For All Nails #48: A Near-Run Thing
C-PAN's National Election Vitavision Debate
8 February 1973
My fellow North Americans and my friends,
I thank the moderator, Mr. Agnello, for his service, and I thank both of my opponents for a spirited debate and a contest conducted to the highest standard. Our debate tonight has made one thing very clear. I could go on at some length about how our government has made our nation the most prosperous, best educated, and healthiest in the history of the world. And that would all be true. But I will not say those things FN1, because I would be criticized, and rightly so, on the ground that all our achievements are for nought if our nation is not secure. And tonight, my friends, we are not secure. Several nations have the capability of exploding atomic bombs anywhere in the world, and several others, including our great neighbor, are developing that capability. Our world is beset by conflicts between nations and within nations, conflicts that could bring the atomic powers into tragic confrontation. And finally, I must admit, our military was unable to successfully carry out the intervention mission assigned to it last month, and thousands of our soldiers are dead, wounded, missing, or taken prisoner.
The only real issue tonight, then, is how our nation should deal with our new insecurity. One the one hand, Professor Volk has told you that others' atomic bombs are no threat to us, as such a weapon has no rational use in war, particularly given our own ability to retaliate. We should act solely on the diplomatic and economic fronts, he says, since any military action is necessarily counterproductive. I honor Professor Volk's idealism, but I am afraid that we do not live in an ideal world. Even if atomic weapons cannot be used in war, other weapons can and will be. We need a non-atomic military second to none, and as I have pledged tonight a new People's Coalition government will build that military. Our troops in Puerto Rico were not cowards, nor was the failure theirs. There was a failure of organization, planning, and intelligence, for which I have accepted full responsibility. As I outlined earlier tonight, we are undertaking a top-to-bottom review of all military procedures and increasing spending on new weapons, old weapons, logistics, and training. Yes, we will act diplomatically and economically as Professor Volk recommends, but under our government any power who confronts us militarily will find us ready for any eventuality.
But what of my other opponent's arguments? Governor Skinner also pledges to reform our military, and says that since the ultimate failure in Puerto Rico was mine, that he rather than I should be trusted to lead this reform. He promises to 'raise our profile on the global stage', as he puts it. To hear Governor Skinner tell it, all the CNA has to do is let out a loud enough holler, and the rest of the world will come to us like hogs to the feeding trough FN2. The European powers FN3 will give over their efforts to expand their influence in the Western Hemisphere. The developing countries of the Far East will open their doors to our goods, but will cheerfully allow us to keep our own door closed to theirs. The Jeffersonistas in Puerto Rico will tremble at our wrath, and hand over our men without a murmur of dissent. Our great neighbor will cease its attempts to harness atomic power, and meekly accept a place among the lesser nations of the world.
Now, Governor, I've greatly appreciated the colorful country expressions you've used in the campaign, and I've got one for you. My daddy back in Dickinson County, SV FN4 was a hog farmer by trade, and he always used to say to me, "Don't never slop the swine in your go-to-meeting shoes". FN5 Slopping the swine is a tricky business, and there are no simple answers down there in the waller -- you've got to be ready to get down in the muck and do the job right. Now I wish that I could believe that Governor Skinner was ready to get down in the waller that this dirty world sometimes amounts to. But he's still got his go-to-meeting shoes on -- if his proposals don't work out nice and clean, what's he gon' do with those shoes down in the muck? FN6
There is a sensible middle course, my fellow North Americans, between the rash actions of inexperience and the unrealistic expectations of lofty idealism. It is the course of tested leadership that has earned the trust that is the birthright of the citizens of our great Confederation. It is the course of Ezra Gallivan and of Perry Jay, the course of the long proud history of the People's Coalition, the course of prosperity at home and of prudent initiative abroad. It is the course that I have followed as your Governor-General, and the course that I will continue to follow if you will honor me with your votes. May God bless the Confederation of North America.
|State||Monaghan (PC)||Skinner (L)||Volk (PJP)|
|1968||. . . .||1973|
|Total Northern Confederation||16||10||9||10||11||14|
First Ballot Council Vote for GG, 24 Feb 1973:
70 PC's vote 58 for Monaghan, 12 abstentions
57 Liberals vote for Skinner
23 PJP's vote for Volk
Second Ballot Council Vote for GG, 25 Feb 1973:
70 PC's vote 67 for Monaghan, 3 abstentions
57 Liberals vote for Skinner
23 PJP's vote 14 for Volk, 9 for Monaghan
Carter Monaghan is reelected GG with 76 votes.
The nine PJP votes for Monaghan were 8 from the NC (6 NY, MA, RI), 1 from IN. All are allies of Brooklyn mayor Miriam Levine. Soon after the GG vote first-term Councilor Vernor Dean of NY province is elected PJP floor leader by a 14-9 vote (he is endorsed publicly by Mason and Volk).
The deal puts Sir Benjamin Anthony, the distinguished jurist from All Politics is Local, currently a PJP provincial chairman and widely respected as a civil rights FN7 activist, as chief of the CBI (the CNA has the CBI report directly to the GG rather than through the Attorney General/Justice Minister). Sir Benjamin has full authority to investigate any past wrongdoing by the CBI under former head Timothy Liddy, who resigned "for personal reasons". (I hope we may see backdated vignettes of such wrongdoing, from Carlos or otherwise.) Liddy is rumored to have become head of the "black" foreign intelligence service of the CNA, an organization whose existence is not publicly acknowledged. (Overt foreign intelligence is the mission of both the CBI and divisions of each of the military branches.)
Monaghan also pledges to the PJP Nine that he will continue with his announced peace initiatives. The Nine pledge in return to support the government's first-year defence bill (increased funding, reorganization, reform commission) without reservation, and informally not to bring down the government in the foreseeable future (two years?).
BTW, a vote of no confidence would lead to a midterm election if either the outgoing GG wanted one or the outgoing Council were unable to agree on a new GG. This would be the constitutional crisis that Jay avoided when Mason went gaga, by waiting for the next regular election. Clearly Monaghan is now left hanging by a thread -- after this deal and the campaign preceding it he can now kiss away the option of a national unity government with Liberal support...
(thanks to Johnny Pez for considerable help with the speech)
David Mix Barrington
(Proceed to Fallout.)
(Proceed to In the Muck.)
(Return to For All Nails.)