George Will’s Diatribe Against Reagan

Columnist George F. Will indulges in a devastating diatribe (Editorial Pages, Oct. 3) against the President for “insincerity” for “having eviscerated a principle” in swapping “of innocent hostages for spies,” for “paid ransom” by “reeling toward a summit that it says is no summit,” and for the reduction of “force levels” of nuclear arms.

Will, who has built a highly lucrative career, aided by his special relationship with his sometimes friend, Ronald Reagan, feels highly incensed as if betrayed by his former, special pupil, whom he coached before the Great Debate with Jimmy Carter. Will fears that the Great Communicator has become the Great Disinformer by not adhering to Will’s approved script and will prove no match to the Great Manipulator--Mikhail Gorbachev. So the characteristically unflappable, intellectual guru of the “Far Right,” reacting like a wounded bull seeing the world through his darkly, red-colored glasses, viciously attacks the President.

Will uses his proficient pen to build a seemingly logical case for his basic darkly colored geopolitical view of the world as “the struggle between democracy and totalitarianism” and as the implicit conflict between the forces of Good and Evil. Such a viewpoint promotes the drift to “unparalleled catastrophe,” which Einstein warned us of unless a “new manner of thinking” prevails.

That new mode stems from the cardinal issue of the Nuclear Age that confronts the superpowers--that of co-existence or non-existence. The world plunges ahead in an arms race, with its ever-present danger of inadvertent nuclear war, that shifts priority of spending wasteful and costly 2 1/2 billion dollars each day with its concomitant reduced expenditure for conquering disease, hunger and poverty.


The primacy of survival upon this small planet relegates all other issues to secondary importance. The President has chosen the path of summitry in accord with the biblical exhortation to choose life not death wherein lies the best hope of peaceful security for the nation and mankind.


Los Angeles