A while back, I wrote about an accusation that my criticism of Trumpism was poor strategy, since it did not serve the conservative cause. Herewith, what happens when scholars subvert truth to politics: CNN has published John Eastman’s chilling memo outlining how then-Vice President Mike Pence could declare Donald Trump to be the choice of the Electoral College in 2020. Eastman was a law professor when he wrote it, though he resigned shortly afterward.
There is a long tradition in Western thought of the scholar-statesman, from Cicero to, more recently, Daniel Patrick Moynihan. It is an admirable tradition. Moreover, no one succeeds in politics by an unyielding insistence on unvarnished truth. But truth must remain the scholar’s touchstone. Without it, scholars are useless to statesmen and stateswomen. They are untrue to their own vocation. And, QED, they can be dangerous.