THE PHENOMENON of popularnmovements of protest succeedingnand then being swallowed up by thenEstablishment is not a new story innAmerican history, but the fate of “conservatism”nin the last decade or so givesna remarkable case study. Not long ago,nafter ages of liberal dominance, conservatismnseemed to be in the ascendancynboth intellectually and at the grassrootsnlevel. Somewhere between the electionnof 1980 and now, a vast popular demandnfor reform was captured andnemasculated by party politicians andnliterary spoilsmen, so that conservatisinnhas ended up as nothing more than anvague rhetorical label for a very slightlynmodified form of Liberal Establishment.nThese reflections are ignited by thensad fate of two erstwhile fighting conservatives,nJack Kemp and WilliamnBennett. Both these gentlemen werenyouthful (as national politicians go),nenergetic, and articulate. Both havenended up in petty administrative postsnin a “moderate” Republican admini-nTHE CHILD ABUSEn’CRISIS’:nFORGOTTEN FACTS ANDnHDOEN AGENDASnAn air clearing analysis of one of the mostnmisunderstood and controversial issuesnfacing Americans today.nSend for a copy(s) of tiiis remarkablenreport by sending this coupon and $2.50neach (includes postage & handling) to:nSpecial Issue Offer, The Rockford InstitutenCenter on The Family in America • 934nNorth Main Street * Rockford; IL 61103.nSPECIAL ISSUE ORDER FORMnEnclosed is $ ‘. for copies ofnThe Child Abuse’Crisis’nName .nCity. . State. . Zip .nThe Rodfford Institute Center on The Family in American934 North IWain Street • Rockford, IL 61103n4/89n6/CHRONICLESnCULTURAL REVOLUTIONSnstration — posts from which they cannotnpossibly draw any credit. In fact, Inwill bet a bound volume of, say, the lastngood year oi National Review (1968)nthat they are politically dead.nThat Kemp accepted the post ofnSecretary of HUD and Bennett that ofn”Drug Czar” speaks well for theirnhonorable desire for public service. Itnspeaks poorly indeed for their politicalnjudgment. In fact, only a very slightnand healthy bit of paranoia would suggestnthat they have been deliberatelyntricked into corners where they couldnbe finished off as rivals and critics ofnBush. Can one detect the quick andndirty hands of Mr. Atwater and Mr.nBaker at the bottom of this smooth andnbarely noticeable coup?nMaybe so or maybe not. We won’tnknow for a long time, maybe never.nThe media don’t notice intrapartyndirty tricks (quite as common as theninterparty ones) because they wouldntake too much work to ferret out, andnthey are really only interested in dirtyntricks against liberals. If neither Kempnnor Bennett can possibly emerge fromnthe present posts except as weakernpublic figures than they were, then cuinbono? The party operatives have disarmednyouthful, energetic, articulate,nand potentially troublesome figures,nand we are left with the Vice-nPresident, who is a handpicked mannand who is, well, youthful. Not longnago there were half a dozen solidnaspirants to the leadership of “conservatism”nin the Republican Party. Nownthere are no conservatives at all, justnRepublicans.nIt is a shame to see useful menndestroyed by their own virtues. Both ofnthem have accepted the major premisesnof the Liberal Establishment, whichnthey have attacked only on marginalnand instrumental questions. Both havenbeen fairly popular with the media,nwhich is a certain sign that they are notntoo serious a threat to the Establishment.nBut they had the virtue ofnstanding for something.nMr. Kemp seems an honorablenman, no small accomplishment fornsomeone who was a denizen of thenHouse of Representatives for so long.nnnHis arm-waving invocations of 19thcenturynegalitarian mythology disgustnconservatives, but they energized thenRepublican electorate, or at least threenpercent of them. (When a Kemp-for-nPresident rally was held in my verynconservative area, no one showed upnexcept some fraternity boys looking fornfree beer, and two very rustic libertariansnfrom the Pee Dee Swamp.)nThe appropriate thing for Mr.nKemp to do was to go back to NewnYork (or even his native Southern California,nwhere earnest superficialitynwould be an asset) and run for senatornor governor. He would have lost butngained credit. There must be somenstrange defect in judgment in a freenmarketeer who takes on a governmentnboondoggle in the hopes of transformingnit by the spirit of enterprise. (Hisnassumption seems to be that the spiritnof free enterprise can be created byngovernment subsidy.) Surely everynpublic figure in Washington onnKemp’s level knew the HUD scandalsnhad to break soon. Completely guildessnof wrongdoing, his name will hereafternbe indelibly associated with a scandalnfrom which he cannot possibly gainnany credit, especially after his naive andnpremature defense of his predecessor.n(Since HUD exists totally and entirelynfor the purpose of bribing contractors,nwhite collar “experts,” localnpoliticians, and the more clever andnless scrupulous members of minorityngroups, how are we to distinguish thenillegal graft that is supposed to haventaken place from the legal graft thatngoes on as a matter of course?)nMr. Bennett, for all his eloquencenand wit, has fallen into the same trap.nDoes he or anyone really believe thatnthe drug-taking portion of the Americannpublic can be educated into givingnup their hobby with exhortations ton”democratic values”? There are onlyntwo ways that drug-taking will benstopped: effective local enforcementnagainst users, with swift, long, andncertain prison terms; or the return of anvery muscular form of Christianity tonthe hells of the streets. Neither of thesenthings is going to happen. There is nonway Mr. Bennett can win his war, andn