Reason Podcast

George Will's Lonely Battle Against Republican Nationalism and Democratic Socialism

Defending the conservative sensibility in the era of Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders.


Three years ago this month, George Will, America's foremost conservative newspaper columnist, officially quit the Republican Party over its acquiescence to Donald Trump. "This is not my party," he said then. It's even less so now.

Yet the erudite author and television commentator is not ready to give up on conservatism just yet. In his career-punctuating new book The Conservative Sensibility, Will makes the forceful argument that the natural rights-based classical liberalism of James Madison is the antidote to authoritarianism found on both the Trumpian right and progressive left.

In an interview with Reason's Matt Welch, Will talks about the importance of rehabilitating America's withered constitutional architecture, ponders what the punditry class got wrong in 2016, and reminisces about what it was like for a conservative columnist to criticize an erratic Republican president way back in 1973.

Edited by Ian Keyser. Intro by Todd Krainin. Camera by Jim Epstein.

Photo Credit: Brian Cahn/ZUMA Press/Newscom

'Running Waters' by Jason Shaw is licensed under CC BY 3.0

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