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Will: Sure. President Obama says Paul Ryan would end Medicare as we know it. Arithmetic will end Medicare as we know it. This does not surprise and it's not optional. The question is: Then what do we do? Yamamoto's question again. So Republicans have to be ready as the crisis nears. I don't want to sound like this is Marxism, the internal contradictions become insupportable.
reason: Are you optimistic still, despite everything?
Will: I think so, because the American premises are quite correct, and the American capacity for renewal is real. We live in a city here in Washington that was segregated 40 years ago. Look at the change in this country-breathtaking, shocking behavior that was normal, the routine daily insulting of African Americans by white Americans is completely unacceptable. That's an astonishing improvement. And laws. I have to say to my libertarian friends, laws matter.
reason: Goldwater's the one who said you can change the laws, but you can't make me love my neighbor. In fact, he's probably wrong about that.
Will: To answer that, A) you'd be surprised; and B) even if you can't love him, you can sit at the lunch counter with him and say, "Pass the sugar." You do that enough and things change, and they did.
The plasticity of America is still wonderful. You look at all the valedictorians in California named Rodriguez and Nguyen. The premises are right, and the final word about the capacity of renewal-we have a wonderfully retrospective cast to our politics. We always look back at the basic documents, the Declaration and the Constitution. The best, most renewing thing in the last few years is the Tea Party, named after something that happened in 1773, for Pete's sake. It's a very healthy way we go through life, with a crick in our neck looking back at our origins, which are in a doctrine of limited, delegated, enumerated powers of the governed. That's why I'm confident.