From the Right

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Politics

Cooperstown Must Decide if it’s a Museum or a Shrine

From the Right / George Will /

WASHINGTON -- Many Americans are more thoughtful when choosing appliances than when choosing presidents, but the baseball writers whose ballots decide who is “enshrined” -- more about that verb anon -- in Cooperstown’s Hall of Fame are mostly conscientious voters struggling to unravel a knotty puzzle: How to treat retired players who are ...Read more

A Most Dreadful Inaugural Address

From the Right / George Will /

WASHINGTON -- Twenty minutes into his presidency, Donald Trump, who is always claiming to have made, or to be about to make, astonishing history, had done so. Living down to expectations, he had delivered the most dreadful inaugural address in history.

Kellyanne Conway, Trump’s White House counselor, had promised that the speech would be “...Read more

The Waterbeetle of American Politics

From the Right / George Will /

He flabbergasts the Human Race
By gliding on the water’s face
With ease, celerity and grace;
But if he ever stopped to think
Of how he did it, he would sink.

-- Hilaire Belloc, on the waterbeetle

WASHINGTON -- Leaving aside the missing element of grace and the improbability of his ever stopping to think, Donald...Read more

The Patent and Trademark Office’s Assault on Free Speech

From the Right / George Will /

EDITORS -- Note the nature of some of the entities named in this column.

WASHINGTON -- In 1929, Chief Justice William Howard Taft convinced Congress to finance construction of “a building of dignity and importance” for the Supreme Court. He could not have imagined what the court will ponder during oral arguments this Wednesday. The case ...Read more

Academia May Now Be Beyond Satire

From the Right / George Will /

WASHINGTON -- The Chronicle of Higher Education, which is a window on the sometimes weird world of academia, recently revisited a hilarious intellectual hoax from 20 years ago. Reading the recollections of the perpetrator and of some who swallowed his gibberish is sobering.

In 1996, Alan Sokal, a New York University physicist and self-described...Read more

Obama’s Unforced Errors on Foreign Policy

From the Right / George Will /

WASHINGTON -- When Barack Obama moves two miles from 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue to 2446 Belmont Road in Washington’s Kalorama neighborhood, he will live half a mile from 2340 S Street, where Woodrow Wilson spent his three post-presidential years. Wilson’s embittering foreign policy failure was the Senate’s rejection of the U.S. participation...Read more

Obama was Indeed Transformational

From the Right / George Will /

WASHINGTON -- Any summation of Barack Obama’s impact on domestic policy and politics should begin with this: In 2008, he assured supporters, “We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.” Soon he will be replaced by someone who says, “I alone can fix it.” So, Americans have paid Obama the compliment of ...Read more

Good Riddance, 2016

From the Right / George Will /

WASHINGTON -- Viewing 2016 in retrospect -- doing so is unpleasant, but less so than was living through it -- the year resembles a china shop after a visit from an especially maladroit bull. Because a law says “the state of California may not sell or display the Battle Flag of the Confederacy ... or any similar image,” a painting of the 1864...Read more

Making America 1953 Again

From the Right / George Will /

WASHINGTON -- It is axiomatic that if someone is sufficiently eager to disbelieve something, there is no Everest of evidence too large to be ignored. This explains today’s revival of protectionism, which is a plan to make America great again by making it 1953 again.

This was when manufacturing’s postwar share of the labor force peaked at ...Read more

Peace Through Technology

From the Right / George Will /

“To change anything in the Navy is like punching a feather bed. You punch it with your right and you punch it with your left until you are finally exhausted, and then you find the damn bed just as it was before you started punching.”

-- Franklin Roosevelt, 1940

SAN DIEGO -- What the former assistant secretary of the Navy said is ...Read more

Our Excellent Electoral Vote System

From the Right / George Will /

WASHINGTON -- Political mildness is scarce nowadays, so it has been pleasantly surprising that post-election denunciations of the Electoral College have been tepid. This, even though the winner of the presidential election lost the popular vote by perhaps 2.8 million votes, more than five times the 537,179 votes by which Al Gore outpolled George...Read more

Starbucks and Our Pursuit of Snobbery

From the Right / George Will /

WASHINGTON -- Indiana’s Thomas R. Marshall, who was America’s vice president 100 years ago, voiced -- he plucked it from a Hoosier humorist -- one of the few long-remembered utterances to issue from that office: “What this country needs is a good 5-cent cigar,” which would be $1.11 in today’s currency. A century later, what the country...Read more

Nobel Laureate of 2016 Revisited

From the Right / George Will /

WASHINGTON -- There has been ferment among the literati since Bob Dylan was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature. Many say that however well Dylan does what he does, it is not literature. Dylan did not go to Stockholm Saturday to collect his prize, which the Swedish Academy says was awarded “for having created new poetic expressions within ...Read more

Trump’s Carrier Ploy Was a Repudiation of Conservatism

From the Right / George Will /

WASHINGTON -- So, this is the new conservatism’s recipe for restored greatness: Political coercion shall supplant economic calculation in shaping decisions by companies in what is called, with diminishing accuracy, the private sector. This will be done partly as conservatism’s challenge to liberalism’s supremacy in the victimhood ...Read more

The Sensitivity Police Strike Again

From the Right / George Will /

WASHINGTON -- The word “inappropriate” is increasingly used inappropriately. It is useful to describe departures from good manners or other social norms, such as wearing white after Labor Day or using the salad fork with the entree. But the adjective has become a splatter of verbal fudge, a weasel word falsely suggesting measured seriousness...Read more

Fidel Castro and Dead Utopianism

From the Right / George Will /

WASHINGTON -- With the end of Fidel Castro’s nasty life Friday night, we can hope, if not reasonably expect, to have seen the last of charismatic totalitarians worshiped by political pilgrims from open societies. Experience suggests there will always be tyranny tourists in flight from what they consider the boring banality of bourgeois society...Read more

Be Thankful You Have Something to Grumble At

From the Right / George Will /

WASHINGTON -- At this shank end of a shabby year, Americans still can be thankful: They do not have the problem of nothing to grumble about. As we steel ourselves for Thanksgiving’s obligatory routs and revels -- does anyone really like turkey? or Uncle Ralph, who keeps turning up, like a bad penny? -- Americans are cudgeling their ...Read more

Did Academia Help Elect Donald Trump?

From the Right / George Will /

WASHINGTON -- Many undergraduates, their fawn-like eyes wide with astonishment, are wondering: Why didn't the dean of students prevent the election from disrupting the serenity to which my school has taught me that I am entitled? Campuses create "safe spaces" where students can shelter from discombobulating thoughts and receive spiritual balm ...Read more

Draw the Curtain on the Democrats' Theater of Pointless Gestures

From the Right / George Will /

WASHINGTON -- Seventeen days before President Donald Trump, his spoken oath of office still lingering in the wintry air, lifts his left hand from Scripture (a leather-bound edition of "The Art of the Deal"), the Republican-controlled Congress will begin working. Fittingly, on Jan. 3 the First Branch of government will go first, flexing its ...Read more

Americans need a respite from furiousness

From the Right / George Will /

WASHINGTON -- The Republican Party resembles the man who told his psychiatrist, "I have an identity problem, and so do I." The party's leader is at best indifferent to, and often is hostile to, much of the party's recent catechism: limited government, the rule of law, a restrained executive, fiscal probity, entitlement reforms, free trade,...Read more

 
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