In his Washington Post Op-Ed yesterday, Elizabeth Warren and liberalism, twisting the ‘social contract’, George Will makes many suspect arguments. I encourage you to read the article then consider my offered comment below.
It is disappointing that Mr. Will, who served as my Boston University commencement speaker in 2003, can so mangle and misrepresent a message. He mischaracterizes Ms. Warren’s argument as “any individual’s achievements should be considered entirely derivative from society.” Yet Ms. Warren’s actual statement, “You built a factory and it turned into something terrific or a great idea ”” God bless, keep a big hunk of it,” acknowledges that individual success and societal support form a natural symbiosis, and NOT that government deserves “entirely” all the credit.
Mr. Will also fails to consider Ms. Warren’s statements from within the contemporary political context from which they originate. Far from advocating “social engineering” (seriously, where is this hyperbole coming from?), Ms. Warren stands as counterweight to the pernicious ramblings of our modern Republican leaders like Rick Perry who stated, “We’re sending out a request today asking President Obama to put a moratorium on all regulations.” Right, as if requirements against tainted meat are true impediments to a “dynamic, prosperous” society.
We would have all benefited if Mr. Will had chosen to discuss thornier liberal/conservative issues like climate change or financial reform from the perspective of Ms. Warren’s arguments. Unfortunately we are left with exaggerations that take common sense, like so many of Mr. Will’s bovines, to slaughter.