Monday, April 16, 2012
- Charles Murray: Coming Apart
I have nothing but the greatest respect for the work of Charles Murray, who I have referred to in these pages as "a real intellectual". I just finished reading the book which they discuss here, and I disagree with him on one basic principle which I think might (MIGHT) undo his pessimistic outlook.
Watch the video to hear his side, but when you come to the part about how the elites are all but universally liberal, that's where I take exception. He right for now, but I don't believe he'll be right forever. Right now the elderly liberal elites are all boomers and a product of the 60's. They were love children, and the me generation of the 70's. But the generation which follows them is considerably more conservative.
What's more, without the hard and fast cultural liberalization (which is being slowly unwound by the internet and cable news), those generations are growing more conservative with time. Guns and abortion are cultural battles that have been won by conservatives. We've taken a respite, but over the long term, conservative (ie. Friedman-esque) economic policies are winning out as well. And as the generations after the boomers become elderly, they will learn and mature. They will not remain devoted to preserving their own immaturity, like the boomers have been.
It's my position, that America is like an alcoholic and the Obama administration is rock bottom. We may not be getting healthier yet, but we've identified and admitted the problem. Over time, generational time in this case, we'll get better - one day at a time. Demographics and the very long term political trends support my view, not Dr. Murray's.
But listen to his view anyway. The book is so packed full of hard data that it's not a particularly easy read. I'd recommend it anyway of course, but John Grisham it's not. You can probably get the gist of it from just the interview.