That’s what I always called him: Professor Anderson. Not Congressman.Not Mr. Anderson. Not John. Professor. That’s how I knew him.
This continues by series of belated eulogies. (I always find out well after the fact). John B. Anderson, former Illinois Congressman, died Dec. 3, 2017 at age 95. WaPo did a pretty good job of capturing the spirit of his political career. The terms in Congress. The Presidential run in 1980. The issues he thought important and his college teaching.
I knew him from law school. His Constitutional Decision Making and Electoral Process Classes were two electives and two of the few classes I actually enjoyed. He was really into electoral politics, with ideas a bit strange – yet, really, no stranger than the effete system you currently “enjoy.”
The Con Law class was were my work on Posse Comitatus first took shape, outside of a progenitor thought during a G. Gordon Liddy show episode. He initially took the research concept with a grain of salt. The grain developed when the subject contemporaneously arose from the DC sniper case(s). He heard something on the radio and called me with invigorated excitement. The rest was superfluous legal history.
I recall a visit to the Anderson home in Washington one summer (2002, I think). Professor A. and Keke graciously received my wife and I one sticky afternoon. In Keke I believe I saw some of the genesis of that “independent” proclivity. In truth, it looked more like liberalism than rebelliousness. But it was civil and interesting.
Such was the relationship. And the education. The above classes, like most, provided less overt substance than one would have supposed. However it was the idea bouncing that helped, that mattered. One needs that from time to time: someone to bounce the thoughts off. Someone independent.
Godspeed, Professor Anderson.
John B. Anderson, Atheneum, Amazon.