The firing of Jason Richwine by the Heritage Foundation is the most depressing thing that has happened in American politics for many years—and that’s a very hot competition. Heritage was in an impregnable position:
- Richwine’s PhD was from Harvard University, and had been approved by the three of the most eminent scholars in the U.S. Anyone arguing with him on his specialty was going to lose.
- However, Richwine’s quantitative work on The Heritage Foundation’s Rector Report, on the fiscal cost of the 2013 Amnesty/ Immigration Surge bill, had nothing whatever to do with his Ph.D. dissertation and efforts to link them were clearly unsustainable smears;
- The Heritage Foundation, with a reported budget of well over $80 million in 2010, was simply not subject to the boycotts, faculty hiss fits etc. that enforce totalitarian Political Correctness in the corporate and academic world. It could afford to stand its ground.
Heritage could have honorably rebuffed efforts to smear it and insisted on focusing on its fiscal study—or it could have unleashed Richwine and started the debate about IQ, immigration and other social policies which the American Left has been struggling to suppress since the publication of The Bell Curve nearly twenty years ago. Either way, Cultural Marxism was headed for a major defeat.
But I sincerely believe we are better value for money. This week’s events make clear that the Conservative Establishment is hopelessly subservient to Political Correctness, even in a case as effortlessly defensible as Richwine’s.