George Will, Michael Gerson Discover There’s No Rationale For Their Existence

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Thought-leader Will

The erudite George Will, who has been writing about Republican politics since the mid-1970s and who declared this year he was no longer a Republican because of Donald Trump, says it’s bitter to learn he has no influence over people who vote Republican no matter how much ink is spilled or how many trees are killed to put his words into print.

“After some 40 years as a political thought leader, I cannot say that anything I say has any influence on anyone at any time or in any place,” he says. “I guess that makes me a . . . nothing, because the whole rationale for my professional existence is to shape Republican attitudes and policy, and I see now that I have less influence than a truck mechanic I met in in Altoona, Pa., who persuaded his wife to vote for Donald Trump.”gw

Will said it especially hurts to learn he has no influence over anyone, because he’s queued up many erudite words to use in forthcoming columns. “I have a particularly wicked use of ‘redoubt’ lined up for a December column in the National Review,” he says. “And I’ve lately found new uses for ‘obdurate,’ which I haven’t used since a Washington Post column in 2015. It’s just really a slap in the face that none of these words has any influence on anyone at any time.”

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Influential Gerson

Of course, Will isn’t alone in having no reason to exist as a conservative writer. Michael Gerson, a former speechwriter for George W. Bush who earns his living shaping Republican opinion in the Washington Post, says its taken a while to sink in that no one who votes Republican cares what he has to say no matter how much time he puts to thinking how he should say it.

mg“Two weeks before the election I spent six hours on a column that made clear Donald Trump was unfit for office,” he says. “Four of those hours were spent writing and re-writing what I thought was a particularly effective sentence, ‘Take away this appeal, and there is nothing left but grasping, pathetic vanity.’ At first I was going to say ‘inappropriate vanity,’ and then I thought of calling it ’embarrassing vanity,’ and for a while I was even thinking of saying ‘nauseating vanity,’ but after an egg-salad sandwich and a glass of iced tea, I hit on ‘grasping, pathetic vanity,’ and I knew I had my zinger. Unfortunately, it didn’t zing anyone into action, if anyone actually read it.”

Gerson says he might become a Democrat, because Democrats still appear to listen to their thought leaders, at least a little. “Although historically they’re in the working man’s party, Democrats these days tend to be a little more intellectual than Republicans, so they probably still have some appreciation for what their thought leaders say,” he says. “So, I think the work I do would be more appreciated. Too bad I believe in small government and the sanctity of life. But it’s either suck it up and have an impact, or admit what I do is irrelevant. I guess I’ll have to suck it up.”

Will said it shouldn’t be that hard for him to become a Democrat, because he’s already renounced his affiliation with the Republicans. “I’ve got books to sell,” he says. “I’ve got columns for people to read and thoughts for people to appreciate. I’ve got to do what I was put on this earth to do: influence people.”

This is a work of satire. It is fictional news article not meant to be taken seriously. Photo: ka, am (Creative Commons). Not necessarily an endorsed use of images.

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