To the Editor:
In “What To Do About the Children” [March], William J. Bennett has, I think, given as trenchant an account as it is possible to give of the moral quagmire engulfing American society. I believe he is entirely correct in allocating some responsibility to government policies—and in particular to those of the welfare state—in bringing us to our present sorry state. His proposals to correct those policies also deserve the highest consideration by Congress. But Mr. Bennett is also correct in saying that the primary cause of the moral crisis is not government, and will not be corrected even by the reforms he proposes.
As he well understands, there is an endemic moral relativism that dominates our universities, and that has spread from them to the entire educational establishment, at all levels. From there it has spread to leaders in the media, in business, law, and politics. Promiscuous behavior of all kinds—and not only that of the drug and welfare cultures—subsists largely upon the authority of the conviction that good and bad, right and wrong, just and unjust are only “value judgments,” matters of opinion. Among these, it is said, reason is unable to discriminate, so that what is called moral is no less arbitrary than what is called immoral. In such a regime the distinction between moral and immoral rapidly erodes. . . .
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