Under the parliamentary system as they have in England, if the government loses a vote in Parliament on a major issue, a general election is called to sustain or change the party in power. The issues may determine the timing of the election, whereas under our American system of presidential elections on fixed dates every four years, the election determines the timing of the issues.
The establishment scenario spelled out early this year called for President Ford to make some conservative noises to placate Republicans in the primaries. As soon as he had defeated Ronald Reagan on four Tuesdays in a row, Ford was then supposed to move safely left in order to appeal to Democrats and Independents.
On his way to left field, President Ford fumbled the ball in North Carolina. The voters were not looking for a Santa Claus to dole out Federal spending. Instead they responded enthusiastically to Ronald Reagan who gave them straight talk about foreign policy, Henry Kissinger, and national defense.
Ford had sailed through the first three primaries pretending that those issues don’t exist and vowing to keep Ilenry Kissinger after the 1976 election. After North Carolina identified the so-called “Kissinger” issues, Ford’s response was to stage a media event reviewing American troops and bragging that he has submitted the two largest defense budgets in peacetime history.
The issue in this election is not whether the defense budget should be 107 billion or 113 billion dollars. The issue is how far have we fallen behind the Russians and how close we are to Soviet attack or blackmail.
Four years ago, Dr. Kissinger told us we were safe because we were ahead of the Soviets in the technology of MIRVs, the multiple warheads on our missiles. But his State Department reversed previous policy and approved the salt. to Moscow of 164 very sophisticated American grinding machines which have enabled the Soviets to produce the guidance mechanism essential for HiflVing the much larger Soviet missile force.
The American people haven’t yet learned all the details of how the Nixon and Ford Administrations have helped the Soviets economically and militarily, but the voters intuitively know that candidate Ronald Reagan is now addressing himself to the really important issues.
He made this clear in his nationwide televised speech last week when he called for “the restoration of American military superiority” and a rejection of the Kissinger policies that have made us inferior to the Soviet Union in both conventional and nuclear weapons.
It probably came as a surprise to many Americans when Reagan stated the unpleasant truth that Soviet missiles are larger, more powerful and more numerous than ours, and that the once-mighty United States is today Number two to the Soviet Union. The Soviets have 50 percent more ICBMs and 50 percent more Polaris-type submarines than we have, plus an Army and Navy twice as large.
The American people must face up to the survival issues articulated in Reagen’s speech. If they do not, Ford will keep Kissinger, and Kissinger will continue negotiating us into a permanent second-best position where we will have to take orders from the Number One superpower, the Soviet Union.