abusing economic privilege" and "torturing the political process to protect its own interests," Allard K. Lowenstein, former New York Congressman, told a Winthrop House audience last night.
"No administration can win on this kind of record," he said. "So the Nixon Administration orchestrates lies."
Speaking on "Watergate and Political Integrity" before more than 300 students at the House dinner, Lowenstein decried Nixon's "sabotage of the electoral process."
"Watergate was an interplay of privileged people playing on the needs of Americans," he said. "To protect economic privilege, the Nixon Administration engaged in tricks."
Lowenstein related Nixon's handling of water pollution, housing needs and the Indochina war to his handling of the Watergate case.
"There is a lack of understanding in the White House of what it is to be a victim," Lowenstein said.
"The United States wasn't supposed to be in Laos. But people who lie about bugging can lie about bombing," he said.
"The Administration lies about Laos, lies about waterbugs. It lies, lies and lies."
The Nixon Administration that "came out saying we shouldn't be soft on criminals," now asserts "we should have compassion for criminals," Lowenstein said, citing an announcement made by Nixon adviser Henry A. Kissinger '50 last month. Kissinger sought "compassion" for the persons connected with the Watergate break-in.
"This Administration has no compassion for the bombing victims in Cambodia. It has no compassion for the poor or the unemployed. And now they ask us for compassion," Lowenstein said.
He warned against students believing that "all politicians are the same as Nixon."
"There is no excuse for people to feel discouraged," he said. "It's your choice if you are cynical and believe that all politicians are alike."
He asked students to "assess the future and what contributions could be made."
"I am hopeful you [the students] can better the situation. You have an obligation to reverse the direction of society. You must offer compassion where compassion is really needed," he said.
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