Rex Murphy Saw We Are Governed by People Who Look Down on Us

(p. B12) Rex Murphy, a Canadian newspaper, radio and television commentator who delighted his country’s conservatives with sharp attacks on environmentalists, liberal politicians and what he called their “woke politics,” died on May 9 [2024] in Toronto. He was 77.

His death, from cancer, was announced on the front page of The National Post, the widely read daily newspaper for which he wrote a column, one of several he had over the years in Canadian papers, including The Globe and Mail in Toronto. His editor at The National Post, Kevin Libin, said Mr. Murphy died in a hospital.

. . .

Mr. Murphy’s sharp political turn to the right — from commenting for centrist outlets like the CBC and The Globe and Mail, where he had a regular column until 2010, to the right-wing views he espoused at The National Post — had its roots in his own working-class background, in the view of those who knew him.

. . .

He regularly took on what he deemed the sins of “woke” politics and “wokeism.” In a February 2023 column, he wrote: “I have finally fixed upon the definition of progressivism. It means the dismissal of everything that counts, unconcern with what makes life hard for most, and a scorn for the realities of day to day; instead shepherding to very particular political interest groups.”

In his final days there were diatribes against critics of Israel during its war with Hamas and against the liberalism of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

. . .

Mr. Murphy was animated, Mr. Libin said, by “the sense that we were being governed by people who looked down on us.”

. . .

Throughout his career, Mr. Murphy set great store by verbal expression. His fans and his critics agreed that his distinctive, sometimes high-flown use of English was what set him apart from his country’s other journalists. Profiles noted that he was as devoted to the works of John Milton as he was to “The Simpsons.”

For the full obituary see:

Adam Nossiter. “Rex Murphy, 77, a Pundit on the Right in Canada.” The New York Times (Friday, May 24, 2024): B12.

(Note: ellipses, and bracketed year, added.)

(Note: the online version of the obituary was updated May 23, 2024, and has the title “Rex Murphy, a Dominant Pundit on the Right in Canada, Dies at 77.”)

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