Discusses trends in the nominating process and the changes in sectional voting patterns. Briefly mentions the influence of third parties and splinter candidates. Summarizes criticisms of the political convention and the primary system, concluding that the process, whatever its weakness, has proved workable. Considers the influence of television on American elections. (Dynamic Films) Film.
This program considers the role of the president and the significant changes in that role during the past half century. Interviews and discussion also consider the presidential role as administrator of public policy and political leader; the methods used for nomination of candidates for the presidency, and the development of the convention system.
Here, working politicians consider selection and preparation of the convention site, the role of the National Committee in the organization and operation of the convention, the functions of standing committees of the convention, and settlement of disputes in seating of contested delegates.
Discusses the competing interests or "factions" which existed as separate groups before political parties were organized. Explains that today these groups make themselves felt through competition with the parties for power and influence or by trying to gain dominance within a party. (KETC) Kinescope.
Discusses the national party convention as a nominating device. Considers control of the convention, the convention as a "sane" method for choosing candidates, and the nomination of the vice-presidential candidates. (KETC) Kinescope.
Discusses the characteristics of a "good" candidate in terms of age, religion, and home state. Points out that men from populous states stand the best chance of receiving the nomination. Also discusses favorite sons, dark horse candidates, and the nomination of candidates previously defeated.
Mr. Peck opens the program by introducing a film clip which shows the raising of the free Indian flag at the UN. Mr. Talbot, Executive Director of American Universities Field Staff, explains the complexity of India. The discussion begins with a consideration of the Congress Party and its problems since independence, with references to Gandhi and Nehru. It is agreed that a real understanding of India depends on a knowledge of the country’s internal development. A five-minute film illustrates efforts to control malaria and the contrast between old and new methods of agriculture. It is concluded that the best way to fight Communism is to strengthen India internally, rather than press her to declare against Red China.
Mr. Albert Ravenholt, correspondent of the American Universities Field Staff and staff correspondent for the Chicago Daily News, and Dr. George A. Peek, Jr., assistant professor of political science at the University of Michigan and coordinator for the series, focus their first discussion of the "tension areas" in the Far East on Formosa. Mr. Ravenholt, considered one of the nation's best-informed men on the Far East, comments on the important strategic position of Formosa, the complicated internal "police state" condition of the Island, and how the situation affects the United States. He explains that the Chinese communists are building up their forces along the China coastline. They may be planning to attach Formosa directly, to capture the Chinese Nationalist held islands closer to the mainland, or to force a diplomatic settlement concerning the possession of Formosa. The latter would then involve the issues of recognition of Red China and admission of that country into the United Nations. The United States is sending to Formosa economic and military aid totaling three to four million dollars per year, Mr. Ravenholt points out. This aid not only consists of building up the defenses of the Island, but also improving the diet of the Nationalists soldiers, improving their uniforms, constructing air fields and bridges, and making agricultural improvements. Finally, Mr. Ravenholt stresses the need for the U.S. to begin thinking of what kind of support we are willing to extend to the Chinese Nationalists in the event of war, and the need for thinking about the kind of non-communist Chinese leadership which we would like to have evolve in the future.
The British colony of Hong Kong is the second "tension area" discussed by Mr. Ravenholt, Professor Peek, and their guest Dr. John W. Hall, director of the Center for Japanese Studies at the University of Michigan. Describing Hong Kong as a "window in the bamboo curtain," Mr. Ravenholt explains that the colony, made up of 76 islands and a peninsula, is the crossroads of the world where there is fairly free travel across the border into Red China. Here we are able to get a picture of what is happening in Communist China. The picture is not complete, he points out, but we are able to determine general trends in that vast country. It is now becoming apparent, according to Dr. Hall, that China is emerging as a major power for the first time in over 150 years. With this accumulation of power there is a natural "spilling over" into other countries such as North Korea. The grassroots level is the source of this new found power. The Communist Government of China has succeeded in organizing the peasantry. Mass organizations have been established with chapters in every village. Here the leaders are trying to change the Chinese society--trying to make it a community-centered society instead of the traditional family-centered society. The country has also been "westernized" and it now has the largest standing army in the world. Concluding the discussion, Mr. Ravenholt predicts that, in time, Red China will pose as a rival to the Soviet Union.
Discussion of Russia's industry and agriculture and what that means for Russia as a country and its potential threat to the United States. This is the second episode in the series and is the second out of three discussing Russia.
Mr. Peek suggests that the aspect of French politics most familiar and perplexing to Americans is the quick turnover of premiers. Mr. Wit states that this is less important than it seems, for through the rise and fall of twenty Prime Ministers, there were only four foreign ministers. A film shows French involvement abroad, toughing on French internal problems. It is agreed that France is an essential ally but no longer a first-class power. We should assist in bringing her commitment s into balance with her weakened capacity.
One of Miss Fosdick’s key points is that England’s allegiance to the Commonwealth countries comes before her allegiance to her other allies, including the United States. A film shows two of the strongest factors in recent British history –the blitz of London and Churchill. It is agreed that our differences with England are less significant than the policies we have in common and that we can learn a great deal from Britain’s long experience in international diplomacy.
"How stable is their political leadership? How strong is their military power?" Discussion of Russia's political leadership and military power, and what that means for Russia as a country and its potential threat to the United States. This is the first episode in the series and is the first out of three discussing Russia.
A historian and a geographer from the University of Michigan, Professor John W. Hall and Professor George Kish, join Professor Peek and Mr. Ravenholt to discuss the problems of rural Asia. The rural Asiatic situation is summed up simply by saying that in that part of the world there are too many people living on too little land and using primitive methods and equipment. Most of the Asiatic people are living at the subsistence level while many witness starvation yearly. Professor Hall displays pictures he took while in Japan recently to illustrate the primitive buildings that house the Japanese farmer and the outmoded farming methods which these farmers are practicing today. The panel discusses these problems of too little food supply and tremendous population growth. Another problem is the condition of the concentration of land ownership. In the struggle to win this "twilight zone" over to their side, both East and West have social reforms to alleviate this condition. The Soviets offer the idea of collective farming. According to Professor Kish, however, this idea is gradually being replaced by the state ownership plan. The democratic plan, on the other hand, advocates individual ownership of the farm land. In order for this plan to be effective, however, the attitude of the Asiatic farmer must be changed--he must be convinced that he can better himself. Final success, then, depends upon the U.S. exporting skills, techniques and machinery along with financial support to the rural areas of Asia.
Professor Peek, Mr. Ravenholt, and Charles Davis, professor of geography at the University of Michigan and recently returned from the Far East, discuss the nature of the U. S. military aid in the Far East. Mr. Ravenholt points out that the U.S. is sending more military aid to the Far East than to Europe. This aid is directed primarily at Korea, Japan, Formosa, Siam, Indochina, and the Philippines. These six countries are in the "twilight zone," the zone between the bamboo curtain and the U.S. dominated Pacific. Two worlds are vying for this critical area. Members of the panel use two case studies to describe the aid extended to the Philippines and the aid directed toward Formosa. In the Philippines, U. S. officials made many mistakes such as mismanaging guerilla recognition after the war. After 1950 and the outbreak of the Korean War, however, the U.S. reorganized its methods of aid to the new republic and helped the Philippines in their thorough clean up of the Army. By contrast, Formosa has received more U.S. military aid than the Philippines. Here, however, there has been no attempt to educate the people in a democratic fashion or to help give the military the idea of being loyal to a country and a Constitution rather than to an individual. Here the U.S. has been successful in equipping the Island, but not in giving organizational assistance. The panel agrees, that, if we can send military aid and ideals, it is a cheap price for our boys' lives. The Philippine peoples are friendly toward the U.S. because the U.S. aid has been demonstrated to be in their interest. This is not so in other countries. Many of the Asiatic peoples feel they have no control over the American military aid. Ravenholt concludes the discussion by stressing the need for demonstrating that the U.S. aid is in the interest of the people in order for it to succeed.
Professor Peek, Mr. Ravenholt, and Professor John W. Lederle, Director of the Institute of Public Administration at the University of Michigan and recently returned from the Philippines, discuss the questions "How successful has the U.S. been in the Philippines?", "How strategic is the Philippines to the U.S.?", and "What does the future hold for the Philippines?" Since the Islands were ceded by Spain to the U.S. in 1898, the U. S. Government's mission there has been to prepare the people for independence. On July 4, 1946, the 7,150 islands finally became the Philippine Republic, but many problems remain. Lederle explains that the Philippine Government is similar to that of the U.S., but that the central government, with the president in control, is far more powerful than our own Federal Government. This accounts for the weakness at the grassroots level--the apathy of the private citizen toward the government. Mr. Ravenholt points out that the U.S. program to advance the educational system in the Islands has been successful. So, too, the public health program has progressed. However, the economic and social aspects of the situation have not been developed under American guidance. The panel agrees that the Philippine Islands are in a key position in the Far East. Aware of this the U.S. Government has built a large air base and is constructing its largest naval base in the area on Luzon Island. The future potential is great for the Philippines with its undeveloped natural resources, vast timber lands, and some 20 million acres of rich farm land yet to be plowed. It is conceivable that the Philippines could help to feed Japan and India if the Burma rice fields fall under communist control. The Philippines are independent, but the job of the U.S. is not over. New techniques need to be devised to develop the Philippine resources. And Asia is judging America by what happens in the Philippines.
This program stresses two main points: The internal problems of Japan and Japan’s position in the Far East as it affects the United States. A film segment suggests highlights of the history of Japan since World War II, and a second film clip illustrates the conditions of life in Japan, pointing up the great difficulty of such a small country in providing enough food for such an enormous population. It is agreed that the key issue of American policy is how to convert a defeated, completely demilitarized enemy into a strong ally against Communism.
In discussing communism as an internal problem, students from Britain, Norway, India and the Philippines deal in a rather inclusive manner with this difficult issue. In a most lively discussion, the panelists examine the topic from numerous angles, but stress particularly how we can at the same time control communism and protect civil liberties. Whether politicians should deal with internal communism, and whether it would be advisable to outlaw the communist party are also considered. In this connection several related problems are brought to light: Would the party be more difficult to control if it were forced completely underground; would there be danger of confusing liberals and other nonconformists with communists? An attempt is also made to define subversion, and several opinions are presented. Whether or not congressional committees are operating fairly and successfully is also discussed. One student expresses the fear that men may be unnecessarily hurt because of the fact that a committee may publicly suggest that he is guilty of some act, and yet is not empowered actually to establish that guilt or innocence. While much of the discussion centers, around the problem in the United States, several of the students describe what is being done in their own country about the problem, and the point is made that the solution for one country may not necessarily be the answer for another.
The problem of communist aggression is discussed by representatives of India, the Philippines, Korea, and Norway. This discussion concerns itself mostly with the situation in the East, since three of the four panelists come from that region. Much of the discussion involves the recent emergence of strong nationalist tendencies in the far East. The delegate from the Philippines explains how the leaders of these young countries, only recently having gained their independence, are loathe to consider regional federation out of a fear that they will once again sacrifice that independence. Some of the problems facing Korea in her attempts to reunite are also discussed at some length. The problem of admitting Red China into the United Nations is also examined, and the possibility of using that admission as a bargaining point to curtail further aggression, or to obtain some workable solution to the Korean problem. Whether or not Japan should be re-armed, and under whose auspices, is another question the group considers. This raised several interesting viewpoints, particularly the fact that there is still considerable suspicion of Japan by other peoples in that area. There is also much consideration of the role of the United Nations in curtailing aggression, and of whether or not the organization could act more efficiently if more of the Red bloc, such as China, were members.