They’re wrong; we’re right

In a column titled “Prove progressives wrong — let them rule awhile,” that appeared in the Elmira Star Gazette today, January 3, 2014, George Will explains that progressive ideas always fail, so that conservatives need do nothing but wait for the inevitable failure and backlash, which he would gladly encourage.  Will cites examples:

  1. The New Deal
  2. The War on Poverty
  3. Obamacare

The first two Will claims generated a backlash that returned Republicans, presumably conservative, to power; Will hopes the third will do the same.

Will claims that Republicans needn’t worry that Obamacare will succeed — a progressive idea, it must inevitably fail.  Yet the GOP may not agree — there is evidence that the new GOP strategy may be to find fault with Obamacare, put their mark on it, and claim it as their own. At least one conservative Republican, Candace Miller, R-MI, proposes legislation to make the AHC website secure.

Will doesn’t mention that the New Deal produced Social Security, the War on Poverty Medicare, and that Obamacare promises affordable health care to millions of Americans including those previously uninsured or even uninsurable. Nor does Will note any need to address social problems such as widespread poverty, homelessness, illiteracy, infant mortality, or teen pregnancy. Will claims that the core conservative insight is to recognize “the mischiefs that ensue when governments demonstrate their incapacity for supplanting with fiats the spontaneous order of a market society.”  With statements like this, Will begs the question — I don’t believe Will could demonstrate that a “market society” would work to the benefit of all. Experience suggest the opposite, that laissez-faire promotes social stratification — a growing and intolerable gap between haves and have-nots.

Will’s conservative views seem more hopelessly optimistic than most progressives’ — although poverty among seniors predates Social Security, Will either tacitly assumes that without Social Security poverty among seniors would somehow disappear or else he must not care.

© William Hungerford – January 2014

About whungerford

* Contributor at where we discuss the politics, economics, and events of the New New York 23rd Congressional District (Allegany, Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Chemung, (Eastern) Ontario, Schuyler, Seneca, Steuben,Tioga, Tompkins, and Yates Counties) Please visit and comment on whatever strikes your fancy.
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5 Responses to They’re wrong; we’re right

  1. Deb Meeker says:

    It would be great if you sent along this fan letter to Mr. Will.
    I’ve read his articles many times, and the one thing he never seems to run short on is hubris.


  2. whungerford says:

    I am curious if Will believes his lies and half-truths promote a greater good, shamelessly caters to his audience, or is blissfully unaware of the bias in his columns.


  3. BOB McGILL says:

    I was thinking the same about you !!!!


  4. Robert says:

    Wonderful, direct, concise, on point, and absolutely correct.

    What I always love to point out, is that it was the very things that they are once again touting that brought about the New Deal in the first place, much less Social Security. Because we all tired it their way, and their way failed miserably. And did, yet again, when the housing bubble burst, and the banks all had to ask the government to save them.


  5. whungerford says:

    What did I get wrong Bob, please explain.


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