Sunday, October 16, 2016

Living History: My First Thoughts on Trevor Loudon's New Movie, The Enemies Within

Trish and I were honored to attend the southern California premier of Trevor Loudon's new movie, The Enemies Within at a special event hosted by the American Freedom Alliance on October 16, 2016 in Van Nuys, CA.  This movie is the result of Loudon's long-career of carefully collecting available information regarding the ties that public officials in the U.S. have to the Communist party, Communist front groups, jihadist hate groups, and nefarious institutions who oppose the Constitution and our way of life.

I think it always comes as a shock to people with little interest in politics and government (which, I suppose, is most of us) to realize that there are those among us who really do not care for the United States of America, wish it ill, and are eager to see it replaced by some larger, international world order run by efficient, hopefully benevolent bureaucrats.  Even worse, many of the people who see the United States as an evil, exploitative, and dangerous country are happily serving at the highest levels of the federal government including my old friend and acquaintance, President Barack Obama.

I was quite honored to be among those who were selected by Loudon to share their testimony.  As he informed me, I am the only one in the nation willing to verify that the young Barack Obama was looking forward to a Communist-style, potentially violent revolution. Although my recollections represent only a very tiny part of the puzzle, they have been featured in a number of prominent books including Glenn Beck's Liars (2016), Jack Cashill's Deconstructing Obama (2011), Stanley Kurtz' Radical-In-Chief (2010), Paul Kengor's Dupes (2010) and The Communist (2012), and Michael Savages' Trickle Up Poverty (2010).

For my part, I shared my story regarding but it was like to be a young man, committed to Marxist philosophy, who was not so secretly rooting for the victory of the U.S.S.R. and China at the height of the Cold War. My story, I suppose, would not be in the slightest bit spectacular or interesting except for the fact that the young Barack Obama was among my circle of friends between 1980 and 1981. While he was attending Occidental College in Los Angeles, I got to know him closely enough to identify him as a fervent supporter of a Communist-style revolution in the United States. I share this story in the movie. You can read it yourself in the first article I published on this topic in American Thinker, by clicking here.

What is most chilling to me, however, is that Loudon caught me in an off-hand moment talking about my attitude toward mass murder back when I was both an atheist and practicing Marxist intellectual. At a time when down-to-earth people are quick to criticize religious fanatics, I think too many of us underestimate the danger posed by Marxist atheists who can become a physical threat to others because of their potentially lethal mix of secular humanism, Utopian ideology and loose moral strictures. As I admitted during the filming of my interview, I can barely stand the thought of harming a fly - I would rather do a catch and release than kill it - and yet nothing in my consciousness would have prevented me from participating in mass murder as long as it was for the sake of the children or the common good.

The first time I saw myself on a movie screen sharing my earlier Marxist atheist views, I scared myself. I recognized my potential for great evil, cloaked in a matter-of-fact utilitarianism.

As an ex-Communist, I recognize I was enveloped in an exceedingly dangerous and dysfunctional ideology, a tempting perspective which has - in real life - lead to nothing but misery for those who implement it. The all encompassing, consuming nature of my Marxist idealism was so great that I remember the exact time and place when I realized I was no longer a Marxist or a Communist; I was walking down the hallway beneath McGraw Hall at Cornell University in September of 1983, after a bizarre argument with my out-of-touch, Marxist-friendly thesis adviser.

My conversion story was the result of my own exposure to Christian mysticism (largely the Quakers) and my own research into the causes of poverty and the origins of the American welfare state.

For my part, I can vouch for Trevor Loudon's extraordinarily detailed scholarship and commitment to the truth. He got my story right. I can also report that the movie has dramatically improved since I first saw the rough cuts. It is a high-quality, professional, hour and a half production which has benefited from tight editing, striking graphics, stirring music and convincing sound effects.

I think The Enemies Within is a movie that is well-worth seeing on your own or with friends and family. I urge you to purchase it now, prior to election day, at Trevor Loudon's movie website by clicking on this link.

John C. Drew, Ph.D. is an award-winning political scientist. He appears in Loudon's new movie, The Enemies Within.

Monday, October 10, 2016

Dr. Drew's California Voter Guide - 2016

If this year's ballot propositions do not scare the hell out of you, then maybe you deserve to be murdered by the next inmate who evades the death penalty. This season's California ballot propositions display a frightening number of bizarre nanny state regulations guaranteed to wrap all of us in enough red tape to spoil the fun of shopping for groceries.

As I sorted through this mess, I found I'm okay with the suggestions made by the Orange County Lincoln Club, except for Proposition 65, which changes how the state deals with carryout bags. Accordingly, here is my take on the California Statewide Ballot Measures:

Vote No On Proposition 51: School Bonds. Funding For K-12 School And Community College Facilities

Vote Yes On Proposition 52: Medi-Cal Hospital Fee Program. Initiative Constitutional Amendment And Statute

Vote Yes On Proposition 53: Revenue Bonds. Statewide Voter Approval. Initiative Constitutional Amendment

Vote Yes On Proposition 54: Legislature. Legislation And Proceedings. Initiative Constitutional Amendment And Statute

Vote No On Proposition 55: Tax Extension To Fund Education And Healthcare. Initiative Constitutional Amendment

Vote No On Proposition 56: Cigarette Tax To Fund Healthcare, Tobacco Use Prevention, Research, And Law Enforcement. Initiative Constitutional Amendment And Statute

Vote No On Proposition 57: Criminal Sentences. Parole. Juvenile Criminal Proceedings And Sentencing. Initiative Constitutional Amendment And Statute

Vote No On Proposition 58: English Proficiency. Multilingual Education. Initiative Statute

Vote No On Proposition 59: Corporations. Political Spending. Federal Constitutional Protections. Legislative Advisory Question

Vote No On Proposition 60: Adult Films. Condoms. Health Requirements. Initiative Statute

Vote No On Proposition 61: State Prescription Drug Purchases. Pricing Standards. Initiative Statute

Vote No On Proposition 62: Death Penalty. Initiative Statute

Vote No On Proposition 63: Firearms. Ammunition Sales. Initiative Statute

Vote No On Proposition 64: Marijuana Legalization. Initiative Statute

Vote No On Proposition 65: Carryout Bags. Charges. Initiative Statute

Vote Yes On Proposition 66: Death Penalty. Procedures. Initiative Statute

Vote No On Proposition 67: Ban On Single-Use Plastic Bags. Referendum

Here are my local Orange County ballot measure recommendations:

Vote No On Measure M: Capistrano Unified School District, School Facility Improvement District (Sfid) General Obligation Bond

Vote Yes On Measure U: City Of Anaheim, Require 2/3 Vote Of The City Council To Propose Taxes

Vote No On Measure HH: City Of Fountain Valley One-Cent Sales Tax

Vote No On Measure JJ: City Of La Palma One-Cent Sales Tax

Vote Yes On Measure MM: City Of Newport Beach, Require 5 Of 7 Votes Of The City Council To Propose Taxes

Vote Yes On Measure QQ: City Of Stanton One-Cent Sales Tax Repeal

Vote Yes On Measure RR: City Of Stanton Term Limits

Vote No On Measure SS: City Of Westminster One-Cent Sales Tax

John C. Drew, Ph.D. is an award-winning political scientist.

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Not a Rock Star Pastor: My Review of Jason Hanselman's Newest Book

I highly recommend you buy a copy of Jason Hanselman's new book, Not a Rock Star Pastor, if you are considering becoming a pastor or are rapidly burning out in your pastoral role.

This book is particularly useful and compelling for all of us who have been frustrated by the ugly underbelly of professional Christian service: the absolutely horrific way that we train and screen young pastors, launch them with inadequate skills into dysfunctional churches, and then callously look the other way as too many end up quitting the ministry all together.

The book is now available at for the wonderfully affordable price of $4.99 for the Kindle version and 14.99 for the paperback edition. Click here to order your copy now.

Although Hanselman only hints at a solution to this disgrace -- always implementing standard human resource practices, never leaving the top job vacant, and fearlessly broadening the definition of a successful ministry -- he does provide a fresh, original and at times painful to read look at what it is like to endure the less pleasant aspects of professional Christian service as a rural pastor, a bible college president, a mega-church planter.

For full disclosure, I should point out that Hanselman is a former graduate student of mine and that I have been begging him to put his ideas on paper for years. From my perspective, Not a Rock Star Pastor is a beautiful autobiography for a fairly new writer who unflinchingly records telling details, poignant moments with his wife, and heartfelt rage when he recounts a face-to-face confrontation with a former church employer who slandered him in his own community.

Although I had never heard the sad and comic story of him applying for food stamps for his family, I was aware of virtually all the other stories in the book. For the skeptical reader, I can confirm that Hanselman has written a truthful and accurate history of his life. You will have to buy the book, however, to discover how he leverages every tool at his disposal to eventually weave his misfortune, inexperience and just plain bad luck into a transforming personal and spiritual triumph.

Given my respect and affection for him, it pains me to make even the smallest criticisms of this book. Still, I owe him my best work.

If he revises this volume, I wold like to see him put all his stories in exact chronological order. This way the charming story of how he fell in love with his wife will be a terrific foundation for the rest of the book and not a somewhat awkward way to close it. In fact, I noticed that I started losing interest in narrative at about three-quarters of the way through the book when it seemed to me that his stories regarding his job losses seemed to circle back on themselves. At that point, I got confused about which job he was talking about because he was referring to jobs mentioned earlier.

Next, I'd like to see Jason loosen up even more and simply name names and be honest about the people that mislead or harmed him during his rocky pastoral career.

Frankly, I suspect Hanselman is being too cautious since insiders who are familiar with the small world of Christian pastorship will figure out the main character's real names faster than a National Enquirer reporter chasing an Ashley Madison information dump. 

I think Hanselman's use of pseudonyms undermines the clarity of the book and robs the reader of some of its most penetrating insight.Given the state of Christian ministry, I do not think we are going to fix things without a large dose of honesty delivered with little or no compassion for the feelings of those who have made a mess of things.

Just as David Bowie carved out a niche separate from the Beatles, I think this book offers the possibility of opening up a new niche for the non-rock star pastors who will never be the Rick Warren of their generation. Consequently, Hanselman lays out the ground work for the non-rock star pastor by highlighting the value added by pastors who are graduating from lesser schools, working in more isolated areas, or locked into smaller communities where a full-service mega church will only appear by way of large speakers and a theatre style HD television screen.

In my view, Not a Rock Star Pastor should be required reading at Bible colleges, seminaries, and pastor conferences all around the world. Anyone looking to enter the ministry, or stay in the ministry, will benefit from reading about Hanselman's painful, but often comic challenges and the tortured path that led to his right-sized redemption.

John C. Drew, Ph.D. is an award-winning political scientist.

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Stockholm Syndrome? Two Profs Insist Academia is OK for Nice and Quiet Conservatives

I was startled to read a recent opinion article in the Washington Post by Jon A. Shields and Joshua M. Dunn, Sr., called "Forget what the right says: Academia isn't so bad for conservative professors." 

Shields is associate professor of government at Claremont McKenna College and coauthor, with Dunn, of "Passing on the Right: Conservative Professors in the Progressive University." Dunn is associate professor of political science at the University of Colorado—Colorado Spring.

The part of their article that ticked me off the most was the idea that we should be encouraged that conservatives can survive in the academic world if they learn to keep their conservatism as secret until they obtain tenure:

First, conservative professors are not helpless victims -- they have become quite skilled at navigating the progressive university. About a third of the professors we interviewed said they concealed their politics prior to earning tenure. Of course, being in the closet is not easy. (One particularly distressed professor told us: "It is dangerous to even think [a conservative thought] when I'm on campus, because it might come out of my mouth.") But it's also a temporary hardship, since nearly all the conservatives whom we interviewed planned to emerge from the ivory tower's shadows after gaining tenure. Once tenured, conservatives are free to express their politics and publish research that reflects right-wing interests and perspectives. As one put it to us: "I don't mind causing trouble now."

As far as I'm concerned, this is an unacceptable reaction to a vicious, profound discrimination against conservative scholars. 

I served for three years at an assistant professor in the political science department at Williams College. At the time, I was one of only three registered Republicans on the staff. I keep an eye on the college and contribute to two of the websites associated with the college that are okay with freedom of speech and freedom of expression. Here are links to two articles regarding my story.

I have never gotten over the way my career as a scholar was gravely wounded due to affirmative action. I am especially bitter about how my doctoral dissertation was belittled by the political science department at Williams College. I developed my thesis while living in poverty, working as a gardener, and surviving without health insurance. 

I’m still immensely proud of it. 

It hurts me to think of all the young conservative professors who are being harmed by our college and university system. There has to be a better way to confront the dominance of the hard left in our college and university system than simply telling young conservatives to be nice and shut up. It is hard to do both when you are confronting a profound level of injustice. 

For some great commentary on this story from another source, I recommend this article by David Henderson called "Academic Conservatives and Survivor Bias." My experience rings true with Henderson's comments that conservatives need to outperform their liberal colleagues in terms of publishing, but the ability to publish is limited by the liberal bias of the journals controlled by the liberals. 

I found this to be a no-win situation and I quickly left to find higher paying work in environments with less outright discrimination. Here's an article from the Williams Record back in January 1989 which captured my mood at the time. See,

This article, of course, reflects my thoughts prior to knowing that my dissertation would win national recognition from the American Political Science Association that summer or that it would be easily published as part of an edited book - almost exactly as I wrote it -- about seven years later. The publisher, Praeger, also published One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovitch by Alexander Solzhenitsyn.

Nevertheless, I have received some very friendly e-mails from both Dunn and Shields since I drafted this article. My gut feeling is that they needed to play up the cooperation with liberals angle to help get their research published and then the Washington Post distorted their true views to provoke a reaction from their audience. (I guess that worked on me.) I'm looking forward to visiting with Shields sometime soon and sharing my story with him. 

John C. Drew, Ph.D. is an award-winning political scientist.

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Purple Bruises: Mob Rule at Williams College

As one of the last conservatives to have ever taught at Williams College, I feel vindicated in reporting that this once prestigious school has now devolved into a form of mob rule. Based on the aggressive language used to intimidate students like Zach Wood, it looks to me like the college is now dominated by hard leftists who have more in common with Joseph Stalin than with FDR. Under this radical, threatening regime, we have seen a stunning failure to provide adequate security for anti-feminist speaker Susan Venker, the outright censorship of race realist John Derbyshire, and the inexplicable tolerance of anti-Semitic hate speech from Palestinian-American poet Remi Kanazi.

Trust me. I understand mob rule and the role of censorship. I’m a former Communist myself. I’m also well informed about the continuing dysfunction and lack of intellectual diversity at Williams College.  As you may know, I was among the first young, white, professors at Williams College to pay a high price for for teaching politically incorrect ideas including how black poverty and inequality would be more efficiently resolved with the improved use of inexpensive condoms than with the wholesale adoption of a socialist economy. Then, as now, my ideas caused howls of indignation and immediate accusations of racism among supposedly liberal folks who --  by tradition, at least -- should have been more concerned about protecting my freedom of speech. As James Lewis writes at American Thinker:

We can never forget that U.S. ‘liberals” of this generation are not liberals at all; they have fallen back into ruthless Leftism, just like the old days of Joe Stalin. This is the Left that threw Lawrence Summers out as president of Harvard for wondering out loud whether some boys are just better in math than girls. This is the Left that keeps imposing ever-harsher speech and behavior codes on college students, with white guys as the official scapegoats. This Left manipulates universities by mob threats. This is the Left that tried to physically attack General David Petraeus at NYU, so he had to run for it. This is the Left that deliberately stirs up race hatred, as in Ferguson and Baltimore. This is the Left that has made common cause with primitive jihadist regimes in Europe and the U.S.

As one of only three Republicans teaching at Williams College in the 1980s, I was quickly marginalized for suggesting that white attitudes and U.S. capitalism inadequately explained why violent crimes are disproportionately committed by blacks. According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, blacks were charged with 62% of all robberies, 57% of murders and 45% of assaults in the 75 largest U.S. counties in 2009, though they made up roughly 15% of the population there. It strikes me as nothing less than ideological blindness to insist that such extraordinary violence is the unfortunate result of peaceful white folks living ordinary lives in our nation’s rural and suburban areas.

In this context, I’m shocked by the sheer ignorance of Williams College’s president, Adam Falk. I don’t think there is a serious person who has studied John Derbyshire who would classify him as either idiotic, a lunatic, or a white supremacist. In my view, Falk’s flippant, juvenile comments are uninformed, and display a profound level of misunderstanding about race realism, political culture studies and alt-right philosophy.

The simplest explanation for his mistreatment of John Derbyshire is that this is the sort of mistake that happens when physicists get involved in political and biological matters for which they have no training or relevant experience. While most faculty members are experts in our own fields, we tend to be hapless amateurs everywhere else.

There is, however, a more complex explanation that goes to the heart at why mob rule is the order of the day at Williams College. If there were more diversity of opinion, and freedom of thought, at Williams College, then someone could have informed Falk that censoring John Derbyshire was a big mistake and a setback for Williams College.

The reason there is no intellectual diversity at Williams College is because conservative, Republican thinkers have long since been pushed out of the full-time faculty.  I should know. While I taught at Williams College, it was said that conservative students were passive and not very active. It was suggested that there was not much interest in conservative thought on the campus. Certainly not enough interest in conservative thought to spend time worrying about the intellectual diversity of the faculty in the political science department.

Nevertheless, in less than a year, the campus saw a veritable renaissance of conservative activities and thought as conservative students – with my support and active encouragement – established a conservative newspaper, a conservative radio show, and a conservative television show on the local cable access channel. We had qualified speakers at the Garfield Republican Club. The conservative students rallied around my office, which I decorated with a large American flag. We went out of our way to tick off the liberal/Communist professors by loudly greeting each other with hearty cries of “Merry Christmas.” Ironically, an independent study conducted of the political science department recommended changes be made to address the department’s lack of ideological diversity.

As far as I can tell, I am the last registered Republican to have ever taught in the political science department at Williams College. I am certainly the last to have ever espoused consistently conservative views from a sincere, heartfelt perspective. I am also, apparently, the first and only assistant professor who was denied the opportunity to continue along the tenure track pathway.

This itself is quite odd, since, in the 1980s, I was one of our nation’s top young scholars. Hired at Williams in 1986, I went on to win national recognition for my doctoral dissertation from the American Political Science Association (APSA). I completed my dissertation during my first year teaching at Williams College. The quality of this work was so great that it has now been published, in book form, almost exactly as I wrote it under the low-ceiling of my tiny, unheated office in Stetson Hall. My thesis was by published by Praeger, the extraordinary house that also published Alexander Solzhenitsyn’s One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich. Apparently, the study, which documented a lack of ideological diversity at Williams College, has had little impact then or since.

Even as the nation has drifted in a conservative direction -- overwhelmingly electing conservatives to statehouses, governorships and Congress -- Williams College has held tight to teaching a narrow band of truth and lies. It clings to an unrealistic and unsustainable hard left faith that intentions are more important than reality. Accordingly, it will be a long time until we see an end to mirco-aggression monitors who eagerly to hunt down the unwitting first-year student who is stupid enough to tell a joke, have some fun, or say something devastatingly obvious. We are in a dangerous time. The hard left mob feels justified in every possible abuse while truth remains as vulnerable as any freezing bunkmate of Ivan Denisovich.

This article was first published at on March 6, 2016. It appears here with the permission of that website’s owner.

John C. Drew, Ph.D. is an award-winning political scientist.