Ethics Hero: George Will

Republican no more...

Republican no more…

Principled, thoughtful, erudite, serious and informed conservative pundit George Will has announced that he has officially left the Republican Party, changing his status in Maryland, where he resides, to unaffiliated.  He urged conservatives not to support presumptive GOP nominee Donald Trump even if it leads to a Democratic victory in the 2016 presidential election.

“Make sure he loses. Grit their teeth for four years and win the White House,” Will said during an interview after his a Federalist Society speech in which he said, “This is not my party.”

I have read Will for as long as he has written, and heard him speak twice. This has to be hard for him, but it also is the only decision for someone who cares about and understands language, law, values, leadership, history, U.S. culture and the duties of citizenship. He is modelling integrity, as clearly as Paul Ryan, for example, is not.

This is what integrity looks like. Though Will does not profess to have any hope that the GOP will have the courage or determination to reject Trump at this point, his announcement still increases the pressure on the party to do so.


Pointer: Fred



76 thoughts on “Ethics Hero: George Will

  1. Any of the Democrat and Republicans that were in the primaries would be better than HIllary! She must be stopped no matter if you have to hold your nose and vote for Trump. Our country and its constitution are at stake!!!

    • You’re right. Will’s delusional if he feels he can turn back time after 4 years of Hillary. A few SCOTUS appointments will render the good old USA unrecognizable, in which case I’ll want to leave the country, not the party. But the problem ~ there’s no place to go.

      • Hysteria. People said the same about Reagan and Roosevelt and LBJ. Will is wiser than that. Hillary is less liberal than Obama and more competent….almost anyone but Trump would be. Projecting worst case scenaios still favors Hillary. The worst case scenario with Trump is nuclear war internationally and civil war domestically.

        • Below, Patrice wrote: “Maybe that’s the problem. People are not engaging in this election with their reason. They are instead responding to a more primitive area of their brain that involves emotions, especially anger. Intellect and intelligent thinking has somehow become a bad thing.”

          I think this is very true but I would describe it differently. If it is true that much of the postwar era, and certainly the post-Sixties, has been about guilt-slinging against Whites and the undermining of White identity, it has led to our present where this class of persons has no basis at all to define itself, defend itself and assert itself.

          That is in a nutshell how I interpret a large percentage of the core of Alt/Right European politics: It is ‘nativist’ and ‘nationalistic’ and also Eurocentric in a positive sense. It attempts to counter an entire (false) narrative which has been foisted upon it. It seems to reclaim in the idea realm what has been impossible to affirm in rational PC terms: self-identity and self-preservation. These are not ideas so much as they are somatic responses. The rise up from a deeper place within oneself.

          The object is to unite the self-division. The feelings and the sentiments have to be united with sound, logical discourse. That is in itself a huge task given the forces and powers that stand against it. If one reads the Alt/Right one notices that it is this, precisely, that they seek to do.

          Yet when PC ideology is so ingrained in one, and when one cannot think in self-affirmative terms lest one violate PC determined rules, it leads to cognitive dissonance and to a rupture between, shall we say, the ‘heart’ and the ‘mind’. This is a recipe for schizophrenia and self-division.

          I accept the anlysis that this is what has occurred in our present. An intentional project of establishing disunity of self. I am of course speaking of white culture, European culture, and the founding culture of the United States. I reject any ‘propositional’ rhetoric. And I do recognize how radical this is. And dangerous.

          You wrote: “The worst case scenario with Trump is nuclear war internationally and civil war domestically”. I understand your position I think much better than previously. I think you recognize and justly fear the social divisions which are on the verge of breaking out into the open (I maintain that they have already and they will not be ‘contained’). I cannot opine about nuclear war but it seems exaggerated to me as a concern.

          But I can begin to look at civil conflict. I do not mean civil war. I mean social struggles and a rebellion against what has been, as I understand it, slated for white culture generally: annihilation. That is one purpose of the ideologies of the present. To undermine white identity, European identity, and to breed-out this ‘problem’. That is what white separatism and white nationalism is about.

          So, when you make a reference to civil war, and when Patrice speaks about [response] “to a more primitive area of their brain that involves emotions”, this is what you are talking about. It seems you-plural can note the issue but cannot, or will not, articulate it openly.

          But this is what is brewing. Certainly in Europe. But in America? It is hard to say because precise articulation is avoided. Except in hysterical terms.

          Despite the fact that Trump seems a necessary and inevitable recrudescence within the American psyche it seems doubtful that he will win the election in November. Maybe people cheer him but he will become a too-scary option soon enough. (I could be wrong I suppose). Yet if that is so the series of unstated and inarticulable problems which, if you will, called him forth (invoked him) will remain and will, I think, worsen.

          What will that mean? What does the future hold?

            • There are numerous reasons why it is advisable to know of, and to understand, the perspectives of those outside of one’s own perspective. I’ll offer a few:

              I represent a significant – and a growing – group of citizens who are fashioning alternative understandings of the present.

              Recent events in Britain, for example, indicate that ‘we’ have a certain say and for this reason, I think, it is advisable to understand our thought, even if you don’t understand it or agree with it. In order to defeat an idea you have to understand it. You could never defeat an idea you do not understand. I suggest that more evidence of this movement of ideas in people, here and in Europe, will show itself in the future.

              That’s one reason. And a good one.

              The question, as it pertains to this blog, is that of Ethics. My concerns (the ones that you continually react against) are a manifestation of concerns about ethics and morals (and much else) even though you cannot even remotely see or understand that. As much as you would wish to exclude my ideas, or my concerns, and to vilify me for having them, I don’t think you have any right to. Yet you very much assume that you do. The liberalism that defines your position has more in common with a faith-position than you are aware.

              Right now, and in my case, what especially interests me is just that: How it is that people like you feel and believe that their understanding of ethics (what is right and good) trumps everyone else’s. “Obstinacy makes it impossible to hear for all that one has ears”. This is my area of interest and I am making efforts to continue to educate myself. It touches on ethics, semantics, rhetoric, philosophy and metaphysics.

              I can defend my ideas, understand and note their dangerous aspects, and yet still be cogent and upstanding. I am not irrational. You can do nothing similar. You have no intellectual base to support your views. Your views simply possess you. You repeat them much as a parrot repeats heard phrases. How proud you must feel! 😉

            • Chris,
              You know what happens when you throw a rock into to the Challenger Deep in the southern end of the Mariana Trench? That rock is swallowed up by the masses of water that push it into the inaccessible dark abyss of the deep, never to be seen again. A similar thing can be said of throwing an argument at Alizia Tyler; that argument is swallowed up by diatribes of nonsense that push the argument into the inaccessible dark abyss of her mind, never to be thought of again.

              Alizia keeps posting one comment after another proving that there’s too many people around that lack the ability to reason.

      • garlicfriesandbaseball,
        You haven’t been paying attention; the “good old USA” is already unrecognizable – open your eyes.

        The fact is that we can’t turn back the clock after Hillary, Trump, Sanders, or anyone else. The USA is heading down a path that (if not corrected) will lead to the destruction of the Constitution; this path was set in motion during the Presidential campaign of 2008. Propaganda is now king of the masses; those who wield the sword of propaganda the best will win (if changes aren’t made) and Liberty will be the first causality.

        The truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth is being replaced by mob mentality that is guided by fact omitted propaganda and the masses have been dumbed down so much over the years that they are to damned ignorant or too complacent to find the truth. Too many people in the USA are lacking in the ability to reason.

        • “this path was set in motion during the Presidential campaign of 2008.”

          Much Earlier than that…the undermining forces at work in our country have been hard at work for a long time. Destruction doesn’t manifest itself at the top IMMEDIATELY, without groundwork having been established. Nope…the ideological malady that seeks to tear apart our nation has succeeded long ago since it was able to get Obama elected in 2008…

          2008 wasn’t the start.

          • tex said, “2008 wasn’t the start”

            That’s literally not what I said.

            You might figuratively build the groundwork for years without doing anything significant to put that path in motion; we sometimes build road foundations for years until the road is opened and the path is set in motion. I suppose “the path was set in motion in 2008” might not describe it for some people but it does for me.

            Understand where I’m coming from?

          • Tex writes: “…the ideological malady that seeks to tear apart our nation has succeeded long ago since it was able to get Obama elected in 2008…”

            What is that ‘ideological malady’?

  2. No, where is the liberal columnist leaving the Democratic Party and telling the Democrats not to support Hillary Clinton even if it leads to a Republican victory in the 2016 presidential election?

          • There are many things that Will is. An idiot is nowhere on the list. He is not even a stubborn ideologue, as this episode proves.

            From now on the new rule may be that anyone defending support for Trump must provide at least one substantive argument besides “He’s not Hillary.”

            • I can honestly say that I do not think Trump is or would be a good choice. All that I can say about him, or about his advent, is that ‘he opens political space’. In that sense he has done a tremendous service. He has been destructive and yet there is a creative edge there.

              I also am inclined to think that he has inadvertently done a service to the GOP insofar as he has pushed them toward recognition of their increasing irrelevance. I think it is fair to say that the Conservative Right, to be relevant and to gain or regain a political base, has only one option: move evermore to the center. The problem is that, doing that, it will continue to cease to be what it has been. I wish I understood this better but that is my superficial opinion.

              The entire political drama of the present seems dominated by progressives of one shade and another. Their narratives have so profoundly penetrated intellectual space that it is nearly impossible to resist them, or to countermand them. You simply cannot enter politics with a truly conservative message or platform. What would you say? Who would you appeal to? (I don’t mean you I mean ‘one’).

              For this reason it seems to me that a Right, to be relevant, must actually define a right-leaning position. But how could it do that? It would write itself out of the (present) game. I think the so called far-right has some of the answers. Yet they define, in essence, but overtly as well, positions that make many people feel queasy. They wish to reclaim a territory of discourse that has been closed off by the forces of the politically correct. This is marginal space.

              I cannot imagine that openings toward the far-right or the radical right can be seen in any sense as welcome in our present by the old school conservatives, except by those who have already crossed into that territory and are unafraid to make certain problematic definitions. Yet the mechanisms of ideological control are so intensely powerful that, veer toward the edge openly, and you’re a dead-duck. Kind of like Pat Buchanan? If you move too far away from the Center Right … they must cut you off.

              Finally, Trump is just not political enough. I mean he is not a political man. He cannot fulfil the role of a political man. He is a wildcard, a rogue. There is something almost Dionysian about him. Like a drunk prophet. What a strange fate he has.

              The gods of our present are either outrightly malicious or are laughing their heads off.

              “As flies to wanton boys are we to th’ gods.
              They kill us for their sport.”

            • Already done.


              :I’ll make a prediction. Should the Honorable Donald Trump be elected as President of the USA I say the ‘CITIZENS’ USA will experience the highest standard of living in the history of the USA. Since his daughter Ivanka Trump is a Jewess having made an observant orthodox conversion accepted by the Chief Ashkenazi Rabbi of Israel then the Honorable Donald Trump being the builder he is may help Israel to demolish the Dome of the Rock and rebuild the Third Jewish Temple in Jerusalem, Israel.

  3. Jack, looks like a lot of your commenters are so far never-Hillary that they would vote for having the DTs for 4 years. In my opinion, the fact that you, Jack, the most conservative conservative that I know, have stated that we all have a duty to ensure that Trump does not get elected, is good enough for me as an endorsement for keeping Trump out of the White House. And now, George Will? How can anyone ignore this amount of rational analysis?

    Maybe that’s the problem. People are not engaging in this election with their reason. They are instead responding to a more primitive area of their brain that involves emotions, especially anger. Intellect and intelligent thinking has somehow become a bad thing. Eeeuuwww.

      • Let us read from another authority.

        I have literally NO IDEA what Trump is going to do… and likely HE doesn’t EITHER.

        I know EXACTLY what Clinton will do. Hell, she’s spent the last couple of years TELLING me.

        If you bring a pit bull into your house, you don’t know what it’s going to do.

        If you bring a Komodo dragon into your house, you know EXACTLY what it’s going to do.

        In this election, I have a choice between a buffoon and a monster.

        Right about now, the buffoon’s looking like the safer bet…

      • If your diagnosis was correct, it would be a fallacy, not a rationalization: “Appeal to authority.” In this case, when the two options are rational, objective analysis by demonstrably rational and informed individuals and blind hysteria, you can’t call this that, either. Appeal to authority is when the only argument someone makes is “he says so.” I have repeatedly challenged anyone to give a substantive, rational, supported reason why making Trump President is responsible or even vaguely sane. Nada. “Hillary is evil and will destroy the universe” is not a pro-Trump argument. The pro-Hillery points are bare bones and technical, but they exist: She is lawyer, and understands the law. She has sufficient experience with the national government to be designated as qualified…she’s much more qualified than Obama,for example. She actually thinks about her positions. The competent career public servants in her party will work with her (and are not all as untrustworthy as she is.) She expressed herself while remaining within established standards of dignity, decorum and civility that the nation must demand of its leader. She is minimally respected abroad. She is a woman, and in the abstract, the election of a woman as President after 44 men is a good thing, just as the election of a black man was a good thing in the abstract. Bill will be a good influence, because he is savvy, rational, and moderate. Hillery is not a weenie, like Obama, and Presidents should not be weenies. She will not appoint spokespersons so stupid and inarticulate that I want to kill myself. Oh, they’ll lie, I know that. But they won’t regularly embarrass the country.

        That’s it. It’s not much. There are thousands of people similarly “qualified,” and I would prefer most of them. But those are substantive reasons to take Hillary over Trump that do not require “Hillary’s not Trump.”

    • 1. Wait…you work for the Catholic Church, I support same-sex marriage, reasonable gun controls, measures to normalize citizenship of long-term illegal immigrants, the end of tax exemption for religious organizations, equal rights for women, and I’m the most conservative conservative you know?

      2. There is nothing partisan or ideological about rejecting Trump as—get this—President of the United States—over Hillary Clinton. That’s like arguing that not getting on a plane whose pilot is drunk and suicidal is a progressive act. This is a clear choice for me…right now, at least—because I refuse to be led by or risk my nation being led by an unstable, ignorant, narcissistic, babbling, crude and sexist fool. Hillary, by contrast, meets the bare requirement of qualified, he doesn’t. (One can fly the plane, but can’t be trusted to land it where I want to go.) He’s unqualified and unfit—she’s just unfit.

      The protests you read here are irrational and stubborn…again, at this moment. I will post an essay about what kinds of attitudes from Hillary’s SUPPORTERS that might lead me to conclude that whule Trump would crash the plane, she’d fly it to Hell. Trump’s supporters are emotional, ignorant or dumb; her supporters increasingly strike me as fascist socialists.

      3. So I might change my mind.

      • “1. Wait…you work for the Catholic Church… and I’m the most conservative conservative you know?”

        I work for the Church, and I deliver orthodoxy in my professional capacity. But my personal beliefs and opinions are, as I believe Thomas More in A Man for All Seasons states, personal. (Or private, whichever. CRS.)

        You don’t know MY Catholic friends. I probably should have said that you’re the most conservative conservative among my friends.

        Please don’t accuse me of hypocrisy, but I won’t explain in a public forum.

        • That still shows an appalling lack of diversity among your friends. I’m sure you know that this is one reason the country is so divided and can’t communicate with each other.

          • I didn’t say that I have NO conservative friends. Just that you are more conservative than they are. Mostly. (Some of my best friends are conservatives! Just kidding.) And I have plenty of more conservative friends who are Catholic who hold very conservative political viewpoints on which the Catholic Church has taken much more traditionally liberal stances, mainly social justice issues such as the environment, capital punishment, etc. So the whole Catholic thing being a conservative place does not ring true on everything, as you know.

      • “There is nothing partisan or ideological about rejecting Trump as—get this—President of the United States—over Hillary Clinton. That’s like arguing that not getting on a plane whose pilot is drunk and suicidal is a progressive act”

        If the counter argument is the equivalent of getting on a plane with a pilot that openly believes in flying straight at the ground, then flying with a drunk pilot is…remarkably…a safer bet.

  4. Oh, come in. Trump wants to be elected president and then he will make it up as he goes along. Does anyone really believe that he wants to do anything for anybody other than himself?

    • You can write the same about Obama and more. Has there been another president who only thinks of himself first and the people and the country second? Obama’s making it up is also ignoring the Constitution many, many, many times.

  5. One’s a serial liar with no regard for decency, integrity or laws, who runs a scam charity that serves mainly to funnel money into her pockets and get cushy salaries for all of her friends and family, who laughs on public radio about the time she helped a child rapist walk free on a technicality; a dangerous ideologue and statist who wants nothing more than to be seen as a savior to the poor masses while wallowing in political power and unlimited wealth; who will make any deal with any corporation if it fills her coffers and limits the rights of anyone who disagrees with her…but the other is Donald Trump. It really is an impossible choice.

  6. I had been planing to vote Republican… until Mr. Trump won the primaries. We’ve had liars in the White House before, money scandals, and grievous mistakes. But Mr. Trump is doubling down on the failures of Trump U with bias which shows total disrespect of the judicial branch. I wouldn’t trust him with a DVD, let alone the Presidency.

    • Are you saying that Obama and HIllary respect the judiciary? How many judges have they called out for decisions they did not like? ALL of Obama’s Supreme Court appointees disregard the Constitution when voting! Hillary will appoint the same type of people! No doubt about it. One more appointee like them and I believe there will be a revolution against the Federal government! Regular people will start disobeying the laws because the government and the courts also do it. If Hillary is elected, it will be chaos!

      • Howard…you are sounding unhinged. Cool it.
        Justice Kagan is a very sound jurist, and does not “disregard the Constitution.” Cool the exclamation points and cool the exorbitant partisan rhetoric. Last warning. This pollutes the site.

        • You MUST be kidding about Justice Kagan. I will stop my comments now because I am just talking to the deaf.

          • Not kidding at all. I’ve read her opinions; she’s sound and well-reasoned. Scalia correctly ID’d her as an excellent appointment for a liberal jurist.

            You’re banned. This is an ethics blog, not a partisan blow-hard blog. Rant someplace else.

        • Eh, if you move past the rhetoric, Howard DOES come from at least a reasonable place. Obama seems to only respect the Supreme Court when it goes his way – witness his unpresidential comments after the Hobby Lobby and recent immigration decisions. He isn’t Andrew Jackson, who basically told SCOTUS where to go and what to do when they got there, but it’s pretty obvious that he views anyone who disagrees with him as either stupid or bad. Kagan is all right, for a reliable vote on the left, but Sotomayor, the “Wise Latina” is an affirmative action hire, nothing more. I don’t want to chance putting that Court in the hands of more appointments like that, theoretically for the rest of my days. I don’t like Trump, and I think the GOP lost its mind when it elected him, BUT, as has been pointed out, at least he isn’t completely known to be a bad person and a bad administrator. Hillary is well known as a serial, even pathological liar and proto-tyrant, and I can’t with a clear conscience , pull the lever for that known quantity and thereby endorse what flows from it. Maybe that means I leave the top spot blank this time out, but I will not pollute my conscience by casting a vote for that evil woman.

          • “at least he isn’t completely known to be a bad person and a bad administrator.”

            Of course he is. A good person wouldn’t behave the way he does in public, and a good administrator would never run a campaign this way.

          • “Kagan is all right, for a reliable vote on the left, but Sotomayor, the “Wise Latina” is an affirmative action hire, nothing more.”

            I agree with this, but it is not what Howard said, and even Sotomayor doesn’t defy the Constitution as a rule. There are many, many cases in which both justices are conventional and sound. Howrad is speaking of high-profile cases only, which are a minority of decisions.

            “at least he isn’t completely known to be a bad person and a bad administrator.”

            WHAT? WHAT? Don’t make me list all of the conduct and statements that could not possibly be uttered by some one who is not only a bad person, but a far worse person than Hillary Clinton on the worst day of her life. The man can’t think or speak coherently. He regards revenge and bribery as ethical. He’s a pathological misogynist. He’s a serial fraudster. Look at the embarrassing fools he has appointed to be spokespersons—you don’t call totally irresponsible and incompetent appointments and refusal to reward incompetence with dismissal as proof of poor management skills? Remember his lawyer telling the Daily Beast that spousal rape was legal? You’re intentionally ignoring smoking guns all over the place, Steve. Look at yourself. Look at the last week. A competent, intelligent man given the ridiculous conduct of the left the past three weeks should be clobbering Clinton, but Trump made one gaffe after another. How do you translate that into saying that he isn’t “known” as a poor administrator? If he isn’t “known,” it’s only because the ignorant don’t know how competent leaders behave.

            • Oh, he’s a rotten campaign manager and a poor judge of character, no question of that. I also refuse to believe he got where he got by being a poor manager across the board. Likewise, he didn’t beat 16 more competent other politicians in the primaries by mere luck, while Hilary couldn’t banish just one. That said, your last half-paragraph is pretty telling, and why I gave him a failing grade for Orlando. He squandered an opportunity to make mincemeat of Clinton, but did nothing. I still will not vote for her and give my approval to what’s going to follow. This nation wants to trash itself and give a proto-tyrant the chance to become a real tyrant and call it all signaling virtue, it can do it without my help.

              • Jeez, Steve, I know you are smarter than these kind of comments suggest. “Poor campaign manager” is ridiculous equivocation. Donna Brazile is a poor campaign manager. Trump has no judgment. He talks about his dick on national TV. He accuses professional women of being “on the rag.” He advocated torture and suppression of the press. He told a crowd to beat up a protester. he blundered into a controversy by blathering about his private lawsuit. Idiot. Not poor. Idiot.

                And this: ” Likewise, he didn’t beat 16 more competent other politicians in the primaries by mere luck, while Hilary couldn’t banish just one.” Want me to look up the rationalization, or should I leave it to you? A. It was substantially luck 2) those more competent politicians made mistake after mistake, 3) the news media assisted him, and 4) winning the support of angry, emotional, not very bright fools is not a mark of distinction.

                Obama is a proto-tyrant, just a lazy enough one that he can’t do as much damage as he wants. Hillary will never have high poll ratings, and doesn’t have a locked in, uncritical bloc of supporters like Obama does. A strong Senate and House can easily neutralize the worst qualities of a Clinton. It can’t neutralize the embarrassment and the corruption engendered by Trump’s act without putting a giant bag over him.

                And we’re all responsible for who the nation elects as President. Always.

  7. NOTICE: Howard A. Daniel III is banned. I don’t have Comment policies for my health. I expect commenters to make substantive observations related to the topic at hand.Even in a post like this one, free of specifics rants are useless, and just make the blog look bad to visitors. Howard was warned.

  8. I found this site which list articles written by George Will:

    And here is his latest, with thoughts on the ‘Leave’ vote and Brexit:

    There, he writes: “Sixty years after Britain’s humiliation in the Suez debacle, Britain has a spring in its step, confident that it will flourish when Brussels no longer controls 60 to 70 percent of the British government’s actions. Britain was last conquered by an invading army in 1066. In 2016, it repelled an attempted conquest by the EU’s nomenklatura.”

    “By breaking the leftward-clicking ratchet that moves steadily, and only, toward more “pooled” sovereignty and centralization of power, Brexit refutes the progressive narrative that history has an inexorable trajectory that “experts” discern and before which all must bow. The EU’s contribution to this fable is its vow to pursue “ever-closer union.” Yes, ever.”

    The term ‘nomenklatura’ is interesting, I’d never seen it used that way. It means ‘a list of influential posts in government and industry to be filled by Communist Party appointees.’

    Here is a Mission Statement about ‘The Patriot Post’ with the above-links to George Will’s articles:

    I find that the third paragraph with its links and definitions very revealing and important. I am sort of directing this to Chris and attempting to describe why my positions and my ideas are no unethical and are not unsound. I am inspired by ideas that have a solid philosophical base with roots that can be discovered, understood and expounded. If it cannot be understood and explained in rational terms, and terms that can convince and persuade, or to put it another way: If it is not couched in reason and structures explication, and if it is nothing else but emotional or hysterical, it is likely unsound and represents a current to be resisted.

    The more that I examine the so-called ‘Progressive Left’ the more that I discover that their platform of ideas is not really a platform of sound ideas but a series of tools that are used to undermine ideas generally, and then certainly the sound ones. ‘Liberalism’ of this modern and recent variety (hyperliberalism, emotive-liberalism) functions through a mass appeal to emotion. It by-passes the mind and elicits emotional responses. I assume that it has links to the psychology of PR and also to open marketing techniques and exploits masses of populations. It ra-ras for certain ‘universal values’ and functions through the use of trigger words and phrases. It is infantile in this sense insofar as it appeals to the emotional self. Really, one can make a whole study of this.

    So, I seek antidotes Chris. I seek antidotes, well, to you. To quite precisely you as populist reactionary. To you who feels justified in assigning a label to someone whose ideas make you ‘uncomfortable’. Who slander others openly because you are divinely ordained to this task. I place stress on ‘divine ordination’ because I have discovered that the Progressive position is a post-religious position. It functions in postmodernism as religion has functioned.

    To be able to SEE the present requires a fierce effort to become and to remain independent. That is, to be able to think independently. That is TO THINK. To see clearly and independently in Our Present is in itself a radical project. You have to swallow a Red Pill and it has to work inside for likely a number of years. It cannot be assumed that one has ‘arrived’ at the correct perspective and ‘metaphysical certainty’ must be challenged: self-challenged.

    All the conservative thinkers I am aware of always seem to have very clear lines of relationship to sturdy philosophical foundations in the Classical Liberal Arts. Put another way there is not one who does NOT have this link.

    Pursuing this link, and determined to reclaim foundations in sturdy traditions and sturdy thinking, must be the object and goal, and it is the only way that the emotional rhetoric of the ‘nomenklaturists’, such as your fine self, will be resisted. Because behind YOU there is not a link to ‘our traditions’ or to sound and defensible philosophy, but rather the wilfulness of a Marxist operative. This sounds unfair or alarmist but it is not. It is a fact.

    How to prove this, and how to demonstrate it, is my objective. How to demonstrate it and how to become effective to persuade others to choose other intellectual paths is my endeavor.

    I suggest that this article in the NYT’s ( directly reflects and expresses an undermining, rhetorically unsound, and demagogic approach, and I suggest that insofar as I understand your positions, you seem to me linked to this sort of ‘appeal’. Again, it is this that I am opposed to, not you. To oppose and defeat ‘liberalism’ and ‘nomenklaturism’ of this ultramodern variety requires a literal restructuring of the mind.

  9. An independent minded journalist should write a detailed in-depth fact based book how political and social choices in the last 100 years have lead us to a Presidential election cycle that gave us two of the most incompetent candidates (Clinton & Trump) we have seen and how we as citizens are literally encouraging one another to vote for the one that they think will cause the least amount of damage to our future. We are going to go to the polls and knowingly vote for an unqualified and/or untrustworthy candidates that will damage the future of the USA. We the People of the United States of America are fools and we’ll likely destroy the Liberty that was given to us by the founding fathers.

    I choose differently; I’ll have no f’ing part of it.

    • “The nicest thing about the rain is that it always stops. Eventually”.

      —Eeyore in Winney the Pooh

      There are probably 100 titles out there now, and 1000 that have been written in the last 50 years, which offer a view and a line of reasoning to support an interpretation of ‘What went wrong and when’. And attached to that perspective is a Recipe for ‘fixing the problem’.

      Once one has moved to your position, one has effectively tossed up one’s hands. Sort of like Goethe after the Napoleonic Wars. Maybe you’ll become a Hare Krishna and offer your soul to Vishnu?

      The Christian manoeuvre is to hold to a notion of ‘salvation’ and to plan for and know that, though the world can’t be repaired (as they will tell you), you can escape the entire problem.

      Then there is the ‘cycles of history’ point of view: and we are in a descending age, an age of ‘quarrel and hypocrisy’ and everything but inner, spiritual work is futile. So, it is meet and proper to retreat from the world. What about the Nietzschean ‘heroic’ stance of accepting Eternal Return? That what we live now will have to faced once and again eternally?

      Sometimes I think that one of the underpinnings of people’s frustration – a deep frustration that tinges everything – is semi-awareness of how futile everything is. It is the mutable world, the world of a tension between trascendental awareness of the possibility of perfection, and the impossibility of constructing anything really durable in this world. All things must break apart. Everything is contaminated. The US will, eventually, cede before some other world power.

      Maybe the Constitutional Crisis you have spoken of is necessary? Maybe the Republic is in for a restructuring? Why should this be shied away from? The country was founded in conflict and two major varieties: the break from the Contenent and then the Civil War.

      ‘What happened once will surely happen again’ as Chinese wisdom says.

      Oddly enough, at least in my own case, I see The Present as one of endless opportunities. I cannot believe sometimes the advantages I personally have and enjoy. Maybe this really is ‘The best of all possible worlds’?

    • Zoltar Writes: “An independent minded journalist should write a detailed in-depth fact based book how political and social choices …”

      Zoltar, you devil. You hit upon certain things which have a tremendous resonance and meaning, yet you never really exploit that meaning, never develop it. But you do recognize that it must have to do with ‘thinking’.

      If you can say definitively ‘What went wrong’ or even ‘that something’s wrong’, you have to have honestly seen and noticed it, yet that is a skill and a training in itself. But it is not enough, not by far. You must be able to enunciate what exactly did go wrong. That presupposes an entire intellectual organization. And it means that you have to have *special knowledge*: epistemological insight.

      Therefor, if your seeing is not to be mere subjective impressionism (the description of surfaces), you must have insight into Universals. Truths that operate here and in ‘all possible worlds’. Yet if one has such insight, and if one’s grasp is truly universal, it touches on – yes it does because it MUST! – metaphysics: meta-truths, meta-perspectives, meta-psychology and meta-politics.

      So then, the perspectives we require for analysis of *things* in our Present is a very very special knowledge and one that is, ultimately, hard to define, hard to localize. It can only be therefor that such knowledge is ur-philosophical. It has to do with the essence of philosophy, thereofr the essence of man, and the essential meaning of man.

      And with this we are back to the notion of Conservatism which is posited in the sense of a platform for ‘real knowing’ and for true knowing, true and also positive activity in the world.

      This brings me back to George Will and to a particular school of thinking. But this school of thinking is actually more than that specific school, although his school of thinking is peculiarly American and peculiarly a product of the post-war era, that school of thinking is rather a proposition that such platforms of knowledge exist as mathematical truths exist. They can be discovered. They necessarily exist. And mathematical truths are part-and-parcel of Nature as well as the higher mind.

      Now, the word ‘man’ is Indo-Aryan and Indo-European. It is a complex Sanskrit word whose cognates are ‘mind’ ‘consciousness’ ‘thinking’ and such. Consider the Sankrit ‘manus’. ( By referring to an ancient cognate, and connecting it with Indo-Aryan roots, one reaches way back in time, into both ancient ways of seeing the world, but also to times and modes from which we have become unmoored. We are so far far away from these ways of seeing which are encapsuled in language that they seem utterly foreign to us. Yet these modes of seeing, and understanding *reality*, and certainly of defining and of structuring ethics, extend from these former times. And they are also modes of being and acting which have a specific cultural, as well as biological and racial, origin. You react to the fact that I have written about racial issues and racial concerns. This is understandable. Yet the essence(s) of the question(s) here are crucial. They have to be thought through.

      I mention this – a group of different things – because you yourself are lamenting that ‘times have changed’ and, of course, you mean for the worse. But when one considers this issue of mutation and transformation, one is in essence considering the issue and the problem of degeneration. Your lament is that of degeneration. Yet degeneration, and this degeneration, must have many causes. To note a degeration implies awareness of a sane whole. You lament it, but are you cognizant of its causes? If you were to talk about it, what would you say? How would you couch your presentation? Because any discourse on the topic amounts effectively to an Rx. Yet when one reads your posts and though you complain a good deal, you rarely say much about 1) what ‘the problem’ is, nor 2) what the cure is or might be.

      I propose to you that many of the thinkers and philosophers on the philosophical Right, the Alt/Right, are not madmen and political sociopaths, but are folks who have in a rather introverted way plunged into these idea-problems. Similar to you they notice a world in tremendous disarray and they notice that the causes are that people – a whole culture really – have become unmoored from *substantial things*. Along with them, schooled by them, I too suggest that the issue for *us* is to recover and regain and reoccupy an entire ground that has slipped away from underneath us. In this sense it is as if the present is a strong current (of the inane) which has captured one and carries one along. To fight against that is in essence a work of ideation, a cognitive work, a work of definition and one of weighing and of valuation. I go a step further though and propose that there is a malevolence at work here or perhaps ‘nescience’ is the word.

      My analytical platform is surely a bit odd compared to that of many who write here, and is rejected I suppose as being too far-out. But with each *rejection* I see that I only need to become that much more resolved to make my meanings clear. At the very least I have a certain place and perspective in respect to this blog which – and I contradict you here – is not destructive to the intentionality of the blog but creative.


    There is no doubt that, had the details of Michael Dukakis’s relationship with the Massachusetts furlough program been well known before the 1988 Democeratic conventi9on,l the Dems would have dumped him.

    (Al Gore brought up the issue in the 1988 Democratic primary debates, but did not make clear that Dukakis had specifically vetoed a bill denying furloughs to persons serving life without parole, saying that the bill would “‘cut the heart out of efforts at inmate rehabilitation”.)

      • I think it’s a terrible line. The whole world now runs on 140 characters or fewer. Hate it, sure, but it’s reality.

        • Just because the whole world runs on 140 characters doesn’t make it admirable nor does make it right. Id rather read anything George Will writes then the drivel crap people tweet.

          And its a great line.

  11. George Will is no hero, but it is encouraging to see him out in front with leaving the Republican Party. If only he would now state whom he will be voting for, for president. I want to know fully just what kind of conservative he really is, and I want him to make himself clear. “Unaffiliated” is tolerable, for a time. Non-voting – or voting for Hillary – is intolerable, always.

  12. Zoltar writes: “We the People of the United States of America are fools and we’ll likely destroy the Liberty that was given to us by the founding fathers.”

    Certain statements made here stick in my head. This one had been in there since yesterday and this morning it became clear: No one really knows, and no one can really say, exactly what is the ‘problem’ of today. In fact, the problem and the problems are so giant that it is hard to even visualize them.

    I think it can be said that one of the chief factors about Our Present is that it is, as a series or confluence of causes, too large to be visualized. The causes that impinge on us are almost all of them unknown to us, that is, we are unconscious of the causation that has us in its grip. We act, we do things, we say things, we feel things, we are what we are, and all because invisible causation is working in us. If this is true, what then is *self-knowledge*?

    A made some notes which I think are interesting as a way to visualize our history, and then to see that there are so many factors operating that it is likely impossible to get a handle on all of them.

    If the statement to be responded to is:

    “We stand on the verge of losing or destroying what the Founding Fathers bequeathed to us”

    I think we need to make a list (when in doubt make a list) of just how radically times have changed from the days of the Foundaing Fathers.

    —A war of Independence and a radical project of self-definition. This was an Anglo-Saxon project down to its toenails.
    —But then a devastating, but defining, Civil War whose effects are still with us, and which goes raging on in many ways. I think it was S Foote who said we are defined by this war.
    —Yet the Republic changed here, and very significantly. Self-definition, but an evolution from the times of the Founding Fathers.
    —The Industrial Revolution.
    —Various wars of expansion, land-grabbing, and conquest.
    —Consciousness of becoming a world-scale power. Conscious of a unique dispensation.
    —A World War (1)
    —Recognition of world-power status.
    —Vast wealth, ‘concentrations of capital’, the onus of wealth on a radical scale.
    —Consciousness of vast power and vast influence.
    —Cultural and civilizational projects which were miraculously successful. A sense of being unhindered and unobstructed in achieving cultural will. One successful project after another (of which the Panama Canal is just one example).
    —The advent of a new economic school: The German Economic school. The rise of the ‘expert’. The conjunction of governmental agency with sociological and cultural science, economic expertism, central planning, and ‘Progressivism’ of that 1920s and 1930s sense. The social doctrines of Protestantism channelled through a technocratic praxis. A underpinning ‘doctrine’ (really a consciousness) of ‘improvement’ and ‘bettering’ and ‘moving forward’.
    —Now, one has to mention a factor that is hard to name. It is ‘Hollywood’ but it is much much more. It is dream making and image-management. It is sociological awareness and psychological awareness, it is propaganda and public relations, it is the creation and the manipulation of vast ‘imagined spaces’ and it also includes a fabulous power-house that is music (Jazz music in that era). It has to do with self-identity, the manipulation of identity, the creation and the channelling of identity, with the definition of a stated and also unstated *metaphysic* which defines what *America* and *American* mean. It is an industry and a potency which has never before appeared. It is radically new and mind-bogglingly powerful.
    —The German Economic school must be emphasised when one consideres the ‘Progressive’ movement of this era (20s and 30s roughly). It has to do with a science of social management, combined with educational platforms, film, propaganda, and the creation of a sense in Americans of their salvific role in the destiny of the world. Government having everything to do with it, and deep investment in it. Indeed, goverment penetrated all parts of culture and instituted its will. I do not think the consideration of this can be excluded. Astounding wealth, unimpeded social and cultural progress, one horizon that opens after another, and profound governmental involvement at all levels.
    —And then another WW (2) which so dramatically shifted the paradigm from small republic to literal World Empire. A New Imperialism. But too a new self-definition, and social, industrial and cultural achievements which dazzled the entire world. To be an American was to be something like a minor god.
    —Then, a protracted war against a rival: Communism and an Ideology as infectuous as religious enthusiasm. Now, no more illusions about small republicanism it is now about a new form of Dominion. Victory in WW2 cemeted Providence’s favoratism. But does one not have to face that this was no longer a country or a world anything at all like the rural communities of the era of the Founding Fathers? It seems that at some level the reference is nearly meaningless.
    —Now, the PostWar era. But here things get terribly strange, don’t they? In the late 50s and early 60s the Holocaust Awareness Movement was instituted. If my understanding is correct this *awareness* was in a sense produced. But the function of it has to be considered and examined. It involves a radical turn against self. It is a *handled* and a *managed narrative* which, essentially, turns against the Anglo-Saxon cultural project. I have gathered that its principle fuel was Marxian doctrine, but of that sort managed by the Frankfurt School: a group of intellectuals who developed a group of *tools* as it were to attack certain features of European identity. Understanding all of this, and being able to see and visualize it, is a demanding project.
    —And then Sixties Radicalism. Originally, as per my investigations, it began as a Catholic Personalism movement (Peter Maurin). But when it took hold many many different strains and currents channelled themselves into it. Ban the Bom, pacifism, counter-culturalism, Marxian and Communistic rebellionism, a turn against the State and against one’s fathers, a rupture in Identity. Poetic dissidence. Rebel jazz. And then the rebellion of the Civil Rights Movement. A strange brand of Christian activism and a certain messianic current. A Dionysian social movement with deep echoes back to earlier Revival movements (Cane Ridge Revival). The hippy child as God’s child who shows it by walking on water and dancing crazily at Woodstock..
    —A generation of rejectionists, rebels, potheads, eaters of psychedelic jungle-drugs, who tore down hierarchy with religious zealousness. Who stomped through the academy, who broke all the rules, who said No rules needed. But who then did one of the most amazing 180 degree about-turns: Who roared back into the System and became the movers and shakers of their Present, our Present.

    (I had to stop and breathe. Whew…)

    But now I wish to know what The Founding Fathers have to say about all this (and I have only sketched a tiny portion).

    George? Thomas? You have the mike ….

    • Alizia Tyler,
      I know you are addicted to walking through this neighborhood but you always seem to bring your dog along and your dog is taking huge dumps on people’s lawns and then you leave it lay there for others to deal with. I’d really appreciate it if you would stop taking your dog on your walks through the neighborhood, the huge piles are detracting from the simple beauty of the lawns and the property value is going down as a result.

      • I don’t have a dog. I’m a cat person.

        Zoltar, my fine friend, this is a public blog and the purpose is exactly to read, think, and respond.

        I like to think of it as ‘intellectual work’. You have no obligation to respond, naturally, but I am not obligated not to think, write, and thus contribute to the project here.

        Can I go now? 😉

            • Alizia Tyler said, “You’ve yet to master the double negative. More plainly: I am not obligated to not think.”

              Did you fail to notice that little ? at the end of my “Freudian slip” question; it was actually put there to engage some deep thinking but instead we got splashing around on the surface like a child.

              I suppose it was futile of me to think that someone who tries very hard to portray herself as a free thinker thinking deep thoughts would actually try to think outside the box.

              Never mind.

  13. Esteemed Zoltar. You often speak of ‘thinking’ and ‘reasoning’ but in my experience you do very little of it. Can you please take one specific idea, sentance or paragraph in what I have written here and SHOW ME with good argument 1) where I go wrong and 2) how it is rightly done?

    An argument cannot be mere assertion, you have to demonstrate it.

    When you speak of a ‘box’ What do you mean?

    • Alizia Tyler said, “Can you please take one specific idea, sentence or paragraph in what I have written here and SHOW ME with good argument 1) where I go wrong and 2) how it is rightly done?”

      You’re kidding, right?

      When do you not write in generalizations wider than the expanse of our universe or present questions that usually fall in the realm of unanswerable and actually narrow your chaotic mind down to making an actual point that can be addressed? You usually can’t climb down off that fence your precariously perched on and answer simple yes or no questions. I know it’s hard for you, but try to focus and make a point and let’s see what happens.

      Here let me try to help you again by digressing back to the actual topic that this blog is about and ask you one simple question; In your opinion, is it appropriate to call George Will an Ethics Hero for leaving the Republican Party and speaking out against voting for Trump? Yes/No

      Answer the question with a simple one word paragraph – yes or no – get off the fence, there is no maybe or undecided; and then in 200 words or less tell us why.

      Go ahead, make a choice, make a singular point, it really won’t hurt you.

  14. Because, Dear Zoltar, one has to accurately describe a problem and to *see* it before one can address a solution to it. If you do not see the entire problem, you cannot possibly hope to offer a solution that will not further confuse the situation.

    American Conservatism, in my view, today, is at such a juncture. That is why I outlined the scope of the problem in a post of ‘notes’ a few posts up. It cannot *see* the entirety of the problem.

    I am relatively certain that you – that is Mr Zoltar – do not have a clear sense of the dimension of the issue. To speak to ethics, in my view, is to speak to a platform, a larger platform, of values, ideas, events and history.

    I feel disinclined to answer your question since it is self-evident: George Will feels it is ethically necessary to quit the Republican Party. I do not know if it rises to ‘heroism’, as I think heroism is of another category of activity, but it is a bold act certainly. The Republican Party has been decimated and rendered irrelevant. A new part will have to be established.

    I accept your definition of ‘sitting on a fence’. It is better to sit and observe than to jump down and participate until one has some clarity.

    My main area, as you know, has to do with ‘Identity’ and in that area I have some certainty.

    Can I go now? 😉

    • That, Ms. Tyler, was a cowardly cop-out.

      You want others to “take one specific idea, sentence or paragraph in what I have written here and SHOW ME with good argument 1) where I go wrong and 2) how it is rightly done” but you have got a clue how to do it yourself nor the guts to even try; that’s a blatant double standard.

      Alizia Tyler asked, “Can I go now?”

      By all means, go.

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