Sunday, March 19, 2017

A Left Coast Home for Strauss

Writing for The Chronicle of Higher Education, Jon Baskin does a long and not overly negative look at the nest of "West Coast Straussians" who call Claremont Graduate University home, publish the Claremont Review of Books, and generally provide an intellectual underpinning for the Trump doctrine.

The Review isn't technically associated with Claremont U. but published by a think tank in the neighborhood and staffed largely by Claremont grad students. The guys at Power Line have been trying to interest their readers in CRB, plugging it as a conservative wonder.

The famous Publius Decius Mus article "The Flight 93 Election" appeared there. We commented favorably on it back on September 5 of last year, and quoted the opening two paragraphs:
2016 is the Flight 93 election: charge the cockpit or you die. You may die anyway. You—or the leader of your party—may make it into the cockpit and not know how to fly or land the plane. There are no guarantees.

Except one: if you don’t try, death is certain. To compound the metaphor: a Hillary Clinton presidency is Russian Roulette with a semi-auto. With Trump, at least you can spin the cylinder and take your chances.
I believe TCHE was genuinely bemused to find the philosophical heart of Trumpism associated with a respectable campus. I love what the West Coast Straussians call themselves, they're "Claremonsters."

NB: For the firearms-challenged, Russian Roulette is only a gamble with a revolver, with a semi-auto it is simply suicide.