President Bush insults the intelligence of Americans and debases the nation's values and integrity when he substitutes visceralism for principle or ideology. George F. Will points out {''Have You Ever Seen a Policy Go This Way and That,'' op-ed, Nov. 7} that raising the president's ire has now become, in the mind of George Bush, an adequate explanation for putting U.S. troops in harm's way.

Up until now, the most inane appearance of the president's gut in national debate was following the Supreme Court's ruling in the Johnson case. Rather than articulate a thoughtful position on flag-burning, President Bush countered the court's reasoned constitutional arguments by citing his visceral reaction to the means of expression at issue. His message to the citizens of the republic was that his personal feelings overrode discussion of the Constitution or its principles.

The president gets angry on a fairly regular basis these days. And it seems he forms positions on public policy according to his passions. Increasingly, visceralism is emerging as the Bush ideology.

Getting mad is not a good enough reason to change the Constitution, and it is certainly not a good enough reason to go to war. It is shocking that Mr. Bush has not realized that his shows of anger will not substitute for compelling arguments.

Presumably, there is more to Mr. Bush's positions than visceralism. He seems to think, however, that calling names and getting mad are the only things Americans can understand, so he panders. We have indulged him long enough. Mr. Will is right: ''I've had it'' is a woefully inadequate explanation for making preparations to go to war. It is time the president be told that we expect reasoned, coherent, substantive rationale to be behind each national decision. KEITH DECIE Washington