by Anniel 5/20/15
After finishing my Book Review of By the People: Rebuilding Liberty Without Permission, I have been very disturbed by Charles Murray’s personal picture of a new America that I can barely understand.
The question that was troubling me I finally resolved in my mind is: Under Charles Murray’s ideas, is it even possible to begin to reclaim or rebuild our lost liberties?
I learned so much from Murray’s explication of where we are and how we got there that I was lulled into a false sense of security about him as a person and as a scholar. It seemed as though he painted a picture of our plight with facts and clarity, and then turned on a dime to throw aside every good thing he had propounded. He sucker-punched me and I haven’t recovered yet.
The specific areas where Murray got to me are briefly addressed in my Book Review. Thinking about them now I think I need to extend my criticism of the ideas I find most objectionable.
Constitutional Restoration in another “incarnation.” I was willing to let this pass until I had given the author a fair hearing. I now think his new “incarnation” has nothing to do with restoration, but is based on the proposition that we’ve already lost the war on this issue. He says he loves the Constitution, then throws in the towel.
Which brings us to: Focusing on the “how” [to save the Constitution], not the “why.” If you love the Constitution and fail to say “why” every step of the way, how can you possibly tell anyone “how?” Granted he said he was speaking, presumably, to people who agree with him, but if you ask people to change the Constitution in unexpected ways, you’d better tell them “why.”
The Founders’ Constitution has been discarded and cannot be restored. Much of Murray’s time has thus been spent on paving the way for his readers to accept the view that there isn’t much we can do because of bad legal precedent and government over-reach.
He thinks the only thing that we can realistically hope to change is Administrative or Regulatory Law. I agree that Administrative Law is a great evil that we need to address. Murray’s proposed Madison Foundation sounds like it might be wonderful. Has Philip Hamburger put forth a plan? The Madison Foundation probably would take many years. Is there no better or more rapid method to attempt than Murray’s?
Then Murray says, we cannot change our system because both the Government and the citizenry are sclerotic. It isn’t clear to me that everyone is sclerotic. Bewildered maybe, uneducated or even stupid, maybe. But incapable of change? I hope not.
When Murray starts advocating for Diversity I think he should be brave enough to issue his appeal for Comprehensive Immigration Reform with the other Leftists who want it. He has a lot to say about the Founders and other settlers of the country, comparing each group’s Americanization in our big “melting pot.” I look over at my husband who is a Mayflower descendent on both sides of his family, while all 4 of my grandparents didn’t arrive here until the late 19th century. Our oldest daughter is married to an American whose parents are both from Mexico, while our middle son’s wife is Navajo/Hopi/Tewa, but even they and their children are being displaced by illegal immigrants. I found Murray’s assertions on this matter most troubling. Yes, I have read Albion’s Seed, but his context for the book didn’t make me ready to open our borders even wider, if that’s even possible.
Mr. Murray’s embrace of the Welfare State still mystifies me and leaves me sick at heart. Margaret Thatcher says Socialists are fine until they run out of other people’s money. I think we’ve reached that point on welfare and are ready to implode because of it. How it will finally end is anyone’s guess. How do we go forward with more giving? Should we continue on this path? Why would Murray want to take it?
The idea of Compromise with the left has ALWAYS meant the Right must give in. Does anyone, even Murray, think that will change?
My thinking is that Murray’s biggest problem throughout his book is his refusal to realistically address the issue of the hatred and contempt Liberals have towards Republicans in general, and Conservatives in particular. Until he wraps his mind around that problem and states clearly where he stands on restoring our liberties, I’m not sure I can trust him, or his clay feet.
No, I think we can support his Madison Foundation, but it may do little to rebuild the Liberty we want.
As I further see things, until more people in our nation take back our culture and turn their hearts to the God who made us all, we will remain incapable of truly rebuilding liberty. • (988 views)