News

George Will analyzes the ’08 election with UM students

Keeping track of this year’s dramatic presidential campaign trail may seem alarmingly difficult at times. To help prepare and inform young voters in the University of Miami community, Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist George F. Will was invited to speak personally with them on campus at the BankUnited Center Wedensday evening.

Will was invited to UM as the 2008 New Student Convocation speaker as well as the first renowned guest to speak to students as part of A Dialogue for Democracy, the university’s innovative political series which will take place throughout the fall.

George Will spoke on Wednesday evening at the Bank United Center on the topic of politics as part of the Dialogue for Democracy. Photo by Chelsea Matiash // Hurricane Staff.

Will presented his lecture, “The Political Argument Today,” which explained in depth his views on the political environment in America, including the tendency of conservatives to favor freedom and less government control while liberals are more concerned with equality.

The issue college students should be most concerned about is “the fact that we have a welfare state,” he posited.

“It exists to transfer wealth from the working young to the retired elderly, and if it is not reformed it’s going to transfer way too much of the wealth through the earnings of young people to the elderly, many of whom do not need it,” Will told The Miami Hurricane during a press conference before his presentation began. “The weight of the welfare state will have such a suffocating effect on our economy – it must throw off the revenues to pay the bills.”

After praising President Donna E. Shalala along with the university itself, Will told The Miami Hurricane that his 16-year-old son may be interested in attending UM for college.

“[Ralph Waldo] Emerson said, ‘any institution is the lengthening shadow of a person,’ and if the University of Miami is a lengthening shadow of your not-very-long President [Shalala], then it’s the kind of place I’d want my son to look at,” he said.

On the presidential election itself, Will predicted that Democratic candidate Senator Barack Obama will “pile up enormous popular vote majorities” while Republican candidate Senator John McCain could win the electoral vote. Will suggested the Democrats may lose states in the South “more narrowly than they have done in the last five or six elections” because of many African Americans in the South who will vote for Obama.

Although Will said that “if you had to bet your house” on who will win the election, he’d bet on Senator Obama, he believes that Obama is “radically under-performing his party.”

Regardless of the election’s outcome, Will encouraged students to “pay attention” to the race.

“It doesn’t get any better than this and it may not be this good again for a long time – good in the sense of sheer theater,” Will said. “Four talented candidates, serious differences, civil argument. It’s what democracy ought to look like.”

As part of A Dialogue for Democracy, UM will feature a lineup of political strategists, pollsters, news correspondents, scholars and government leaders throughout the political season.

MTV News reporter Gideon Yago, pollster John Zogby, political scholars Thomas Mann and Norman Ornstein, as well as political strategist James Carville and Mary Matalin, former assistant to President Bush, are among those to visit the university in the upcoming months.

To learn more about A Dialogue for Democracy, visit www.miami.edu/decision08.

September 13, 2008

Reporters

Chelsea Kate Isaacs


Around the Web
  • Miami Herald
  • UM News
  • HurricaneSports

The Miami Hurricanes had to adjust their offense at halftime Saturday to pull out a road win against ...

Photo Gallery: UM v. Virginia Tech | Saturday, November 17, 2018 … Click to Continue » ...

The Miami Hurricanes found new life Saturday — despite so much seemingly going wrong. Big plays on o ...

At least in terms of their bowl situation, the Miami Hurricanes can take a deep, collective breath. ...

Thoughts, notes, reaction and postscripts after UM’s 38-14 win on Saturday at Virginia Tech, making ...

UM Libraries is presenting an extraordinary exhibit that immerses the audience in an emotional journ ...

A UM researcher is helping to lead a study on how smoke interacts with clouds and its impact on the ...

People are bombarded with news and information these days, providing opportunities for discourse tha ...

Students, faculty and staff stopped by the School of Architecture’s Korach Gallery to learn what Mag ...

The On Campus event featured innovative National Geographic Explorers—photographers, scientists, sto ...

The No. 24 Miami women's basketball team dropped a 75-52 decision Sunday at Iowa State in the P ...

The Canes got back to their winning ways with an impressive 38-14 victory at Virginia Tech. ...

20-point performances from Chris Lykes and DJ Vasiljevic led Miami past Bethune-Cookman. ...

The University of Miami volleyball team forced No. 10 Pitt to five sets in a thrilling match on Seni ...

The No. 24 Miami women's basketball team is headed to Iowa State for the Preseason WNIT champio ...

TMH Twitter
About TMH

The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly in print on Tuesdays during the regular academic year.