Nation: Summons to a New Cause

PRESIDENT Nixon's State of the Union message illustrated anew how swiftly a once radical idea can become national consensus and good politics. Only a few years ago, the notion that the quality of life in America is not good enough, and that the U.S. is wantonly despoiling its physical environment was the concern mainly of left-wing critics, grumpy academics and dedicated conservationists well out of the mainstream of U.S. politics. Yet last week the President effectively moved to assume personal command of the gathering battle for a better environment.

Eloquently limning the broad goals for the 1970s, summoning Americans to a new...

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