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February 10, 2014

From an interview with Charles Murray

As transcribed by Michael Greenspan:

I have four children who are really smart, who love their dad—they're not rebelling against me—who are hardworking and embody all the virtues, who would not think of voting for a Republican. And it's not that they're ideological Democrats. They think of Republicans as being gay-hating, abortion-hating religious fanatics.

This is especially interesting because it's exactly what a lot of my wife's high school students tell her: they could never be Republicans because Republicans are homophobic misogynists.

I'm skeptical. Are abortion and gay marriage much more important than national security, economic policy, health care, education, and other individual liberties? If Republicans energetically supported abortion on demand and gay marriage, does Mr. Murray really think his kids would be eager to become Republicans? Although I see no realistic prospect of testing this, I think they, and my wife's students, wouldn't. I further predict that they would decline to become Republicans because, they'd say, Republicans are racists. Even if they weren't racists, the bottom line, they'd say, is that they're mean and hate poor people.

I write as someone who has read a lot of the Left's fine ad hominem analysis. And I'm old, cranky, and nowhere near as optimistic as I used to be about the educability of some people.

Comments

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David Foster

Much of the hostility toward Republicans is really driven by the fact that Repubicans are considered uncool in many circles, and if you support a Repub while being a member of such circle, the uncoolness will rub off on you.

David

I agree with you, Craig. Murray's description of his children just doesn't ring true. He says they're "really smart," yet they generalize about Republicans as gay-hating, abortion-hating religious fanatics.

A voter who is really smart is capable of judging an individual candidate on his actual merits rather than on a generalization that doesn't fit.

What I smell here is rationalization for hatred. Show them a Republican who lacks one vice, and they'll find another vice to rationalize their hatred.

chug

I don't like most members of the political class, regardless of party label. But this post reminds me of these videos from ReasonTV and Jeff Foxworthy

http://youtu.be/fL6wbsGx9qw

http://youtu.be/PhV9aZOqmz8


Jack PQ

I'm not partisan (I lean libertarian), but I would suggest the GOP focus on federalism and explaining they favor state choice. Why impose uniform rules across the country?

Let each state decide, and let people move freely. (Of course some rights must be protected, but here we are talking about things that go beyond basic inalienable rights.)

Cheesetrader

It's about labelling.

I lived in a VERY blue city in the middle of flyover country which is noted for its high level of academic standing. When I mention I'm a fiscal conservative and happen to like my controversial governor, you can literally see people minds shortcircuit. It's a good way to induce butbutbut stammering.

When they can finally breathe and see that I'm not kidding, the responses vary from literally turning their back to outright insults to disbelief. Only very rarely will I get someone curious enough to ask "Why?".

Those are the few I'll converse with - and they're always surprised how much common ground we have.

Clay

Interesting discussion.

Though I don't like his kids' generalization, many "smart" people are smart in 1 or more areas, but painfully dumb in others. So this could be as simple example of that.
Or, as Devil's Advocate, it could be the old "you're generalizing and you're wrong because I know this 1 example that's different." That's why it's called generalizing, because it's generally true. And one might posit that Republicans are generally anti-abortion, anti-gay, anti-poor, and they'd be generally right.

As for State choice, that's interesting based historically, but if we're not the same across, why should we be one country then? I have never understood that. But more importantly, mobility is disproportionately unfair to the poor, so this is not a good solution for anything. And even with state choice, the GOP and it's anti-gay stance already violates "basic inalienable rights" to start with.

"A voter who is really smart is capable of judging an individual candidate on his actual merits rather than on a generalization that doesn't fit."

How? I mean, I can judge based on what they "say" but not on what they "do", because that's no where to be found. I can judge over 100 different college football coaches across the nation easier than I can judge my own city mayor. There is no transparency or accountability in politics.

JKB

So Murray is admitting that although his children are smart, although they aren't rebelling against dear old dad, his kids are unable to exercise critical thinking and see past the media hype and propaganda. One presumes they matriculated at some of our most famous universities. Fail.

Joe R.

15 years ago I had a discussion with a good friend at work; he asked me why I supported the Republicans. I replied that although my political views corresponded far more with them, I certainly didn't blindly love the GOP and all their members. I just found the Dems' conduct so universally odious that I really didn't have an alternative.

He said I feel exactly the same, but switch the names of the parties.

TheBigHenry

BigAl said it best: "Two things are infinite -- the universe and human stupidity. And I'm not sure about the universe."

Critical thinking is not emphasized in the American public-school systems. Even smart kids are vulnerable to insidious brainwashing by the Left, who dominate teachers' unions.

I consider myself an intelligent person, but even I did not appreciate the execrable and devious tactics of the despicable Leftists until it was much too late to do anything about it.

alanstorm

"And one might posit that Republicans are generally anti-abortion, anti-gay, anti-poor, and they'd be generally right."

"But more importantly, mobility is disproportionately unfair to the poor, so this is not a good solution for anything."

If it wasn't for these two gems, I would have thought you were serious.

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