My wife and I recently had an enjoyable opportunity to spend some time with George Will, the long-time conservative television commentator and Washington Post columnist.
The Wall Street Journal has called him “the most powerful journalist in America.” He was the concluding speaker at the Sing Sing graduation ceremony that we attended on Wednesday, June 7, here in New York.
As many of you know, Sing Sing is known as a notorious New York state prison (now called “correctional facility”). My wife, Jo Ann, and I have been teaching there for over 10 years in a four-year college degree program through Mercy College. It has been very successful, with only about 1% of the graduates leaving Sing Sing and coming back. My son Tim did an award-winning documentary on the Sing Sing education program called “Zero Percent.”
Jo Ann Skousen, George Will, your editor and Kim Deen, Assistant Secretary of Education under former President Obama, attend graduation at Sing Sing.
Will gave a moving talk to the 37 graduates. He saluted them for changing their lives around and becoming “gentlemen,” not inmates or ex-cons when they get out. He quoted lyrics from the British-American rock band Fleetwood Mac, “Don’t stop thinking about tomorrow.” Thinking only of “now” got them into trouble with the law. But thinking about tomorrow will encourage them to be better citizens.
Afterwards, I probed his thinking about the future of President Donald J. Trump. “I give him four years,” said Will, who clearly is not impressed with Trump as the leader of the free world and as a foreign policy strategist to handle the current conflicts in the Middle East and North Korea.