confronted a puritanical North America.nThus the hoped-for dialogue did notntake place, although it bears repetitionnthat the 30 journalists were by no meansnsystematic anti-Americans, peaceniks,nor militants for the Third World. ThenAmericans with whom the visitors camenin contact were baffled by the nuancesnwhich permit pro-free-market preferencesnto coexist with softness towardnMoscow, or skepticism about Americannwill to protect Europe to coexist withnfear of cold-war rhetoric in the WhitenHouse. The Europeans were similarlynbaffled by Americans who were exclusivelyninvolved with refining thefr waynof life and fine-tuning their domestic issues,nbut still claiming to lead a worldwidenalliance. They felt Europe was anpretext for American war games andncrusades.nWhile the American side was anxiousnto “explain” America and to “educate”nthe foreigners, the latter seemed resolutelynimpervious, indeed hostile, tonwhat they perceived as almost crudenideological propaganda. Thus most talksnwere at cross purposes: Americansnwould bring up the danger posed bynCubano-Sandinistas; the “Europeans”nreplied that this was an aggressive reassertionnof the Monroe doctrine and thatnSoviet submarines in Swedish watersnwere the greater threat. Seemingly commonnconcerns—Afghanistan or a SouthnAtlantic strategy—were not raised. “Wencannot aiford flights of fency,” one visitornsaid. “What for America is a fer-oflf choice,nfor us is life or death now.” The tablenwas turned on the United States, richnand carefree, playing with other nations’ndestinies, whether Iran or El Salvador ornWestern Europe.nWhat impressions did the “impressionablenyoung men” take home withnthem? Those for whom this was a firstnglimpse of the U.S. found it overwhelming,nbut not imitable. There is simply nonbasis of comparison; an “Atlantic Community”nwould be a misnomer. For veterannvisitors, America is lull of thingsnworth noting and returning to, but it isnalso a closed world with no antennae fornoutside listening, contented in its basicnisolation—^linguistic, moral, institutional.n”The more you preach to us,” one journalistnsummed it up, “the more irritatednwe become. Carter’s emissaries preachedn’human rights,’ Reagan’s talked capitalismnand missiles. The voice is inconsistent,nbut the salesmanship is aggressive. Whatndo you expect to achieve in the face ofnlow-keyed, subtle, but deadly seriousnRussians?” Yet what remains after thisnconference and its anticipations of ftimrenfrustrations is the hope (shadowed byndoubt) that Washington can preventnboth “Finlandization” and war. This isnthe background for the dialogue, foreverninconclusive, forever resumed, DnTHE AMLRICAN PROSCKNIUMnMargaret Thatcher’s TrafalgarnThe recent British election—describednby the press as a smashing, historical, astoundingnvictory—^will have a profoundnimpact on the American political scene.nDespite all the demographic, ethnic, andnracial differences between our societies,nBritain remains a sociocultural organismnclosely linked to our own national compositionnby coundess civic sensitivitiesnand sentiments: what happens therenmeans a great deal to many of us.nBritish conservatism, a complex andnoften-enigmatic force, has always beennpresented by its enemies as a class construct,na concept of the defense and preservationnof entrenched, morally suspectnclass privileges. Yet three personalitiesnof historical stature who shaped modernnBritish conservatism defy that notion:nDisraeli, who was maligned by his conservativenopponents and detractors as anJewish arriviste; Winston Churchill,nwho was for his entire life bitterly at oddsnwith his own social class; and finallynMargaret Thatcher, who is derisively referrednto by the remnants of British aristocracynas the “grocer’s daughter.” Whichnmeans that there does exist in the modemnconservative formula a seminal moralnand cultural substance that transcendsnthe ossified Marxian, post-Marxian, andnradical-liberal interpretations of nation,nsociety, and class structure, an elementnthat can be translated into new politicalnfactors, perhaps even movements, of unexpectednmagnitude.nThis is exactly the lesson for us. Ournconservatism—as of today—^has a pow­nnnerful, though neglected, ratio of pluralistic,nethnic, and emotional ingredientsnwhose dynamics is moral and cultural.nThe liberal left tries to co-opt, minimize,nor simplify these elements, quite rightlynfearfiil of them in our hands. Unfortunately,nour leaders are playing their game—nthey seem unable to weld economicnrecipes, political postulates, and socioculturalnprinciples into one victoriousnproposition whose acceptance by Americanwould be both profound and lasting.nOne hopes that Mrs. Thatcher’s triumphnwill give those leaders some food fornthought. DnThe Octopus andna Harvard ProfessornA strange, even fascinating spectaclenis in the making, and we will watch itnwith a sort of schadenfreude—not anbeautiful sentiment, but a very humannone. One Seymour Hersh, a iotmeiNewnYork Times investigative reporter, onenof the most repulsive blackguards andnrevilers in the free community of semiintellectualnpiracy called the Americannpress, has taken on Dr. Henry Kissingernof well-defined notoriety. In a newlynpublished book, Mr. Hersh accuses thenformer Secretary of State of unheard-ofnpolitical and professional felonies, not tonmention coundess minor ethical transgressionsnof a particularly slimy texture.nWe were never convinced of eithernMr. Kissinger’s moral purity sans reprochenor his paramount vfrtues of soulnand mind. We deem his record as thenw^mmmVdnAugust 1983n