Good Will Hunting: George Will Leaves Republican Party In Opposition To Donald Trump

495px-Donald_Trump_by_Gage_Skidmore220px-GeorgeWill06Conservative columnist and icon George Will has left the Republican Party in light of the presumptive nomination of Donald Trump and his announcement triggered another juvenile response from Trump on Twitter — followed by a reply from Will that may be one of the best put downs that I have read in years.

Will said on Sunday that he had “left the Republican Party for the same reason he joined it” and said that he no longer believed in the Party after it handed the nomination to Donald Trump. It was a defining moment for the Party from a man who is viewed by many as one of the true intellectual forces behind the conservative movement since Reagan.

Earlier Will wrote in a column that “Events already have called his bluff about funding himself and thereby being uniquely his own man. His wealth is insufficient. Only he knows what he is hiding by being the first presidential nominee in two generations not to release his tax returns. It is reasonable to assume that the returns would refute many of his assertions about his net worth, his charitableness and his supposed business wizardry.”

There is no question that Will is hunting for Trump in his column and comments, but he is raising concerns over well-founded criteria for the presidency from temperament to transparency to trustworthiness. While one would have expected Trump to issue a measured response to combat the image of a loose cannon, he responded in his signature fashion: “George Will, one of the most overrated political pundits (who lost his way long ago), has left the Republican Party. He’s made many bad calls.” Trump also stated “You know he looks smart because he wears those little glasses. If you take those glasses away from him, he’s a dummy.”

Yea, it is the glasses.

Trump’s playground taunt led to a classic Will line: “He has an advantage on me because he can say everything he knows about any subject in 140 characters and I can’t.”

I honestly do not know why someone like Trump seems intent on proving his critics right about his alleged lack of maturity and self-control. He is not a stupid person.  We all have had the urges to say taunting or juvenile things and somethings the urge gets the better of us.  However, Trump appears to have no resistance to such urges, which can be a troubling characteristic for a chief executive.  It is also highly counterproductive at this stage in the campaign.  There is no question that the personal attacks played well with his base in the primary but polls now suggest that he will fall considerably short in the general if this trend continues and furthermore it seems likely that, if he flames out in November, he will hand Clinton not only the White House but the Senate.  It is an ironic moment.  He is up against the single weakest modern Democratic candidate since Ed Muskie — a person with record negatives. Yet, he cannot resist reducing every dispute to name calling and taunts.

For the record, I have known George Will for years and consider him a friend. I have had the pleasure of meeting with him over lunches where we have discussed everything from economic game theory to contemporary politics. We both also share a deep love for the Chicago Cubs.

George graduated from Trinity College in 1962 and then studied Philosophy, Politics, and Economics at Magdalen College, Oxford where he received a BA and a masters. He also received MA and PhD degrees in politics from Princeton University. His 1968 PhD dissertation was entitled Beyond the Reach of Majorities: Closed Questions in the Open Society. He also taught political philosophy at the James Madison College of Michigan State University, the University of Toronto, and Harvard University.

220px-Reading-GlassesIn other words, it really is not the glasses.

There are a few truly transcendent intellectuals in this city and George Will is one of them. In a city of shallow spins and trite slogans, George Will routinely brings depth and insight into contemporary issues. His loss to the Republican Party should concentrate the minds of all of its continuing members. More importantly, calling Will names only serves to prove his point about the dangerous turn of our politics and his former party.

94 thoughts on “Good Will Hunting: George Will Leaves Republican Party In Opposition To Donald Trump”

  1. George Will wrote in a recent column about Lawrence Tribe’s signature on an amicus brief in the Vergara case (on Shook, Hardy and Bacon letterhead). Lawrence Lessig signed the same brief but, Will ignored him. Just wondered about the omission.

  2. If you add all the people who back Bernie Sander to all the people who back Donald Trump that’s probably over 1/2 the country. Over 1/2 the country is not happy with the country current condition.

  3. Rosie S,
    I encourage you to follow the path and the team of players, especially the Canarys.
    Google Leura and Bill Canary.
    Maybe you won’t think that Don really had his fair shake in the justice system after reading a little about these two.

  4. Does Turley realize how patronizing he sounds like when he calls a billionaire juvenile . Unlike Turley he has actually created jobs and not earned his living in the bubble of university job. We have a juvenile president who according to mr Turley must be the mature one in condescension

  5. “RS, like so may other media outlets have tried to scrub their content.”
    Whoa! That’s serious! Of Taibbi’s work or other pointed articles by other authors (e.g., pieces that disturb TPTB)? What’s up with that?

  6. Prairie Rose,
    Thanks for making me aware of that site. It was so disconcerting to try to pull up that article and not be able to. RS, like so may other media outlets have tried to scrub their content.

  7. Autumn,
    I think I found the article on another site. Thanks for posting the Democracy Now interview.

    “Once you follow that trail and understand what took place in Jefferson County, there’s really no room left for illusions. We live in a gangster state, and our days of laughing at other countries are over. It’s our turn to get laughed at. In Birmingham, lots of people have gone to jail for the crime: More than 20 local officials and businessmen have been convicted of corruption in federal court. Last October, right around the time that Lisa Pack went back to work at reduced hours, Birmingham’s mayor was convicted of fraud and money-laundering for taking bribes funneled to him by Wall Street bankers — everything from Rolex watches to Ferragamo suits to cash. But those who greenlighted the bribes and profited most from the scam remain largely untouched. “It never gets back to JP Morgan,” says Pack.”

  8. Hi Rosie,

    Given that so many people across the proverbial aisle have come out in support of Siegelman I think Obama should have pardoned him. But then, again I not versed in the legal system

  9. also, let’s not forget the ouster of Dominique Strauss-Kahn once he publicly stated that there could be an alternative to trading on the dollar. He had a long history of “womanizing” which was ignored until he said that and then the whole alleged situation with the hotel maid came up. Christine Legarde, took his place as head of the IMF – an establishment player who is now thumping on the Brexiters to make an example of them.

    Are you familiar with “Confessions of an Economic Hitman” by John Perkins? I read that when it first came out, but it was really brought home that the very same tactics used against third world nations (oops, should say “newly emerging economies”) by an article by Matt Taibbi in Rolling Stone which clearly revealed that the vultures have come home and are feeding off US citizens. I wanted to attach it, but keep getting the message “Sorry for the inconvenience,
    this page could not be loaded” on RS’s site. Thankfully we have the internet so here is a piece on DemocracyNow about his article:

    On a personal note, my husband recently complained that we not seen a movie in several months – my answer was “who needs mass produced entertainment when we have all these things taking place real time?”

    then again, I have a dark sense of humor

  10. Autumn

    Why are you blaming Obama for Siegelman? Siegelman was ‘convicted’ in 2006 and turned down on Appeal in 2009.

    What are you suggesting Obama did or should do about Siegelman?

  11. Paul,
    Aside from the MIC wanting to make money – it was that Saddam was threatening to go off the dollar and trade in Euros (silly man another side, same coin). It would have demonstrated to the BRICS and other countries that there might be another alternative – at least that’s my take.

  12. I had forgotten all about Siegelman – it’s hard to keep up with multiple issues. I remember signing several petitions on his behalf. Poor guy and his family. Yet another example of Obama’s failure to live up to his professed standards. I won’t even start on the whistleblowers….

  13. Ralph, my question is if McDonald’s actions weren’t anything but part of everyday business as governor then why is Don Siegelman in jail?

  14. I don’t understand why Bill Buckley is becoming part of this discussion. George Swill was never fit to clean Buckley’s toilet, let along have an iota of an idea of merit.

  15. TJ,
    Just got around to viewing your video post “Hidden America: Children of the Plains” and it made me cry – that children in the richest country on earth live in such conditions — yeah, I know, here in my own city wonderful people spend time and money filling backpacks of food items for school kids so they don’t come to school after a weekend totally famished, but still, each time I see something like this it is still heart wrenching. thanks so much for posting this – I have sent it out to everyone I know.

  16. I should not complain about George Will. We have been able to read and hear on tv some good thoughts on politics and American history from this guy for a number of years. He is not too academic sounding or whatnot. He does exude some uppitty aspects but what the heck. I hope he helps form a new party. The Trumpsters have taken over the GOP. It may be old but it ain’t grand any longer.

  17. How come there’s no article on the latest SCOTUS decision that will enable more government corruption to occur without fear of punishment? Could it be because the SCOTUS is what I’ve always said it was: a bunch of whores in robes in the service of the Global Elite to expand the powers of big business and big government and to crush the average citizen– and it’s better to ignore the news than to face the fact that I’m right yet again?

  18. Autumn

    You’re welcome. My favorite is Don’t Crush That Dwarf, Hand Me the Pliars.

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