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In New Book, George Will Defends Conservatism — But Not President Trump

"The Conservative Sensibility," by George F. Will. (Robin Lubbock/WBUR)

With Meghna Chakrabarti

Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist George F. Will, on his new mediation on the state of American conservatism.

Guest

George F. Will, writes a twice-weekly syndicated column on politics and domestic and foreign affairs for the Washington Post, for which he received the Pulitzer Prize for Commentary in 1977.

Author of “The Conservative Sensibility.” (@GeorgeWill)

From The Reading List

Excerpt from “The Conservative Sensibility” by George Will

During the 2012 presidential election, there occurred one of those remarkably rare moments when campaign rhetoric actually clarified a large issue. It happened when Barack Obama, speaking without a written text, spoke from his heart and revealed his mind:

“Look, if you’ve been successful, you didn’t get there on your own. . . . If you were successful, somebody along the line gave you some help. There was a great teacher somewhere in your life. Somebody helped to create this unbelievable American system that we have that allowed you to thrive. Somebody invested in roads and bridges. If you’ve got a business — you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen. The Internet didn’t get invented on its own. Government research created the Internet so that all the companies could make money off the Internet. The point is, is that when we succeed, we succeed because of our individual initiative, but also because we do things together.”

The italicized words ignited a heated debate, and Obama aides insisted that their meaning was distorted by taking them “out of context.” But Obama was merely reprising something said less than a year earlier by Elizabeth Warren, a former member of his administration who was campaigning to become a U.S. senator from Massachusetts. She said: “There is nobody in this country who got rich on his own. Nobody. You built

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