If you follow the bloody crossroads between academia and politics, you know that nothing gets some precincts of the Left more exercised that any connection to Leo Strauss, supposedly the inspiration for all things neoconservative. (This is ridiculous, by the way, but some other time. . .) So I rather like the suggestion of Rob Howse of NYU (author of a critical book on Strauss) that Bernie Sanders, University of Chicago class of 1964, might be a secret Straussian! (Yes, yes, I get the ironic joke: is there any other kind? Heh.)
Howse posts the following today on his Facebook page:
There’s much to be excited by in Bernie Sanders but one thing is that he might actually have taken classes from Leo Strauss. Sanders switched to political science from English at the University of Chicago in the early 60s, when Strauss was at his peak there. Sanders was very interested in Marx when he was an undergrad, on whom Strauss taught an important seminar in the spring quarter 1960. Sanders’ words of admiration for Winston Churchill in last Thursday’s debate seem to echo Strauss, in style and spirit.
Oh, please please let’s stoke this rumor! Hillary should certainly start a whispering campaign. Read between the lines of Sanders’s socialism—it’s national socialism after all! The comic value alone is worth it. (And yes, Sanders’s evocation of Churchill the other night was very surprising. A dead giveaway perhaps. More on that later.)