To the Editor:
To judge from the letters that are sent to the editor of COMMENTARY and subsequently printed, the average reader of your magazine is, instead of an enlightened, curious intellectual, concerned about both sides of a question, an insufferable, self-righteous prig. This is odd, since your letter-writers are, for the most part, professors, bureaucrats, writers, and students. While one’s illusions about the above-named professions have been shattered over the course of the last few years, it is strange to see such narrow-mindedness and intolerance in action. Indeed, one is inclined to think that COMMENTARY, which makes great efforts to be reasoned and intelligent, is like a red flag to the Establishment intellectuals of America. Whenever your contributors write an article that flouts a liberal myth, outraged letters, sealed with froth, come pouring in. . . .
My great puzzlement at this perpetual outrage stems from the status of COMMENTARY’S contributors: Walter Laqueur, Irving Howe, Daniel P. Moynihan. These are none of your garden-variety heretics like William F. Buckley, Jr. or James Burnham. . . .
Thus, and although I stand ready to be corrected, I am growing wary of the kind of individual your letter-writing readers represent: the powerful, well-established intellectual bigot. . . .