AMERICAN HAPPINESS AND DISCONTENTS (2008-2020): The unruly torrent | George F. Will, Hachette Books (2021), 528p.
Former MSU Professor and prolific national columnist George F. Will has aggregated 12 years of his columns into this thematic collection. It’s impressive to see the prodigious output he has sustained, even at age 80. His columns are routinely 1,000+ words that require substantial research - book or interview-based.
His column work racks up a 4.5 million word count over 50 years.
Will’s keen, probing, and principle-based analysis of politics, policy, and culture is sorely missing in the landscape of click-bait content that passes as thoughtful from today’s Left and Right. Will, an ardent conservative who understands that such a label - and all words - have precise and absolute meaning, wields his adroit lexicographical prose into unassailable conclusions.
A sampling of his wit & wisdom:
“…the distilled essence of today’s progressivism is the use of power to limit speech.”
“…someone was offended; therefore, someone else must be guilty of harassment.”
“America is a creedal nation made not by history’s churning but by the decision of philosophic Founders.”
“Gargantuan government, which becomes so by considering itself entitled to allocate wealth and opportunity, incites rent-seeking…”
“In the regulatory state, the rule of law is the rule that law barely limits regulators’ discretion.”
“But the proliferation of emotional-support animals suggests that a cult of personal fragility is becoming an aspect of the quest for the coveted status of victim.”
“War is, in fact, the true nurse of executive aggrandizement.”
“The nation is still stained by the sordid business of assigning group identities and rights.”
“Market forces powered by mass preferences do not defer to inherited status.”
Emergencies are used to “rewrite the nation’s social contract to accustom Americans to life suite to a permanent emergency.”
If you prefer your commentary well-thought, insightfully argued, and driven by a reverence for Truth, it is hard to beat any sentence written by Will.