Charles Murray adds his elegant and influential voice to the debate about Glenn Beck specifically and public discourse more broadly. Here’s Murray ‘s conclusion:
We’re in a battle for America’s soul at a pivotal moment. But the very truth of that statement—we are indeed in a battle for America’s soul—makes it a good idea to stop and think about when the American Right was truly influential. It didn’t start after right-wing talk shows got big. It started in the 1960s, as Friedman, Buckley, and Kristol were hitting their stride. It flowered in the 1970s, then reached its apogee in the 1980s when their ideas were given political force by Ronald Reagan—another man of civility, good humor, and optimism. Don’t tell me that we have to put up with the Glenn Becks of the world to be successful. Within living memory, the Right was successful. The Right changed the country for the better—through good arguments made by fine men.
Not a bad credo, that.