tional arguments from Blackstone and Marshall. Like Dr.nThompson, I am under no illusions about the limits of itsncultural horizons. Nonetheless, its understanding of the Billnof Rights would probably not have offended the authors ofnour Constitution. A call for tighter government control overnpornography or socially indecent TV sitcoms represents nonassault on the First Amendment as it was understood by itsnauthors. A demand of this type may be imprudent, but notnunconstitutional, except when viewed from a modern civillibertariannperspective.nI personally am deeply moved by the Moral Majority’s continuednreverence for the Constitution— including the Bill ofnRights—despite the skewed interpretations of parts of thatndocument which have been proclaimed in recent decades. Innthe eyes of the Moral Majority’s faithfuls the FourteenthnAmendment has been invoked to drive religion out of publicnlife, to legitimate what religious Christians and Jews considernfetal murder and to undergird feminist assaults on traditionalnsocial values. The First Amendment has meanwhile beenntransmuted from the palladium of our liberties into a clubnwith which atheist cranks and seditious journalists mightnwallop the rest of society. Despite these developments, thenMoral Majoritarians continue to praise the Constitution asnthey denounce its modern interpreters.nAnd perhaps their faith in this document, and in thenAmerican leaders’ ability to interpret it properly, may benjustified after all. Since the early 70’s, Supreme Court decisionsnhave shown a dramatic departure from the judicialnsupport for pornography which was characteristic of thenWarren era. At the same time, the Moral Majority’s campaignnagainst the media’s infatuation with what’s known asncounterculture has come to focus more on the mobilizationnof economic pressure and public dissatisfaction than on thenuse of censorship. Strategically, if not constitutionally, thisnseems to be a welcome development for those who sharenthe New Right’s moral concern but balk at its sometimesnawkward rhetoric.nLike Dr. Thompson, I shudder at the “utter degradation”nto which civil libertarians would carry freedom of expression;nnonetheless, unlike him, I do not look to “an older and wisernconservatism—one well schooled in the knowledge of thenfragile balance between free expression and license” to correctnthe folly perceived. Such conservatism may indeed have onnits side education, but thus far it has failed to gain any sizablenmass support. Intellectuals on the right will not summonnthe infantry for the cultural confrontation which besets ournsociety. Their scholastic scruples and taste for subtlety donnot equip them for this role. On the other hand, preachers likenFalwell do touch chords of response in a mass democracy,nand perhaps they can bestow upon conservatism what Hegelnmight have described as “world-historical significance.”n. M.M. & THE CONSERVATIVE ETHOS OF REFINEMENT •nWisdom in AmericanAs everybody who knows usnknows, our fondness for business,ncapitalism, free enterprise,nthe market, initiative isnenormous. Yet we had tonwince when, in the Wall StreetnJournal, we discovered somenof the convictions held bynGovernor John Y. Brown, Jr.nof Kentucky which he pronouncednto Kentucky’s Councilnon Higher Education:nPhilosophically, I’d a lotnrather have more DavidnJoneses and WendellnCherrys and David Grissomsnthan I would Aristotlesnand Socrateses.nThe Journal explains:nnnMessrs. Jones, Cherrynand Grissom are directorsnof Humana, Inc., the fastgrowinghospital-managementncompany basednin Louisville.nIn addition, the Journal believesnthat Governor Brownnstands a good chance to becomena Democratic Presidentialncandidate. Now, that’s serious.nNot everything that’sngood for Kentucky is good fornthese United States. UntilnGovernor Brown comprehendsnthat Messrs. Jones,nCherry and Grissom need tonacquire a certain knowledgenof who Aristotle and Socratesnwere and what they wanted itnwill be difficult to sleep quietlynwithout risking nightmares.nAllow me also to discuss a condemnation which Dr.nThompson revives. McCarthyism was not discredited bencause of its dangerous excesses (which in any case have beennvastly exaggerated). It fell apart because of the emotionalninstability of its leader and the largely negative appeal ofnits opposition to “the Communists within our gates.” McCarthynand his followers, for the most part, lacked the perceptivenessnand historical consciousness to transform anticommunismninto an affirmation of positive cultural andnspiritual values. Unlike the McCarthyites, American liberalsnhave given themselves moral credibility among the publicnas defenders of civil rights and the downtrodden. Theirnproselytizing enabled them to capture America’s majornpolitical party and to wreak havoc on lives and institutionsnin ways that far surpassed McCarthy’s comparatively modestnpolitical abuses. Would Dr. Thompson doubt that morenpeople have had their careers disrupted by affirmative actionnthan by the smear of past communist affiliations.” Would henquestion that the liberal-bureaucratic incursion into publicneducation has been more relentless and pervasive than anynthat occurred during McCarthy’s ascendancy.-“nSome conservatives like to believe that liberals have exercisednpolitical power through judicial-bureaucratic means,nthat is, against the will of the people, but the issue may notnbe as simple as that. Although liberals certainly did not receivena popular mandate for all their reforms, until Novembern1980 they managed to do exceedingly well in many elections.nAnd while the public may not have approved of all liberalnpolicies, they did elect enough liberal politicians to insurenthe implementation of their plans. These plans, which callncontinued on page 59nIovember/December 1981n