George F. Will is no William F. Buckley, Jr. Buckley could drop a $5-word or an historical reference in one of his columns and readers would think, “How erudite!” He did it gracefully, like a talented conjurer presenting a lady with a flower plucked from thin air. If the item Buckley used was strange to you, you could deduce what he meant from context, and besides, he was confident a smart reader like you had access to a dictionary and could find your way to the library.
Will also tosses around big words and references, though his tend to be of the 50-cent variety—the kind you find on the clearance rack because they’re either shopworn or are just a little peculiar and don’t fit quite right. When he uses them, he does it with a glaring pomposity that suggests an untalented conjurer who, after mistakenly summoning up a turnip and clumsily poking a lady in the eye with it, calls her an unsophisticated ingrate when she doesn’t applaud.
Consider the first paragraph of his recent Washington Post column, “Vote Against the GOP”:
Amid the carnage of Republican misrule in Washington, there is this glimmer of good news: The family-shredding policy along the southern border, the most telegenic recent example of misrule, clarified something. Occurring less than 140 days before elections that can reshape Congress, the policy has given independents and temperate Republicans—these are probably expanding and contracting cohorts, respectively—fresh if redundant evidence for the principle by which they should vote.
“Carnage,” “telegenic,” “temperate Republicans,” “expanding and contracting cohorts,” “fresh if redundant,” and two uses of “misrule”—all in two sentences!
It gets richer in the next paragraph, where Will condemns House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) for having supported the Trump tax cut, claiming he “wagered his dignity on the patently false proposition that it is possible to have sustained transactions with today’s president, this Vesuvius of mendacities.” Ooooh! Two burns in a single go.
Trump’s “lies” are often misstatements easily made in this age of instant Internet misinformation. Others are just opinions that the accuser doesn’t share. Some Trump statements are called lies when they’re really speculations. One such was when Trump said he believed the phones in his campaign headquarters were being “tapped.” The media called it a lie because he didn’t produce a bug with a tag on it reading “Property of the DNC.”
Though he did get it slightly wrong—the names of those calling in and calling out were being tracked while their conversations were not recorded—he far underestimated the spying aimed at him. We now know it involved the highest levels in the FBI, foreign intelligence agents, a secret court, political rivals out for revenge, and much more. Powerful government officials plotted to subvert an election then to force the winner out of office. It actually makes Watergate look like a third-rate burglary.
Trump often exaggerates his accomplishments or his hopes for future achievements. All politicians pump themselves up. Unlike those favored by the media, his bragging is put under the microscope, called a lie, and any embellishment stripped off with acid. Compare Trump’s treatment to that of Barack Obama, who told colossal whoppers repeatedly and topped it all off by continuing to claim brazenly that his administration was scandal-free.
The media itself plays loose with the truth. The “family-shredding policy” Will condemns is an example. Commentators weep and make comparisons to Hitler and death camps. We’re repeatedly told that taking children from their law-breaking parents is “not who we are.” But it is. People convicted of crimes or being held for trial are separated from their families. Al Capone wasn’t penned up in Alcatraz with his wife and kids.
Will goes on to urge voters to vote for Democrats in the coming congressional races. He claims a Democrat House would keep the “lout” Trump in check while itself being constrained by the minority Republican House members. The Senate’s Republicans would block anything ugly that got past them.
Horse twaddle. Unlike Republicans, when given power, Democrats use it. Consider the way Obamacare was forced through. No congressional custom or collegial tradition hindered the Democrats when they had the upper hand. And there are fair-weather Republicans who would be happy to go along with the Democrats so they could bask in the sunny smiles of the media as “maverick,” bipartisan statesmen.
Will staked everything on condemning Trump during the 2016 election. He wanted some softer candidate who would adhere to his brand of conservatism. In other words, he wanted something like a clone of himself. If some darkling laboratory in a Gothic castle had managed to produce such a creature, it couldn’t have won the presidency. But Trump did. Few thought he could, but he blended conservative ideas with populism, unabashedly confronted his opponents and hammered them down one by one till he finally thwarted the coronation of Hillary Clinton.
Will, who writes with the confidence of one who doesn’t have to do what he dismisses, seems to think that was no big deal. But it certainly was. None of the other Republican candidates on the ballot in 2016 could have beaten Clinton.
Will appears bitter that the nation didn’t do as he told it to do. His fantastical explanation of why his malice should be appeased in the midterms is embarrassingly self-centered.
Trump faces more opposition than any president since Abraham Lincoln. The bulk of the media and the entertainment industry, the Left’s Bernie Bros and Democratic Party Hillary worshippers, the Washington career bureaucrats, and those ladies who wore pink hats hate him with a passion hotter than the sun’s core. If he is to rebuild our economy, “drain the swamp,” and make America great again—or greater than before—he’ll need every Republican in Congress that the country can give him.
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