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He was a professor of political science for 16 years before coming to this body, an outstanding lecturer, and prolific author.
When he died, I said: JOHN was a teacher of government before he came to the Senate, and I for one learned a great deal from him during the years he was with us. He wore his learning gently, and was in every sense a gentle man whose kindness and thoughtfulness will be so much missed.
And it is.
And we are not alone in missing him. Six years after JOHN left East Carolina University's political science department to become a U.S. Senator, admiring students kept asking whether he would return to teach. Popular teachers are not always, or even often, recognized among their faculty peers as educators. John East was having twice received excellence in teaching awards by his university.
His scholarly work demonstrates breadth of subject matter, serious thought, and discipline generating a steady stream of articles ranging from foreign policy to philosophy to the conservative revival in American intellectual life. The forthcoming book is a reprisal of earlier essays of political theory.
He was uncomplaining, self-reliant, tough. His law degree, masters and Ph.D., and his success in academe were all earned after a bout with polio left him confined to a wheelchair.
When his February 3, 1981, maiden floor speech was not delivered in strict compliance with Senate rules, the freshman from Greenville was simple and matter of fact. He said, “Senator John P. East did not stand while speaking because he was not physically able to do so."
To JOHN, his handicap was a fact of life, a fact without political significance and correctly so. Those of us who remember him can never appreciate the pain he endured. We just know it did not deter him from his duties here.
It was not always easy. Architecturally, we were not quite ready, and modifications to the Capitol were needed. But JOHN was ever patient, positive, helpful, constructive. “You cannot constantly be waiting for the world to be perfect for you,” he said.
John's life was a lesson to us all. A wonderful legacy for a man whose life's work was, after all, teaching.
Elizabeth and I join our colleagues in sending our love and deep sympathy to Sis and her two daughters, Kathryn and Martha. Our thoughts and prayers are with them.
Mr. President, JOHN East's numerous accomplishments are summerized in a curriculum vitae which includes a list of his publications. I ask that it be inserted in the Record.
There being no objection, the material was ordered to be printed in the Record, as follows:
CURRICULUM VITAE OF JOHN PORTER EAST
B.A. (Political Science), Earlham College, 1953; LL.B. (Law), University of Illinois, 1959; M.A. (Political Science), University of Florida, 1962; Ph.D. (Political Science), University of Florida, 1964.
(1) Lieutenant, United States Marine Corps, 1953-1955.
(3) United States Senator, 1980-1986. Committee Assignments: Committee on the Judiciary: Subcommittee on the Separation of Powers, Chairman; Subcommittee on Courts, Chairman; Subcommittee on Administrative Practice and Procedure; Subcommittee on Security and Terrorism. Committee on Armed Services: Subcommittee on Manpower and Personnel, Subcommittee on Military Construction, Subcommittee on Preparedness. Committee on Energy and Natural Resources: Subcommittee on Energy Conservation and Supply, Subcommittee on Energy Regulation, Subcommittee on Energy Research and Development. Committee on Labor and Human Resources: Subcommittee on Labor, Subcommittee on Education, Subcommittee on the Handicapped.
(1) Membership in Phi Beta Kappa, Phi Kappa Phi, Pi Sigma Alpha.
(2) First place winner, law school Moot Court Competition (oral presentations and written briefs required).
(3) Recipient of a three year National Defense Fellowship for graduate study.
(4) Twice received "excellence-in-teaching” awards by East Carolina University.
(5) Among other directories, listed in: American Men of Science (Behavorial and Social Science Section); Who's Who in the South and Southwest; Who's Who.
(6) Member of the editorial boards of The Political Science Reviewer and Modern Age.
(7) Awarded a $4,700 Sum Fellowship Research Grant by the Earhart Foundation of Ann Arbor, Michigan.
PROFESSIONAL ORGANIZATIONS (CURRENT AND PREVIOUS)
(1) American Political Science Association.
(1) Book Reviews: numerous reviews published.
(2) Books: Council-Manager Government: The Political Thought of its Founder, Richard S. Childs. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1965. The American Conservative Movement: Its Philosophical Founders. Chicago: Regnery Gateway. (Forthcoming, currently in galley form).
"Pragmatism and Behavioralism," Western Political Quarterly, Vol. XXI, (December, 1968).
“Containment—The Military Imperative," The New Guard, Vol. IX, (February, 1969). Reprinted in Freedman Leonard (ed.) Issues of the Seventies. Belmont, California: Wadsworth Publishing Company, Inc., 1970.
"Conservatism and College Teaching," The New Guard, Vol. X, (May, 1970). Reprinted in the Wall Street Journal and elsewhere.
“Student Radicalism and Moral Authority,” Politics 1970, Vol. 1, (May, 1970).
"Campus and the Vietnam War,” The New Guard, Vol. X, (October, 1970).
“Intellectual Decline on the American Campus," Universitas, Vol. 11, No. 3, (November, 1971). Reprinted in Widening Horizons, Human Events, and elsewhere.
“The Political Relevance of St. Augustine,” Modern Age, Vol. XVI, (Spring, 1972).
"A Lesson in the 'New Politics'," Human Events, Vol. XXXIII, No. 29, (July 15, 1972).
“The Professor and His Identity Crisis," Universitas, Vol. III, No. 2, (October, 1972).
“The Political Thought of Willmoore Kendall,” The Political Science Reviewer, Vol. III, 1973.1
“The Conservation of Frank Straus Meyer," Modern Age, Vol. XVIII, (Summer, 1974). 1
"Richard M. Weaver: The Conservation of Affirmation," Modern Age, Vol. XIX, (Fall, 1975).1
"Leo Strauss and American Conservatism," Modern Age, Vol. XXI, (Winter, 1977).
“Eric Voegelin and American Conservative Thought," Modern Age, Vol. XXII, (Spring, 1978). 1
"American Conservative Thought: The Impact of Ludwig von Mises," Modern Age, Vol. XXIII, (Fall, 1979). 1
"The American Conservative Movement of the 1980's: Are Traditional and Libertarian Dimensions Compatible?" Modern Age, Vol. XXIV, (Winter, 1980).
"The Conservative Mission,” Modern Age, Vol. XXV, (Fall, 1981).
“Political Theory and Ideology," The Intercollegiate Review, Vol. XVII, No. 2, (Spring/Summer, 1982).
"Russell Kirk as Political Theorist,” Modern Age, Vol. XXVIII, (Winter, 1984)."
Mr. GRAMM. Mr. President, it is with great sadness that we mourn the passing of Senator John East of North Carolina and recognize the magnitude of the loss the U.S. Congress has suffered.
It was my privilege to serve with Senator East on the Armed Services Committee, where he served with distinction and where his paramount concern with human liberty and a strong defense were ever visible. He understood the meaning and responsibilities of freedom and was a true advocate for the rights of the individual, fiscal discipline, and economic growth.
Senator East was a man whose adherence to great principles and permanent values elevated the Senate morally and whose extraordinary mind and scholarship enriched it intellectually.
As a university professor, John East brought light and learning to his students, and as a U.S. Senator he brought light and learning to this body and to his colleagues. As a man who believed in the primacy of ideas, it was through his ideas that his influence was most greatly felt and through them that he shall endure. John East has touched and enriched all of us who had the opportunity to know him, and he will not be forgotten.
Mr. LEVIN. Mr. President, it did not take a great deal of contact with John East to sense the sincerity of his views or the depth of his convictions. He was a man who believed passionately in his vision of America. Some tend to denigrate that kind of commitment now—we talk in terms of the "relativity of values" and we use "the complexity of issues” as an excuse for delaying decisions. John didn't do that. He respected and expected people to disagree with him—but he also respected and accepted his obligation to make a decision and seek to implement it. I find nothing dishonorable about that; indeed, I think we can find much that honors the man in the depth of his commitment.
I am sorry that JOHN was apparently unable to seek the support and assistance which so many of us would have been willing to give to him. But it was, perhaps, characteristic of him to believe that he was, as an individual, obligated to deal with the pain and pressure of his life as an individual. I wish it had been otherwise for I believe that John made a contribution to the country and I am convinced that he would have continued to contribute to our national life when he returned to teaching after completing his service here.
As a teacher and as a colleague, John forced the people he met to reexamine their own beliefs and reaffirm their own values. In life as well as in death he forced many people to think.
My family and I extend our sympathy to all those who knew and loved our friend and colleague John EAST.
Mr. MCCLURE. Mr. President, I rise to pay tribute to a friend and colleague who, for all his considerable accomplishments, will be remembered most because he was a compassionate, courageous human being.
JOHN EAST was the type of person who saw wrong and wanted to right it, who saw a splendid vision of America and wanted to help push the country to it, who embraced freedom and wanted desperately to see that those who live under oppression and tyranny could embrace it as well.
He was a man who, in the prime of his life, was struck down by polio just a year before discovery of the vaccine. Yet he was not bitter or sullen and refused to curl up with self-pity. He was a man who had things to do, and confinement to a wheelchair was not about to stop him. His outlook on life might be characterized best by a spirited comment he made several years ago, when he conceded he was no longer part of the socalled able-bodied class, but still an enthusiastic member of the able-bodied world.
John East was a scholar of prolific achievement, earning bachelors, masters, and law degrees by the time he was 31. Two years later, he was a Ph.D. and well on his way to a distinguished career of public service, as a university professor, party committeeman, convention delegate, and U.S. Senator.
JOHN was an intellect of the highest order, with an affinity for weaving Thomas Aquinas, Edmund Burke, Plato, and Cicero into our debates and discussions. That background as a scholar and professor served him—and this body_exceedingly well in his 542 years on Capitol Hill. It tended to place him above the political fray and into a class all his own.
JOHN was a statesman in the truest sense of the word: Unsurpassed integrity, keen insight, intense loyalty to friends and party, and an unquenchable thirst for work. The latter, I think, was exemplified last year when, shortly after recovering from a long illness, he worked doggedly on a Courts Subcommittee measure to create a new court of appeals that would help relieve the Supreme Court of its workload.
Outside the Senate, he was perhaps most well known as an articulate, forthright standard bearer of the conservative cause that he helped usher into never before seen popularity.