Take the day in 1992 when both Republican Senator Warren Rudman and Democrat Paul Tsongas made headlines declaring that everybody was at fault for the country’s fiscal condition at the time, from then-President Bush to the democrat-controlled Congress, to the American people. Responsible economists later credited Rudman and Tsongas for spurring reforms that helped lead to the Clinton era surpluses.
Around the same time, retired senator and conservative eminence gris Barry Goldwater denounced the followers of émigré philosopher Leo Strauss – so-called “neocons” – for hijacking Goldwater’s beloved movement over cliffs of romantic delusion. A more recent example of post retirement candor came When G.W. Bush’s ex-Treasury Secretary, Paul O’Neill, revealed a swamp of backroom dealings and ineptitude, explaining that he was “old and rich” and unafraid to speak his mind. On the other side, some claim that Senator Joe Lieberman really came into his own when he ran as an independent, shrugging off party discipline (if such a thing exists, among democrats.)
The article goes on to point out that candor is almost suicidal under the rules of our current system. Excellent thought. What I found more interesting was Brin’s awareness of Leo Strauss, the man behind the curtain of much of the modern Neoconservative movement. I wouldn’t have expected a scientist to have read so deeply into politics.
Yes, Strauss is mentioned in the histories you can find on the web about Neoconservatism but few point out his critical role in the movement, nor do they emphasize the manipulative nature of his teaching. The articles talk about Strauss teaching about a return to Classical values – this is utter nonsense, Strauss was designing a new political elite from his students, manipulative and power hungry. We will be dealing with his minions for decades to come. He planted the dragon seeds that bedevil our foreign policy even today. And they will be pulling many other strings as well.
So, Mr. Brin has impressed me and I wish him well. I think we share many of the same thoughts.