One of the strangest and most intriguing “endorsements” that Sen Ted Cruz has gotten for his run for the president was from his old Harvard Law professor, Alan Dershowitz. Professor Dershowitz proclaimed Cruz to be one of the most brilliant students he ever had while on The Kelly File. That is quite a compliment considering that Dershowitz is a down the line liberal, and Cruz is running as the most conservative candidate for president since Ronald Reagan.

Dershowitz, like many law professors, uses the Socratic method of teaching, putting out a question and engaging his students in a dialogue leading to the discovery of the nature of the law.

Cruz shone in these dialogues, always the first to raise his hand and argue the exact opposite of the proposition that Dershowitz presented. For instance, if the professor argued against the death penalty, Cruz would argue in favor of it. Dershowitz pronounced Cruz’s arguments to be “brilliant” and well presented. He would never have to play devil’s advocate when bantering with Cruz about any subject in class.

Dershowitz has gotten into trouble with some of his liberal friends for making this assessment public. But he believes in honesty. More importantly, he believes in the cut and thrust of intellectual argument, something that all too many university professors are not comfortable with when conservative ideas are concerned.

Mind, do not expect Dershowitz to vote for Cruz for president. Tolerance and respect for his former student’s brilliance will only go so far. On the other hand, Dershowitz is not likely to be on Cruz’s short list to be nominated for the Supreme Court.

Conservatives get the rap from the left of being pretty dim, the idea that no intelligent person can believe in conservative ideas.

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Ronald Reagan was called an “amiable dunce” though he seemed to be smart enough to win the Cold War, something that people who thought themselves his intellectual betters considered impossible.

Cruz, with his Ivy League education, must present quite a challenge to his opponents. Many people do not find him amiable (another bad rap) but no one can seriously conclude that he is a dunce.