George Will Quotes

George Frederick Will was born on May 4, 1941. He is one of the most famous American libertarian/conservative political commentators and authors over many decades. In the past he has made regular TV appearances on NBC and MSNBC news channels. And he writes regular columns for the Washington Post. He is very well known for his nerdy horn rimmed glasses which give him a distinctive appearance.

The Wall Street Journal referred to Mr. Will as “perhaps the most powerful journalist in America…” Mr. Will has had a very prominent career and even won the Pulitzer Price in 1977 for Commentary.

Mr Will’s most famous book is The Conservative Sensibility which summarizes the philosophical foundation for American Conservativism. You can find a copy here.

We have assembled our favorite collection of his quotes for you today to share his thinking.

Our Favorite George F. Will Quotes

“Baseball, it is said, is only a game. True. And the Grand Canyon is only a hole in Arizona. Not all holes, or games, are created equal.” George Will

“This is an age in which one cannot find common sense without a search warrant.” George Will

“I suppose there’s a melancholy tone at the back of the American mind, a sense of something lost. And it’s the lost world of Thomas Jefferson. It is the lost sense of innocence that we could live with a very minimal state, with a vast sense of space in which to work out freedom.” George Will

“A properly functioning free market system does not spring spontaneously from society’s soil as crabgrass springs from suburban lawns. Rather, it is a complex creation of laws and mores… Capitalism is a government program.” George Will

“Fish have got to swim. Birds have got to fly, and Clintons have to run for office. It’s what they do. It’s a metabolic urge. That’s all they’ve done their entire life is borrow money from rich people to seek public office.” George Will

“It is extraordinary how extraordinary the ordinary person is.” George Will

“The phrase ‘domestic cat’ is an oxymoron.” George Will

“A politician’s words reveal less about what he thinks about his subject than what he thinks about his audience.” George Will

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“I hear Democrats say, ‘The Affordable Care Act is the law,’ as though we’re supposed to genuflect at that sunburst of insight and move on. Well, the Fugitive Slave Act was the law, separate but equal was the law, lots of things are the law and then we change them.”“The nice part about being a pessimist is that you are constantly being either proven right or pleasantly surprised.” George Will

34 Unforgettable Noam Chomsky Quotes

“The future has a way of arriving unannounced.” George Will

“In the lexicon of the political class, the word ‘sacrifice’ means that the citizens are supposed to mail even more of their income to Washington so that the political class will not have to sacrifice the pleasure of spending it.” George Will

“Voters don’t decide issues, they decide who will decide issues.” George Will

“Being elected to Congress is regarded as being sent on a looting raid for one’s friends.” George Will

“Sports serve society by providing vivid examples of excellence.” George Will

“We are given children to test us and make us more spiritual.” George Will

“We have 3,141 counties in this country. That would be 20 per county. The idea that we can’t assimilate these 8-year-old criminals with their teddy bears is preposterous.” George Will

“Pessimism is as American as apple pie – frozen apple pie with a slice of processed cheese.”  George Will

“Baseball is a habit. The slowly rising crescendo of each game, the rhythm of the long season–these are the essentials and they are remarkably unchanged over nearly a century and a half. Of how many American institutions can that be said?” George Will

“We know next to nothing about virtually everything. It is not necessary to know the origin of the universe; it is necessary to want to know. Civilization depends not on any particular knowledge, but on the disposition to crave knowledge” George Will

“The problem with intelligent-design theory, is not that it is false but that it is not falsifiable. Not being susceptible to contradicting evidence, it is not a testable hypothesis. Hence it is not a scientific but a creedal tenet – a matter of faith, unsuited to a public school’s science curriculum.” George Will

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“Correct thinkers think that ‘baseball trivia’ is an oxymoron: nothing about baseball is trivial.” George Will

“The pursuit of perfection often impedes improvement.” George Will

“Big government inevitably drives an upward distribution of wealth to those whose wealth, confidence and sophistication enable them to manipulate government.” George Will

“Political ignorance helps explain Americans’ perpetual disappointment with politicians generally, and presidents especially, to whom voters unrealistically attribute abilities to control events.” George Will

“Well, you know, the definition of second marriage is the triumph of hope over experience. George Will

“The 1935 Social Security Act established 65 as the age of eligibility for payouts. But welfare state politics quickly becomes a bidding war, enriching the menu of benefits, so in 1956 Congress entitled women to collect benefits at 62, extending the entitlement to men in 1961.” George Will

“I sometimes think that when he was at Harvard Law School, Mr. Obama cut class the day they got to the separation of powers, ’cause he seems to consider it not just an inconvenience but an indignity that, although he got 270 electoral votes and therefore gets to be president, he didn’t get everything.” George Will

“Arizona’s law makes what is already a federal offense – being in the country illegally – a state offense. Some critics seem not to understand Arizona’s right to assert concurrent jurisdiction.” George Will

“In 2008, Barack Obama had all the wind at his back, everything going for him. He was an African-American at a time when the country was eager to do that. The Republicans had, in the view of many of us, pretty much disgraced themselves at home and abroad for eight years.” George Will

“Some calamities – the 1929 stock market crash, Pearl Harbor, 9/11 – have come like summer lightning, as bolts from the blue. The looming crisis of America’s Ponzi entitlement structure is different. Driven by the demographics of an aging population, its causes, timing and scope are known.” George Will

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“A politician’s words reveal less about what he thinks about his subject than what he thinks about his audience.” George Will

“Big government is indeed big, and like another big creature, the sauropod dinosaur, government has a primitive nervous system: The fact of an injury to the tail could take nearly a minute to be communicated to the sauropod brain.” George Will

“In 1976, Jimmy Carter – peanut farmer; carried his own suitcase, imagine that – somewhat tapped America’s durable but shallow reservoir of populism. By 1980, ordinariness in high office had lost its allure.” George Will

“Sarah Palin, who with 17 months remaining in her single term as Alaska’s governor quit the only serious office she has ever held, is obsessively discussed as a possible candidate in 2012. Why? She is not going to be president and will not be the Republican nominee unless the party wants to lose at least 44 states.” George Will

Paul Harvey Quotes


More recently, Mr. Will received the 2020 Ernie Pyle Lifetime Achievement Award, in partnership with the Society of Professional Journalists.

And he was upset with the nomination of Donald Trump as the Republican president in 2016 and he very publicly quit the Republican Party. See our Donald Trump Quotes here

Watch the following video to hear George’s perspective.



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