You are on page 1of 1

/ 3 ' his mission among the fellow-nations of this hemisphere . Mr .

Nixon, like many another official visitor to a foreign land, is expected to make a serie s of fulsome, and ingratiating comments . The process is a familiar one . The only problem day after day is to decide what feature o f each new national landscape or local instit to n expressly to admire . Here there must he rais e for native industry or ingenuity, there for som e historic or artistic achievement . Such comment s are none the less warmly welcomed for being universally expected . Hence there was nothing very surprising 'o r spectacular in Mr . Nixon's congratulating th e Archbishop of Guatemala on the grounds that th e Catholic Church had proved to be such a "bulwar k against Communism and totalitarian ideas ." Som e American Catholics may view this as a decidedl y back-handed compliment or have felt that this wa s setting the cart before the horse, to say the least . The Church assuredly diminishes in stature if i t is viewed primarily as a policeman of any sort . But it hardly pays to take such passing remark s in a diplomatic context such as this one very seriously . However, Dr . , John A . Mackay, president o f the Princeton Theological Institute, has seen fi t to seize upon the occasion to attack the whol e concept . His reaction to the bland Nixon phrase i s a tirade of several paragraphs directed primaril y at the Church in the Latin countries, which h e cites as "breeding, grounds for Communism . " These are familiar charges-and in some Lati n 1rrierican countries not without some foundation . hey do assume a greater degree of influence o n the part of the Church authorities in those countrie s han actually exists . But the ironic thing is tha t an offhand remark by a goodwill ambassado r should have set o(fsuch fireworks .
CONSERVATIVE JOURNALIS M

HE Los Angeles Tidings, which in McCarthy language might be described as a West Coas t edition of the Brooklyn Tablet, recently . published a front-page interview with William F . Buckley, Jr ., whom the Tidings described as "a seasoned rightwing fighter at 30 ." Mr . Buckley was i n town, the paper reported, "on reconnaissance fo r his coming campaign to prove that 'Christian conservatism is not dead .' " As part of his campaign, Mr . Buckley propose s to found a magazine to be called "Nationa l Weekly ." This magazine, according to the Tidings , "wilt forthrightly oppose the prevailing trend of

public opinion, and its purpose will be to chang e the nation's intellectual- and political climate ." Thi s looks like a ' pretty big order, but in Mr . Buckley' s view, "the left wins by default principally becaus e there is no organized attempt by the right t o vitalize its own philosophy . " "For example," Mr . Buckley claims .' "the lef t has seven national weekly journals_of opinion . Th e right has none ." He believes, therefore, that i f a forthrightly conservative weekly is founded i t will receive wide popular support, because , "Americans [are] disillusioned by the liberal intel l igentsia . " We don't know what, seven weekly journals Mr . Buckley thinks of as being had by the left, bu t we agree with him that there is need in thi s country for a responsible weekly magazine ex pressing the viewpoint of the right . What has worried us about much " conservative" thinking in th e past has been what seemed to us its refusal t o make a correlation between political slogans an d their actual implications . We therefore hope tha t Mr . Buckley's new magazine, when it makes weekby-week statements of "conservative" principles , will spell out for its readers what the concret e application of these principles would mean in th e real world . The Tidings interview, however, doe s not reassure us on this score . For example, Mr . Buckley says that in foreig n affairs his magazine will have a "pro-liberation " policy : "I am not an interventionist," he claims , "buf we are our brother's keeper to the' exten t that we help free him from slavery . I am a liberationist because I believe, that the assumptions of . Communism are such as to make 'coexistence impossible ." Asked to explain the , practical point s of this policy, Mr . Buckley stated : "We favor with ._ drawal of recognition from Soviet Russia . We favo r the abandonment of cocktail talks with Communists . We favor fomenting trouble for them . " Well, this is line rhetoric and noble sentiment . We arc for liberation too, but we . don' t 'think it can be magically accomplished by withdrawin g recognition from the Soviet Union or even by our ' diplomats' refusing to drink a cocktail with Mr . Molotov .' We certainly don 't see how it can come from men opposed to "intervention . " It's iy dangerous and irresponsible game to tal k easily of "liberation" unless one is willing to accept the full military-economic consequences o f what liberation would mean as a national hereand-now policy . We therefore await the appearance of Mr . Buckley', conservative weeklywith great ., , interest . In it, we hope, he will be able to solve ' the major problem facing most :conservatives to day : the problem of bringing th ,ir principles int o
.tn nothing if they remarry divorced from th e usc awful re' payrr4.ibihties c,t power .
rF.rrt,- ie1 .0iioiship
s ilr .y ~ti'rid where

slogan s