Monday, May 21, 2018

Hot On Quora: How Much Effect Does Affirmative Action Have on College Admissions?

Affirmative action has a huge impact on a young person, especially if they are Asian. For example, a 2009 study found - at Harvard - that the average Asian American applicant needed a 1460 SAT score to be admitted, a white student with similar GPA and other qualifications only needed a 1320 SAT score, while blacks needed scores of only 1010 and Hispanics 1190.
The situation has gotten so bad at Harvard that some of the rejected Asian students are suing them. They are arguing that Harvard is violating the latest U.S. Supreme Court standard which states that schools have to implement race-neutral techniques to achieve diversity before turning to racial classifications and preferences.
John C. Drew, Ph.D. is an award-winning political scientist.

Sunday, May 20, 2018

Hot on Quora: Why do Marxists Get Upset When You Mention the Horrific Failure of 20th Century Communism?

As an ex-Marxist, I think it is fair to say that being a Marxist is more of a religion than a scientific pursuit. Although you can, with great effort, change a scientific consensus, it is almost impossible to change someone’s religious beliefs. This is particularly true when traditional contemporary religions are in decline.

As a Marxist, you can enjoy all the freedom of being an atheist (sex, drugs, libertine attitudes) while at the same time enjoying the fellowship and group activities organized by your peers including the nearly constant planning sessions, anti-war protests, and pre-revolutionary activities of the day. The mix gives you a meaning to what is probably an already depressing, exceedingly shallow and unaccomplished life. For insight into the life of a young Marxist, please check out my article below.
The best part is that even though history has demonstrated the utter failure of Marxism as a philosophy, witness the hundreds of millions mass murdered by Communist regimes in the 20th Century, Marxists can pretend to themselves that these earlier regimes were “not really socialist.” The same is true of the horrifying modern examples of the failure of Communism in say Cuba, North Korea and Venezuela.
At any rate, when you confront Marxists with the evidence of their fecklessness they react negatively because you are, in effect, challenging their whole identity, their social group, their career choices and so on. You aren’t just knocking the ridiculousness of their untenable beliefs you’re knocking everything about them.
John C. Drew, Ph.D. is an award-winning political scientist.

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Hot on Quora: What Was Barack Obama's GPA in College?

I met Barack Obama and got to know him while he was a student at Occidental College. My memories of young Obama have appeared in a number of historical books including David Garrow’s Rising Star: The Making of Barack Obama. This is a 1,460 page pre-presidential biography published by HarperCollins in May 2017.

At the time I met the young Obama, I was a graduate student at Cornell University, doing my first work as a teaching assistant in political science. My sense of him at the time is that he was of average intelligence. I don’t remember him making any particularly insightful comments when we spoke. I think it is safe to say that he was most likely a solid B student.

To be fair, the Barack Obama I met in 1980–1981 was more interested in parties, cocaine and radical politics than his academic record. I think it is only common sense to assert that the only reason his Occidental College GPA has not been released is that it would have been bad news for him.
I’m writing this to counter-act some of the extreme Barack Obama sycophantic comments suggesting he is some sort of genius. Nothing could be further from the truth. There is no record of him being particularly talented at math, statistics, or any of the hard sciences. He served as the editor of the law review at Harvard, but didn’t bother to produce any articles of his own for it.

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

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Is Your College Professor Autistic? This May Explain a Lot

One of my friends, who is a dean of instruction, recently brought to my attention the prevalence of
Mary Temple Grandin 
(born August 29, 
1947) is an American 
consultant to the livestock 
industry on animal behavior, 
and autism spokesperson.
faculty members on the Autism Spectrum. She thinks this explains a lot of the interpersonal and communication problems she see among them.

It might be fun for the conservative students everywhere to do a quick survey of where their liberal professors stand on the Autism Spectrum. They can code for problems in social communication and social interaction, and restricted, repetitive patterns of behavior, interests or activities. Off the top of my head, I would think at least 20% of the professors I know are probably on the Autism Spectrum.

It may be that a peaceful, quiet, low stress college campus is the ideal environment for a high functioning individual. Check out this article from CBS News for more details.

Is Your College Professor Autistic?

There is also some evidence that some of our top geniuses would have been on the Autism Spectrum too including Albert Einstein, Amadeus Mozart, Sir Isaac Newton, Charles Darwin, Thomas Jefferson, and Michelangelo.

Here's some more tips. Look for people who are unusually uncomfortable with loud noises, go without food or have odd eating habits, and those who find it difficult to establish friendships or romantic relationships.

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

Sunday, March 11, 2018

Hot On Quora: Is Trump Sorry the Issues He Ran On Are Not More Firmly Based on Facts or Science?

Trump appears to want to be "popular". Do you think Trump now wishes he had campaigned on policy positions that were more soundly grounded on science and fact? Or, could he have been elected otherwise?

Trump won by leading a political realignment. In short, he argued for policy positions which pealed off white working class voters who had previously been voting for Barack Obama. Among the issues which attracted these voters to the new Republican party were 1) a crack down on illegal immigration, 2) a promise to end the federal government’s hostility to coal mining, and 3) a focus on using U.S. tariffs to protect U.S. workers and bargain for better treatment in international markets.

The Democrats made things worse for themselves by leaning so hard on their standard identity politics agenda that they ended up suggesting with great seriousness that all white people, including the white working class, was benefiting unfairly from “white privilege.”

In the mouths of some Democratic party stalwarts, this white privilege message appeared to be little more than an expression of anti-white hate. I have no doubt that apparent Democrat party hostility to the white working class, particularly white working class men, was a major motivating factor among the late deciding swing voters in the upper Mid-West who tipped the Electoral College to Donald J. Trump. Frankly, if you have ever spent much time hanging out with identity politics activists or leftist college professors, then I think you will understand that white, working class swing voters where perhaps right to reject a political party which contains many people who view them with contempt and disdain. In this sense, Hillary’s campaign was a high flying car wreck like that pictured below.

Your question seems to imply that the key issues which are at the heart of this political realignment are not properly grounded in fact or science. As a practical matter, I cannot imagine that Trump is second guessing himself on the worthiness of these policy questions. I’m sure he is just happy to be president. Moreover, there are a ton of Republicans who are also really happy that he is president too. Thanks to his victory, the Republicans have their highest level of dominance in our government since the 1920s.

Many of them, no doubt, greatly feared a second Democrat party president in a row. This is because Hillary would have never appointed to the Supreme Court someone who actually took the constitution seriously and made their decisions based on an originalist interpretation of the document. For many of them, this last election appeared to be an existential crisis for both white dominance in the U.S. and the survival of our U.S. constitutional system. The fear I heard expressed at Republican functions was that a Clinton victory would lead to an influx of immigrants - both legal and illegal - who would vote for socialism, affirmative action, redistribution, and efforts to undermine “white privilege” broadly and unfairly understood. The result would be a nation that looked like California, a state where the Republican party and white evangelical Christians have virtually no say in the laws (or taxes) which seem designed to humiliate and financially harm them, harm them enough at least to cause them to exit the state and move to TX.

That being said, I’m not so sure that the policy positions that Trump used to bring about this historic electoral realignment are all that bad from the view point of either science or fact. For example, there can be no doubt that increased immigration (legal or not) reduces the wages of the white working class. Moreover, increased immigration means that white working class voters will find themselves increasingly surrounded by people of different races and nationalities who do not share traditionally common American beliefs including the elevation of the Bible over the Qu’ran. Increase immigration harms the white working class by surrounding them with people from different cultures who are in fact hostile to their received American culture. Upper class whites, in contrast, are not face-to-face with the immigrant population since they can afford to move to relatively white enclaves where they are safely insulated from the downside of massive and often illegal immigration.

For that matter, I’m not sure that ending restrictions on coal mining is somehow anti-science or anti-fact. Obviously we have new ways of burning coal that make it a better quality fuel - i.e. clean coal. I have to admit that all the scientific evidence shows that tariffs will make things worse for the white working class.

Nevertheless, this is an approach that Trump (along with Ross Perot) has believed in for many years. It was not, on his part, a sudden decision to embrace this policy. As a practical matter, many other counties also make similar efforts to protect their domestic employers. Usually, these are smaller countries where they are highly dependent on the success of local champions. It maybe that the U.S. is now in a similar position. Also, conventional wisdom may be too bleak about the actual implementation of tariffs. Potentially, these tariffs may not go into effect because Trump will us them or the threat of using them to encourage other countries to lower their tariffs and permit more U.S. companies to fairly compete in their markets.

Some, of course, will argue that Trump colluded with the Russians to bring about his victory. Truthfully, I just don’t buy this. I don’t think you can cause an electoral realignment simply by having the Russian government spend a relatively trivial amount of money on social media or by leaking the e-mails of Hillary’s campaign manager. An electoral realignment is based on real issues, and tough decisions about the direction of the nation. The leadership needed to cause an electoral realignment comes from the candidates themselves…not some foreign government. Trump was that kind of leader and he scored an amazing victory by historical standards.

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