Watergate: Moral Corruption

52nd General Assembly
November 1973
New York, NY

Whereas the Board of Trustees of the Union of American Hebrew Congregations condemned Watergate as "shocking evidence of the pervasive moral corruption in American life"; and

Whereas Watergate has become a symbol of a dangerous assault upon the constitutional liberties that have safeguarded the democratic process in America; and

Whereas the constitutional, legal, and political threat to our American liberties has impaired the confidence of the American people in the credibility of our leaders and institutions, including the chief executive of our nation;

Therefore, the Union of American Hebrew Congregations, at this 52nd General Assembly in New York City:

  1. Calls upon the Congress of the United States to adopt stringent legislative curbs on methods of collecting, reporting, and distributing campaign funds;
  2. Commends those news media and their personnel who, despite overt threats by government to silence them, persisted in their efforts to discover and report the truth to the public and applauds also the strong moral stand of Archibald Cox, Elliot Richardson, and William Ruckelshaus in their search for truth and their refusal to be intimidated by political pressure;
  3. Urges our membership to exercise a more active role in the political life of the community, to express their views on these issues, to root out corruption where it is found, to encourage programs aimed at educating the public through the use of town meetings, in order to be involved watchfully in the government of our nation and to seek the election of honest, interested candidates;
  4. Urges its leaders to join with other leaders in all areas of American society to organize a high-level and searching inquiry into the underlying moral condition of American life beyond the immediate political and legal issue of Watergate; and
  5. Calls upon the Congress to take all necessary steps to assert its lawful authority in redressing the excesses of presidential power that have ominously tipped the delicate checks and balances that the Founding Fathers established as the safeguard of our liberties. Then America will again become a nation governed by the rule of law and not the rule of men.