my word, more than that you don’tnwant to know.)nHis “investigation” complete, hisncase airtight—and being, by the way,none who has made every effort atn”understanding and appreciating othernfaiths,” one whose “nature much prefer[s]ngentleness” and whose “tirelessntolerance” extends all the way fromnsmokers (“we should be tolerant andnunderstanding of the smoker”) to pornographersn(“at worst, they are peoplenwho don’t know any better”)—Mr.nStraub proceeds to label Pat Robertson,ndirectly or by association, a “ruthlessncon artist,” a “scoundrel,” and an”bigot,” as well as “a threat to allnfree-thinking, freedom-loving Americansnwho respect the dignity of humanitynand who desire to live in peacenand harmony with each other and thenworld.” Somewhere along the way,nthe word “madness” is thrown in. Andnhe’s not finished yet. Twice he comparesnRobertson’s beliefs and methodsnto those of Adolph Hitier. And withnthe entrance of Hitler comes the secondnquestion about Mr. Straub: Is theninability to make sense of any kind annexcuse for a comparison that is, fromnseveral perspectives, despicable? (Itndoesn’t seem to matter much that thenanswer is no, since “Hitier” is invariablynthe last belch of every sloppy mindnon a moral toot.)nWhat, exactiy, is this man’s problem?nAs near as I can figure it, he hasntwo. First, there is Pat Robertson’sn”hidden agenda,” which Mr. Straubnwants revealed to the public, rightnnow: Pat Robertson is thinking of runningnfor President. This upsets Mr.nStraub because Robertson’s insistencenon embracing one religion at a timenmakes him “a threat to all freethinking,nfreedom-loving, etc., etc.”nMr. Straub never really explains whynthis poses such a threat (unless youncount the fact that the religion beingnembraced is Fundamentalism); he simplynrepeats his assertion that “God isnnot a member of any political party,”nbecoming a littie more hysterical eachntime.nBut then, during yet another privatendebate on the definition of sin (conclusion:nsin “is a religious term”), an oddnthing happens. In a totally unaccountablenburst of insight, the author stampsnhis foot and pipes, “God gave us freenwill, and Pat R.obertson and the reli­ngious right cannot take it away fromnus.” If Mr. Straub were less committednto the belief that confusion is natural,nhe might be able to see that free willntravels right into the voting booth,nwhere Americans — a “diversifiednmultitude” of them—demonstrate antime-tested willingness to enlightennPresidential candidates who fail to appreciatentheir diversity {or their commonality).nThe second of Mr. Straub’s problems—andnthis would seem to contradictnhis claim of free will, but whatnelse is new? — is his certainty thatnnone of us, not one, “is immune tonthe lure of the hucksters of holinessn. . . that dominate religious television.”nThey could “hook anybody,” hentells us—“a movie star, a college professor,na corporate executive.” And ifnthese folks could hook “a transcendentalnmeditation teacher,” if they couldnhook “even an astronaut,” if theyncould hook—and here’s the importantnpart—a man familiar with both KahlilnGibran and Woody Allen, then it’s fornsure that every “poorly trained spiritualnconscience,” every “naive yet wellintentioned”nviewer, every “poor soul”nand “common man” is done for. Hisnpatronizing concern for the capacity ofnwhat he callsf^’the masses” to think fornthemselves raises the third and finalnquestion about Mr. Straub: Aren’tnguys like this a pain?nIn his Postscript (which follows annEpilogue—will this book never end?),nthe author, one last time, displays anThought, this one his own: “The abilitynto constantiy question has two enemies:nthe desire for constancy and thenholding of convictions.” What do younknow—the man’s finally on to something.n”Next year,” he continues, “Inhope that I’m not as ignorant as I wasnthis year.” (And I, for one, have mynfingers crossed.) Then, bringing hisnThought full circle, he concludes,n”[Cjonsistency requires that I be just asnignorant.” Perhaps I’ll just say it withnsilence.nANTITRUST POLICY IN AnFREE SOCIETYnJoseph D. feed •nDavid C. Button andnTim OzennenYale BrozennDominick T, ArmentanonF. M. Scherern$5.00 PAPERBOUNDnWrite for our free catalog. All orders include ancomplimentary subscription to monthlynImprimis essay series.nHILLSDALE COLLEGE PRESSnHillsdale, Michigan 49242nnnMAY 1987/33n