Reagan repeatedly cited FDR’sncampaign rhetoric as the genesis of hisnviews. The large and persistent tradendeficits caught his administration bynsurprise. Rather than confront thenproblem, the White House chose tondeny it, grasping at straws like thenSmoot-Hawley myth to use againstncritics. We will pay dearly for this error.nWith the dollar already gutted, we arenheaded for a “hard landing.” Tradenproblems did not cause the Great Depression,nbut they may well bring onnthe next recession, unless a more activenpolicy is adopted to reduce the deficit.nOn ‘HousenDivided’nThomas Fleming’s theme in “Life andnDeath in a House Divided” (Apriln1989) appears to be support for federal-n. ism as a “due-process” means of effectingnpolitical change — federalism definednas “every institution that protectsnindividuals from the brute power of thenstate.” The greatness of the UnitednStates of America has resided not inndemocracy, and particularly not in thenpluralistic or participative democracy wenhave experienced during those last 30 ton50 years, but in federalism, which wasnthe ultimate compromise at our founding,nand which represents a diminutionnof central control.nWhat he is saying is that the goals ofnthe pro-lifers are justifiable but that theirnmethodology could not be more conducivento strengthening the very oppositionnthey seem to be struggling against.nAnd I agree, except I do not think itnstops there.nI suggest that the only point he maynhave missed is that altruism is a weaponnof corrupt leadership. Won’t we bensurprised if we suddenly realize thatnthese wonderful demonstrators are lednby those who know what they arendoing? Those who want the results Mr.nFleming prognosticates from their action!nAy, there’s the mb.n— William H. AtchisonnGillett, PAnWhat a strange and arbitrary distinctionnThomas Fleming makes between anstate that commands abortion and one,nlike America, that “is simply looking thenother way.” The former, he tells us, isnto be met with “resistance and rebellion.”nThe latter is to be obeyed. As thenunborn babies are being sucked away,nI’m sure they’re comforted by the dichotomy.nThe association between civil disobediencenand anarchy is not one of necessity.nThe Greek word for anarchynmeans “without rule.” I submit that thenmajority of those in Operation Rescuendo not want to be without rule but arenmerely responding to the most heinousnof America’s sins. That they want toninflict chaos on the abortion industry isnquite different from the true anarchist,nwho wants to create a chaos that pervadesnevery institution of society.nWe may indeed have no biblical basisnfor the other instances of civil disobediencenthat Fleming mentions. But we donhave with regard to murder, of whichnabortion is one form. Proverbs 24: 11,n12 stand as chief examples. These versesnare always ignored by the antirescuersnwhen they attempt to make their casenand cloak it in the generalities of Romansn13.n—Jim McNeishnIowa City, I AnThomas Fleming’s superb piece onn”rights” may get pragmatic results thisnyear or next. The time may now benhere when we can’t improve in any waynuntil we learn that “rights” of any kindnare never free, nor ever are beneficialnunattached from duties, responsibilities,nwork, character, sacrifice . . .nI’ve read hundreds, if not thousands,nof pieces on abortion and “rights.” Mr.nFleming’s are the only truly conservativenones.n— Stephen MilesnFalls City, NEnOn ‘DeconstructivenLyric’nPaul Ramsey’s insightful “ThenDeconstmctive Lyric” (March 1989)ndiagnoses the essential ailment ofntoday’s poetry. However, by identifyingndeconstruction with the self-referentialnand self-undercutting poetry of, say, anWallace Stevens, Prof Ramsey too easilynaccepts contemporary criticism’s jargon-riddlednappropriation of literature’snrich and time-honored ambiguity. Thatna great poem or novel “undermines”nnnitself and resists a single “determinate”nmeaning is a notion some of us remembernfrom ninth-grade English. Accordingnto this definition, many of Shakespeare’snsonnets are “deconstmctive,”nas are Paradise Lost and Moby-Dickn(remember “The Doubloon”?). AndnBlake, and Keats, and Hawthorne,nand . . .nHaving spent the past five yearsnearning a doctorate in English, I knownall too well the de’Mans, Derridas, andnMachereys. They seem to be motivatednless by ideology or true philosophicalnskepticism than by a resentmentnborn of their inability to write compellingnpoems, plays, and stories. In fact,ntheir stated goal is to render literaturenobsolete, to supplant art with their ownnsterile “discourse.” We should bewarenof critics who cannot write and whonthus practice such a Criticism of Envy.n— James A. ScrutonnStatesboro, GAnOn ‘Letter Fromnthe Lower Right’nI just had to let John Shelton Reednknow what a juicy (speaking of barbecues)ndelight his letter in the Decembern1988 issue was — especially after all thenheavy but important articles. A littlenhumor certainly helps to alleviate mynconservative blues over the way ourncountry is rapidly disintegrating.nThanks for a stimulating, eyeopening,n”meat-chomping” magazinenthat I can lend proudly to my leftleaningnfriends. Sometimes I think theynare standing a little straighter after theynread it. I can hope!n— Marion R. HockingnMesa, AZnLIBERAL ARTSnON REVOLUTIONnSpeak of a social contract, and thenrevolution is made.n— MetternichnIt is usually reckoned a Whig principlento appeal to the people, but that is onlynwhen they have been so wise as tonpoison their understandings beforenhand.n—SwiftnJUNE 1989/5n