George Will to highlight Ethan Allen Institute’s 30th anniversary celebration

For Immediate Release
April 10, 2023

Ethan Allen Institute
Voice 802-695-1448

Nationally renowned scholar and political columnist George F. Will is the featured speaker at the Ethan Allen Institute’s Thirtieth Anniversary Celebration at the Doubletree by Hilton in South Burlington on Wednesday, May 31. The topic of his talk is “Why Conservatism is Important in a Place Like Vermont”.

Information on sponsorships and reservations may be found at The social hour with cash bar begins at 6:00pm and the dinner at 7:00pm.

Gage Skidmore/Wikimedia Commons

George Will

George Will, described by the Wall Street Journal as “perhaps the most powerful journalist in America,” is widely regarded as one of the most influential conservative/libertarian journalists and commentators in the nation. He was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Commentary in 1977 and has been awarded sixteen honorary doctorate degrees. He continues his half-century long career as a member of the Washington Post Writers Group and his columns are syndicated in more than four hundred newspapers. Over the years he has appeared many times on ABC’s This Week, NBC’s Meet the Press (52 appearances), Fox News, and many other national platforms.

Institute President Myers Mermel said that “We invited George Will because of his eloquent advocacy for the fundamentals of a free society: individual liberty, private property, competitive free enterprise, limited and frugal government, strong local communities, personal responsibility, and expanded opportunity for human endeavor, which are the principles of the Ethan Allen Institute. We’re thrilled to be able to bring such a distinguished national opinion leader to Vermont for our 30th Anniversary observance, on a topic that Vermonters will find intriguing.”

John McClaughry, co-founder of the Institute, says “I have enjoyed and learned from George Will’s writing for almost fifty years. He is widely recognized as perhaps the most profound conservative/libertarian political philosopher in our country today. His insights on America’s founding, its principles that have sustained us, his immense grasp of our history, and his assessment of our prospects for the future will be valuable, unforgettably delivered, and leavened with his trenchant sense of humor.”

Will’s academic background includes B.A. Trinity College, M.A. Oxford, and Ph.D. Princeton. He has taught political philosophy at Michigan State, University of Toronto and (twice) Harvard. He has authored 16 books, most recently American Happiness and its Discontents.

The Ethan Allen Institute, a nonprofit, nonpartisan educational organization founded in 1993, has long been Vermont’s leading voice for its Mission “to influence public policy in Vermont by helping its people to better understand and put into practice the principles of a free society.”

Earlier EAI anniversary celebrations, all held at today’s Doubletree by Hilton (formerly the Sheraton) Emerald Ballroom, have featured P.J. O’Rourke (10th), John Stossel (15th), Governors Jim Douglas and Tom Salmon (20th), and Mark Steyn (25th).

Image courtesy of Gage Skidmore/Wikimedia Commons

4 thoughts on “George Will to highlight Ethan Allen Institute’s 30th anniversary celebration

  1. The previous EAI president was trying to get Tucker Carlson for this event but Anne and John McClaughry wanted George Will. One of the ways they stopped growth and drove everyone under 60 out of EAI. No disrespect to the elderly couple but they don’t know what time is. It shows in their choices and desperation to not lose control.

    This is from George Will’s interview with a leftist Politico reporter.

    Q. Did the success of Donald Trump make you reconsider what you thought of as “conservatism”?

    WILL: No. No, no, no. It made me realize that conservatism was a label that could be hijacked. But no: Conservatism, by golly, is what I say it is. [Laughs]

    In my last book before this one, “The Conservative Sensibility,” the common question — and it’s a good one — was: What do conservatives want to conserve? The answer is the American founding, which is basically three things. First, there is a constant human nature — we are not just creatures who acquire the impress of whatever culture we’re situated in. Second, there are natural rights — that is, rights that are essential to the flourishing of creatures of our constant human nature. Third, governments are, as the declaration said, instituted to “secure” — the most important word in the declaration —those rights, which preexist government. And the structure of government must be such that, in our Madisonian way, government is strong enough to protect the rights, but not too strong to threaten our rights.

    That’s conservatism. And along comes Mr. Trump, who says, “No, conservatism is beating up on the Mexicans” or whatever he says.

    Q. This brings to mind a conversation I had earlier this year with a devout Christian who expressed alarm at the number of people who self-identified as evangelical Christians but whose idea of what that means is entirely cultural instead of being rooted in scripture.

    It feels like you’re describing something similar with Trump: That there are self-identified “conservatives” whose idea of what conservatism means is entirely based on cultural identity and cultural grievance instead of those tenets of conservatism as a philosophy. Do you think that that’s a fair comparison?

    WILL: I think it is. Donald Trump is the purest expression of the current pandemic of performative politics — politics cut off from anything other than making one’s adherents feel good. And people nowadays feel good by disliking the other team.

    It’s hard to believe there are enough 75 year+ elitist, Trump-hating Republicans in Vermont who’d pay to hear Mr. Will.  

  2. And George Will also said:

    “Donald Trump is redundant evidence that if your net worth is high enough, your IQ can be very low and you can still intrude into American Politics”

    What a pure pile of steaming BS coming out of the “Highly Educated” Elitist scum that thinks he knows better than over half the nation that elected Donald Trump- twice.

    So we can thank the Ethan Allen Institute for growing his already large head yet even more.

    How many people has billionaire Donald Trump employed over his lifetime and George Will say this man is “Intruding” into American Politics- as if he owns the place.

    So what does this say about Myers Mermel and the people running the Ethan Allen Institute?
    Why didn’t they pick Tucker Carlson or Mark Levin? or even Dan Bongino or Joe Rogan?
    At this point, Alan Dershowitz would have been better.

    Instead they picked a card carrying member of the Legacy Media that is swirling the toilet bowl because it’s understood to be The Enemy Of The People.

    George Will is a huge part of the problem and how we got here- to a place where we’re teetering on the edge of Balkanization and WW3.

    I think that this speaks volumes about the current state of the Ethan Allen Institute that this is who they chose.

    • I have to agree. George Will is the establishment version of a never-Trumper conservative. He has been wrong on most everything and an elitist of the deep state thinking behind the ruination of the old republican party. I wouldn’t walk across the street to hear him pontificate his elitist BS. This is a disappointment for me to see EAI bringing his over blown BS to Vermont. I’m beginning to think that the EAI’s new president is behind this as he seems to be well connected to the wing of the party trying to get rid of Trump. George Will is a hes-been and has lost all favor with the MAGA movement. There’s a reason he’s not seen on TV much ant more. He’s old news and was always bad news.

      • I’m wondering Dano if the EAI is being infiltrated with Wokesters- just the same as so many once proud stalwarts of Conservative values are now being..

        “Get Woke Go Broke” is a very real thing.. as Bud Light is learning as we speak.

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