InÂ his columnÂ today, George WillÂ calls members of a school board in Kansas who question Darwinism “the kind of conservatives who make conservatism repulsive to temperate people.” Well, we can’t have that. I would like to know who these temperate people are. My very unfair guess is that many of them sign his checks.
How many philosophically liberal cultural positions has Will advanced over the years? I’ve lost track. I do remember him endorsing feminism and state experimentation with gay marriage (this involved a lot of impressive throat-clearing and very thoughtful qualifications). He recently scoldedÂ social conservatives for being crudely obsessed with letting unborn children live.
At the same time, however, he isÂ appalled at the Republicans’ compromising spirit on spending. But why isÂ he so uptight about this?Â After all, Will once instructed conservativesÂ to pursue “conservatism with a kindly face.” Otherwise, they would make conservatism repulsive to temperate people.Â “A conservative doctrine of the welfare state is required if conservatives are even to be included in the contemporary political conversation,” heÂ once wrote.