Skip to comments.Harvard’s Conservative Cabal Takes Congress
Posted on 12/17/2014 12:10:41 PM PST by 2ndDivisionVet
From Tom Cotton to Ted Cruz, many of the biggest new names in the GOP are graduates of Harvard -- the school the right loves to hate.
Mocking the arrogance of liberals from Harvard is a foolproof applause line for any Republican looking to rev up a conservative audience. But when the 114th Congress gavels into session in January, GOP speechwriters are going to need some new material.
Thats because many of fastest rising stars in the Republican Party, including Senators-elect Tom Cotton (Ark.), Ben Sasse (Neb.), Dan Sullivan (Ak.) and Rep.-elect Elise Stefanik, all graduated from Harvard. Along with Sens. Ted Cruz (Tex.), Pat Toomey (Penn.), David Vitter (La.) and Mike Crapo (Wyo.), the Republican Harvard contingent will outnumber Harvard Democrats in the U.S. Senate for the first time in recent memory.
Tom Cotton credits Harvard as the place where he discovered political philosophy as a way of life. Elise Stefanik, who will be the youngest woman ever to serve in Congress, was an editor and writer at the Harvard Crimson and served as the vice chair of Harvards Institute of Politics. Like Cotton and Stefanik, Sasse was a government major before going on to Oxford and Yale and becoming a college president himself.
Despite its reputation as Kremlin on the Charles, and the Peoples Republic of Cambridge, current and former students at Harvard describe the campus as both overtly liberal in its politics and an ideal place for conservative thought to develop and thrive.
I thought it was great place to be Republican, said Mark Isaacson, a former president of the Harvard Republican Club who is now a speechwriter for the RNC. A Harvard Democrat is kind of redundant, but a Harvard Republican is always being challenged, so youve got to self-evaluate a lot. Youve got to think about your views and why you hold them.
Aaron Hendricks, the current president of the Harvard Republicans, said he has seen the left-of-center political scene at Harvard make some students even more conservative than when they arrived.
Harvard is a great place to get a vision of just how liberal people can be. So when youre told that your peers are the future leaders of America, for some conservatives, thats a really scary thought, Henricks said. I can definitely see how that could push people from being someone who thinks conservatively to someone who wants to step up and get involved.
Beyond getting involved in campus politics, students pointed to a handful of professors whom conservatives credit for adding a heavily intellectual element to conservatism at Harvard, including Greg Mankiw, Marty Feldstein, Ruth Wisse and Peter Berkowitz.
But no professor is credited more or as often as Harvey Mansfield, the exceedingly polite, happily controversial conservative professor of political science who includes Tom Cotton, Ross Douthat, Andrew Sullivan and William Kristol among his well-known alumni.
Mansfield teaches the classics from Plato to Toqueville and offers a seminar on federalism that reads like the North Star for much of the conservative philosophy that runs through Republican speeches today.
He said he doesnt know why so many Harvard grads are succeeding in politics these days, but he does think conservatives at Harvard get a better education at the school than the more liberal students.
When youre a conservative student here, you have to struggle a little and you have to be more skeptical than most people and you have to think in your mind how you would answer this kind of argument. You figure it out for yourself, Mansfield said. You are more on the defense, but because you have learned how to play defense, you also get better at offense, so you get better at arguing.
The Harvard College Democrats remain the largest political club on campus with an email list of 2,000, weekly meetings, four standing committees and election-year events like sending 300 students to New Hampshire to campaign for President Obama in 2012.
But Jacob Carrel, the president of the Harvard Democrats, still gives Republicans credit for what theyre doing. They are a smaller group and because theyre smaller, they are more tight knit, theyre really able to defend their views, Carrel said. Well have debates against them and its clear theyre really able to defend themselves, probably because they have to with many of their friends.
Not all famous conservative graduates are held in high esteem by the student body, however. The Crimson recently suggested that conservatives in the mold of Ted Cruz should no longer apply to Harvard in the future if they cant resist the treachery of defaming the institution after graduation. (In fairness to the Crimson, Cruz suggested that Harvard Law School, his alma mater, hosted Marxists who believed in overthrowing the United States government.)
Mansfield said he thinks the addition of Cotton, Sasse and Sullivan to the Senate will improve the experience for conservatives at Harvard. I think it will inspire a lot of Harvard students who are Republican to see that it isnt a handicap to be conservative at Harvard, he said. But even Mansfield did not include Cruz as one of his own.
Ted Cruz, by the way, is not a Harvard man. Hes Princeton, Mansfield said. Just going to Harvard Law School does not make you a Harvard Man. Cotton is a Harvard man. Sasse is, too. Elise Stefanik is a Harvard woman. The others are mere alumni.
My wish for 2016:
No Ivy Leaguers.
28 consecutive years is enough.
I suspect I’ll be disappointed, but a guy can hope.
when America finally fails and dies, it will be due to a bad bad case of “poison Ivy.”
Haaaavaad is the farm club for the professional politicians in DC.
So the conservatives from Harvard are actually liberals?
Jeb Bush, believe it or not, isn’t an “Ivy Leaguer,” so there you go! Or do you lean more towards Gomer Huckleberry?
So tell me what is factually wrong with that statement. Exhibit A is sitting in the White House.
Poor Jeb, he was relegated to UT I guess...
Senator Cruz must've said something that upset poor Professor Mansfield ...
I was a College Republican at another school in the Boston area. I was part of the contingent that went to the statewide conference. There was an election for head of the state College Republicans and it was won by a African-American Harvard student, if I remember right he was Law student. The guy was amazing. If we had to have a first African-American POTUS this guy would of been a much better choice than the fake intellectual Obama.
Go Ted go! Tell the truth about Harvard!
My wish (yes, more of a dream to be sure) is that commie indoctrination centers such as Harvard, Yale, Cornell, MIT and UCB all lose their endowments. Then, for pennies on the dollar, those campuses will be bought by Hillsdale College, Bob Jones University and Liberty University. Consequently instead of teaching anti-American marxism, a pro-God, pro-life, pro-gun, pro-American Bible-centered curriculum will then result in real learning.
I dont hate Harvard, just it’s faculty.
LOL! The MSM and whacked out liberal base are going to have to come up with new talking points about how the Republicans are stupid.
The leftists had a farm club of sorts for a potential first black president. Supposedly, Jesse Jackson's son was one of them who was being groomed. Although, Obama was found to be the sharpest tack in the drawer.
The Tea Party(s) need to put on their Indian apparel(wear proper makup) and FORGET about the TEA...
THEY NEEDS START SINKING SHIPS THAT CARRY THE TEA...
CRUZ FOR POTUS!!!!!
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