of which is that the South has been atnthe same time more aristocratic andnmore populist than any other part ofnAmerica. It thus has remained an incomprehensiblenproblem for thosenwhose imaginations are circumscribednby urban middle-class proprieties. Thisnincludes nearly all American historians,nmany of whom flunked marketing andncivil engineering because they lackednthe necessary imagination and sonturned to scholarship. (The singlengreatest shortcoming of American historians,nin general, is an excess ofnliteral-mindedness in dealing withnideas. The second greatest shortcomingnis a lack of suflicient literalmindednessnin dealing with documentarynevidence.)nThese reservations about CrackernThe President’s Presidentn”Politicians neither love nor hate. Interest, notnsentiment, governs them.”n— Chesterfieldn1999: Victory Without War hynRichard Nixon, New York: Simonn& Schuster.nRichard Nixon’s second term asnpresident ended over two yearsnearly with his resignation on August 9,n1974. Someday, when President Reagan’snpapers and telephone logs arenmade public, I think they will reveal thatnNixon completed his presidential termnin the second Reagan administration asnthe vicar of US foreign policy. After all,none of Reagan’s best friends. SenatornPaul Laxalt, anointed Nixon as thenRepublican Party’s one and only “eldernstatesman.”nA reading of Nixon’s latest book onnforeign policy prescriptions plus his earliernpost-1974 writings leads me tonbelieve that in Reagan’s second term,nthe voice was the voice of Reagan butnthe hands were the hands of Nixon.nHow do I know that Nixon, the Sagenof Saddle River, NJ, is Reagan’s foreignnpolicy Solomon? Because of the reverential,nvatic pages in Nixon’s book onnthe necessity for and benefits of annualnUS-USSR summits. For Ronald Reagan,nwho began his term of office inn1981 very much against communistnimperialism, to have become almostnovernight a sforzando summiteer —nGeneva, Reykjavik, Washington, Moscownand, Gorbachev willing, one morenArnold Beichman, a research fellow atnthe Hoover Institution, is writing anbook on Soviet treaty diplomacy.nby Arnold Beichmannsummit before January 20, 1989 —ncries out for an explanation. We knownwhat happened to Saul of Tarsus onnthe road to Damascus. We don’t yetnknow what happened to Ronald ofnWashington on the apostolic road betweennGeneva and Moscow.nIn fairness, Nixon takes a muchnharder view of Gorbachev than Reaganndoes. In fact, says Nixon, Gorbachev’snaccession “represents the beginning ofna dangerous, challenging new stage ofnthe struggle between the superpowers.”nParadoxically, just becausenGorbachev is “a far more formidablenadversary … it also opens up greaternpossibilities for peace.” Yet ifn^’ j”n• .-‘nnnCulture I intend not as criticism but asnaddenda and commentary on a stimulatingnwork. Persecuted minority thatnwe are, us crackers will have to stickntogether. At least we no longer have tonworry about the Roundheads. The fewnof them that are left have their handsnfull on other fronts.nGorbachev’s reforms succeed and Sovietnforeign policy remains unchanged,nthen Gorbachev will “have more resourcesnwith which to strengthen andnexpand the Soviet empire.” Does PresidentnNixon think Soviet foreign policynwill or can change? Go figure.nThe first term Reagan would nevernhave bought Nixon’s ideas on anything.nAfter all, Nixon has never beenna conservative, either in office or out.nThat is why Newsweek could praisenhim (in 1986) for having “left a legacynof solid achievement.” It is a legacyninvisible to the naked conservative eye.nIn 1974, the Bulletin of the ‘NationalnReview said it was ironic that manynAmerican conservatives had harnessednthemselves “into tandem with one whonis not and has never been a conserva-nNOVEMBER 1988125n