I first heard of John Anderson while reading old Doonesbury cartoons. Trudeau, a vocal liberal, shilled for the moderate Republican-turned-independent John Anderson during his bid for the presidency in 1980. Though Anderson was unsuccessful, his moderate policies and third party candidacy attracted many college students to his cause. Check out this piece from the October 9th, 1980 Collegian which advocates for Anderson as a third party candidate; it smartly represents how an interesting piece of American history was experienced on this campus.
ANDERSON BREAKS GRIP OF POWERFUL PARTISAN POLITICS
by Joe Reagan
In the unusual three way presidential race this fall, the Carter forces have thrown an irresponsible idea at the voters. The claim that a vote for the Independent Candidate John Anderson is in fact a vote for Ronald Reagan. This idea is aimed apparently first to downplay Anderson’s candidacy by denying him the possibility of winning, and then to play on the fear that American moderates and liberals have of Reagan being an extremist. What it actually seems to do is to make voters pick the leader of this nation by choosing the “lesser of two evils.”
First of all are the Carter people correct in making this statement? Opinion polls (accurate as they are) have shown that President Carter would do better in a two way race with Reagan. However, recent events might change those polls. For example, the Liberal party in New York State recently endorsed Anderson and put him on their ticket with the popular Senator Jacob Javits. This action is indicative that liberals would not be able to come to grips with Carter in this election.
What is a vote for Anderson? It is a statement to the political parties in America that we can’t condone the two party system, but rather on the ideal that people vote their consciences and pick the man they feel is best qualified for the job. A vote for Anderson is a vote that issues are more important to us than partisan politics. The idea of a National Unity Campaign transcends party lines to consider the best interests of the county. In short, remember this: a vote for Anderson is a vote for Anderson.
The reverberations of John Anderson’s independent run are still being felt in Gambier as there is a certain freshman whose parents met while working on the campaign in 1980.