execution of foreign policy. In this, the American peoplenseemed to be saying to the President that while they likenhim personally, they are anxious about the current standoffnin bilateral negotiations with the Soviet Union at thenReykjavik summit and with potential involvement militarilynin Latin America, especially Nicaragua. In this, the resultsnreflect many pre-electoral polls which show that Americansnappreciate a strong defense but do not want an interventionistnforeign policy that risks direct U.S. involvement. Innshort, the Vietnam syndrome is alive and well, even ifnburied under a military security blanket.nIn Democratic Party victories from Christopher Dodd innConnecticut to Alan Cranston in California, it is evidentnthat “peace candidates” were victorious in most Senatenraces. Republican challengers were unable to develop firmnand clear foreign policy alternatives. In this, a certain driftnand negativism in U.S. foreign policy hurt Republicansnmore than any specific set of attitudes or postures. Pollsnindicate that Americans may support President Reagan withnrespect to not sacrificing a cornerstone of defense such asnthe Strategic Defense Initiative (“Star Wars”), but they alsonseem to be urging the President to try again and harder tonreach an accommodation on nuclear arms reduction withnSoviet Premier Mikhail Gorbachev. Certainly, the newnSenate Democratic majority will be strongly impelled tonsupport such efforts at arms reduction and nuclear test bans.nIn Republican Party statehouse victories from Maine tonCalifornia, it is also clear that the American people arenexpressing intense satisfaction with the Reagan social agenda,ndespite the enormity of the Federal deficit, which tonmost Americans seems remote from their personal lives.nThe soaring $1.5 billion deficit is clearly overshadowed by ancontinuing period of relatively low unemployment, a continuingndeflationary spiral in which the value of work asnmeasured by the value of the dollar is remarkably stable,nand relative low interest rates that permit consumer purchasingnto continue at record or near-record levels. Statenand local governments are second only to the FederalnIn the forthcoming issue of Chronicles:nAttic Gracen”Stoicism is certainly not for everybody, and it is not fornme in every circumstance, but it is a philosophical expressionnof the human search for purpose in what wenhave every right to see as a purposeless world. This isncertainly the world of .those who find themselves in thatnever-proliferating human institution, the political prison.nBut Stoicism has apt application well beyond that population.nIt speaks for men everywhere who persist in competingnin what they see as a buzz-saw existence, their backsnto the wall, their lives having meaning only so long asnthey fight for pride with comradeship and joy rather thanncapitulate to either tyranny or falseness.”n18 / CHRONICLESn—from “Epictetus’ Enchiridion”nby Admiral James B. Stockdalennngovernment in determining tax levels and fiscal policies.nThe closer these Presidential themes of personal choice andnfree-market decision were echoed by state candidates, thenmore likely it was that the Presidential “coat-tail effect”nremained a factor.nThere were, to be sure, exceptions to this bivariateninterpretation on both sides of the ledger: In Missouri anRepublican senatorial challenger upset a Democratic incumbent;nwhile in Louisiana and Georgia, Democraticnchallengers defeated Republican office holders. But thesenvery exceptions were rare and unusual enough to give greatnstatistical strength to the aforementioned approach to thenmeaning of the 1986 mid-term elections. In short, thendomestic half of the “Reagan Revolution” survived; thenforeign policy half faltered badly.nWhat this augers for the future is difficult to say. Mynguess, and it is only that, is that it strengthens the hand ofnGeorge Bush and Robert Dole as possible Republican Partynstandard bearers, and Gary Hart or Joseph Bliden asnDemocratic Party challengers. Both sets of individuals tendnto an accommodationist view of foreign policy. Likewise,neach of them is committed to fiscal constraint in domesticnaffairs.nThe Republicans, who traditionally count on Middle-nAmerican votes, have a market-oriented domestic policy.nThe Democrats, who must now fight for the same multiclassnturf, must likewise exercise restraint in the advocacy ofnnew Federally sponsored social programs, whether for thenminorities at one level or the aged at the other.nIf one looks at the quasi-secret shipment(s) of armamentsnto Iran from the bottom up rather than top down, that is, asna crisis in confidence in the conduct of American foreignnpolicy rather than as a leadership or succession crisis at thenWhite House or at the Department of State, the samenpattern of disaffection seems to reveal itself Whatevernsmacks of overseas adventurism, however noble the purposenand whether it be in Nicaragua or Afghanistan or Iran, doesnnot enlist enthusiastic support. The one area of Presidentialnvulnerability in electoral and public opinion results alike isnprecisely in this area. Where and when the President is onnsolid ground, reducing budgetary deficit, holding the linenon tax and tax reform, and opposing inflationary tendenciesnin the economy, there the Reagan Administration has heldnon to its popularity. The weak Republican Party showing innthe Senate, its strong showing in gubernatorial races, andnthe static condition of the House balance (where the “socialnagenda” is still unclear)—all point to a centrist campaign inn1988. Both parties will have to seriously estimate the fatalnliabilities of extremism. That would appear to be the earlynwarning signal issued by the electorate in 1986.nWhoever the Presidential candidates in 1988, the messagenis clear, even as the results appear contradictory:nsupport oi detente in foreign policy and continuation of thensocioeconomic status quo at home. Whether such a centristnoutcome is manageable, with all its tensions and contradictions,nremains another, far tougher issue. But the longing ofnAmericans to have both is clear enough. The people havenspoken: against long wars and against high taxes. ThenPresidential candidate who can adequately fuse these elementsnin the imagination of the voters will walk away withnthe big prize in 1988.n