Ken Cuccinelli's Moral Crusade
The Republican candidate for governor of Virginia has drawn deep lines between what he believes is right and wrong
Gonzaga, the Jesuit high school in a scruffy part of Washington’s inner city, is where Ken Cuccinelli II says he became the man he is. The Republican candidate for governor of Virginia emerged in part in John Hoffman’s social justice class in 1986, when the teacher pressed the boys to look beyond the facts of poverty and inequality and examine the structures that shape people’s lives.
Cuccinelli came into that classroom as a kid from the suburbs who showed great spirit — he was the guy inside the school’s eagle mascot costume — and had a bit of a temper, but he was nobody’s idea of a rebel.
His parents had insisted that he leave the Fairfax County public schools and commute from McLean to the private Catholic school because, as his father put it, “Fairfax is not the real world.”
At Gonzaga, Cuccinelli would be with boys of different races and classes, guys from Anacostia on scholarship and kids from Chevy Chase who’d never known hardship.
Now, a liberal teacher with a beard so long the boys called him “ZZ Hoffman” assigned them readings by Karl Marx and asked them to imagine how society might be different if the world were constructed of, say, Nerf.