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. Steve Grown,
    “Clinton’s so far right that even Will is voting for her? So goes the Democratic Party. Adieu.”

    Well said. Both parties, it seems, are getting blown to smithereens.

  2. The Party of Lincoln. What was that about?
    Party of Trump. The South Will Rise Again!

  3. The GOP left me a couple of years ago, so I know exactly where Will is at. Logically, if he’s to vote for the most conservative candidate, then I look forward to his support of the Johnson-Weld ticket, after all options are exhausted at the GOP convention.

  4. I have a nasty feeling Trump is pandering to conservatives to make a sweet deal of the presidency for Clinton. The art of the deal, or con job, at its best. Is he trying to tick off enough moderates that folks either stay home, or, heaven forbid, vote for Clinton? Perhaps I am just that cynical and jaded.

    I may still vote for Rand Paul. There is no “None of the above” button. 🙁

  5. Well said, Professor Turley.

    Paul Schulte,
    I hope you are wrong about reports that George Will is going to vote for Hillary. Any chance you think he’d vote Libertarian?

  6. I think that in the modern world, anyone who can read and write (more or less), is considered an: ‘intellectual’ — whatever that may mean.

    George Will has all the intellectual appeal of a dish of melting vanilla ice cream. He is a fence-sitter and a time-server. One would turn to Mencken before one would turn to Will. What of Westbrook Pegler? Pegler would have demolished Will and his kind in two or three sentences. As to the implied suggestion that Trump is inarticulate and ill-informed, this same charge was levelled at Eisenhower – a superb officer, and one of our greatest presidents.

  7. Amazing “leaving the Republican Party because they handed Trump the nomination”, what happened to the people, what they want? This is the problem in the nation there to many guys who seem to think they know better then everyone else. “I didn’t get my way so I’m going home and I won’t play with you anymore”! Real standup guy, how come Mr Will you and the rest of the good ole boys never pounded Obacala to release his education records. Worried about Trumps tax records, the shape of this nation who really gives a flyin fletch about his tax records. You should say I’m leaving the US if a person like Hilly is the demoncrats nomination. Mr Will sorry to say you may think your the brightness candle on the cake, but me an average guy think your a big baby. Go with Mitt and tell each other how right you are, shame on you.

  8. Hi Don, I had never heard of Firesign Theater – just googled them – thanks for introducing me to them.

  9. Steve Groen

    Like Autumn, I could respect the George Will of 30 years ago, even though I did not agree with him much of the time. Today, I’d have dinner with him if offered the chance but would not pay a dime to do so. He’s gone downhill, way downhill, over the last 30 years.

    I will plead nolo contendere to not running on all cylinders. That has been true of me at least since the date, many years ago, on which I started listening to Firesign Theater. That doesn’t stop me from learning by reading things written by those with whom I disagree.

    1. Don de Drain: I completely missed Firesign Theatre in my adolescence, so for the sake of the experience, I’ll check out “Don’t Crush That Dwarf, Hand Me the Pliars,” which interestingly enough is on YouTube. Thanks for sharing.

  10. tnash80hotmailcom, Love your sense of humor!! Expect jackboots in Philly as well. Looks like, at least according to Jimmy Dore, that the RNC will have things under control with their “event zones”

    1. A gaffe-prone Mayor Daley stood by his Chicago PD after the 1968 convention.
      He praised their ability to “preserve disorder”.
      I’ve seen politicians fumble words, but Mayor Daley was in a league if his own.

  11. George Will found an opportunity to give the world the benefits of his take on Trump. I wonder how long ago he composed it.

    1. Paul and Autumn……the Buckley-Vidal exchange is available on youtube.
      Their argument was largely overshadowed by the tranquility of the 1968 Democratic Chicago Convention.

  12. The problem with Trump is that he is clueless. Calling Will names won’t change that.

    Trump’s but a walking shadow, a poor player
    That struts and frets his hour upon the stage
    And then is heard no more: it is a tale
    Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
    Signifying nothing.

    1. MajorSkiddMarks – I do believe you have plagiarized. Please give credit to the original author and play, act and scene as well.

  13. Paul, all I can say is that I am envious – two towering intellectuals going at it no holds barred. I have been pulling up old footage offered by University of Texas on some of Mike Wallace’s interviews (came across them because I am a fan of Aldous Huxley) am amazed at how real they are in comparison to the heavily mediated/scripted “interviews” people get today.

    1. Autumn – I wish they would put the Bill Buckley interview shows on DVD. He was a great interviewer.

      Things got testy between Vidal and Buckley after Vidal called him a Nazi. Evidently calling someone a pinko faggot (I think that is right) is not defamatory, since Vidal was a pinko faggot. But calling someone a Nazi is defamatory. After that they were not allowed in the same booth.

  14. Paul,
    I agree with you that Will never had the charisma of Buckley – love or hate him he did have that. Have you seen the documentary about Buckley and Vidal?

    1. Autumn – I am old enough to have seen Buckley and Vidal live. 🙂

  15. Steve,
    One major reason that Gaddifi was taken out was because he was challenging the dollar-based hegemony – he was in favor of using an alternate system based on gold dinars.

    I think that was partially brought about Saddam’s demise as well – he was “our dictator” so long as he towed the line and waged war with Iran – after all the US supplied him with with most heinous biological weapons – including E.coli, anthrax, VX nerve gas, West Nile fever germs, botulism and as well as germs similar to tuberculosis and pneumonia. Other bacteria sold included brucella melitensis, which damages major organs, and clostridium perfringens, which causes gas gangrene). When Saddam began talking about trading Iraqi oil for Euros rather than dollars that was the tipping point. These horrible things were done in the name of the American people – and I have to think that most people would not have been in favor if we had know this was taking place.

    “How Did Iraq get its Weapons? We Sold Them”

    1. Autumn, thanks for the Common Dreams article. I didn’t know the extent of US involvement in the bio-chem program of Saddam Hussein. It doesn’t surprise me. Thank Reagan and GHWB, and the fascist noir globalists.

      Regarding the petrocurrency shift attempted or at least vocalized by Saddam and Muammar Gaddafi in proximity to the US attacking them on bogus “national security” grounds, I think it was the penultimate reason they were attacked.

      It may very well also have been the prime motivation for supplying Saddam with bio-chem supplies and technology to confront Iran’s potential control of oil in the region. Protecting Israel seems to me to have been at best a donor pledge and a winning public-relations ploy.

      The real game here was in keeping the value of the fiat dollar and the Mint’s printing presses rolling. Humanitarianism be damned. But I suppose this is all old hat.

      1. Steve – we helped Saddam with bio-chem weapons when he was fighting Iran (1980-1988). The Soviets supplied him after that. When we attacked in Gulf War I he only had T-62 and T-72 tanks. Good solid tanks, but not up to the standards of what we had with the M1A1 battletank.

        On a sidenote. If bio-chem weapons were the penultimate reason for attacking Saddam, what was the ultimate reason?

          1. pe·nul·ti·mate
            last but one in a series of things; second to the last.
            “the penultimate chapter of the book”

  16. Yep, George Will will promote and vote for whoever his Global Elite masters tell him to. He’s always been a loyal tool of the Global Elite. George Will reminds me of a light bulb. A crepuscular one.

    1. Ralph Adamo – I think George Will has always wanted to be Bill Buckley. However, he has neither the charm or the vocabulary.

  17. Nope, George Will is no intellect. Not even close. George Will is what he has always been. A representative of the Global Elite that he’s served for decades upon decades. Because the voters did not nominate a political asset of the Global Elite, the same way the Democrats did with Clinton, Will is ranting like a puerile fool. However, the truth is that he’s not a fool either, even though he appears to be one. That would be unfair to him. He is a TOOL, not a fool.

  18. “There are a few truly transcendent intellectuals in this city and George Will is one of them.”

    Jim Sinclair:

    “If I was young or a strong 75, I would get out of here while I still could going to the best location of nobody in the middle of nowhere. Watch the documentary “Last Alaskans” to see the lifestyle of the survivors and their families. For that life you have to be young or have the strength of an ox. Preppers know the problem but Preppers will all run out of their carefully selected but limited preparations. The elite are fairy like fops, all of them. The old European families are so bad there is no description.

    They only mingled with their own kind or people so they are more inbred than the aboriginal.

    These manic liberals, one world government and 1% have killed us all, including themselves. I wish I had an easy solution but there is none. You must be self-sufficient among self-sufficient others in the most rural of areas. Now who can do that? “

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