CULTURAL REVOLUTIONSrnELECTION DAY 1998 dawned as arnNovember morning out of WilliamrnCullen Bryant, with “piercing winterrnfrost, and winds, and darkened air.” Wernwalked to the firehall polling place, passingrnthe pioneer cemetery, burial groundrnof veterans of the Revolution, all thosernEbenezers and Ethans who cleared thernland and endured Valley Forge so thatrnwe could depress a lever for Al D’Amatornor Chuck Schumer. (In fact, the leversrndepress us.) Three days after Halloween,rnthe tables are turned, for on ElectionrnDay, it is we who haunt the dead.rnNo entrails-slurping zombie out ofrnNight of the Living Dead could be as repulsivernas New York’s Senate candidates,rnAl D’Amato and Chuck Schumer. Inrnthe small cities of upstate New York,rnwhere much of 20th-century history hasrnbeen shaped by the conflict between Italiansrnand non-Italians, D’Amato has beenrnevery Presbyterian lady’s nightmare: arnman of surpassing vulgarity; coarse,rncharmless, a bully who “can’t take yes forrnan answer,” as Bob Dole said before hernlost his wit somewhere on K Street. Thernpreternaturally obnoxious BrooklyniternSchumer, on the same hand, existsrnsolely on television, where he is apparentlyrnthe creation of a nast)’ antisemihcrnscriptwriter. Easily the most vicious enemyrnof the Bill of Rights in the entirernCongress, Schumer is loathed by his colleagues,rnbut then as a venerable NewrnYork statesman once told me, “It is impossiblernto succeed in New York Cityrnpolitics without such stridency that itrnmakes you repugnant to ever)’body else.”rnWhat has become of the promise ofrn1992, when Ross Perot and Jerry Brownrnand Pat Buchanan began to define arnpost-Cold War American populism thatrnwas hosHle to centralized government,rnthe Fortune 500, and managerial liberalism,rnand animated by a refreshing faithrnin town-meeting democracy, the libertyrnof ordinary people and small places, andrnan isolationist reluctance to make warrnupon foreigners? Brown won the mayoraltyrnlast year on an inspiring OaklandrnFirst! platform; Buchanan ought to bernrevving up for another run in 2000rn(when was the last time the winner of thernprevious New Hampshire primary wasrnnot even included in public opinionrnpolls?); but where—outside Minnesotarnand Covernor-Elect Jesse “The Body”rnVentura—are their reinforcements? Onrntown councils and school boards, norndoubt, which are being systematicallyrnstripped of any real power by bipartisanrnReinventors of Government and Apostlesrnof the New Paradigm and peoplernwho actually say “the next millennium”rnin conversation.rnThe two wings of the Incumbent Partyrnhave learned nothing from the sporadicrnvoter revolts of the I990’s. Perot-rnBrown-Buchanan themes were absentrnfrom the TV and radio ads of candidatesrnfor federal office—and given our oversizedrncongressional districts and suchrngargantuan states as California, the noisomelyrnnoisy airwaves are the successorrnto flesh-pressing and tub-thumping andrnthe shaking of actual human hands.rnOne lesson of 1998 is that live wiresrnget snipped. The gruesome KentuckyrnSenator Mitch McConnell and his NationalrnRepublican Senatorial Committeernwithheld critical party funds fromrnpopulist Washington CongresswomanrnLinda Smith in her loss to incumbentrnPatty Murray. Wliat a shock: The mandarinsrnof the Wall Street/Pentagon partyrnprefer a Democratic cipher to a spunkyrnwoman who, at least on occasion, spokernharsh truths about the OOP’s betrayal ofrnsmall business and Middle America. (Arnfeminist campaign consultant told mernover drinks that Murray was “totally clueless;rnthe most stupid senator I everrnworked with.”)rnOn the sunny side, what Americanrnheart was not gladdened by the strangernand wonderful election of Jesse Ventura?rnMaine and Minnesota are now gracedrnwith independent governors; PaychexrnCEO Tom Golisano ran fairly well as anrnindependent in the New York gubernatorialrnrace. The Perotist vein remainsrnrich, although to tap it, it helps to have arnfortrme or sculpted musculature. If onlyrnArnold Schwarzenegger weren’t a Kempiernand a foreigner to boot. Does anybodyrnknow Lou Ferrigno’s politics?rnSo another Election Day has comernand gone, and it’s back to business for thernIncumbent Party: sending deracinatedrnmilitary men and women hither andrnthither to fight the enemy of the weekrn(and the weak); engorging leviathan tornfund whatever programs our pollsters-inchiefrnjudge critical to “soccer moms”rn(and any mom who lets her son play soccerrninstead of baseball is no American);rnand torching the Bill of Rights in a greatrnsacrifice to our sacred wars on drugs, Internetrnporn, hate speech, and the otherrnbugaboos of our leaders, most of whomrnwere once pot-smoking, Penthouse reading,rnrace-joke-telling teenagers.rn—Bill KauffmanrnKosovo has become a latter-day Munich.rnOver the past decade, it has beenrnstylish for advocates of American interventionrnin the Balkans to justify their trigger-rnhappy meddling by invoking “Munich.”rnThe argument runs roughly likernthis: Unless the “international community”rn(i.e., the United States under thernguise of the U.N. or NATO) acts resolutelyrnto stop and punish “aggression,”rnthe culprits — most commonly Serbs —rnwill be emboldened to continue withrntheir transgressions, just as Chamberlain’srnappeasement of Hitler in Munichrnin 1938 only whet the latter’s appetiternand soon led to World War II. Secretar)’rnof State Albright, for one, is an avowedrnadherent of this view.rnWliat occurred in the Balkans this pastrnOctober, however, is far more reminiscentrnof what really happened in Munichrnsix decades earlier, in October 1938.rnThen, as well as now, a small state wasrnforced by the great powers to give up controlrnover a sizable chunk of its territory inhabitedrnby air uncompromising ethnicrnminority bent on secession. In 1938,rnCzechoslovakia had to choose betweenrngiving up Sudetenland, inhabited mainlyrnby Germans, or being attacked by thernReich. For today’s actors, read: Serbia,rnKosovo, Albanians, and NATO, Thernagreement between Slobodan Milosevicrnand U.S. Ambassador-Designate to thernUnited Nations Richard Holbrooke,rnsigned in Belgrade last month, remindsrnus that “Munich” is not about “stoppingrnaggression”: It is aggression.rnWhen Milosevic and Holbrooke getrntogether and spend many hours on thatrnfamous sofa in the former’s office, threernthings seem to follow. First of all, Serbianrninterests will be disregarded, Serbianrnterritories given up, and Serbian inhabitantsrnof those territories forced tornflee. Secondly, the will of the Clintonrn6/CHRONICLESrnrnrn