George F. Will is the umpire on politics and baseball

– The dean of conservative
political columnists and far more important,
perhaps the finest baseball writer in America, shooting
today in Austin, Texas, George F Will on Uncommon Knowledge now. (light music) Welcome to Uncommon Knowledge. I’m Peter Robinson. George F. Will has been
one of the nation’s leading political writers since landing a column in the Washington Post at the age of 32 more than four decades ago. His twice weekly column now appears in hundreds of newspapers
and on dozens of websites. He’s written more than a dozen books including his classic work
of political philosophy, his 1983 Statecraft as Soulcraft, and the baseball books Men at Work, and A Nice Little Place on the North Side. George Will, welcome. – Glad to be with you. – Two quotations, George Will
in May, 2017, “It is urgent “for Americans to think and speak clearly “about Donald Trump’s
inability to do either. “This seems to be not
a mere disinclination, “but a disability.” That’s quotation one. Here’s quotation two. It’s longish but it does a lot of work. The Canadian publisher
and historian Conrad Black writing in today’s New York Sun. “George Will is one of
the country’s outstanding “polemical writers, but he
should not be squandering “his talents on
misrepresenting the president.” (laughs) That “but” carries quite
a load, doesn’t it? “The president has done his
best to enact the program “the voters approved
when they elected him. “He has appointed judges
who believe they should “carry out the law and
not current political “reinterpretations. “He has drastically reduced
illegal immigration, “reformed and reduced taxes, deregulated, “stimulated economic growth, succeeded “in gaining China’s serious cooperation “with North Korea, and
armed the Ukrainians. “He has assisted by raising oil production “by five million barrels a day. “With a more suave individual
enacting the same policies, “George Will would be an
appreciative supporter.” Sir, you object to the lack of suavity. – I do object to the
persona, which I think is what he’s talking about. And I think what my old friend
Conrad doesn’t recognize is people voted for Donald Trump because of the persona that I find offensive, destructive and dangerous. That is, the fact that he breaks crockery and offends people, pleases
certain other people. Now Conrad Black’s been around long enough to know that Donald
Trump didn’t personally increase our oil production. I’ve not seen the petroleum
stains on those small hands. The fact that, I mean that
long discourse from Conrad was in large measure an
exercise in the post hoc propter hoc fallacy. The rooster crows and the sun rises, therefore the crowing of the rooster causes the sun to rise. Certainly Donald Trump has
done a few good things. The stopped clock is right twice a day. But that’s largely because
the republicans were teed up in congress and elsewhere with a deregulatory agenda. He had outsourced to
the Federalist society the selection of judges
which produced Mr. Gorsuch. We can gauge Mr. Trump’s
understanding of the judiciary from the fact that in one of the debates during the 2016 primary season, he said in defense of his sister, a federal judge, in defense of her conservatism, he said she has signed some of the
same bills as Justice Alito. We have a president of the United States who thinks judges sign bills. Which is to say we have a
president who would flunk a sixth grade civics exam. A strong letter to follow. – I’m quoting you once again. “Trump lacks what TS
Elliott called a sense “not only of the pastness of the past “but of its presence.” I think we could probably stipulate that Donald Trump is not himself
familiar with TS Elliott. What do you mean by
that, by quoting Elliott to that effect? – He has no sense of history, no sense of the momentum of events that has brought the Republic to this point. No understanding as far as I can tell of the majesty of the
house in which he lives, the great moments that have occurred in the oval office that he occupies, no sense that is of the great arguments we’ve had about America,
where we should go, how we should do it, the actual competence and proper scope of government. All of this is a blank slate to him. – Let me try another couple of arguments on behalf of Donald Trump. I’m on the mound, you’re at the plate. Let me try a couple of pitches here. Those achievements that
Conrad Black listed, Donald Trump may not have
increased oil production by five million barrels
a day, but he did help the federal government
take its foot off the neck of the energy industry, that is to say, the stock market is not booming because of his investments,
but because we now have an administration that is
no longer anti business. Neil Gorsuch, there are achievements, some of them may be modest in the sense that he has caused the federal government to stop doing harm. He may simply have
outsourced the appointment of federal judges to
the federalist society. Nevertheless he has done those things, and those are all in the
conservative direction. And if he were quite such a dolt, and quite such an ideological scramble, how could he have done it? – Because we are a party
system, and the Republican party is a reservoir of certain good
impulses and a lot of talent. When a president is
elected as you know well, immediately he has to fill
about several thousand policy making jobs. A democrat has a pool of
talent from which to pick, and a republican has another pool. And the pools are really different. And Mr. Trump who has lit upon
the Republican party briefly as he rents it, is the
beneficiary of the virtues of the pool of Republican
talent and the Heritage Foundation, the Cato
Institute and American Enterprise Institute and the
intellectual infrastructure built by the conservative
movement over the decades to account for the fact
and compensate for the fact that conservatives are largely excluded from the intellectual
infrastructure of academia. It was there in waiting
and it benefited him and it benefited the country. – And is it the corollary to that that he will at sooner or
later and perhaps about now have run out of the
agenda that was teed up for him to follow? – I think so for reasons having
very little to do with him. First of all, most
presidents have one year they can push their agenda as Reagan did. Reagan got his tax cuts in 1981 and then it was essentially if they work, I’ll get a second term. If they don’t I won’t. And he turned his attention elsewhere. Same is true for Mr. Trump. If Justice Kennedy decides to come back to California, and he has
another appointment to fill, that will be important. I happen to believe
that Mr. Trump probably would not have been elected
if Scalia hadn’t died when he did. A very large number of people
said I don’t like Trump but I do like Republican judicial choices. Therefore I will vote for him. And if they hadn’t had
that incentive dramatized by the death of Scalia, this
would have been different. – One more little sally here. I think you would agree
that all truly useful political analysis begins and ends with a Henny Youngman gag. (laughs) Question, how’s your wife? Answer, compared to what. And so the weakest argument on behalf of Donald Trump is still
an impressive argument. He prevented Hillary Clinton
from becoming president, and he ended eight years of rule by a democratic party that by this point was firmly in the hands of
the Elizabeth Warren left. And therefore we should be grateful to him or to fate or to whatever produced him, and we should also be
trying to make the best of this difficult situation. – I’m trying to make the briefest of this difficult situation. (laughs) Let me make clear, I did not
vote for Hillary Clinton. I voted for Ben Sasse,
senator from Nebraska and would relish the
opportunity to do so again. You’re quite right. We had a miserable choice,
the most miserable choice in the history of our Republic. We had never in American
history had a major party nominee going into the general election with disapprovals higher than approvals. In 2016 we had two of them. Now on balance I would
probably still prefer that Hillary Clinton had won
for the following reasons. Gorsuch is better than Merrick Garland but not a lot better. Merrick Garland was a distinguished judge who would have filled that seat. And the fact that he didn’t is a tribute to Mitch McConnell, not to Donald Trump. Second, under our
splendid system of checks and balances, Hillary
Clinton would have been checked and balanced to a fair thee well by Mitch McConnell, one
of the great legislative mechanics in the history of the Congress who would have made her
life appropriately miserable as the founding fathers made possible. So for these reasons,
I think that probably on balance on better to have Mr. Trump with one enormous asterisk. And that is it’s gonna be a lot harder to repeal and replace the coarsening of our civic culture
that he is bringing about than it has been to repeal
and replace Obamacare. – All right, a word or two on that. You’ve written, Andy Ferguson quoted you in his profile of you
in the Weekly Standard, quoted you as saying, “Appearances matter. “It simply won’t due to say
well we like his program “but not his persona. “The two are now inextricable.” But how can that be? A nice summary of the Obama years is that for eight years a
gentleman enacted bad policy. Can’t it be the case that a vulgarian enact good policy? – Yes, of course, but
there is a social cost to the vulgarian. The promiscuous lying. The lying with no purpose. I mean everyone lies,
politicians lie, sometimes for good reasons, sometimes for bad. But usually for a reason. There was no reason for
him to say, and this is how he began his presidency remember, this photograph, are you gonna believe me or your lying eyes. I mean this photograph doesn’t show that I had a smaller inaugural crowd than Barrack Obama did. This matters. Disparaging your opponents. The coarseness, the kind of fourth grade schoolyard taunts. Now looking on the bright side,
as I am disinclined to do, but looking on the bright
side, one of the good effects of Mr. Trump is he’s going
to deflate the preposterous inflation of the presidency
as a moral leader. I don’t wanna president as a moral leader. I want him to be the head
of one of the three branches of our one of our many governments. I want him to take care
that the laws are faithfully executed, that’s about
what the Constitution says his job is. And then not to be looked
upon as a moral exemplar. If we stopped looking
at presidents this way as a result of him, this will have been an unintended benefit. – All right and so whether we see the back of Donald Trump in two years or six, what will have been different? In other words, Richard Nixon leaves and the Republic recovers. Lyndon Johnson did all kinds of damage to the constitutional structure, the great society and so forth. He was personally vulgar
in all kinds of ways. He leaves, the Republic moves on. What is the price that
you expect us to pay? – I’m again mildly
cheerful because I think the political antibodies are at work now, that people are reassessing the role of the presidency. Some people are saying well you know, maybe the presidency has
become a little too swollen in the post Teddy Roosevelt,
post Woodrow Wilson understanding of executive power. I think the country may snap back indeed. If the democrats are wise,
they would nominate someone, I don’t know who it is, who would say to the country, elect me and you won’t see so much of me. Elect me and we’ll all take a deep breath and will say the fate of the Republic is not put at risk every
morning when the sun rises and Morning Joe comes on
and people are all excited about something. The world’s not that exciting. The government’s not that exciting. The government’s not that central to you. And you’ll see me on inauguration day and a few times afterward. And by the way, I’m gonna
cancel the State of the Union address, it’s a terrible idea. So you won’t see me those
times in prime time television when you’d rather be
watching something else. If the Democrats are smart,
they’re gonna nominate someone who says just calm
down everybody, deep breath. ‘Cause my feeling is, the
American people are said to be angry. I don’t think they’re angry. I think they’re embarrassed,
and I think they’re exhausted. – Mm. – And if the Democrats
again, again, big if, if the Democrats are wise, they’ll play to those problems. – So you don’t have a candidate yet, but you do have a slogan. Vote for me, I’ll be dull. – Boredom is great. – Your 1983 book Statecraft is Soulcraft, a few words on your
political philosophy here. What I have seen in a
dozen years in Washington, now more than four decades in Washington. “What I’ve seen in a
dozen years in Washington “has strengthened my conviction that ideas “have consequences and
that the contemplation “of ideas is an intensely
practical undertaking.” Explain that. – When, in the late ’40s and early ’50s, the modern conservative
movement began to grow, one of its canonical texts
was by a man named Weaver at the University of
Chicago, and his title was Ideas Have Consequences. I believe that only ideas have large and lasting consequences. Only then, I mean the black
death had consequences. But people recovered from
it, and the world was changed because they thought about the
world a little differently. They thought differently
because of this horrible trauma that killed about a third of Europe. Ideas matter because our
parties either represent ideas or they represent factions,
and they represent appetites. Pat Moynihan, the greatest
pleasure and privilege of my decades in
Washington was knowing Pat. He was my best friend. Pat said in the late ’70s,
he said something momentous has happened. The Republican party has
become the party of ideas. And at the same time, the Democratic party had become the party of
factions, of identity groups and interest groups and you’re
dealt politics that way. Now Ronald Reagan came along and said no, politics is about some big ideas. And I happen to credit the real founder of this impulse man for
whom I cast my first presidential vote, the
junior senator from Arizona, Barry Goldwater in 1964. – Again, Statecraft is
Soulcraft, “It is generally “considered obvious that
government should not, “indeed cannot legislate
morality, but in fact it does so “frequently; it should do so more often, “and it never does
anything more important.” – That’s correct. The subtitle of the book
Statecraft is Soulcraft is what government does. Not what government ought
to do, but government can’t help but do. Because when you form a
regime, including an economy, a free market economy is
a government construct. It requires assumptions
and contracts and laws and monetary policy. Laissez faire is planned
Polanyi once said. That’s a great jest and
it’s a profound truth. When you do this you’re gonna have a certain kind of citizen. It just follows, it’s night to day. Virtues are habits, said
Aristotle, and habits are the result of the way
we live and a free market society causes people
to live in certain ways, to develop certain virtues,
thrift, industriousness, deferral of gratification, all the rest. One of the great arguments,
the great argument that began our Republic
between the anti Federalists and the Federalists. The anti Federalists
understood that the federalists wanted a national society,
not local agrarian yeoman Republican like Jefferson. They said we are arguing
not about institutions but about character, about the nature of the American person. And the Federalists won
and we got what we wanted. We speak like Jeffersonians,
we live and act and are governed like Hamiltonians. – And that explains Tocqueville who come in the first third of the 19th century and he writes brilliantly
about the institutions but first he writes
about what strikes him, which is the way the people behave. – Yes, Tocqueville went
down the Ohio River. And on the north side was freedom. The south side was slavery. And he says on the one side
was crackling with energy and the other side wasn’t. – One more quotation from
Statecraft is Soulcraft. “The United States acutely
needs a real conservatism “characterized by a concern to cultivate “the best personas and
the best in persons. “It should express renewed appreciation “for the ennobling
functions of government.” the ennobling functions of government. The students who will
graduate from the University of Texas at Austin this spring, or from the University of Illinois will have been born a dozen years after you published this book. And five or six years after
the fall of the Soviet Union. Heres what they’ve witnessed. Here are the functions of government with which they’ve grown up. A failed war in Iraq, and endless war in Afghanistan, a financial crisis in 2008 that made the federal
government look hapless for years afterwards, the sheer ugliness of the presidential campaign of 2016, and that doesn’t even begin to get us to the ugliness of the
impeachment hearings that’ll take place
beginning in December or so if the Democrats capture
the house in November. What do you say to the generation that has been formed by this
experience of government to persuade them that
government should be, can be ennobling? – I tell them that in the government that they have experienced
is failing American norms. That is it’s failing to
live up to the founders and to the great men
and women who have built the country before this. That we don’t need to look outside America for judgements that properly judge harshly against what they’ve experienced. 1968 I believe it was, George Wallace is running for president
and he said we got too much dignity in government. What we need is some meanness. Well, Wallace has won. We’ve got plenty of meanness
and not enough dignity. But it’s not always that way. I mean when I’m dictator in this country, I only want it for an afternoon. First thing I’m gonna do
is the only permissible college major’s gonna be history. And what I want them to learn
from history is contingency. Things didn’t have to turn out this way. Things turned out as well as they did because certain brave people took risks and made sacrifices. – Statecraft is Soulcraft,
you’ve mentioned history. Let’s talk about history
but history that begins at about the time you published this book. “It’s been said that the trouble
with the younger generation “is that it has not read the
minutes of the last meeting.” So let’s read some of the minutes to them. You published this book in
1983, early in the Reagan years. I experienced this problem
with my own children. I wonder what conversations you’ve had with your son, David,
who’s about the same age. It’s almost impossible
to make them understand what the country felt
like in the late ’70s with high inflation, with the Soviet, the Soviet Union was on the march and we felt a sense of
retreat and declining morale, failed in Vietnam,
Watergate a humiliation. And then in the ’80s,
there’s a national renewal. It’s economic, it’s
spiritual or it touches on morale if that’s the
proper way to put it. And in the end it’s the Soviet Union that’s so demoralized it simply chooses to go out of existence. Now what do you say to
the current generation, to the generation that just missed it that they ought to understand
about Ronald Reagan and those years? – What I say is that
proves that people matter. William James once said
there’s very little difference between one man and another,
but that little difference makes a huge difference. 1970s you referred to, stag inflation, we had in this country
something that all the best economic minds left, right and center around the world said could not happen. We had stagnation and
inflation at the same time. We had a misery index. You added the inflation rate
and the unemployment rate. It was over 20 and
Ronald Reagan came along. At this point people were
saying, you know America is ungovernable. And the presidency is too
big for any one person because Jimmy Carter made
the country look ungovernable and the office looked too big. Ronald Reagan came in
and said this is fun. Let’s go riding. He said this is not, you know Reagan said people are always telling me
there are no simple answers. There are a lot of simple answers. There’s just not easy answers. So he lightened the weight of government and he made people cheerful. Come back to persona. Dwight Eisenhower’s culture despisers used to say his smile was his philosophy. Well, I’ll tell ya something. What Ronald Reagan understood was that when you’re smiling,
when the American people are happy, good things happen. When they’re cheerful they
invest, they have children, they stay in school. Lots of good things happen. Persona matters, happiness matters. A president who talks
about American carnage gets one kind of American attitude. Ronald Reagan morning
in America gets another. – Statecraft is Soulcraft,
“I will do many things “for my country but I will not pretend “that the careers of Ronald
Reagan and Franklin Roosevelt “involve serious
philosophical differences.” Explain that one. – A, I was wrong. (laughs) First remember Ronald
Wilson Reagan took aim at the Great Society. – Yes. – Not at the New Deal.
– Correct. – He did not challenge the
basic social safety net, social security being emblematic of it. I do think I was wrong in
the sense that Roosevelt, if you go back to his commonwealth speech in San Francisco as a candidate, and all the way to his
economic Bill of Rights, new Bill of Rights that
he proposed in 1944, Roosevelt really did reverse
what Reagan understood. Reagan was a descendant of the founders who said, well the most important word in the Declaration of
Independence is secure. All men are created equal,
endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights and governments are instituted
to secure those rights, not to give us our rights. First come rights, then comes government. And government is inherently limited by its function of
protecting natural rights. Franklin Roosevelt
really was a progressive. He came to Washington first as Assistant Secretary of the Navy
under the great Satan Woodrow Wilson, I exaggerate somewhat. And Wilson really believed,
and the progressive believes that rights are conferred by government. And what Franklin Roosevelt said in some of his speeches was there’s a transaction. Government will give you certain rights, and you will perform certain
obligations as good citizens. That’s reversing what
the founders had in mind. So I was wrong. – [Peter] So you were wrong. – There’s a first time for everything. – I’m thrown but I will try to recover. (laughs) Continuing reading the
notes of the last meeting, a couple of points about
the fabric of society. Charles Murray, Coming
Apart, whereas the American middle class used to
represent a common culture, now it’s broken down. We see not only degrees of inequality but different patterns of existence. The more educated you are,
the more likely you are to attend religious
services, to get married, have children in your
marriage, to stay married. Less educated, out of wedlock births, less sense of community and so forth. That’s one, here’s the second. Family life, or the
existence of family life, in 1965 your best friend,
Daniel Patrick Moynihan published a famous
report, The Negro Family, The Case for National Action. And he was talking
about the disintegration of the African American
family, particularly in the ghetto. He spoke, I happened to
find this on YouTube. You can do a lot worse
than spend a few moments looking at old Pat Moynihan appearances on Meet the Press. He spoke of a massive
deterioration of the fabric of society right under
our prosperous noses. When he published that
report, the illegitimacy rate among African Americans was 25%. Today the illegitimacy
rate among white Americans is over 30%, among Hispanic
Americans, over 50% and among African Americans over 70%. What happened?
– We don’t know. Let me add some sobering
statistics, two more. 40% of all first births in
the United States today, regardless of race, color,
creed, national origin, 40% of all first births are out of wedlock and a majority of women
under 30 are not living with the fathers of their children. Now when Pat published that report he knew it was such dynamite,
he was a 38-year-old social scientist in the Labor Department when he commissioned the report, he knew it was such dynamite he said I want only 100 copies of it printed, and it took until August for it to leak. What he said was, the
lesson of history is clear from the wild Irish
slums of the east coast in the 19th century to
south Los Angeles today when you have a large cohort
of inadequately parented adolescent males, no fathers in the home, you have chaos. You have unruly neighborhoods
and schools so busy trying to maintain
discipline they can’t teach. I’ve raised three boys. I know the whole point of civilization is to civilize adolescent males. That’s what the whole things’ for. Pat understood this, that the family is, always has been, always
must be the transmitter of social capital, the
habits, mores, customs, dispositions that enabled
people to take advantage of the opportunities of a free society. And when the family fails,
the free society must fail. Now you said what, we
don’t know what caused it therefore we don’t know
what to do about it. It’s a little bit worse
in the United States but it’s true in Portugal,
it’s true in Wales, it’s true in Sweden, that
we are, at this moment around the globe having
a marvelously stupid social experiment. Let’s try to do without family. But Charles Murray, the
greatest living social scientist makes the point that we’re now becoming a bifurcated society,
that marriage is kind of a trophy of the middle class. – Yes. – Charles likes to say
if he wishes people would preach what they practice,
that is the bourgeois elements live by bourgeois values
but they somehow fuel the need to be transgressive
at cocktail parties and elsewhere and say well,
lifestyle choices are choices and who cares, and what’s the consequence. No, preach what you practice. – You don’t want to make the argument that modern capitalist
society is self dissolving, that somehow or other it’s the very nature of our success of our
material success at least, that undermines the family. – It’s a possibility.
– All right. – And here’s why. 50 years ago, one of Pat
Moynihan’s friends, Daniel Bell, published a book called
the Cultural Contradictions of Capitalism in which he said capitalism, which depends on certain stern virtues, thrift, industriousness,
deferral of gratification, encourages opulence, he
was echoing John Adams, encourages wealth,
encourages self indulgence. It undermines the moral
prerequisites of capitalism. That’s as far as Daniel Bell went. We can now, having seen
the family as a casualty, we don’t know a casualty of what, but a casualty of
something, we can now say, well you know maybe
capitalism makes us dissolute, makes us self indulgent, undermines restraint as bad for the economy. I think it was Daniel Bell said you walk into any department store,
come in the front door, and you walk right by the perfume counters because they’re designed
to stimulate your senses and get you in the mood to spend, consume and not defer gratification. – All right, the amiable atheist. (laughs) You’ve called yourself that. – Yes, of course. – George Will, writing
this spring about abortions in Iceland, they’ve
virtually eliminated births of babies with Down
syndrome in Iceland, quote, “Iceland must be pleased that is close “to success in its program of genocide, “but before congratulating that nation “on its final solution to
the Down syndrome problem, “perhaps it might answer a question. “What is this problem?” – Iceland, this is an aspiration to end a category of human beings. If that isn’t genocide, what is? And I simply asked what did
the Down syndrome people doing to Iceland? There are only about four of
them born a year over there because they use prenatal testing as a kind of search and destroy mission to find these dangerous
Down syndrome young people. I don’t know what they’re worried about. – All right, you’ve written over the years about your own son John
who has Down Syndrome, and about the beauty of his life. I found this 2012, “This
year John will spend “his birthday where every
year he spends 81 spring, “summer and autumn days and evenings, “at Nationals Park, in his seat behind the “home team’s dugout. “The Phillies will be
in town and John will be “wishing them ruination, just another man, “beer in hand among equals
in the republic of baseball.” Now here’s what I don’t get. You call yourself an
atheist, an amiable atheist, but an amiable atheist
is still an atheist. And yet you resist somehow
the sheer materialist utilitarianism of let
us say a Peter Singer who writes, and I’m quoting him, “That species membership
is not morally significant, “abort away,” and yet
unless I mistake you, you impute value to
human life as human life, good humans, bad humans, they’re human. – Yeah. – That’s an almost, that seems to me that you’re almost
suggesting that humans have a sacramental value. Where do you get that as atheist? – I think they have value. – All right. – I just don’t think you need a theism to have an ethic. That’s all. – All right, you know
Christopher Hitchens gave me the same answer to that
question, although he was quite cross about it. – My grandfather on my father’s side was a Lutheran minister
in Western Pennsylvania and northern Maryland. And my father, who became a philosopher and a non believer, as a
young child would sit outside Pastor Will’s study while Pastor Will and some of his parishioners wrestled with the problem of reconciling
grace and free will. They weren’t the first or
the last to worry about this. It’s sort of inherent in the problem of Christianity particularly. Where I just say, as many people do, that you can’t have virtue without theism, and I’d have to say I didn’t
have virtuous parents, and I did. So I’m just looking around the world and I’m thinking that’s false. There’s just lots of very
good people in the world who have no theism, no
belief in transcendence. – I’ll take one more stab
at it and then shut down because you’ve thought
about this more than I have. But how do you decide,
if there’s no external, no objective scales of values, where do you get your values? How do you know virtue when you see it? – I think there are objective standards, that is there are natural rights that is right ways for living
for people of our nature if we’re going to flourish. That’s natural rights
reasoning without theism. – All right, I think that’s probably about the best an atheist can do,
so I’ll let you stop there. – (laughs) It’s good enough for me. – George Will writing
last year about baseball. I have saved the momentous for last. – Yes.
– Baseball. Quote, “One of the six games of the 1948 “Boston-Cleveland World
Series was one hour “and 31 minutes, 91 minutes
for a whole baseball game “in the World Series. “The average in that series, two hours. “This year”, that is to say last season, “This year, the average
nine-inning game is “three hours and four
minutes, up four minutes “from the year before, and
up 14 minutes from 2020. “Major League Baseball’s worry, however, “is less the length of
games than the decrease “of action, batters
putting balls into play. “This season, more than
30% of at bats are ending “with walks or strikeouts.” – Or homeruns.
– Or homeruns. That’s the ball not in play. – Not in play, all right. “In one of baseball’s greatest games, “the Pirate’s 10-9
victory over the Yankees “in game 7 of the 1960 World Series, “there were no strikeouts.” Excuse me no, I have one more bit of this. “Major League Baseball’s
worsening pace of play “will not attract generations shaped “by ubiquitous entertainments.” You may want a presidential candidate who’s boring, but you most assuredly decry that baseball has become a bore. – It’s not boring.
– Ah? – It’s gotten too slow
but it’s not boring. As the great Red Smith
said, baseball is dull only to the dull. I wrote a whole book on
baseball because I wanted to know what was going on out there. No one had written for me. A book called Men at Work. It may not be the, I think
I’ve told the best selling baseball book ever. I’ve published 14 books. It sold more than the other 13 combined. I figured out what America cares about, and that’s a sign of national health. But anyway, part of the length of game has to do with longer commercial breaks, but that’s a small part of it. Part of it is that we know so much more. That is we know that
the third time a pitcher goes through the batting
order, he shouldn’t. – He’s worn out, he’s worn out. – He’s worn out, yeah, but the analytics. Major League Baseball teams, all 30, are now run by kids from Dartmouth and Amherst and Princeton
who peaked in baseball at little league, some of them in t-ball, but they know their analytics. They know how to use numbers. Something happened over the winter. We now have seven major league teams that pay their bullpen more than they do their starting pitchers. Because baseball learns. They learned don’t let them
go through the third time through the lineup. If you’re Kershaw or Scherzer fine. But if you’re not a genius, don’t. Baseball learned. You went back to that game in 1960. 10 to nine, no strikeouts. A related fact about that game. There were two pitchers who were five six. Bobby Shanson, Elroy Face. People are bigger, they throw harder. We’ve recently, and I
mean the last three years, we’ve made a big discovery,
if you change your launch angle as a hitter, you’re gonna hit a lot more homeruns. You can have all the
defensive shifts you want. The first big defensive shift
was to stop Ted Williams, a pull hitter. And Lou Boudreau of the Cleveland Indians, a clear manager, moved a
guy over, an extra infielder to play short in the outfield so they had four people on that side of the infield. Ted Williams said they can’t
make the shift high enough. I’ll just hit it over. Baseball, see there’s a
lesson for society here. Baseball adapts. It’s a Darwinian world, and baseball says you doing that, we’ll do this. We’ll figure out a way around this. Baseball five years from
now will be different. – That fast.
– That fast. ‘Cause these are smart people. – And there’s money at stake. – And there’s great incentive to win. – Let me try this on you. Major League Baseball
may tinker with this rule or that rule, but it’s just
the wrong game for the day. It’s gentile, it’s slow, it is nonviolent. This is the age of football, big activity, large human beings, violence,
made for television. And you respond how? – That football we look back upon and say it passed its apogee about five years ago. First of all, the human
body is not made for it. The human brain is in a pan. It’s not attached. It floats in the skull and
the joints and the cartilage and the tendons, but most of all the brain are not made for football, sorry. Second, as I have said many times, football combines the two worst features of modern life, violence
and committee meetings. Committee meetings are called huddles. But go back to the sheer safety. In my neighborhood in Washington, young parents with their
children on tricycles, and the tricycles are
pushed by a long pole, they put crash helmets on them. – Yes, yes. – Do you think they’re gonna
let them play football? I don’t think so. – Those moms are not up for that game. – Baseball is the right game for America partly because it’s polite. It’s a civil enterprise. It’s not full of people
beating their chests. It has a common law that
it enforces by itself, the unwritten rules,
you know you show off, they’re gonna teach you
in various ways not to. And baseball’s not the sport
for the 45th president perhaps but there’ll be others. – All right, we are
shooting this conversation on opening day, and if I read you right, at this stage in your illustrious career and illustrious life, there are two teams that matter to you above all others. What are you expecting for
your Washington Nationals this season? – The Washington Nationals will win the National League East. They play the Phillies, the Marlins, the hapless Marlins,
the not-so-hapless Mets and the rebuilding
Braves 19 times a piece. They’re gonna get to the post season. – All right, and this splendid book, A Nice Little Place on the North Side is about Wrigley Field and the Cubs, who won a World Series
causing you I believe to reset quite a large
portion of your view of the universe. – With metronomic
regularity, every 108 years the Cubs win the World Series, yes. – So we’re in year three of the 108 to go. Is that what Cubs fan
should expect for this year? All right, last question. One final time, Statecraft is Soulcraft, “In A.D. 410, barbarians
sacked Rome and Augustine, “a born pundit, reached
for his pen to write “The City of God, his
reflection on the collapse “of the Roman world. “My undertaking” this
is George Will talking, “My undertaking is also Augustinian. “I am concerned about the possibility “of a kind of slow motion
barbarization from within.” 35 years later, where do we stand? – 35 years later, still the
fundamental conservative insight is nothing lasts, nothing lasts. Empires don’t last. The continental plates
are drifting around. Nothing lasts. But that’s perhaps grounds for pessimism but pessimism is not fatalism. The intelligent pessimism,
which is another name for conservatism, is to
take axillary precautions against the natural
tendency of things to decay. We talked a moment ago about John Adams and Daniel Bell and
others saying every system contains the seeds of its own undoing unless, unless you recognize them and take prophylactic measures. – And I said that’s the last question, I’ve got maybe one or two more. But they’re related to that. I can recall a conversation I had in 1979 with Malcolm Muggeridge, the
great British journalist. And Muggeridge compared
himself to Augustine, and he said he felt
himself in the position of Augustine, who from North
Africa watched the collapse of the Roman world, and
Malcolm Muggeridge assumed that the Soviet Union would
win and we would lose, and that he was simply
watching the collapse of the civilization he loved. And he was wrong. The ’80s came along. – And Whitaker Chamber
was wrong when he said, when they left communism, I’m going over to the losing side. – Right, so what from the
perspective of the date of 1983 when you published this book, what is there to be said about the sources of renewal on which we could draw today? – The fact that the American founding, the best thing that ever
happened to the human race, the American founding
is so rich in lessons and principles, that we
have unlimited recourse to that reservoir of example and thought to renew our country. – George, I wonder if I
might ask you to close by reading a passage from
Statecraft is Soulcraft. – “In a world that is
increasingly inhospitable “to the ideas and disciplines of liberty, “this republic continues
to live in providently “off a dwindling legacy
of cultural capital “which was accumulated in
sterner more thoughtful eras. “That legacy is a renewable resource “but it will not regenerate spontaneously. “Regeneration is a political
choice, a political chore. “If this republic is to
long endure it must work “to improve the actuarial
odds against the survival “of civility in an untamed world. “Politics involves an endless agenda “of arduous choices. “It can be thrilling and
noble, certainly a sense “of the complexity and majesty
of politics is indispensable “to the care of our time.” – George F. Will, thank you. For the Hoover Institution
and Uncommon Knowledge, I’m Peter Robinson. (light music)

100 thoughts on “George F. Will is the umpire on politics and baseball

  1. I love the Hoover institute but mr wills please. I’m not goin to listen to you if start of engaging in the very offensive behavior you supposedly despise .

    Understand that trump was a tool in this landscape , that was the only one available to beat the Clinton machine.

  2. George Will – Expired and irrelevant. His history of opinion is now long enough to sufficiently reveal how WRONG he has been. If this channel was not so consistent in excellence I'd unsub just for interviewing Will because his appearance sinks the brand equity of the channel almost beyond repair. I'll overlook the significant error in judgement featuring Will and put the channel on probation.

  3. Hmm, "we don't know"? We don't know why marriage and family broke down? 🙂 One of the old wisdoms for which we have recently gathered some evidence (Cultural Cognition Project, Yale) of the sort that informs the oxymoronic term "social science" is that even the highest IQ people have incorrigible blind spots, irresistible impulses to cultic loyalty, and such other impediments to intellectual honesty. And, they are more, not less, prone to herding than their less cognitively gifted countrymen.

    So, there you have it—the progressive notion of "government by experts" laid bare as profound folly and vanity. (You do forgive me the use of such quaint Biblical terms, don't you?) "We don't know…" Something mysterious dropped from the sky and wrecked marriage and family. Yes, sir, high IQ intellectual, sir. 🙂


  5. Will, whose preference for Clinton over Trump is frankly just wrong, is much too intelligent and thoughtful for Trumpkins to understand his analyses.
    Many who supported Trump did so while aware of his many defects and dishonesty. They are not Trumpkins. Those who are defend Trump's policies as frequently as they change. They have made of him a sort of god. He is not.
    Will dares to say so in a much larger context than any cultist can perceive.

  6. These two pedantic buffoons miss the point about America. Yes Trump is a buffoon but his energy and his style energize all of us. Energy to change our methods, energy to use new approaches. This country is the most powerful in the world because people do better in America. Yes we do need to stop wasting money, but I am much more concerned about what we spend on killing than the money we waste on caring for the people.

  7. Will has some decent insights, but he doesn't seem to understand the raw utilitarian value that Donald provides which Hillary doesn't. That is to say, his lifetime of experience in the private sector which yields far more valuable, real knowledge; and stands in direct opposition to to her lifetime spent in artificial bureaucracies. Donald is therefore more inclined toward limiting government waste and overreach. Also, can you imagine how unbearably intense victimhood culture and political correctness would be right now if Shrillary had won? This is why it was so important not to throw away your vote on a write in candidate.

  8. George said he did not know why the family broke down. Seriously, he didn't know??? How can he be a conservative thinker and commentator and not knowing the reason?

  9. Sad, to say I used to have respect for George Will, but this whining never Trumper attitude burned it. I didn't start out on the Trump train, but the alternative was Lying Hypocrite Hillary!

  10. For all the people I assume disliking bc of his comments on Trump, I implore you to watch the entire interview. I may not agree with certain positions George takes, but he generally has something insightful/thought-provoking to express. Just my two cents.

  11. I love your interviews, but George Will is one person I could care less what he has to say. Irrelevant, George. I use to love your words.

  12. The choice was the lesser of two evils, Trump was THAT choice.
    If HRC had been elected the abuses of BarryHO, Eric Holder, Loretta Lynch, HRC, & others would have never come to light

  13. 28:48 What happened? Let me proffer a theory: Industrialization influenced the decline of the family. As an industrial society supplanted an agrarian one you didn't need to have children to provide the labor to operate the farm from which you drew sustenance and grew wealth. After all, the larger the family, the more productive your farm was, the more wealth it could produce. But in the industrial era, the larger the family, the more ways the income of the one working parent was divided, with no real way to grow wealth. I'm sure every parent loved their children before and after industrialization, but the number of children declined when they no longer produced wealth but consumed it. At that point, children became a choice, not a necessity. Industrialization produced national wealth but disparities among the populace that some then sought to remedy through government action. The provision of welfare then made available a minimum level of sustenance. Now an individual could choose to have a child they otherwise could not afford to have outside of marriage and without the support of family because there was a benefactor in the form of government ready to step in. That removed the stigma associated with illegitimacy. Once the stigma was removed, individuals, whether they be beneficiaries of welfare or possessed of independent means, were making the choice to have children outside of marriage. Correlation is not causation, but it does appear the rise of illegitimacy and industrialization were concurrent. I'm no social scientist, and certainly no Moynihan, but I think this theory has some merit.

  14. This guy prefers Hamilton to Jefferson. Someone should tell this guy that the federalists haven't won yet. Us anti-federalists are still fighting.

    This dude gives more weight to Trump's effect on civil values than Trump's success in limiting federal government and taxation and appointing originalist judges. The small hands joke is an uncivil start for someone who claims Trump is destroying our civil society. Also Willis should read up on history. For example, Andrew Jackson was a thin skinned bully, who would fight every chance he got. Not only did Jackson get rid of the central banking system, but civil society didn't death spiral from Jackson's uncouth persona.

    Maybe if this guy believed in God, he wouldn't place the burden of human virtue on politicians. Absence of religion in this country has caused people to worship politics and has changed charity to social justice. Trump didn't get elected because we wanted a priest. He got elected to drain the swamp and limit government. The second coming of Andrew Jackson!!!!

  15. It isn't a surprise that Old Swampy loves Corruption Swamp. He's lived there all his life and doesn't know anything else.

  16. Some Putinist Wikleaks Snowden people must have been surveilling real conservatives, found the Hoover Institute, and voted this down.

  17. ? Will is an anachronism. He expects to settle a dispute with a friendly game of chess while his adversary wants to crack his skull open in an MMA cage match.

  18. Will simply isn't seeing the big picture. I used to admire the guy but on many occasions, and just in this interview alone, he shows just how out of touch he is with the average American. He says the average American isn't angry? Seriously? Maybe Will should leave his East Coast bubble, put some jeans on and go to a few county fairs and rodeos. But then he exposes himself. He says if the Democrats were smart, which of course they aren't, they'd nominate a guy who will say "Elect me and I'll disappear so everyone can take a breather." That's the problem Georgie Boy! The swamp has done NOTHING and you want to elect a guy who'll do even less to address the myriad of problems that we have?

  19. To this Conservative, who grew up in a traditional family in the forties and fifties, and retired following a long traditional career, the obvious question when listening to George Will is “What happened to this fellow?” He is thoughtful and analytical to be sure, but he is also a bitter man. At one time, many of us who followed Mr. Will equated him generally with William F. Buckley regarding his use of the English language, his wit and of course his knowledge of our history and fundamental principles as Conservatives. But, recall that Mr. Buckley was a religious man and his faith reinforced his core values, and those that Conservatives hold dear. Here we have Mr. Will, a self-proclaimed atheist who explains forthrightly that he also believes in Natural Rights. Thomas Jefferson, are you hearing this? Are other viewers out there sensing what I do here? This man, as intelligent and as articulate as he is, and as knowledgeable as he is about the Founding, is confused to his core. Except maybe…for baseball.

  20. It was good for me to watch Will explain how he thinks HRC could/would have been better than DJT in the White House. I knew he felt that way, but I couldn't divine how he came to such a conclusion. I wasn't persuaded, but I could better see how this thought could be coherent to him. It's like it's better to have your headache last longer than accept an aspirin from Dr. Mengele. I was also struck by his thinking that his advice to Democrats for choosing (presidential) candidates would be to promise less public interaction and more boredom. This tells me that he sees what the democrat party is or at certainly has become differently than I do because if democrats are fundamentally committed to seeing the (federal) government's role in individual lives grow, Will's suggestion to his democrat friends is mutually exclusive with those goals and means to achieve them. The democrat party has moved from being liberal to leftist, from progressive to regressive.. That being so, to tell them to be more conservative is a fool's errand. It's apparent that he is now so invested in his warnings about Trump and his (failed) predictions of Trump's failures that he can only hope that they will come true if he is to maintain/regain credibility. Fortunately for him, he still knows something about baseball and should focus on that.

  21. George Will talks about the loss of moral character in the U.S. Presidency. Did he think that started with President Trump? And what is his standard for morality? The man is an atheist. As far as I can tell, he can damn well make up his own morals as he ambles through life. I think the only reason why he is against aborting children with Down syndrome is because he has a son with it. He gives no logical recourse as to why they shouldn't be aborted. How in the world is he ever going to maintain a pro-life stance if he can't develop his own foundations for asserting that all life is inherently good?
    The more I watch this, the more irritated I become with his cumbersome philosophy. He argues that good people can be atheists, as if this is a new and novel concept. Even Saint Paul acknowledged that among non-believers. Christian theology teaches people are designed with inherent goodness whether they acknowledge God or not.

  22. Re the decline of the "family" (nuclear?): could a factor be that the "family", as these two men believe it existed prior to some date in the middle-late 20thC, was an unequal bargain between the men and women who constituted it?
    Re natural rights: these were valuable concepts in the early modern period with which people could articulate opposition to monarchical power. They describe nothing real; they are constituents of a rhetorical strategy (as is talk of a "human nature").

  23. I used to respect and enjoy George Will's perspective on things. No longer. Like all leftists these days, he now values FORM over SUBSTANCE. That is as shallow as you can get. Like saying pretty people are BETTER than ugly people. Stupid, untrue, bigoted. SHAME ON YOU, George Will!

  24. At least the never-Trumper conservatives are conservative, and I can appreciate their basic philosophy. Now that I've got that nicety out of the way, I can point out their enormous flaw. They have a MASSIVE blind spot to what the Media-Democratic complex looks like from outside the beltway. They are worried that Trump has sullied the political discourse, but they don't see that the discourse has already been as deceptive and destructive as it could possible be for at least 20 years. The censorship and ridicule of conservatives has been the prevailing voice that I've seen from the Democrats, the Networks, and the Studios for my entire life. Trump hits back at the people who have openly despised us for a generation, and we are supposed to be worried that he talks like a New Yorker? Give me a break.

  25. George Will is making genuine criticisms of Trumps statements and everyone is screaming that he is part of the swamp,
    need I remind you Trump suggested inflationary printing as a way of getting out of debt.

  26. I really appreciate a conservative that calls out Trump as a monster. That indicates a free thinker.

  27. Will's early argument (I couldn't watch much beyond the early portions of the interview) is blown out of the water by the fact that the Republican establishment's iconic candidate, Jeb Bush, would not have chosen Gorsuch for that Supreme Court seat.

  28. George Will is being childish. Trump voters voted for him because of his persona? If it were up to George we'd have Hillary Clinton in and have a liberal court for years and no second amendment but George laments Trump not fulfilling some romantic, phony representation of the president. George Will is irrelevant

  29. Trump has done more for this country than any modern president to protect freedom and sovereignty. George Will was not voted in by anyone but stands on the sidelines barking his mean spirited babble. Here's why Trump was voted in George:

  30. George knows more about the government than I do. But I might understand reality in the Heartland better than he does. The frustration that existed before Trump scaled down the escalator was thick. The bubble in Washington fielded by all the intellects and cronies allowed for Trump to win the election. The Republican Party was a do nothing Party. They politely allowed our Republic slip to leftist without a fight….in 2024…George Will will have his chance to support the future Candidates like Ben Shapiro. I’m pretty positive George Will would have disliked a Ted Cruz Presidency. George Will is about George Will. He loves to hear his beautiful voice in his earbuds as he drifts off to sleep.

  31. George Will makes it possible to hate being a republican. I don't know what his world-view is, but he is a petty crybaby like Bill Kristol.

  32. He voted for Ben Sasse, that says it all about his intellect – Should have stopped watching within the first 10 minutes but such false self-aggrandisement is fun to watch in itself, one can look at Robinson's eyes to know the hypocrisy and fallacy​ of many of his core arguments.

  33. This guy is incorrect..people voted for him because they wanted change. The same change that he is implementing today. Guys like Will are the ones who have provided a safe space for socialists. He can sit behind a desk and ponder the implications of changing demographics and the generational shift in political ideology…that's fine. But that will not stop it..particularly because the masses are not listening to this guy, they want emotion and practical solutions, not an intellectuals opinion. He can sit and watch the house burning, write about it in condescending intellectual prose , and still not lift a finger to put out the fire.

  34. George is teed off versus teed up. Additionally quoting TS Elliot a Christian from an atheist George Will. I suspect his anger is coming more from the aforementioned conflict. The system is working, in God we trust.

  35. George, Trump is not mean. Past presidents that got us into needless wars that killed our men and cost us a fortune were mean. Past presidents that failed to stop the stampede of illegal immigrants were mean. Past presidents that forced us into an expensive, poorly administered health care system were mean. Trump speaks for those who elected him and you are not of that group. I don't want to hear your moaning so I stopped this video before halftime.

  36. George seems to fall into the trap of most principled conservatives, namely placing principles above practical concerns.
    Conservatives tried to elect moderate people but they were attacked and slandered with the usual vitriol from the Left.
    Trump was the only man who could fight fire with fire.

  37. It was his persona and his unique persona that brought an end to the Korean war and the promise of a better future to millions of N. Koreans who are currently held captive by a brutal dictator. People like you who are so invested in your hatred of the man will never give him credit. You like elitist Brennan, Comey, Strzok, Page, Ohr, McCabe ….seem to think you know what is better for the unkempt masses who need the expertise of the qualified experts. Nope, not today not ever .

  38. Many voters like Trump’s vulgarity, his bellicose nature, and his sense of humor: how many Presidents have appeared with Vince McMahon in a WWE ring? To most Americans George Will is a precious, over-educated, simpering fool.

  39. In years past I always admired you, although I feel that you must, like baseball, adapt to the current society's ways at least well enough to be able to win and implement that which will improve society. Yes Trump's persona is hard to get at first but I think he just likes to rile the media and get their attention on something else while quietly doing his good work for us. He's grown on me and he's a breath of fresh air from the tyranny of political correctness! I must say that while you may think your parents were not religious, their moral compass was given them by their Lutheran parents, and taught to you as ethics. The problem of the disintegration of the family and society is that it is now multigenerational in its distance from any instruction about God and any objective moral compass, and no one remembers what morality is.

  40. George Will is a man of high integrity and intellectual coherence which is more than I can say about our current president.

  41. Peter Robinson is the epitome of a right-wing hack.  Obama was "anti-business"?  When he bailed out the banks, insurance companies, auto industry, financial sector, and helped the overall economy steer away from a depression, was he anti-business then?  Give me a break.

  42. These two clowns have the entire Trump presidency dead wrong.  They criticize the coarseness, rude behavior, etc. of Trump, which is has no real impact on the lives of average Americans.  They are, however, fierce defenders of his pro-corporate, pro-wealthy, pro-polluting, pro-military-industrial complex, pro-deficit agenda, which is decimating to 99% of the population.  Get your priorities straight, gentlemen.

  43. George Will is delusional when it comes to Trump. He says the only reason Trump is getting things done is because of the Republican Congress being “tee’d up” for him.

    That same Congress that was created by the Tea Party. The same Tea Party that got Trump elected.

    I like George Will the same way I used to like John McCain. I respect the body of work, but both would rather be the smartest guy in the room at a Georgetown cocktail party than actually win an election.

    The same DC crew who crap on Trump crapped on Reagan in 76 and 80. Now they cite Reagan as one of the greats.

    We’ll see how history writes the tale of Trump? Maybe he’ll be a disaster? We’ll see in 2020 or by 2024.

    But George Will and Bill Kristol have a vested interest in how the scales of history lean. So they keep putting their finger on the disc.

    It’s not unlike all the democrats who were so sure of themselves about how Obama was a post-racial President, or the sea levels were going to fall, or how poor people weren’t going to have to worry about paying for things.

    George Will suffers from Pundit’s disease: a fever condition that leads to delusions of historical grandeur.

    George Will is old enough to remember what the Ford people thought of Reagan. It was awful. They just didn’t have Twitter or YT to show their butts over it.


  44. It sounds like the guest worked at CNN prior. Trump is the greatest president we’ve had. He’s changed a lot of things that were politically stale and is exposing the deep state swamp, like the FBI and former department of justice under Obama, and my favorite, shows the totally biased media’s narrative. And he loves America and Israel. ????

  45. George Will is my favorite political writer of all time. Today's conservative movement doesn't deserve George Will, they've completely lost touch with our founding principles.

  46. George Will is just another one of those disgruntled that his boys in the neocon status quo didn't get to have their game plan work before Trump came on the scene and so they want to take to any visible press and spew out their tired kvetches. Trump was clearly criticizing both sides of the aisle for their incompetence and from listen to uptight bellyachers like George F. Will, you can see why. These men like George are old news and out of touch; they don't understand the common Right-wing American is tired of hearing people like them murmur and moan while nothing gets done.

  47. While I imagine it's true you can find people that voted for Trump's persona, I believe many more, (in essence those that put him over the hump) voted for him in spite of that persona and because they preferred a constitutional republic over the alternative.

  48. OMG I am about to upchuck at the notion that a guy knowing what we have been tortured by with obama was willing to accept the perverted, twisted and corrupt polemics of of a HRC. 9:40

  49. The coursening of our civic culture is not the result of Trump. Trump is the response to it. That Will would cede the high of that resevoir of conservative talent he refers to previously really makes you wonder if his intellect has been so poisoned by the poltical establishment of DC so as to have succubmed to a sort of poliical Stockholm Syndrome.

  50. George F. Will is not a Conservative if he would have rather seen Hillary Clinton elected President. The only things that truly matter is that we have a President that provides incentive for hard work and who doesn't attempt to run our lives. Donald Trump understands both. We love straight talk and someone who does act like an elitist prophet.

  51. This guy is an angry liberal and is for the failing of America and socialism…Americans are done with the political crap!!

  52. George Will is now completely irrelevant…the people who have suffered the globalization program of outsourced jobs and heroin infested communities live a daily vulgarity that has been imposed by millionaires and billionaires content to import millions of migrants ready to take what jobs are left…they resonate with Trump's vulgarity because they are a big fuck you to the Elite and established that has thrown us, we the people under the bus for decades….the inside the beltway gang can't fathom this because it is the richest district in the nation feeding off the federal tit. Hard facts Will skillfully avoids.

  53. The govt have failed for the past 100 years…Politicians are a joke and should not be anywhere near making rules and laws.

  54. Liberty Libertarian MUST rule…… LIBERTARIANISM Rules 15 Supreme Court Judges 5 from Republicans 5 from Democrat AND five from only both of two… this five will prevent tyranny

  55. Will has spent his entire life in speculation..producing nothing and never having had a job other than being a talker of BS at some college. The reason Trump is so superior to Will is because Trump actually did things with his life. Love him or hate him, he got out and did things. He understands the world of business. Will understands nothing other than the endless intellectual speculation…….I am so tired of these windbags…..

  56. If Jeb Bush were president and governed the
    same exact way as President Trump,
    George Will would proclaim Jeb one of
    the best presidents ever.

  57. Marx was an intellectual. His philosophy culminated in Stalin that was a brutish thug.

    The parallel should be obvious

  58. George Will can make conservatism sound romantic and attractive due to his intellect and knowledge of history. I could listen to him speak for hours but he'd never change mind. Conservatism gave us Trump. That's all you need to know.

  59. Mexico and Latin America are on the cusp of failure. I lived in The South for 35 years. Trump is at odds with a cadre of sociopaths. Will should go look for himself. The Trump regime can and must take control of illegal aliens. You are not going to get boredom, Mr. Will.

  60. Time for George Wills to find an extensive care home where he could live out his fantasies that are quite distanced from reality … while there he can contemplate the failures of his hero's like McCain and Romney.

  61. Peter Robinson does another excellent interview, but on a man who is the kind of intellectual elitist that Sowell warns against. George Will is the kind of effete RINO that nauseates me. I went from homeless 1966 as a 9yo in New York city to a rich professor of medicine and biochemistry. I'm fairly certain my IQ and general knowledge is far above Will, but because I have known TRUE hunger, cold and have NEVER used any Government program, not even a loan; I detest people like Will who presume to be better than others.

  62. How can you say Trump has stopped the federal government from doing harm when it is locking up little kids in cages? And it was astonishing to see George Will praise Mitch McConnell.

  63. I know nothing about George Will aside from this interview, but it seems to me his comments regarding wishing Hillary won seem naive. He mentions the checks and balances. But we had eight years of great overreach by the executive branch coupled with an ineffective Congress. In addition, the Republican-majority Congress that did begin Trump's presidency did not accomplish many of the things they said they would, despite being majority with a Republican sitting as President. The idea that they would be a check on the unfettered ambition and disregard of a Hillary-led government seems… unrealistic. I do realize adversaries can cause people to rise, but it seems Congress has long been toothless.

    (I do recognize exceptions like Jim Jordan, mr. Ted Cruz, etc.)

    And I very much enjoy your interviews, Mr. Robinson. They've been a great find. And my favorite, by far, has been yours with Mr. Sajak regarding the Berlin wall speech.

    Thank you.

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