December 26, 2012

George Will on religion and politics.

This is a great presentation. I heard it on satellite radio as I was driving the other day and recommended it to Meade, who noticed it on C-SPAN on TV and also recommends it. I wish I had a full transcript to point some things out, but really... watch this.

ADDED: Here's the text: PDF.

21 comments:

Widmerpool said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kirk Parker said...

Here's a working link to what someone else said was a transcript.

(For me, "no transcript" == nt;dl.

Widmerpool said...

Lecture text

Ann Althouse said...

Thanks, Widmerpool. Your code is a little off, but I was able to extract the right code and put it in a post update.

Ann Althouse said...

To me, a transcript that you can't copy and paste is not really a transcript!

Kirk Parker said...

Althouse,

That's because you're a writer. For us poor readers/commenters, a scanned-to-pdf version of the author's text is still waaaaaayyyyyyy better than having to sit there and listen to the speech take its plodding time...

creeley23 said...

There's almost eight minutes of pure-D blather before George Will starts his speech...

Ann: You can get OmniPage for $80 these days and it will convert text images to text pretty easy. My copy is several years obsolete but it ripped through this transcript PDF in about twenty seconds.

I also recommend the Flash Video Downloader add-on to your browse. Download web videos and watch of a copy on your hard disk. Much easier than skipping around on Youtube.

Kirk Parker said...

Hmmmm, I momentarily misread Will's line about Wilson's progressivism thus: "It was the duty of leaders to discern the direction toward which history was progressing, and to make government the unfettered abattoir of that progress."

But come to think of the 20th Century, maybe that's exactly what Will should have said.

wyo sis said...

Excellent speech. I tried to use OmniPage to convert the PDF and it crashed.

EDH said...

"I heard it on satellite radio as I was driving..."

Is it mere coincidence that your next post is about falling asleep at the wheel?

mtrobertsattorney said...

Here's a suggestion. Next semester, introduce your constitutional law students to this presentation.

I think it will result in an very interesting class discussion.

sydney said...

That was very good. I wish I could be as optimistic as he is about the chances for our country's survival.

creeley23 said...

People keep saying what a good lecture this was. Apparently it wasn't good enough to spur any discussion here however.

I found it a tour of commonplaces, tidbits, and questionable generalizations that seemed largely designed to flatter Will as an intellect to his audience.

Yeah, I don't like Wilson much either, I think the Wilsonian progressive state has gone too far, and I do believe religion has played an important part in American history and an important place for religion still remains.

But that was one tedious, discursive read for all that, unless I missed something important, and I'm so glad I didn't listen to the whole thing.

Chip S. said...

I wonder how Romney would've done if he had just run a bunch of ads consisting of Clint Eastwood reading lines from de Tocqueville.

virgil xenophon said...

Actually, for my money, the greatest (and most pertinent for Will's discussion regarding the expansion of the modern Wilsonian "Progressive Leviathan" State) was Lincoln's 1838 speech made to the Young Men's Lyceum of Springfield when he was but 28, in which he warned about the dangers of ambitious, talented politicians/"leaders" who would strain at the fetters of the Constitution as they sought to make a mark upon the world's stage and implement their view of what is "right" and "just" for society. (The last eight paras are the key--go read) If ever it could be said that a man was a true seer it could of Lincoln in his anticipation of the coming to power of the likes of an Obama who's "will to power" seems totally unconstrained by mere Constitutional shackles--a man eager to shed the Constitutional traces totally rather than merely straining against them...someone totally unsatiated in the pedestrian task of merely administering a government designed by his predecessors--no matter how illustrious. No, Obama's "transformation" of America unfettered by the constraints of the Founders-his desire to make "Kingdom Come" here on Earth by dint of HIS "progressive" Telos unfettered by the strictures of religion or tradition rather than to wait for Heaven is exactly what Lincoln warned about at Springfield..

rhhardin said...

Will loses interest in the audience:

"Our nation assigns to politics - to public policy - the secondary, the subsidiary role of encouraging, or at least not stunting, the flourishing of the infrastructure of institions that have the primary responsibility for nuturing the sociology of virtue."

Lem said...

I caught it on CSPAN.

It was very good.

NotquiteunBuckley said...

"It was--it still is--the assumption of most intellectuals that as science, rationalism and the rationality of market societies advance--as the disenchantment of the world proceeds apace--pre-modern forces will lose their history-shaping saliency. The two most important of these forces are religion and ethnicity."

The wise latina, stupid cops, GOP chains for minorities, Black Panthers, etc...

Libs todays don't believe their own bullshit, do they? They have to know, deep down, they are racist hatemongers concerned only with themselves right?

How else could one look at Detroit and desire to turn the country that direction, the direction of Coleman Young, if not because of race-blindedness*?

*unable to see anything because of race, like snow-blinded or sun-blinded.

NotquiteunBuckley said...

"But the new history guidelines suffer from the failings of modern academia. As you read them, you imagine a senile old man, shuffling around in his pajamas and muttering, “Race, class, gender…race, class, gender.” Everything is about demographic interest groups. Thus:"


http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2012/12/our-history-and-theirs.php

Dad29 said...

Pretty good stuff. He vaguely waves at Burke/Kirk Conservatism without actually, ya'know, articulating it, but is accurate.

Storm'n Norm'n said...

I just finished watching it on CSPAN...great speech. I too was looking for a good 'text' version but apparently the pdf file is a photographic version (you can copy picture as).
There's a number of areas that I would like to comment on but without going over and over the youtube version its a bit awkward (another word for "Im too damn lazy to transcribe!") to gather my thoughts.
I suppose he could have expounded upon the removal of prayer from the school by Hugo Black but that would have sidetracked into another speech.
Will does a good job of bringing it all together but he could have been a bit briefer...then again, maybe not for he kept my interest 'till the end.

Norm