George Will attacks liberal frustration about the state of American incarceration in today's column. The piece is profoundly misleading, downplaying the role of racism in the American criminal justice system, while promoting skyrocketing rates of incarceration as the principal factor in the nationwide decline in violent crime.
Will bases his column on one study, from Heather MacDonald of the conservative Manhattan Institute, never addressing the reasons behind the concern over criminal justice in the US. He doesn't mention whether or not he thinks it is acceptable that America has the largest number of criminals the highest incarceration rate in the world. Will denies the role of racism in explaining the number of African-American prisoners, neglecting to address any one of the scores of studies that disagree with MacDonald's. Being the traditional type of conservative that he is, Will often accepts the status quo as a lesser evil than trying to engineer a better society. Here, however, he is almost celebrating one of the most shameful aspects of our nation, simply because he thinks liberals are wrong about it.