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Pride in America:  Charles Murray

Pride in America:  Charles Murray

Ronald M. Nate, Ph.D.
June 30, 2023

A scholar and a fearless warrior

It is audacious in today’s world for a scholar, researcher, and scientist to criticize social policies meant to help the poor and disadvantaged. One of the very first books I ever read about LBJ’s Great Society programs and their utter failure was a masterful work titled Losing Ground by Charles Murray — given to me by a friend.

It is an eye-opening treatise on how social programs such as Aid to Families with Dependent Children, Medicaid, and other programs meant to lift the poor out of poverty instead deepened the problem and trapped many families into intergenerational cycles of poverty and deprivation. The preface to his book ends with this:

It is indeed possible that steps to relieve misery can create misery. The most troubling aspect of social policy toward the poor in late twentieth-century America is not how much it costs, but what it has bought.  

When families and social structures matter deeply to the opportunities and successes of poor and disadvantaged communities, policies providing assistance while discouraging solid family and social structures do more harm than good. It’s not rocket science; it’s political science explained by a superb political scientist.

Murray, an Iowa kid, went to Harvard and MIT for education in history and eventually a Ph.D. in political science. He co-authored The Bell Curve (with Richard Herrnstein) and more recently wrote Coming Apart. He has a rich record of articles and op-eds to boot.  

Here's what makes Murray an American hero: Continually pursuing the truth, Murray simply “follows the science.” He is unafraid to report what the data indicate and what they mean for the well-being of people affected by public policy. Results matter more than the intentions of policymakers. Because he says as much, every new publication from Murray draws the ire of the wacky leftists who are wrapped up in their dogma of the nanny-state ideal. Murray stands firm. He lets the data and the science speak for themselves.

The cancel culture desperately wants to “cancel” Charles Murray, but he exhibits grace and courage under fire. America needs to listen to scholars and scientists like Charles Murray — for the benefit and well-being of the most disadvantaged Americans. Bad policy deserves bad press. Murray is an honest scholar who does his work, despite the leftist mobs, because he cares about truth and people more than he does about praise and acclaim. 

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