So today is the last day of my class on American Statesmen for AEI’s Summer Institute program for college students, whose intensive, three-hour-a-day sessions have kept me from my regularly scheduled appearances here on Power Line. I’m likely to end the course today with some of the thoughts with which I launched the class on Monday, especially what I used as my thematic statement on the first day–the last paragraph of Leo Strauss’s eulogy to Churchill, made in class at the University of Chicago in 1965 when the news came of Churchill’s death:
The death of Churchill reminds us of the limitations of our craft, and therewith of our duty. We have no higher duty, and no more pressing duty, than to remind ourselves and our students, of political greatness, human greatness, of the peaks of human excellence. For we are supposed to train ourselves and others in seeing things as they are, and this means above all in seeing their greatness and their misery, their excellence and their vileness, their nobility and their triumphs, and therefore never to mistake mediocrity, however brilliant, for true greatness.