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Roger Boesche is not among the top ten Tocqueville scholars in my opinion, but he probably deserves to be in the top fifteen or at least twenty; he has at least three serious books on Tocqueville I can recall off-hand, the most well known being The Strange Liberalism of Alexis de Tocqueville , and my recollection of what I read in the more recent book, Tocqueville’s Road Map , is that Boesche tends to endorse that (capital-L) Liberalism more than he attacks it.  For various reasons having mostly to do with the foci of my own Tocqueville research, I never gave Boesche serious attention the way I did a number of other scholars, but I do know there is one Boesche book you should own, his co-edited collection of Tocqueville letters .

So, we now learn that Boesche was one of Barack Obama’s favorite professors at Occidental College, whereupon one Charles C. Johnson at Big Government finds a 1980 student paper article where Boesche denounces U.S. militarism and encourages opposition (probably including draft resistance as well) to the Selective Service. We are told that this is evidence of Boesche’s “odious views” of the U.S. military, and so no wonder Obama liked his classes. Yeah, 1980.

Now I don’t know the p’s and q’s of Boesche’s political beliefs, but had Mr. Johnson taken the time to talk to a single conservative academic in political science, he would have learned that the signs all point to either a moderate, or a liberal or leftist able to give serious attention to conservative views, at least in political theory. And it certainly seems he made no effort to contact Boesche himself. The only good thing about Johnson’s miserable post is that he found an old picture of Boesche sporting a trucker’s cap with “Nietzsche” emblazoned on it. A died-in-the-wool lefty for sure, eh?

There are at least two readers of Postmodern Conservative who might have a good read on Boesche’s politics, which I suppose could be an interesting topic to discuss.

But the Breitbart editors need to get a better handle on things. I’ve noticed of late that most their sites are just pumping out too much content in general, and this post is an example of the sort of real stinkeroo that happens when things are that way.

For it’s almost certainly to Obama’s credit that he liked Boesche’s classes.

More on: Barack Obama

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