Pulitzer Prize-winning Washington Post columnist George Will says he will be casting a vote for a Democrat in November — for the first time in his life.
Will was interviewed at the Aspen Institute today by USA TODAY Washington bureau chief Susan Page.
Page reports that Will said that will be voting for Biden and that it is the first time he has voted for a Democrat since he started voting Republican when Barry Goldwater ran for president in 1964.
In our @AspenInstitute conversation this afternoon, @GeorgeWill (never a fan of President Trump) told me he’ll vote for @JoeBiden in November–the first time he’s voted for a Democrat for any office. (His first presidential vote: Barry Goldwater.) https://t.co/rQ3xZVobrv
— Susan Page (@SusanPage) July 20, 2020
Will says that Donald Trump has done more lasting damage than Richard Nixon did during the Watergate scandal because, “you can’t un-ring the bell. You can’t unsay what he has now said is acceptable discourse in the United States.”
The noted conservative added that Trump’s supporters on the right “misunderstand the importance of culture, the viscosity of culture, and I think they are not conservatives, because they don’t understand this.”
He went on: “Nixon’s surreptitious burglaries were surreptitious; that is, they were done in secret because they were unacceptable to the country, and once exposed, they were punished and the country moved on. What Mr. Trump has done is make acceptable, make normal, a form of behavior that would get a third grader sent to the principal’s office or to bed without dessert.” Will argues that Trump’s agenda, to the degree it pleases conservatives, is what any Republican president would have done. “So the question is, What does Trump bring that’s distinctive?” Will said. “And it’s all vulgarity, coarsening, semi-criminality.”
For the better part of the last four decades, Will has been at the intellectual center of American conservatism.