Jumping into the political fray, 75-year-old syndicated columnist George Will showed his flair for histrionics, announcing he’s leaving the GOP because of presumptive nominee real estate mogul Donald Trump. “After Trump went after the “Mexican” judge from northern Indiana then (House Speaker] Paul Ryan endorsed him, I decided that in fact this was not my party anymore,” said Will. Will complains about Trump’s “populism,” not about his own elitism, unable to pick the GOP nominee in a smoke-filled room. Will doesn’t care about Trump’s comments about Judge Gonzalo Curiel or the fact that Ryan endorsed Trump. What’s Ryan supposed to do as House Speaker, oppose his Party’s overwhelming winner of the GOP primaries? Will has sour grapes that a true “conservative” doesn’t represent the GOP in 2016. Instead of embracing the will of GOP primary voters, Will takes his marbles and goes home.
Known for ponderous political essays heavily steeped in irrelevant history, Will’s no longer on the GOP’s current pulse. Will acts like a spoil-sport, unable, like GOP candidates former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, Sen. Lindsay Graham (R-S.C.) and 2012 GOP nominee former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, to get his way with Trump winning the primaries. In George’s world, the Republican Party must be primarily his brand of conservatism, any less prompts a tantrum. “He has an advantage on me because he can say everything he knows about any subject in 140 charters and I can’t,” said Will, admitting that he lacks the pith necessary to make his conservative points. Admitting he joined the GOP because of 1964 nominee former Sen. Barry Goldwater (R-Ariz.), Will admits he’s a conservative before a Republican, even when he goes down with the ship, like the 1964 election.
Will criticizes Ryan who expressed on many occasions his reservations to endorse anyone’s who’s not a true Republican. With GOP primary voters going for Trump, they’re looking for change in 2016. Will represents the old GOP status quo, too preoccupied with a conservative brand to accept that the Party holds diverse opinions. “The long and the short of it is, as Ronald Reagan said when he changed his registration, ‘I did not leave the Democratic Party, the Democratic Party left me,’” said Will, failing to admit that today’s conservatives view Reagan as too moderate. “I joined it [GOP] because I was a conservative, and I leave it for the same reason: I’m a conservative,” Will didn’t leave the GOP when a moderate Republican President Richard M. Nixon won the White House Nov. 5, 1968, nor did he bolt the Party when President Ronald Reagan won Nov. 5, 1980.
Will bolted the GOP because Trump’s brand of conservatism doesn’t match his personal definition. “This is not my Party,” Will told the Federalist Society luncheon June 24, admitting that for him it’s a control issue. If GOP Party elites can’t pick the nominee, Will wants no part of GOP primary voters where the lion’s share of voters picked Trump. Instead of blaming Ryan for “accepting the good-with-the-bad,” Will uses Ryan as a feeble excuse for bolting the GOP. Grandstanding doesn’t make him look more conservative—or credible—it shows a kind of self-defeating prima donna attitude. Will admitted why he’d rather see Democratic Presumptive nominee Hillary Rodham Clinton president. With “no opposition” from a GOP Congress, Will sees Trump getting too many things done, the exact thing voters want: An end to Washington’s partisan gridlock.
Calling Trump a “real amateur in politics,” Will ignores precisely why GOP voters opted for change not the status quo. “Make sure he [Trump] loses. Grit their teeth for four years and win the White House,” said Will, admitting he’d rather see four more years of gridlock than any real changes with Trump. Will’s argument that Hillary will preside over four more years of gridlock is precisely the reason that GOP primary voter overwhelmingly went for Trump. To defeat Trump in November, Hillary will have to prove to voters she can get anything done with a GOP House and Senate. Will’s argument couldn’t be more dishonest: Vote for Hillary precisely to continue Washington’s partisan gridlock. Saying Trump wasn’t a “true conservative,” Jeb made the same argument as Will and was blown out of the Feb. 20 South Carolina primary, dropping out of the race.
Blaming his decision to bolt the Party on Trump’s remarks about a Mexican judge or Ryan’s decision to back Trump, Will showed he’s more a media stuntman than a serious conservative. No true conservative wants to see Hillary in the White House, no matter how much they disagree with Trump. “He seems to confuse the enthusiasm of the crowds in front of him at the moment in the high school auditorium with the larger electorate,” said Will, knowing that Trump fills of airplane hangers and stadiums, not gymnasiums. Crowd enthusiasm propelled over 14 million GOP voters to cast votes for Trump. Trump’s enthusiastic crowds translated into real votes, promising to do the same in the general election. Will doesn’t like Trump because GOP primary voters, not Party elites, picked him for their nominee. Showing his true colors, Will bolted the GOP out of pure selfishness.