Jeb Bush Says His Views Were Shaped By Racist Author Charles Murray


In an interview with the National Review’s Rich Lowry, Jeb Bush confessed to being a fan of Charles Murray’s books. Twice during the interview, the Republican presidential hopeful professed admiration for Murray, citing the controversial author as an influential source for Bush’s own ideas.

When asked if there was anything public officials could do to address family breakdown in America, Bush replied, “absolutely there is”, and then he added, that his views on the question of family dissolution “were shaped a lot” by Charles Murray’s writings. Later in the interview, Jeb Bush again brought up the author, proclaiming proudly:

I like Charles Murray’s books to be honest with you, which means I’m a total nerd I guess.

Although Bush didn’t specify which of Charles Murray’s books he used to shape his views, he must surely be aware of the controversy surrounding Murray’s most well-known book, titled the The Bell Curve: Intelligence and Class Structure in American Life. The Bell Curve is a pseudo-scientific racist tract that argues that black people are genetically inferior to whites intellectually and that White Americans have more wealth essentially because they are more intelligent than African-Americans.

While Bush may call himself a “nerd” for reading Murray, there are other words that might apply. If he embraces Murray’s bogus scholarship, the operative word might be “racist” or “elitist”, rather than “nerd”. Murray is a staunch opponent of social programs because he argues that they are basically useless, since poor people simply have low IQs limiting the government’s ability to help them. Republican Congressmen Paul Ryan is also a devotee of Murray’s writings, which may explain his burning desire to gut social programs that assist the nation’s poor.

Murray’s ideology is encapsulated pretty well in an article written in the year 2000, where he actually takes conservative Republicans to task for not being more explicitly elitist and racist. Murray wrote then:

In their own way, politicians of the Right are equally in thrall to the egalitarian premise. For example, no major Republican politician is willing to say in public that some of the social problems we most deplore are rooted to some degree in personal deficiencies. Try to imagine a GOP presidential candidate saying in front of the cameras, “One reason that we still have poverty in the United States is that a lot of poor people are born lazy.”

You cannot imagine it because that kind of thing cannot be said. And yet this unimaginable statement merely implies that when we know the complete genetic story, it will turn out that the population below the poverty line in the United States has a configuration of the relevant genetic makeup that is significantly different from the configuration of the population above the poverty line. This is not unimaginable. It is almost certainly true.

While it is no surprise that many conservatives have embraced Murray’s phony science to justify their racial prejudices, it is a bit disconcerting that Jeb Bush, the supposed moderate in the Republican field, is one of them. Murray’s old-fashioned racism, masquerading as social science, should be soundly rejected by anyone enacting social policy.

Voters should have no issue with electing a “nerd” to be President, but choosing an elitist or a racist is not an option. While Jeb Bush may not view himself as an elitist or a racist, if he takes his cues from Charles Murray, his policies will demonstrate that he is both. America cannot afford to give him that opportunity.


17 Replies to “Jeb Bush Says His Views Were Shaped By Racist Author Charles Murray”

  1. Well gorsh.

    It seems that the Bu$h family had only a small amount of brains to pass around.

    The headlines just write themselves when it comes to the Republican party…

  2. Its not a surprised. Show me a republican who is not a racist and I will show you that they are unemployed

  3. It’s what they’re planning to enact into policy, by hook, crook, blood, pus, or permanganate, and they’re attempting to mainstream it ahead of time by degrees.

  4. When Couric asked Palin that question her answer created a stir. Same with finding Ryan a huge fan of Ayn Rand. And then we have the indelible memory of My Pet Goat. Maybe the Rs just need a good old public librarian to help them select reading material?

  5. Since Dubya claimed that Jesus not only talks to him, but guides him, maybe HE was too busy to speak to Jeb? Jeb;s spawn were really a handful growing up, where was their father fihure? Being rich enough, and connected does not make you a good parent. Like his father before him, Jeb bought his kids out of trouble. Does he really think people do not remember his daughter’s drug struggles, his son’s sex in the backseat issues, other son driving across ex girlfriend’s parents lawn? Oh, I forgot the rich have different values. Just like Rand Paul and his sons DUI charges, the repubs only see “naughty” not “criminal” when their spawn is exposed. Palin’s daughter has several illigitimate babies, yet made hundreds of thousands, giving speeches about abstinence!! Family values are for poor families, doncha know?

  6. Let’s see, the RW has repeatedly claimed that Obama ‘…takes his marching orders from Saul Alinsky”, the same Saul Alinsky who died when Obama was 11. But, Murray who is alive and kicking and only 10 years older than Bush could be in Bush’s cabinet. But that doesn’t matter to the RW because Murray is one of them.

  7. Mainstreaming an agenda that would be/is considered repugnant is called the “coercive persuasive” techniques; it’s used in conjunction with cognitive dissonance.

    It’s a slow, pressure-cooker, passive-aggressive way of “conversion” whether it be stems from religion or a business; they are “selling” a product that is going to take some time to get the public mindset as desirable(fill in the blank).

    The Mormons and Scietology are well versed in this double-whammy, slow “sucking you in” process. First, “persuasion” until you’re hooked*, then, “coercion” until you “buy” into all their “dissonance” or lies**…it’s all pretty subtle.

    *through lots of repetition of trigger words and mantras.
    **which you already have via carefully crafted triggers.

  8. One should be reminded, that any interview with Rich Lowry, the editor of the far right-wing rag National Review, is to put any Republican idea or thought or feeling in his OWN Koch-sucking, far right GOTP views, and owns only demeaning and printed articles against any and all Democrats, regardless of race or gender, or sexual preference. He never changes, and he never gives credit or courtesy to any Democrat for any reason.

  9. Off topic, but perhaps relevant to this story. The Wealthy are venerated by a large percentage of our population, and that is simply not right.
    Some of the very wealthiest are some of the dumbest people in the nation.

  10. The idea Bush “let this slip” probably isn’t correct. His ranking among Republicans probably made him decide he had to appeal more to the base and what better way than to say overtly “I’m one of you”. He’s clearly struggling and his campaign probably won’t last much longer. He has no charisma and the Right’s base doesn’t really believe in him.

  11. But Mark, the part of the base that this attitude appeals to barely reads, let alone pseudo-scholarly stuff like Murray’s.

  12. “While it is no surprise that many conservatives have embraced Murray’s phony science to justify their racial prejudices, it is a bit disconcerting that Jeb Bush, the supposed moderate in the Republican field, is one of them.”

    No, what’s disconcerting is that he feels confident enough to admit this out loud. Obviously, he doesn’t think being a fan of a racist author is going to hinder his chances in the 2016 election.

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