the Cat” are closed to the records of RichardnNixon. One is forced to wonder justnwhat benefit this exclusion confers onnAmerican education.nline Petite CrapulenIn the forthcoming California senatorialnrace, one contender for the DemocraticnParty’s nomination is Mr. GorenVidal, a novelist. He has perfect credentialsnfor a certain not-negligible segmentnof the state’s voting constituency.nHis appeal to this group is through annaberrationist program which might benencapsulated as freedom from any responsibility—moral,ncivic, etc. His tenetsnand goals, perhaps not announcednpublicly, will encompass the abolitionnof the human sense of normalcy, whichnwill be replaced with the sacrosanctntenet of the emancipation of instinctsn—all instincts, with no discriminationnwhatsoever. As an impeccable deviatenand an unrestricted nihilist, Mr. Vidalncan count on large donors and influentialnsupporters throughout Los Angelesnand San Francisco: their liberal honornwill guarantee their devotion—with ansentimental mist in the radiant eyes ofnfilm stars, movie tycoons, sitcom poetsnand talk-show philosophers—to hisncampaign.nMr. Vidal has recently published annarticle in (where else.’) The Nationnwhich may help the California voters tonassess the newest personality on thenWest Coast political scene. In it, henviciously berates American Jews forntheir alleged reluctance to work out anconcept for a new popular front in whichnthey would, together with homosexualsnand lesbians (who are, according to Mr.nVidal’s gospel, the most oppressed “minorities”),ncombat the establishment’snyoke. He seems unclear as to what henmeans by the “establishment”: by dintnof origin, money, family, money, sexualnrefinement, once again money, and hisnutterly plutocratic lifestyle, Mr. Vidalnhimself is the epitome of the Waspishnestablishment. Which does not impeden50inChronicles of Culturenhim from hating the society that gavenhim everything (even the right to openlyndefend pederasty) with a vicious and genuinenhatred. Here are a few gems of hisnmindset:n— He believes we are in the “lastndavs of empire”: “empire,” in Mr.nVidal’s kinky lingo, means Americanndemocracy, and since he’s absolutelynpositive of our imminentndemise, he naturally wishes us ill,nif only to prove the sharpness ofnhis diagnosis;n-“American evangelical Christians”nare, for Mr. Vidal, “naturalnfascists”;n-Mr. Vidal’s sense of past and presentnmoral culture consists of anrather simple evaluation: “Tondeny giving physical expression tonthose [homosexual] desires maynbe pleasing to Moses and St. Paulnand Freud, but these three rabbisnThe South Omnis VincetnGiven the regional origins and ideologicalnpredispositions of Lyndon Johnsonnand Jimmy Carter, one might wondernwhat has happ^ed to Southern politics.nHas the land of John C. Calhounnforsaken its birthright for a mess ofnpottage cooked up by the WashingtonnPost? Has Andrew Young become thenquintessential Southern politician? WillnMississippi be transmogrified into thenMassachusetts of the South.’nA solid “no” will answer these questions,nfor John East and Jesse Helms arenstill more typical of Southern politicsnthan Andrew Young. But a different situationnconfronts those who are curiousnabout intellectual and cultural life southnof the Potomac. Despite the lingeringnJOURNALISMnnnare aberrant figures whose nomadicnvalues are not those of thenthousands of other tribes that livenor have lived on the planet. Women’snand gay liberation are simplynsmall efforts to free men andnwomen from this trio,”n— Having formulated his own virulentnanti-Semitism, he proposes annalliance with Jews: “Since . . .n[Jews] are going to be in the samengas chambers as the blacks andnthe faggots. I would suggest ancease-fire and a common frontnagainst the common enemy, whosenkindly voice is that of RonaldnReagan …”nHe thus concludes by suggesting thatnRonald Reagan is preparing some sortnof American Auschwitz. About a contemporarynwith Mr. ‘ Vidal’s psychomoralnprofile and political methods,nStendhal once wrote a brief denomination:n”une petite crapule. ” Dnreverberations of H. L. Mencken’s “ThenSahara of the Bozart,” the culture in-n. dustry thrives in the South; no longer isnan oboist as scarce in Dixie as a statue ofnWilliamTecumseh Sherman in Atlanta.nBut just as certainly as that oboist exists,nhe almost assuredly follows the dictatesnof an alien culture, for values and moresnonce anathema in the South have slippednacross the Mason-Dixon line in recentnyears. Major newspapers such as thenNashville Tennessean and the AtlantanCon^itution seem bent on moldingnthemselves in the image of the New YorknTimes’. The faculties of major Southernnuniversities—the University of Virginianand the University of North Carolina,nto name two—have more than theirnfair share of Marxists and holdoversnfrom the so-called counterculture of then