Charles Murray interviewed

“I love Europe,” says Murray, “but I don’t want America to become like Europe. The odds are that we won’t get out of the mess we are in. If I were a betting man [sic], I would say 20 years from now the US will be indistinguishable from Europe.” I ponder this last comment – and its undertone of pessimism. I also feel confused about what Murray really wants. …. I resist the temptation to press the matter.

Instead, I ask about the state of the Republican party, to which Murray is something of a patron saint (indeed, Rick Santorum, the Christian conservative in the race, recently lauded [Murray’s book] Coming Apart in a presidential debate). Murray’s expression drops as though I have just squirted tomato ketchup on his truffles. “I am really unhappy with Obama. I really think he’s terrible,” he replies, “but [Mitt] Romney and Santorum as the alternatives? Don’t even think about Newt [Gingrich] … I’m in despair. I mean, I’m a libertarian. I will take Romney over Santorum. And both of them over Newt. That’s not a ringing endorsement, I know, but what can you say about such a field?”

Edward Luce, “Lunch with the FT: Charles Murray“, Financial Times, 10 March 2012.

Political scientist Charles Murray (born 1943) is fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, a conservative think tank in Washington, DC. He is best-known for The Bell Curve: Intelligence and Class Structure in American Life (Free Press, 1994), a book that he co-authored with Harvard psychologist Richard Herrnstein (1930-1994). His latest book is Coming Apart: The State of White America, 1960-2010 (Crown Forum, 2012).

One Response to “Charles Murray interviewed”

  1. The Browser listed this today, with the following comment:

    Starts off slowly, picks up speed. Manages to convey that the esteemed conservative thinker is a lush, a braggart and a bore without saying as much. Gives him space to get that message across for himself. Nicely done

    http://thebrowser.com/sections/people

    Nicely done, also, anonymous editor of The Browser. I had the same reaction, but didn’t have the ‘huevos’ to say so, since Mr Murray is held in such high esteem by so many of my friends on the political right.