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The Revenge of Murphy Brown
Townhall.com ^ | July 16, 2012 | Bruce Bialosky

Posted on 07/16/2012 9:20:45 AM PDT by Kaslin

In an otherwise routine speech in May, 1992, Vice-President Dan Quayle criticized Murphy Brown, the TV character played by Candice Bergen, for bearing an out-of-wedlock child, emphasizing that it “ignored the importance of fathers.” He was subsequently skewered by the elitists of the cultural left. How, they asked, could he make such a big deal about a fictional character? The culture warriors insisted that there was nothing wrong with a woman having a child that she would raise alone. Of course, the left always believed that Quayle was an idiot, so they abruptly dismissed his comments as idiotic. That lack of concern has led us to a point where our country – the American Experiment – is going to hell in a hand basket.

I say this because I’ve just finished reading Coming Apart by Charles Murray. With the recent passing of James Q. Wilson, Mr. Murray is our foremost social scientist still living. He has written several books, but the two most prominent – Losing Ground and The Bell Curve – have both had a significant impact on our society. His latest work is a wake-up call for America that, hopefully, is not too late.

Murray’s book, which at times reads as well as a Mike Connelly novel, describes the changes in white America between the years 1960 and 2010. It differentiates between the “new upper class” and the “new lower class,” and highlights the growing disparity between the two.

The new upper class is defined more by education than by wealth, and their neighborhoods and work places have become segregated from the rest of society. They seek a similar existence for their children, and the likelihood of success for their offspring is far better than for most other kids. And as Murray shows throughout the book, this group suffers very few societal problems – at least if you disregard the penchant for those centered in New York and Washington, DC, to control every aspect of our lives through their highly developed sense of being.

The frightening part is where Murray describes what is happening throughout the rest of white America. The pathologies that we used to believe were centered only in low-income, minority communities are now rampant in the new lower class, and these challenges could potentially overwhelm the fundamental values of our entire society.

Murray concentrates on four aspects of life – industriousness, marriage, honesty, and religiosity – which he believes create a uniquely American culture and distinguish us from Europeans. The embrace of these four virtues has created a society where neighbor helps neighbor, where people take care of each other and their own, and where men are responsible for and responsible to their wives and children. In the new lower class, these qualities have broken down almost entirely.

This has manifested itself in many ways. First and foremost is the exploding number of children born out of wedlock (along with the societal challenge of children having children). While this rarely occurs in the new upper class, it is now grudgingly considered acceptable and not to be looked down upon. That outlook changed, however, with the explosion of out-of-wedlock births. The result of the dubious trend is that fathers have become mere accessories.

This striking change has resulted in a rampant decay of the white male working class population, including a stunning and underpublicized side-effect: the number of working-age men who are on disability. Murray points out that during the last fifty years, the rationale for employment-related disability has decreased because of the mechanization of our workplaces, yet the percentage of “disabled” working-age white men has exploded from less than 1% to 5%. That just boggles the mind and saps moral character, not to mention the public coffers of the society.

Because many of these men don’t marry, neither do they actually “settle down”; and, thus, they have no core purpose. As Murray shows in a series of charts that would scare any red-blooded American, they meander for years without even seeking work. The entire community has collapsed, as they have deserted critical values such as honesty, marriage, and religion. Murray suggests that these values are tied directly to personal happiness and self-worth – both of which are at historically low levels.

Murray arrives at his own conclusions, but I came to my own long before the end of this book – and it just reinforced what many of us already believe: the degradation of our society is directly related to the growth of government. The size and scope of government has exploded as these values continue to collapse and the character of our people declines. The correlation is unmistakable.

The fault does not rest totally at the hands of the party of government – just largely. At least Republicans are talking about these issues. Credit must be given to Rick Santorum for making this a focal point of his campaign, even though he was repeatedly excoriated by Democratic hatchet men and their puppets in the liberal media. Wouldn’t it be nice if just one prominent liberal would stand up and say, “You know that Rick Santorum is a real crank, but he’s right about how our families and values are coming apart. He’s correct when he says that to be successful in life, you need to graduate high school, get a job, and wait until you’re married to have children, and I wholeheartedly agree with him.” But you never hear that from the left; they just keep insisting that we have to throw more money at the problem. Folks, more money is not going to solve this problem. Only a good dose of basic values will.

Coming Apart is a truly chilling book because it documents what we know. The educated are isolating themselves from the new lower class. Elected leaders just want to throw money at moral problems, as if that will solve them. The only people running to get married are gays. People want to have indiscriminate sex without regard for the ramifications. And the media tells us that religion, along with the principles it represents, is hopelessly antiquated.

Our values as a society are falling apart. We need to redirect where we are heading – and fast.


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Editorial
KEYWORDS: bookreview; comingapart; culturewars; murray

1 posted on 07/16/2012 9:20:49 AM PDT by Kaslin
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To: Kaslin
Elected leaders just want to throw money at moral problems, as if that will solve them.

Once upon a time, communities were expected to solve local problems. Churches, benevolent societies, neighborhood groups, etc. would do what they could to help the people who needed help.

Then the US discovered the Income Tax and we decided that the folks in Washington DC would take care of all our problems.

Hasn't worked out well. (Well, it worked out okay for the folks in Washington DC.)

2 posted on 07/16/2012 9:26:10 AM PDT by ClearCase_guy (Roger Taney? Not a bad Chief Justice. John Roberts? A really awful Chief Justice.)
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To: Kaslin

—His latest work is a wake-up call for America that, hopefully, is not too late. —

It IS too late.

Anyone who believes otherwise is simply not paying attention. The good news is that, finally, even Dagney Taggart came around.


3 posted on 07/16/2012 9:27:37 AM PDT by cuban leaf (Were doomed! Details at eleven.)
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To: ClearCase_guy

[ Once upon a time, communities were expected to solve local problems. Churches, benevolent societies, neighborhood groups, etc. would do what they could to help the people who needed help.

Then the US discovered the Income Tax and we decided that the folks in Washington DC would take care of all our problems. ]

The Tax code also screwed up the churches as they are blackmailed into not being able to talk about certain issue from the pulpit should they lose their “tax exempt status”.


4 posted on 07/16/2012 9:34:47 AM PDT by GraceG
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To: Kaslin

Charles Murray (The Bell Curve, Human Accomplishment, et al) is essential, politically incorrect reading for any thinking person; that is, roughly half ot the US electorate.


5 posted on 07/16/2012 9:42:30 AM PDT by EyeGuy (Armed, judgmental, fiscally responsible heterosexual.)
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To: GraceG

“pulpit should they lose their “tax exempt status”.

pulpit lest they lose their tax-exempt status.

Just trying to help.


6 posted on 07/16/2012 9:45:00 AM PDT by dsc (Any attempt to move a government to the left is a crime against humanity.)
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To: Kaslin

“The first priority of any serious program against poverty is to strengthen the male role in poor families.” George Gilder


7 posted on 07/16/2012 9:46:47 AM PDT by SMARTY ("The man who has no inner-life is a slave to his surroundings. "Henri Frederic Amiel)
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To: Kaslin

Tina Fey’s show “30 Rock” recently had an episode entitled “Murphy Brown Lied to Us”.


8 posted on 07/16/2012 9:47:40 AM PDT by allmendream (Tea Party did not send GOP to D.C. to negotiate the terms of our surrender to socialism)
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To: GraceG
The Tax code also screwed up the churches as they are blackmailed into not being able to talk about certain issue from the pulpit should they lose their “tax exempt status”.

Whaaaat? I hadn't heard this one. Who's doing this?

Don't tell me ACLU is suing individual churches for preaching against "rum, sodomy, and the lash"? (Borrowed from an old apothegm about the Royal Navy -- but it would seem to apply here.)

BTW, did anyone tell the black churches like Obozo's Chicago fave, and Reverend Wright, about this?

9 posted on 07/16/2012 9:48:32 AM PDT by lentulusgracchus
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To: ClearCase_guy

“They” suck money out of the local communities. “They”meaning not only the federal government but the state and large urban governments. And by state governments I mean also the school districts and other “local” agencies not subject to the control of the taxpayers.


10 posted on 07/16/2012 9:51:53 AM PDT by RobbyS (Christus rex.)
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To: lentulusgracchus

The purpose of the ACLU is to neuter the Christian churches. To force them to stop providing education/health and welfare services. If the Catholic church, for instance, were to suspend its charitable work, then government agencies and secular institutions such as the Red Cross could expand.


11 posted on 07/16/2012 9:56:29 AM PDT by RobbyS (Christus rex.)
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To: Kaslin
The only people running to get married are gays.

The design of Murphy Brown and disability was to turn men into gays depending men on men. DUHHHH!!!!

12 posted on 07/16/2012 10:05:51 AM PDT by JudgemAll (Democrats Fed. job-security Whorocracy & hate:hypocrites must be gay like us or be tested/crucified)
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To: Kaslin
Our values as a society are falling apart. We need to redirect where we are heading – and fast.

Naah, we just need more Lady Gaga.

13 posted on 07/16/2012 10:07:10 AM PDT by Carry_Okie (The Slave Party Switcheroo: Economic crisis! Zero's eligibility Trumped!! Hillary 2012!!!)
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To: RobbyS
Someone needs to do a black-bag job on ACLU offices and just toss the place, find all the nasty top-secret memoranda, and then throw their pus out on the street where everyone can gag at it.

I think your take is largely correct: Their business now is suppression of all public witnessing and good works that mnight accrue goodwill to the Christian religion, and to drive Christian witness from the public space (in violation of the Free Exercise Clause). I say this as a largely secular person myself. You don't have to be a weatherman to know which way the wind blows -- as someone once said.

14 posted on 07/16/2012 10:35:03 AM PDT by lentulusgracchus
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To: Kaslin
"Revenge of Murphy Brown?" We'll see how abominable things do after the bond collapse.


15 posted on 07/16/2012 10:41:50 AM PDT by familyop ("Wanna cigarette? You're never too young to start." --Deacon, "Waterworld")
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To: lentulusgracchus
The Tax code also screwed up the churches as they are blackmailed into not being able to talk about certain issue from the pulpit should they lose their “tax exempt status”. Whaaaat? I hadn't heard this one. Who's doing this?

You never heard of a 501C3????? Where ya' been?

Non-black Christian churches cannot discuss abortion, recommend people to vote for, nor deal with issues such as homosexuality and promiscuity without losing their tax-exempt status! Where ya' been?

But any black church can be a cheerleading squad for Obozo every time they meet.

16 posted on 07/16/2012 10:45:52 AM PDT by laweeks
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To: ClearCase_guy

You said it!

I just got back from a Scout Camp to Emerald Bay on Catalina. Right next to the departure port is the newly arrived USS Iowa! One of my Dads really wanted to go see the ship. You see, he had already taken a ride on it once before. He is a Vietnamese immigrant whose life was saved by that very ship in 1975!

His Dad had been trained by the US CIA- and worked for the Vietnamese equivalent. His Dad had an exit plan for the family but it was thwarted by theft of ID papers. Dad led the family to get onto a large barge that was set adrift. They were there for over a week with just the food and water they were able to bring with them. The IOWA came upon them and affected a rescue. The family was moved to Guam, and finally the US where they were taken by a Church in Ohio!

This was an example of how we managed to accept and integrate tens of thousands of Vietnamese immigrants into our way of life. It wasn’t done by government, but rather by the charitable operations through-out our country.

I might add that the gentleman who told me this story is one of the finest men I know. Through his own industry he is extremely successful financially. He gives back to the community in multiple ways. He has raised two sons that are equally fine young men. There is no doubt in my mind that our country is better for having him here as a citizen.

His 14 year old son, with the help of two other scouts organized a “walk-a-thon” that earned $2400 for Japanese Tsunami relieve last year. Guess where those values came from!


17 posted on 07/16/2012 10:52:40 AM PDT by fremont_steve
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To: lentulusgracchus

Not when it rattles the chimney!


18 posted on 07/16/2012 11:01:44 AM PDT by RobbyS (Christus rex.)
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To: Kaslin

“Because many of these men don’t marry, neither do they actually “settle down”; and, thus, they have no core purpose. As Murray shows in a series of charts that would scare any red-blooded American, they meander for years without even seeking work. The entire community has collapsed, as they have deserted critical values such as honesty, marriage, and religion.”

He has to include all of the childless, unmarried women with “chronic fatigue syndrome” who want to stay home with their dogs. I think he’s exaggerating about the lack of work - how would they buy anything (being that disability doesn’t pay all that much)?

The fact is that politically and legally men have been marginalized, and their lack of marriage & breeding is a result of this. Rather than end up raising a family in poverty (beholden to the Democrats, funded by taxpayers), they just live as happy bachelors while their female clunterparts whine and scheme how to get impregnated by them; they are making the best of a bad situation.


19 posted on 07/16/2012 5:24:07 PM PDT by kearnyirish2
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To: SMARTY

“The first priority of any serious program against poverty is to strengthen the male role in poor families.” George Gilder

Don’t hold your breath; these problems arose when it became a legal liability to hire a white man over less-qualified women and minorities. Instead, the men will “sit out” the economy and watch foreigners imported to fill their roles instead (and I don’t even blame them).


20 posted on 07/16/2012 5:27:57 PM PDT by kearnyirish2
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To: Kaslin
Dan Quayle Was Right
21 posted on 07/16/2012 8:19:22 PM PDT by Vince Ferrer
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