Friday, March 02, 2007

Wanted: wise men and women in the White House

On last night's News Hour with Jim Lehrer, the historian Robert Dallek lamented that there are no more "public intellectuals" like Arthur Schlesinger in contemporary Presidential administrations. In other words, there are no distinguished historians or political scientists, or hard science scholars for that matter, in modern political life--the ranks of Presidential and Congressional advisers seem to be filled with partisans, political consultants and your generic hacks. There are Karl Roves close to power now, not Carl Sagans. I think every President has a duty to seek out wise people, experts, people with perspective to advise him.

I doubt we can expect to see the current occupant of the White House reaching out to scholars and specialists, but maybe the next President will welcome them. The question is, who are the learned men and women you read and respect? Who are the candidates to become the next Arthur Schlesinger? Why?

So put forth your people and make an argument already.


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