Steve Malzberg of Newsmax TV calls people like CNN’s Margaret Hoover “phony Republicans” or RINOS (Republicans in Name Only). I prefer the term “fake conservatives.” Whatever we call them, the effect is still the same. By spouting liberal nonsense, they misrepresent the views of most Republicans or conservatives. Hoover joined her fellow CNN panelists in a “Hands up, don’t shoot” display based on the fiction that thug Michael Brown was surrendering to the police when he was shot.
Unfortunately, we have to add another name to the list of fake conservatives—George Will, who has been drifting leftward for years.
Over at National Review, once considered a flagship conservative publication, Will has a column on the Marxist dialectic in which he complains about too many people in jail or prison. He repeats the liberal canard about the U.S. being “a country with 5 percent of the world’s population but 25 percent of its prisoners.” Veteran crime writer Michael Tremoglie says the figure reminds him of the environmentalist claim that America has five percent of the world’s population and uses 25 percent of its resources. The purpose, of course, is to suggest there’s something radically wrong with the American system, and that we have to answer to the rest of the world for our sins.
Tremoglie says that Will’s figure about alleged “overcriminalization” apparently originated with a left-wing lawyer. I found it cited by sources such as the NAACP and the Drug Policy Alliance. But when you seriously think about it, the figure, even if true, only conveys the basic notion that we have a criminal justice system that works. After all, anybody who watched what happened in Ferguson, with the riots and looting that followed Michael Brown’s shooting, has to know we have a criminal element in America. In that case, most didn’t go to jail.
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Similarly, the figure about having five percent of the population and using 25 percent of the resources is actually a commentary on our successful economic system. Energy use reflects a modern economy that provides growth, not only for the American people but the world. Why should we be apologizing for that?
Like Hoover, Will abandoned the conservative ship years ago when he embraced the radical gay rights movement. In 2010, Will endorsed gays in the military on the ABC show “This Week” and smeared supporters of the Pentagon’s homosexual exclusion policy as unintelligent. That same year I noted that Hoover had joined the advisory council of GOProud, a so-called “gay conservative” group whose chairman, Christopher R. Barron, has a history of working for “centrist Republicans.”
Since that time, Will has joined the Fox News Channel as a commentator. Earlier this month, he jumped to Hillary Clinton’s defense on Fox News Sunday, after she had said we should be “respectful” and “empathize” with our enemies. Will gave a contorted explanation, concluding that “She was saying nothing particularly controversial, but she was saying it in an unfortunate way.”
On the December 14 “Fox News Sunday” program, he not only adopted the Senate Democratic narrative about the U.S. using “torture” against terrorists, but went off on a tangent, saying, “I hope the argument we are having about torture is going to seep over into domestic life because there’s a widespread practice in American prisons nowadays of prolonged solitary confinement, which has deranging effects on people and is, I think, indistinguishable from torture.”
What accounts for this unexpected attack on the prison system for isolating hardened criminals? It is apparent that George Will has fallen under the spell of some liberal somewhere. Criminals in solitary confinement are considered dangerous to others and are isolated for that reason. Curiously, Will says they are being tortured. As someone who understands the power of words, Will must know he is distorting the language.
Will has completely flipped traditional conservatism on its head—from sympathy for the crime victim to sympathy for the criminal.
Stranger than his leftist mumbo jumbo was how he began his column on crime. He wrote, “By history’s frequently brutal dialectic, the good that we call progress often comes spasmodically, in lurches propelled by tragedies caused by callousness, folly, or ignorance.” He went on to cite “the grand jury’s as yet inexplicable and probably inexcusable refusal to find criminal culpability in Eric Garner’s death on a Staten Island sidewalk…”
The “dialectic” is associated with Karl Marx, who saw history progressing through stages of conflict. Why on earth is George Will using such an approach?
We have commented on the Garner case many times, noting that the “chokehold” used by the police officer on Garner wasn’t a chokehold, and that he made the arrest by the book. Nevertheless, Will is fine with the liberal narrative, just as Margaret Hoover embraces the left-wing “Hands up, don’t shoot” fiction about Michael Brown’s death.
These are cases of Republicans/conservatives who have decided, for whatever reason, to spout liberal nonsense. That’s fine. But please call them liberals when they do that. And why not hire real conservatives to give some balance to the discussion?
I told Steve Malzberg this is why Newsmax TV and other alternative sources of news and information are getting more viewers by the day. People don’t like to be lied to about who or what represents the conservative point of view.
The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Barb Wire.