Sunday, June 26, 2016

George F. Will supports Hillary Clinton

Yup.  You read that right.  And it makes sense.  George F. Will is the living embodiment of sneering elitism, and Trump is the embodiment of bombastic anti-intellectualism.  Of course Will must support the candidate who supports higher taxes than he wants but doesn't fling her own feces at passers-by.  Of course, I must always bear a grudge against Will for a long-ago column lamenting the fact that some professors insist on wearing blue jeans in the classroom, which I have done every day of my professional career, but I'll let that slide today and talk about the issue at hand.

Will doesn't just look at Trump and see recklessness.  Will comes from what I call the Chamber of Commerce wing of the Republican Party.  This creates the potential for a... buzzword!  Long ago, E.E. Schattschneider (fuck you, auto-correct, and fuck you, George Will for disapproving of me for typing "fuck you") wrote a classic in political science called A Semisovereign People.  (Again I say, fuck you, auto-correct, "semisovereign" was EE's word, not mine).  Part of the book was about party change and how "cross-cutting issues" lead to intra-party divisions, and change over time.  See?  Buzzword!  The division between Trump and Will is a classic demonstration of a cross-cutting issue within the Republican Party.  Will is what Paul Krugman would call a freshwater economics type.  Deregulation, low taxes and... free trade.  Trump has taken up the banner of trade protectionism, and with it, a kind of anti-intellectual isolationism that is incompatible with the George Will faction of the party that was leery of Trump anyway.

Trade is a weird issue.  I keep getting asked whether it has the potential to fracture the party system, and it just doesn't have enough direct impact on enough people's lives to have a big electoral impact.  But, it is one of the many issues that contributes to tension between Trump and the neverTrumpers, who can now count George Will among their members.

To be sure, Will has a lot of issues with Trump besides trade.  I am vastly oversimplifying for the sake of a connection to questions I have been asked in the past.  I just think it's a useful connection.

I wonder how many Silkwood showers Will had to take after announcing his Hillary support?

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