George F. Will is the umpire on politics and baseball

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George F. Will is the umpire on politics and baseball 3.5
Recorded on March 29, 2018

Washington Post columnist and author, George F. Will, sits down with Peter Robinson in Austin, Texas to chat about the current administration and America’s favorite pastime—baseball. They discuss politics in the age of polarization and the future of America.

Will argues that Americans need to stop looking at presidents as moral exemplars and instead focus on the president as the head of the executive branch. Will and Robinson discuss a quote from his 1984 book, Statecraft as Soulcraft: What Government Does, “The United States acutely needs real conservatism, characterized by a concern to cultivate the best personas and the best in persons. It should express appreciation for the ennobling functions of government.” They use this quote as a launchpad to discuss the future of American politics.

The discussion turns to young adults and teenagers, and Will argues why history should be a required class for all college students. They also discuss the rise in birth rates of illegitimate children and what that means for society. They talk about family as the transmitter of social capital and that when the family fails, free society fails too.

In the end they discuss baseball as America’s favorite pastime, and George Will argues it is the sport of America’s future as parents stop letting their children play football because of the dangers of lifelong head and body injuries

About the Guest

George F. Will is a Washington Post columnist and a commentator on NBC News and MSNBC. He is the author of numerous books on politics and baseball, including Statecraft is Soulcraft: What Government Does, Men at Work: The Craft of Baseball, and A Nice Little Place on the North Side: A History of Triumph, Mostly Defeat, and Incurable Hope at Wrigley Field. He became a Pulitzer Prize winner in 1977 for his commentary.

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💬 Comments on the video
Author

Peter Robinson is the standard for long form interviews on the internet. He was the first. Everyone else followed.

Author — slappy happy

Author

Lol, the comments are the best part of this interview.

Author — Rob Dewey

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Time for George Wills to find an extensive care home where he could live out his fantasies that are quite distanced from reality ... while there he can contemplate the failures of his hero's like McCain and Romney.

Author — Cameron MacKay

Author

At least the never-Trumper conservatives are conservative, and I can appreciate their basic philosophy. Now that I've got that nicety out of the way, I can point out their enormous flaw. They have a MASSIVE blind spot to what the Media-Democratic complex looks like from outside the beltway. They are worried that Trump has sullied the political discourse, but they don't see that the discourse has already been as deceptive and destructive as it could possible be for at least 20 years. The censorship and ridicule of conservatives has been the prevailing voice that I've seen from the Democrats, the Networks, and the Studios for my entire life. Trump hits back at the people who have openly despised us for a generation, and we are supposed to be worried that he talks like a New Yorker? Give me a break.

Author — Where were you

Author

28:48 What happened? Let me proffer a theory: Industrialization influenced the decline of the family. As an industrial society supplanted an agrarian one you didn't need to have children to provide the labor to operate the farm from which you drew sustenance and grew wealth. After all, the larger the family, the more productive your farm was, the more wealth it could produce. But in the industrial era, the larger the family, the more ways the income of the one working parent was divided, with no real way to grow wealth. I'm sure every parent loved their children before and after industrialization, but the number of children declined when they no longer produced wealth but consumed it. At that point, children became a choice, not a necessity. Industrialization produced national wealth but disparities among the populace that some then sought to remedy through government action. The provision of welfare then made available a minimum level of sustenance. Now an individual could choose to have a child they otherwise could not afford to have outside of marriage and without the support of family because there was a benefactor in the form of government ready to step in. That removed the stigma associated with illegitimacy. Once the stigma was removed, individuals, whether they be beneficiaries of welfare or possessed of independent means, were making the choice to have children outside of marriage. Correlation is not causation, but it does appear the rise of illegitimacy and industrialization were concurrent. I'm no social scientist, and certainly no Moynihan, but I think this theory has some merit.

Author — Alan Endicott

Author

In years past I always admired you, although I feel that you must, like baseball, adapt to the current society's ways at least well enough to be able to win and implement that which will improve society. Yes Trump's persona is hard to get at first but I think he just likes to rile the media and get their attention on something else while quietly doing his good work for us. He's grown on me and he's a breath of fresh air from the tyranny of political correctness! I must say that while you may think your parents were not religious, their moral compass was given them by their Lutheran parents, and taught to you as ethics. The problem of the disintegration of the family and society is that it is now multigenerational in its distance from any instruction about God and any objective moral compass, and no one remembers what morality is.

Author — Lisa Burden

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Im reading "The Woven Figure" its a series of Will's essays and columns. He is an amazing writer. He writes in a way that a dunce like myself can comprehend and actually enjoy.

Author — Bruce Wade

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For all the people I assume disliking bc of his comments on Trump, I implore you to watch the entire interview. I may not agree with certain positions George takes, but he generally has something insightful/thought-provoking to express. Just my two cents.

Author — Chris E-O

Author

Hmm, "we don't know"? We don't know why marriage and family broke down? :) One of the old wisdoms for which we have recently gathered some evidence (Cultural Cognition Project, Yale) of the sort that informs the oxymoronic term "social science" is that even the highest IQ people have incorrigible blind spots, irresistible impulses to cultic loyalty, and such other impediments to intellectual honesty. And, they are more, not less, prone to herding than their less cognitively gifted countrymen.

So, there you have it---the progressive notion of "government by experts" laid bare as profound folly and vanity. (You do forgive me the use of such quaint Biblical terms, don't you?) "We don't know..." Something mysterious dropped from the sky and wrecked marriage and family. Yes, sir, high IQ intellectual, sir. :)

Author — Isaiah Sellassie

Author

OMG I am about to upchuck at the notion that a guy knowing what we have been tortured by with obama was willing to accept the perverted, twisted and corrupt polemics of of a HRC. 9:40

Author — crewlj

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I appreciate Will's intellect but he really needs to appreaciate other's intellect as well.

Author — crewlj

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George Will a man of integrity and wisdom.

Author — Pedro Zaragoza

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1960, Ketchum Idaho. The World Series. The one or two greatest times of my life.

Author — Charles peterson

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"The Ennobling functions of government" lack the foundation to ennoble anything.

Author — crewlj

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While I imagine it's true you can find people that voted for Trump's persona, I believe many more, (in essence those that put him over the hump) voted for him in spite of that persona and because they preferred a constitutional republic over the alternative.

Author — crewlj

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Will has spent his entire life in speculation..producing nothing and never having had a job other than being a talker of BS at some college. The reason Trump is so superior to Will is because Trump actually did things with his life. Love him or hate him, he got out and did things. He understands the world of business. Will understands nothing other than the endless intellectual am so tired of these

Author — garen garson

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George Will is a man of high integrity and intellectual coherence which is more than I can say about our current president.

Author — Harry Barton

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An endangered specie, almost extinct, an honorable, sensible and a patriotic conservative.

Author — Mozzy A

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🤔 Will is an anachronism. He expects to settle a dispute with a friendly game of chess while his adversary wants to crack his skull open in an MMA cage match.

Author — krazipynaple

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George Will is my favorite political writer of all time. Today's conservative movement doesn't deserve George Will, they've completely lost touch with our founding principles.

Author — Shiftless Lazycrat