George Will would like to disband American government, move back to the 19th century
by David Atkins
Even by George Will's pathetic standards, this column is something else:
“Candidates are constantly asked, ‘Where will you take the country?’ My answer is: ‘Nowhere.’ The country is not a parcel to be ‘taken’ anywhere. It is the spontaneous order of 316 million people making billions of daily decisions, cooperatively contracting together, moving the country in gloriously unplanned directions.All of which would work great. Unless, you know, the world is burning because of climate change. Or unless you can't afford healthcare or retirement. Or unless your children are tired of working in factories. Or you're a minority who can't get an apartment because of discrimination. Or unless Wall Street crashed your economy.
“To another inane question, ‘How will you create jobs?,’ my answer will be: ‘I won’t.’ Other than by doing whatever the chief executive can to reduce the regulatory state’s impediments to industriousness. I will administer no major economic regulations — those with $100 million economic impacts — that Congress has not voted on. Legislators should be explicitly complicit in burdens they mandate.
“Congress, defined by the Constitution’s Article I, is properly the first, the initiating branch of government. So, I will veto no bill merely because I disagree with the policy it implements. I will wield the veto power only on constitutional grounds — when Congress legislates beyond its constitutionally enumerated powers, correctly construed, as they have not been since the New Deal. So I expect to cast more vetoes than the 2,564 cast by all previous presidents...
“In a radio address to the nation, President Franklin Roosevelt urged Americans to tell him their troubles. Please do not tell me yours. Tell them to your spouse, friends, clergy — not to a politician who is far away, who doesn’t know you and whose job description does not include Empathizer in Chief. ‘I feel your pain,’ Bill Clinton vowed. I won’t insult your intelligence by similarly pretending to feel yours....
“Finally, there have been 44 presidencies before the one I moderately aspire to administer, and there will be many more than 44 after it. Mine will be a success if, a century hence, Americans remember me as dimly as they remember Grover Cleveland, the last Democratic president with proper understanding of this office’s place in our constitutional order.”
This is what Republicanism is, and has always been. It's a desire to return to the worst excesses of the Gilded Age, back when the super-wealthy didn't need to be bothered with pesky things like protections for workers or the environment.
Some days I fantasize about giving men like George Will the world they so desperately crave--after stripping them of their wealth and privilege, and setting them up a coal mining town where they can prove their worth with the sweat of their brow without any bothersome government official interfering in the sacred relationship between them and their new employer.