Americans should not be "prostrated with despair but exhilarated by the prospects of Watergate," Rep. John Brademas '49 (D-Ind.) told alumni at a "Law, Politics and the State of the Union" symposium in Lowell Lecture Hall yesterday.
While the alumni filled the hall to hear Brademas, who is the Class of '49 Marshall, and three other speakers, a small group of Harvard printers and protesters gathered outside to voice opposition to the Nixon administration's foreign policy.
The four speakers--Brademas, James P. Vorenberg '49, professor of Law and master of Dunster House; Mass. State Sen. William L. Saltonstall '49; and Robert Healy, executive editor of the Boston Globe--focused their remarks on the Watergate scandal and its possible positive results.
"The most scandalous patterns of corruption in history mark the Nixon administration," Brademas said, "and young people have reacted to it with a sense of skepticism and cynicism."
If students turn away from politics the result will be "more John Ehrlichmans, more H.R. Haldemans and more Richard Nixons," Brademas said. He added that people must renew their awareness that politics has a moral purpose behind winning.
Vorenberg, who works for special Watergate prosecutor Leon Jaworski, said the Watergate period is "making cynics out of trusting believers."
Referring to the picketers outside, Saltonstall said he was glad they were there because everyone should be able to express an opinion on every issue.
"When I see such enthusiasm here at Harvard I think we can turn people on, cure our diseases and see our place of world leadership continue," the Massachusetts Republican said.
Healy, who writes the "Political Circuit" column for the Globe, said it is important to impeach the president so that confidence will be restored to the graduating classes of 1974.