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According to later and more calmly reported accounts, Middlebury president Laurie Patton took a very good position -- because of evidence that certain activists were planning an anti-Murray Flash Mob, Middlebury arranged an alternative venue for the speech. And so Murray was not hushed. Unfortunately, its format did not allow audience questions, so no one had a chance to challenge him -- but when people set out to shut down the 1st Amendment, everyone suffers.
The negative comments demonstrate that the "activists" have never read even so much as one paragraph of Mr. Murray's work. He suggests that billions of dollars spent "fighting poverty" during the past 40 years has been largely wasted. The activists don't want to talk about that. They have no useful information, no plans, no ideas, no grace and no brain -- but they are determined to keep shouting just the same. In his latest book, "Coming Apart," Murray shows that poor whites share almost every social problem with Blacks, but that recent immigrants do not. How that becomes "racist" is astonishing. It indicates the mental and moral poverty of today's Left. In the 1980's, Michael Harrington and Daniel Patrick Moynihan came to similar conclusions, but because they were certified Democrats, were never accused of racism.
As a lobbyist some 35 years ago, I got invited to one of the first of this type of thing in Vermont. I did not realize what had been done to me until I actually walked into the room -- I was told that a certain political leader was making an announcement, and some of his friends were paying for hors deouvres for the event. There were several dozen lobbyists, and we had all contributed $50 to "snacks." The whole thing felt really sleazy. It is hard to talk to a political leader whose friends have solicited a donation -- you wonder, if I refuse him, will he still listen?