CAN REPUBLICANS WIN THE WAR OF IDEAS?
As you may (or may not) recall, we ended last week’s piece (November 17: “The Axis of Deficient Education”) with mixed expectations. On the one hand, we believe our current generation of political leaders is woefully deficient in humanities education and that this deficiency shows quite clearly. On the other hand, we think that some of the younger members of the political class actually have the intelligence, the erudition, and the ambition to overcome the inadequacies of the education system. We put it this way:
[W]e’re not entirely sure that the story is much better on the Republican side, though we can hope that the type of people who would go on to become motivated conservative politicians would also have been motivated enough to take some personal control of their education. We won’t say that applies to all of the candidates, of course, but we do think it applies to at least a couple and hope that it applies to more than that.
When we wrote this bit, we probably undersold some of the Republican candidates, a few of whom represent the best and the brightest our political system has produced in a long, long time. One candidate in particular stands out in terms of education, intelligence, and intellectual ambition. Back in May, “Spengler” – i.e. David P. Goldman – described that candidate as follows:
Ted Cruz is intellectually arrogant, like Ronald Reagan. The difference is that Reagan masked his arrogance with self-deprecating humor. Sen. Cruz does a Reagan impression that would do a nightclub comedian proud, but he doesn’t have Reagan’s easy and spontaneous humor. . . .
Sen. Cruz is authentically bright, sufficiently so for the liberal Alan Dershowitz to declare that he was the best student he had ever had at Harvard’s Law School. The conservative legal theorist Robert P. George, who taught Cruz at Princeton, says the same thing. He’s so smart that he is not the least impressed by the conservative foreign policy establishment. . . .
The foreign policy establishment of both parties agrees that it is America’s mission to remake the world in its own image, although the liberal Wilsonian and the neo-conservative Republican versions of this utopia have minor differences. We need a president arrogant enough to ignore the whole pack of them, just like Reagan did. That requires arrogance more than any other quality.
Today, Spengler/Goldman has another piece on Cruz, “The Top 10 Reasons to Vote for Ted Cruz.” Among the points he makes are the following:
10. He really knows economics–not the ideologically driven pablum dished out at universities, but the real battlefield of entrenched monopolies against entrepreneurial upstarts….
9. He really knows foreign policy….
8. He really knows the political system….
7. He’s an outsider, and America needs an outsider.…
And the top reason to vote for Ted Cruz is:
He can beat Hillary Clinton. Not just beat her, but beat her by a landslide.
We’re not sure we agree with everything Goldman writes, and we’re far less inclined than he to get too terribly excited about any national politician. Nevertheless, Goldman does a good job of explaining why Cruz in particular and the current Republican field in general represent the best offering for conservative voters in a generation. As they say in the blog business: Read the whole thing.