George Will dumps on Trump’s inaugural speech
I know that you will brand me as a sub-intellect for disagreeing with you. It is your way.
I held you in high regard. Was I an intellect then? You began your usually brilliant articles with snippets of history or historical quotes that immediately grounded your coming thoughts. Insightful and delightful. I enjoyed your affinity for baseball and relished your book Men at Work, one of the great baseball books ever written.
But something went off the rails with you, George. Your flare-up with Bill O’Reily was really, for me, neither here nor there. Two egotists crossing swords is light comedy, really. But it was a watershed of sorts. You haven’t been the same. The flare-up was either coincidence or causal, but certainly a milestone.
Why would you find fault with Trump’s inaugural speech? You reach for distant branches that substantiate your points, but as you do, you fall from the tree of logic.
You join company with the likes of Chris Matthews, who finds racism in the “America First” attitude of Trump. Do you even notice, George, the company you now keep?
You note these passages of Trump’s inaugural:
Trump proved that something dystopian can be strangely exhilarating[.]
Something wrong can be corrected. To notice a condition that is detrimental to the country is not to relish a “dystopian exhilaration.” To recognize deterioration in our industrial capacity is not to enjoy or exhilarate in the condition, but it is to identify and attempt to rectify the malady.
He vindicated his severest critics by serving up reheated campaign rhetoric about “rusted out factories scattered like tombstones across the landscape” and an education system producing students “deprived of all knowledge.
George, get out of Washington, D.C. Industrial parks across America are empty. They do rust. We import H-1B visa holders because it is admitted that the pool of those capable of certain jobs cannot be filled by Americans. What does that reveal of the education system?
Here is a historical quote for you, Mr. Will, regarding the devastating impact of an overbearing and regulatory burdening government. It is from 1842.
After having thus successively taken each member of the community in its powerful grasp and fashioned him at will, the supreme power then extends its arm over the whole community. It covers the surface of society with a network of small complicated rules, minute and uniform, through which the most original minds and the most energetic characters cannot penetrate, to rise above the crowd. The will of man is not shattered, but softened, bent, and guided; men are seldom forced by it to act, but they are constantly restrained from acting. Such a power does not destroy, but it prevents existence; it does not tyrannize, but it compresses, enervates, extinguishes, and stupefies a people, till each nation is reduced to nothing better than a flock of timid and industrious animals, of which the government is the shepherd.
This is the Trump message. There is no dystopian exhilaration other than the want to repair the condition. The exhilaration lies in identifying the condition and the want to rectify the situation. Whose side are you on, George? It seems you are doubling down, and you don’t even have a pair.
As Trump said, a country placing the interest of itself before the interest of others is fair game. Who could argue, other than you?