Thursday’s Big Idea
There are two Americas, and that is a problem. Many social scientists today will agree with this statement. Here's what they don't tend to agree on so much: who these two groups are, and what the problem is.
It shouldn't be much of a surprise, therefore, that we have such a difficult time agreeing on solutions to problems we can't properly define, or at least agree on how to define.
Today we are looking at Charles Murray's diagnosis of the problem. Murray is a libertarian political scientist and author who is a fellow at the American Enterprise Institute. In Murray's latest book, Coming Apart, he argues that America is divided not between two classes, as liberals and Marxists would have it, but between two tribes. The distinction between the elites and everyone else, as Murray argues, is a cultural one.
Moreover, this cultural stratification, Murray argues, is a symptom of a larger unravelling of an American system of values, which threatens our future.