George Will is a well respected, long time political thinker who has been strongly anti-Trump since well before the 2016 election. He has at times been recognized as an expert on conservatism. He has also accused Trump of faking his conservatism, trashing the honor and respect of the office of the Presidency, and of stirring up anger, xenophobia and anti-intellectualism. He makes no bones about it, he dislikes the leader of the free world.
In a recent interview with Peter Wehner, a contributing editor at The Atlantic magazine, Will said:
“The principle of representative government, which is at the heart of conservatism, is that the people do not decide; the people choose who will decide. And that’s why populism inevitably becomes anti-intellectual...Political leaders today seem to feel that their vocation is to arouse passions, not to temper and deflect and moderate them.”
Will is equating populism with mob rule. He is suggesting it is the job of leaders to deflect the effects of mob rule, then make decisions based on their superior intellect. That sounds a lot like Progressive theory to me.
He also implies that Trump, specifically, aroused voter passions. Like a mirror, Trump has been a master at reflecting heated passions that had been brewing for a long time. That can start a fire, but the light source didn't come from Trump, it came from a political environment of ineffective leadership, misplaced values and the deteriorating sovereignty of the American voter.
He suggests that leaders chosen based on their popularity as opposed to their policy, are anti-intellectual, and dangerous. But that is an oversimplification of what actually happened during Trump's 18 month-long Presidential campaign.
Follow me on this: Trump played by the rules, went around the country and spoke to the electorate where he spelled out the issues and solutions to what he felt the electorate was worried about How does that make him anti-intellectual? Will would prefer the candidate meet with party leaders, formulate a platform, and then use the party structure to acquire the necessary number of electoral votes as determined by insider horse trading, and then govern by intellectualism...
Hasn't that been the policy and procedure of the Republican Party for the past 24 years? Isn't that what lead to the enormous national debt, the instability of our inner cities and the clash of race relations, the mishandling of every war since WWII, and the complete lack of investment in restoring our American infrastructure. Let's not forget the decline in 2-parent families, an epidemic of drug addiction and homelessness, the absolute abdication of healthcare for our veterans, the growing rejection of American exceptionalism and world leadership in the pursuit of human freedom, and the unsupportable onslaught of illegal immigrants swarming and overwhelming our communities across the country.
Hello? These were, and are, the real world issues that face Americans, and precisely what Trump publicly addressed prior to the 2016 election. Does that make him a hate monger? An anti-intellectual? A threat to our system? Come on George, wake up and smell the coffee.
Honestly, Will sounds silly and out of touch with reality. He cavalierly dismisses the enormous sea change in governing that Trump has accomplished despite the disgusting, unAmerican, and possibly criminal opposition by the Deep State Media cabal.
President Trump decided early on, and I think his decision has been vindicated, that it is useless to try to work rationally with opponents who display nothing but hatred, overt aggression and misinformation in the marketplace of ideas. So he has employed a policy of mutually assured destruction: When Progressives throw nuclear media weapons at him, he is going to hit back with an overwhelming social media counter attack. At first it appears reckless and unproductive, but in a very short time, he ends up refocusing the public on the issues and exposing the media's duplicity.
Trump is a builder. Unlike Reagan, who used his acting and speaking skills to move the electorate, Trump just keeps adding one cinder block at a time. We are still a long way from a remodeled masterpiece, but the foundation and the first few floors are done and the crews are working around the clock. We are watching Trump rebuild Americanism, and the specifications don't align with Mr. Will's 90's era neo-conservatism, but when the finish trades move into the White House January 2021, George will be at the Grand Re-Opening.