Are you a good ‘liberal’, or a nasty evil ‘progressive’?

Our politics are so bitter and divisive. But Charles Murray, the conservative eugenicist* who believes that “a lot of poor people are born lazy,” has a solution he believes can enhance our culture’s political amity: Ostracize evil “progressives” and separate them out from acceptable “liberals.”

Murray makes his case in a forum where it is certain to be taken seriously by the serious left—the Wall Street Journal op-ed page. First, understand that what he means by acceptable liberals is that class of men with whom he can share stately cocktail conversation:

A few weeks ago, I was thrown into a situation where I shared drinks and dinner with two men who have held high positions in Democratic administrations. Both men are lifelong liberals. There’s nothing “moderate” about their liberalism. But as the pleasant evening wore on (we knew that there was no point in trying to change anyone’s opinion on anything), I was struck by how little their politics have to do with other elements of the left.

Their liberalism has nothing in common with the political mind-set that wants right-of-center speakers kept off college campuses, rationalizes the forced resignation of a CEO who opposes gay marriage, or thinks George F. Will should be fired for writing a column disagreeable to that mind-set. It has nothing to do with executive orders unilaterally disregarding large chunks of legislation signed into law or with using the IRS as a political weapon. My companions are on a different political plane from those on the left with that outlook—the progressive mind-set.

*Not true.

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