Bill Kristol on Replacing White Working Class: A Certain Amount of Self-Awareness


During a discussion with Charles Murray in February 2017, William Kristol, founding editor of The Weekly Standard, said that replacing the white working class with immigrants was starting to strike him as a good idea:

Look, to be totally honest, if things are so bad as you say with the white working class, don’t you want to get new Americans in? Seriously, you can make the case—this is going on too long and this is too crazy, probably, and I hope this thing isn’t being videotaped or ever shown anywhere. Whatever tiny, pathetic future I have is going to totally collapse.

You can make a case that America has been great because every—I think John Adams said this—basically if you’re a free society, a capitalist society, after two or three generations of hard work everyone becomes kind of decadent, lazy, spoiled—whatever. Then, luckily, you have these waves of people coming in from Italy, Ireland, Russia, and now Mexico, who really want to work hard and really want to succeed and really want their kids to live better lives than them and aren’t sort of clipping coupons or hoping that they can hang on and meanwhile grew up as spoiled kids and so forth. In that respect, I don’t know how this moment is that different from the early 20th century.

Note: This transcription isn’t perfect but I don’t think it misstates the video.

Keep in mind that Kristol had been moderately immigration-restrictionist.

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