conceptually, however, they are mostlynlowbrows who seem to scorn any ideologicalnapproach to man, society, democracy,ncountry, civilization, social responsibilities—keynnotions in our precariousnhistorical situation. If Mr. Reagan hadnbeen elected simply as a Republican, wenwould have little quarrel with him. Butnhe is on record as being a conservativenbearer oi conservative values, and henseems to be mauling those values worsenthan they have ever been mauled before.nHis style demeans his substance. Wenmight object to his Madison Avenue approachnto shaping the American civilizationalnmessage, but the President’s bigstudionHollywood tactics seem to usnmuch more disastrous. To choose a successfulnnursing-home entrepreneur tonhandle America’s PR with the rest of thenworld is ludicrous. Regardless of hownnice or how smart the man may be, hisnlack of fundamental qualifications fornthe job will cost us—as a country—a lot,nalthough perhaps not immediately orndirectly. His usefulness at the sordid andnunpalatable gala soirees at the WhitenHouse—which are supposed to attest tonthe “splendor” of the Presidency, butnwhich make an impression of unpleasantnsleaziness by mixing grubbily bejewelednand shallow millionairesses with the liberalnrabble from California show biz andnNew York “society”—will, more andnmore, justify and magnify the disdainfulnwhispers that Mr. Reagan is not oar President.nUp to now, those whispers camenmainly from unionists, welfare recipients,nradical posthippiedom and the liberalnintelligentsia. But conservatives arenbeginning to murmur it, too—andnlouder all the time.nFrittered AwaynPerhaps the best opportunity in post-nWorld War II history for an anticommunistnoffensive seems to have been fritterednaway by the Reagan administradon.nThe messy muddle of ineffectualnsanctions, the clumsy quadrille betweennthe Allies’ greed and the internationaln46inChronicles of Culturenbanking community’s crocodile tears,nthe self-appointed conceptualists whonseem unable to distinguish betweennPoland and Zimbabwe, all provide amplenevidence that the essential benefitsnfrom Polish events are being dolefullynsquandered. Lighting candles and singingn”Let Poland Be Poland” might havenbeen an attractive sentimental overture,nbut what does it have in common withneffective ideological warfare? The emphasis,nas concocted by the show-biz expertsnat the International CommunicationnAgency, was all wrong. What thenPoles have demonstrated is communism’sncomplete bankxuptcy as an ideologicalnsystem and as a moral theory ofnsocial justice. This is the message whichnshould have been relentlessly and continuouslynprojected over the airwaves andnin the literature produced by the U.S.ngovernment. The subjugation of thenPoles and the abject political measures ofnthe military dictatorship are deplorablenand condemnable, but they are not ofnmuch immediate concern to Voice ofnAmerica’s listeners in Nicaragua or Indonesia.nWhat counts is the Polish triumphnin dismantling Marxism as a doctrine andnas a cause to galvanize believers. Apparentlynthis idea did not occur to the mindsnMr. Reagan mobilized to explain worldnaffairs to the world.nHillsdalenGeographically, “proscenium” is notnexactly the best description of the placenwhere Hillsdale College is located. Innfact, it is deep in the middle of southernnMichigan, somehow ensconced in itsnown remoteness. Yet when one arrives innthe area, which some people from Manhattan’snPark Avenue might describe asnbackwoods, and spends some time onnthe campus, one acquires an unexpectednbut unmistakable inkling that what isngoing on here may be of more importancenthan anything happening thesendays on Pennsylvania Avenue, Broadwaynor the beaches of Malibu. One is pervadednby a feeling that if, in the latter places.nnnone is facing the present, then in Hillsdalenand at Hillsdale College one hasncome into contact with America’s future.nThe gist of the liberal-conservativencontention in our time is of a culturalnnature. However, only the liberal sidenseems to be aware of that, and it makesnthe best use of the cultural weapons at itsndisposal. The conservatives generallyntend to think that their economic andnpolitical arguments are so accurate, sonoverwhelming, that socioculmral considerationsnplay only a minor role in thenstrife. Thus, when they are confronted bynnecessity to resort to their culmral arsenal,nconservatives are inclined to settlenfor vacuous slogans which are often embarrassinglynshallow.nBut not in Hillsdale. At that college,nwhose ideological profile and self-imagenare both unabashedly conservative, culturalnresponsibility and social awarenessnare unmistakably the substance of theneducational process and the intellectualnextracurricular activities. Hillsdale hasnevolved an affiliated program called thenCenter for Constructive Alternatives,nwhose seminars have become an institutionnwithin the conservative movementnof ideas. The college’s president, Dr.nGeorge C. Roche III, an historian withnimpressive credentials and looks, is thendriving force behind the entire operation.nWe firmly believe that Hillsdale—neven if it now stands for only a geographicalnlocation—will, sooner or later,nbecome one of those notions that symbolizensome deepet meanings in thenAmerican culture.nThat’s Exactly What We’ve BeennSaying All the TimenAccording to an Associated Press surveynof high-achieving teen-agers in 1981:n—90 percent of those surveyed saidnthey favored increased defensenspending, compared with just 44npercent in the 1975-76 survey.n—10 percent said they used mari-n