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Nation riven by ‘mindless truculence’

George Will. NBC Newswire via Getty Images

For some time I’ve been avoiding national news as much as possible. I catch the headlines in newsletters, in local newscasts, and on late-night TV. But I don’t spend much time with the national newscasts at dinnertime, or the Sunday morning talk shows (I used to watch every one of them, every week). The news frustrates, infuriates, and depresses me. I don’t need that.

But late Sunday night, Sept. 12, I happened to turn on a rerun of that morning’s Meet the Press. And I had it on just long enough to hear George Will say, “There is a pandemic of mindless truculence in the country.”

Pow. A perfect summation. I jotted it down immediately, wishing I had his command of the language.

I’ve always admired his way with words, just as I admired William F. Buckley, Jr.’s before him. He’s a smart conservative, a principled conservative, what Republicans used to be back when I was one of them. And in double-checking my notes, I read that he left the Republican Party when they nominated Trump. Smart move, Mr. Will.

“Mindless truculence,” he called it. Can you think of a better way to describe what’s happening in our country today? If only he’d also articulated a cure …

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