Last week Charles Murray went to the Middlebury College to give a talk about his latest book and other subjects. For those unfamiliar with Middlebury College, it is a very preppy private college in New England. It is one of the “Little Ivies” and ranked in the top-10 of national liberal arts colleges. For those unfamiliar with Charles Murray, he is most famous for The Bell Curve, a controversial book 20 years ago that described the mountain of data on IQ and its relevance to social outcomes. He’s also a fixture at the think tank AEI.
I’ve never met Charles Murray or been in the audience for one of his lectures. I’ve seen him on television a few times and he seems like a nice person, but for all I know he could be a monster. I do know he was cravenly dishonest about the last election. Like the rest of the NeverTrump loons, he refused to acknowledge that the election was a choice between two options, not a choice between Trump and the model of perfection. He believed that gave him a free pass to work on behalf of Hillary Clinton, by working against Trump.
Anyway, Murray went off to Middleburry to give his speech and the campus lunatics shut down the event. They even managed to assault one of the professors, who sponsored the thing. Murray wrote up his reflections on the event, as if it was a seminal moment in the history of the republic. Normies have been getting the business from the lunatics for a long time, but no one cares about them. When Ann Coulter gets screamed at on campus, guys like Murray just shrug, because after all, Coulter deserves it. She’s a bad thinker.
That’s the thing with these guys. They don’t care about free speech or the open exchange of ideas. They care about their free speech and their access to the marketplace of ideas, which means staying in good with the Left. When a John Derbyshire is shut down by the campus lunatics, Conservative Inc is silent. To defend Derb or anyone else the Left has ruled out of bounds would risk their standing and that can never happen. The only core principle of these so-called conservatives is to remain on the good side of the Left.
This is not supposed to happen to good thinkers like Charles Murray, so it is a big deal to the people who pretend to be on our side. It also offers another opportunity for Conservative Inc. to pretend they are on the front lines fighting the Left. As I pointed out the other day, these guys are looking for a way to insert themselves at the front of the movement they claim to lead, at least until things get serious. You just know that one of them will be declaring himself the “respectable” version of the Dissident Right.
The incident is a good reminder of Official Right’s worthlessness. Murray’s piece reads like an apology. That’s because it is an apology. The boys and girls of Conservative Inc have always worked to position themselves at the edge of what the Left considers the respectable Right. Twenty years ago, the Bell Curve was right at the edge. Now, the Left considers it heresy and Murray knows it. It’s why he invested so much effort into advertising his opposition to Trump. It’s part of the long apology for his past heresy.
Murray is fond of the label Establishmentarians to describe his peers. While it is true that they are forever defending the establishment, they have no say in what is and what is not the “establishment.” That’s decided by the Left. Since that is always changing, most of these guys spend their days trying to justify the latest movement of the Overtone Window as conservative. It’s why a Jonah Goldberg was out declaring homosexuality a core conservative principle It’s why a National Review is pro-tranny.
It’s also why the most important project of the Dissident Right is discrediting those palace guards of the Progressive establishment. Guys like Charles Murray are useful opponents for the Left and not just because they are always willing to take a dive. Like the tomato cans that fill up the fight card for a weak champion, Conservative Inc insulates the Establishment from a real challenge. Instead of having to face off against people who are willing to punch back, the Left likes these journeyman who are just happy for the payday.
Yeah, its a shame Charles Murray got heckled in preppy-ville, but it is important to keep in mind that these guys never do anything about it, other than complain. If Murray, or any of the others, gets an invite to speak at Middleburry tomorrow, they are volunteering to jog there if that’s what it takes. It’s why they deserve no sympathy and no support. I have more respect for Based Stick Man than any of the cowards of Conservative Inc. That guy is willing to fight back. That’s a guy who deserves support, not Charles Murray.