by John McClaughry
A couple of things struck me after the raucous and violent Middlebury college protest against sociologist Charles Murry last week. Back in 1990 Charles Murray co-authored a book called The Bell Curve which tried to assess genetic and environmental explanations for differing cognitive levels by race. For whichever reason, the data showed that blacks achieved less than whites, so Murray was attacked as a racist.
Murray and I have a mutual best friend who met Murray as a college freshman and has been friends with him for 50 years. He tells me Murray was a Kennedy liberal. Murray has never been anti-gay or anti-black, and was one of a group of conservatives who vocally declined to support Donald Trump in the last election. He certainly has nothing to do with “white nationalism”, a label pinned on him on him by the contemptible Southern Poverty Law Center.
Barre lawyer Tom Koch, a Middlebury graduate and now retired after many years in the Vermont House, wrote after a series of similar uprisings in 2009: “There is no comparison between the overriding moral issue of the last two generations and the spewing of obscenities and hatred that mark the current “liberal” behavior. The intolerance and illiberal behavior of those who present themselves as modern liberals is a betrayal of true liberalism.” I couldn’t agree more.
- John McClaughry is vice president of the Ethan Allen Institute.