Polemics & Exchanges

On Will’s Spoils

I am puzzled by one brief passage in Joseph Sobran’s generally unimpeachable demonstration that George Will is no conservative (“Was George Will Wrong?The Bare Bodkin, May).  In the third paragraph, he points out that Will covertly implies that conservatives should “get over” certain things they do not like, including apparently the FDR quasisocialist legacy and the legalization of abortion, on the grounds that these have simply become too well established to be extirpated or reversed effectively. But included on this list is affirmative action, which Will is represented as calling a “racial spoils system,” and on those grounds supposedly urging conservatives to accept it!  Is there a level of irony I am missing here?  Does Will really argue that we need a “racial spoils system?”  Some clarification from the usually crystal-clear Mr. Sobran would be appreciated!

        —Jonathan Chaves
Washington, D.C.

Mr. Sobran Replies:

Mr. Chaves is right.  Will has always condemned affirmative action, and I am baffled that I could have said something so obviously false that nobody who knew Will’s consistent record could have been deceived by it.  I’m not sure what I...

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