VOLUME ii ISSUE II
An Interview with Pat Buchanan Inside: The Death of Standards
The War on Drugs
esident Bush's crusade to make Iraq safe for democracy has only succeeded in making it safe for al Qaeda. Indeed, every major prediction about Iraq advanced by the administration has been shown to be false. In his October 7, 2002 speech on the "Iraqi Threat," Bush stated five times that Saddam Hussein was not only developing weapons of mass destruction but that he already possessed such weapons. For example, Bush began with the declaration that the Iraqi regime "possesses and produces chemical and biological weapons." This belief constituted the primary justification for going to war with Iraq, yet these weapons have not been found. Bush also asserted that Saddam Hussein had cooperated with al Qaeda, yet as is painfully obvious, if anything, the war with Iraq has only intensified al Qaeda's presence in Iraq. Finally, the neoconservatives boasted that the war would be a short one, yet as we all know it is still continuing. Originally, the primary mission was to locate, identify, and disable the weapons of mass destruction. As the summer progressed, this objective eventually faded from the public spotlight. Now the administration faces a "classical guerillatype" conflict in a war that may not have been justified. Indeed, the irrelevancy of the weapons search is a testament to the reversal of fortunes in Iraq. When terrorism and chaos are the order of the day, it is meaningless to ask why we are there. The more pressing question is—what should we be doing there now? In his speech, Bush interpreted the escalation of violence as a positive factor, viewing the war with Iraq as a constituent of the broader war on terror: "We are fighting that enemy in Iraq and Afghanistan today so that we do not meet him again on our own streets, in our own cities." What this means is that we have made it easier t o t terrorists to attack us. What we have created in Iraq is a terrorists' paradise—137, 000 U.S. soldiers in an unfamiliar and artificial country divided between three ethnic groups. Now attacking Americans merely requires a bordercrossing to the country next door. Perhaps Bush believes that it is better that soldiers are dying instead of American civilians, but can this thinking be acceptable to a president who has called for "moral clarity" in our foreign policy? Clearly, stabilizing Iraq and leaving it with an effective government is now our priority. Yet, the Bush administration is not satisfied with this alone. In his September 8 speech to the nation, Bush—under the influence of neoconservatism-—still clung to the dream of remaking Iraq in our image, calling for the establishment of "democracy and tolerance" in Iraq. This reflects a grotesque incomprehension of the political and cultural realities of Iraq. Overall, Iraq is captive to a culture that does not know democracy and does not recognize the legitimacy of states separated from religion. It is embedded in a civilization of failed states and explosive religious animosities. In the West, the emergence of democracy represented centuries of political and cultural evolution—to attempt the same in Iraq in the space of a generation is the height of arrogance. To attempt such a project when Iraq is drowning in disorder is irresponsible. It is an impossible mission doomed to repeat the failures of Vietnam.
TABLE OF CONTENTS LETTER TO THE EDITOR Do Tax Cuts Make Cents? By Jonathan Harris
A Prophet without Honor By Stephen Beale
The Pat Buchanan Interview
The Second War on Drugs ByVijay S.Malik
A Daring New Strategy
1 2 The Death of Standards
By Alan J.Silverman
The Tragedy o f Affirmative Action
1 8 Polemics By Stephen Beale
1 9 Arnold for Governor By Stephen Beale
Only the Terminator Can Save California
Letter to the Editor Do Tax Cuts Make Cents?
hile visiting Brown to deliver a series of lectures at the Watson Institute for International Studies, I happened to pick up a copy of the March 2003 Brown Spectator. I was pleased to see that, unlike some campus conservative journals, the Spectator relies on argument rather than invective, and is also willing to publish alternative points of view. In the spirit of furthering this intellectual discussion, I would like to submit some comments on the article by Nicholas Ciarcia entitled "Bush's Tax Cut Makes Cents: In Defense of Dividend Tax Cuts." Ciarcia's assertion that "people in income brackets under $ 2 0 , 0 0 0 receive 16 percent of all dividend income . . . those with incomes under $30,000 receive 30 percent of all dividend income" caught my eye. I consulted my colleague Dr. Brian Roach, who has researched this topic thoroughly (see http://ase.tufts.edu/ gdae/highlights/Dividend_Taxes .htm). He confirmed my suspicion that this is way off base, despite Ciarcia's claim that it is based on "IRS data." Dr. Roach pointed out that:
IRS data for 2000 available at http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs~ soi/OOindtr.pdf show that those with adjusted gross income (AGI) under $20,000 received only 7.1 percent of all dividend income, and those with incomes under $ 3 0 , 0 0 0 received only 10.6 percent. Most low-income taxpayers receive no dividend income at all and, consequently, would receive no benefits from the Bush proposal. Of those taxpayers with AGIs of $ 3 0 , 0 0 0 or less, only 15 percent received any dividend income. At the top end of the income spectrum, 72 percent of those with AGI's of $100,000 or more received some dividend income in 2 0 0 0 . These affluent taxpayers (just 8 percent of all taxpayers) received about 63 percent of all dividend income in 2000, and would receive 75 percent of the benefits from repealing dividend taxation. Ciarcia's claim that the "double taxation" of dividends
"works out to a 60.09 percent tax rate on corporate profits" ignores the fact that most corporations' effective tax rates are much lower than the statutory 35 percent, and that less than half of dividend income is taxed at the top personal income tax rate. Also, "double taxation" occurs in many other cases, such as gasoline, cigarette, and state sales taxes, whose impacts fall disproportionately on the poor - yet it is only dividend taxes that seem to arouse the ire of conservative taxcutters.
Thus, Ciarcia's assertion that "ending double-taxation of corporate profits will help the poor as much as the rich" is clearly wrong. In addition, by adding to the now huge projected federal deficits, this proposed tax cut would force the government to borrow more in future, putting upward pressure on interest rates and thereby hurting both businesses and consumers. Application of the now-discredited "supply-side economics" theory (that tax cuts lead to higher revenues) created a heavy deficit burden during the Reagan years - let's not make the same mistake again.
Jonathan Harris Tufts University Global Dev elopment and Environment Institute
A Prophet without Honor The Pat Buchanan Interview • m
By Stephen Beale
The following is an interview with Patrick J. Buchanan, the Editor of the American Conservative and the host of Buchanan ' and Press" on MSNBC. He also writes a nationally syndicated column. He has served as an advisor to Presidents Nixon, Ford, and Reagan and has runforpresident three times. In the 1990s, Buchanan became an outspoken apologistfor the Old Right, callingfor a return to an America First"foreign policy, a revival of economic nationalism, and restriction of immigration. He has written six hooks, including Right from the Beginning, The Great Betrayal, A Republic, Not an Empire, and most recently, The Death of faith. It is dead in Europe; it is dying in the West. the United States. Alexander Solzhenitzyn said that when faith dies, Beale: Your latest book, The Death of the nation dies. the West, was a national best-seller, could you summarize your thesis? Beale: Is the death o f the West inevitable? Can it be avoided? Buchanan: The West is dying in every possible way. Not a single Western Buchanan: Can it be averted? It is nation has a birth rate able to sustain its going to continue. It has been going population. Many have maxed out— on for twenty years. Birth rates have many have already begun to die. Russia been falling below replacement levels. is losing one million people a year. I The question is—what replaces it? In see no turn around. I f Western nations Europe it is an Islamic immigrant include New Zealand, Australia, and population to sustain pension levels. The Canada, their percentage of the world United States is going to be a country population was 30 percent in 1950, 20 of minorities. It is hard to see how percent in 1960, 16 percent today, and these trends can be averted. 10 percent in 2050. The median age will be 51, which is ten years older than Beale: Regarding current events, what today. The question is—what are the is your opinion of the recent Supreme reasons for it and the consequences o f Court decision on the Texas sodomy k. The principle reason is the loss o f law? iC
Buchanan: My view on this issue is that the Supreme Court is usurping powers that do not belong to it. There is no Constitutional right to sodomy. It has always been a state issue. It's an example o f the Supreme Court imposing a sexual revolution on the country. Beale: In his dissent, Justice Clarence Thomas strongly disagreed with the majority's opinion; however, he also said that he thought the Texas law was silly. I f the sodomy law was on the state ballot, and you lived in Texas, would you vote for it? •
Buchanan: Well, the Justice has a good point. The state should take a stand against homosexuality, saying that it is wrong, but the idea of police going into people's homes is just not going to work. Bath houses should be shut down for public health reasons, but I agree with Justice Thomas that police have more important things to do. Beale: Continuing with current events, in the current issue o f the Atlantic Monthly you have an article addressing the question as to whether President Bush is unbeatable. You wrote that article a couple of months ago—has your opinion changed since then? Beale: Bush is more vulnerable today than he was two months ago. The loss
o f manufacturing jobs is more acute and Iraq is shaping up to be a catastrophe. He is still the odds-on favorite candidate to win. The Democrats have no candidate with sharp disagreement and with appeal on issues of national security. Beale: Who do you think is going to win the Democratic nomination? •
Buchanan: My guess would be Howard Dean—and as for the non-Dean candidates, Kerry is fading, Liebermann has no traction, and Gephardt is not running strongly. The Democratic establishment will move to Gephardt as their fall-back. Dean has the passion and the momentum. Today, he would win New Hampshire and Iowa. No one who has won New Hampshire and Iowa ever lost the nomination. . . . We won New Hampshire, but were in a dead heat in
The neoconservatives are newcomers. They are for big government, they are globalist, and they are often agnostic on issues like abortion and gay rights ... Their effort to redefine conservatism will fail. Iowa. Dole started out much stronger than us. T h e Republican establishment rallied around Dole. Beale: What do you think about Alabama Judge Roy Moore? You recendy had him on your MSNBC show Buchanan: I think that he did the right thing. Somebody has got to define the Supreme Court's jurisdiction. The state Supreme Court Justice made a sovereign decision. Judge Moore was not trying to establish a religion. He was not trying to impose his religion on others. •
Beale: An equally controversial issue is immigration. What problems are caused by immigration? Buchanan: The problem is that we are ceasing to become a country. We are becoming a global mall. In economic terms, look at California. Immigration has led to an exodus of taxpayers and an influx of tax-consumers. California today is what America will be tomorrow We are losing our national cohesion. There are nine million people in the Los Angeles area—five million o f them do not speak English as the
primary language in their home. It has already happened to the Soviet Union. Yugoslavia split into six countries. These are secessions along the lines of culture, language, and religion. The forces of unity are weaker than these centrifugal forces. w
Beale: Some of your critics accuse you o f espousing an identity politics for white people. What is your response? Buchanan: I don't espouse an identity politics for white people. My position on immigration is designed to prevent that from happening. It will happen if whites become a minority. Beale: Your name is constantly invoked in discussions o f the neo-paleoconservative feud. How would you describe yourself? Would you call yourself a "paleoconservative"? Buchanan: Well, I am clearly old right. The neoconservatives are newcomers. They are for big government, they are globalist, and they are often agnostic on issues like abortion and gay rights. Our cause was anti-Communism. We believe in the wisdom of the Founding Fathers. We favor history over ideology. Our values and beliefs are rooted in faith and tradition. The neoconservatives are anti-Communist liberals who came into the movement when Reagan came into power. Their effort to redefine conservatism will fail. Beale: Why will they fail? Buchanan: Their Wilsonian foreign policy will fail. It is already failing in Iraq. You cannot create a new empire. Big government is anti-conservative and it just doesn't work. In
D.C., they are spending $10,000 per pupil and test scores are far below national averages. It will fail like the Great Society. Beale: Moving to a different topic, what would you say is the relationship between your Catholicism and your conservatism? Buchanan: Some of my social views are close to papal encyclicals. My Catholic beliefs on natural law support a moral right and wrong. A good and decent society will build itself on these principles and ideas. They are similar to what the Founding Fathers believed. I believe in the existence of the soul—and this is why human beings have innate dignity. My Catholicism is interwoven with my conservatism. You cannot separate them. The one is interwoven with the other like blood and the body. Beale: Following the 2000 elections you have written a bestselling book, started a new show, and have a new magazine. What's next?
Buchanan: I like writing books. Maybe if I run again I can start another new magazine The causes we fought for in the 1990s—an America First, non-interventionist, antiimperialist foreign policy, relendess opposition to globalism, a belief in national sovereignty and control of our borders, and preservation of traditional morals—these are the issues of the future. Many of the problems Bush has are because he took the wrong side on these issues. Beale: So what would you tell your supporters—the Buchanan Brigades? Who should they vote for in 2004? Buchanan: I would tell them to vote their conscience. I can't say right now either candidate—Democratic or Republican—will be indispensable to our cause. Beale: You have repeatedly said that you have served three tours of duty as a presidential candidate and that you don't want to run again. Are you running again?
Buchanan: In what party? We drove the last vehicle we had into a canal. TBS
The Second War on Drugs •
A. Daring New Strategy w
By Vijay S. Malik
We must reduce drug use for one great moral reason: Over time, drugs rob men, women, and children of their dignity and of their character. Illegal drugs are the enemies of ambition and hope. When we fight against drugs, we fight for the souls of our fellow Americans. -President George W Bush
licit drugs pose an ominous threat to all Americans. No single individual is immune from the consequences of drug use. Drugs ruin lives, wreck families, and destroy communities. Despite the horrors associated with drug use, naysayers abound, asserting that the war on drugs is a lost cause, a waste o f taxpayer dollars. I f only 80 million Americans have never tried drugs during their lifetime, why should a democracy prohibit what is accepted by the majority? The anti-drug coalition clearly faces a myriad of tough issues: legalization, decriminalization, drug testing, and faith-based treatment. Most importandy, it must address the most significant enemy of effective drug policy—cynicism. Contrary to what pundits might proffer to those willing to listen, U.S. drug policy is experiencing tremendous success. Consider the statistics. According to the National Household Survey on Drug Abuse, less than one percent of adolescents used drugs in 1962. In 1979, that number jumped to a horrendous 34 percent. Between 1979 and 1992, drug use among all Americans was cut in half—from 25 million to 11 million—and by two-thirds among adolescents and young adults. Drug use rose in the midnineties but has started to fall again. Moreover, a study conducted by the University of Michigan, Monitoring the Future, reported that illicit drug use in the past year decreased by a statistically significant amount from 2001 to 2002 among eight and tenth graders—the lowest levels since 1993 and 1995, respectively. And last year's marijuana use among eighth graders is at its lowest level since 1994. Likewise, last year's ecstasy and LSD use have also decreased significandy among this same grade level.
The vanguards o f the new war on drugs—President George W. Bush and "Drug Czar" John Walters, Director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy, have formulated a long-term, three-step plan: preventing drug use, healing addicts, and disrupting the market. This policy, formally known as the National Drug Control Strategy, aims to reduce current use among adults (age 18 and up) by 10 percent over the next two years and by 25 percent over the next five years. It is no surprise that prevention is a key component of drug policy. Drug prevention programs—a composite of private initiatives and government actions—are an invaluable resource for adolescents, teaching them the truth about drugs and fostering a culture of responsibility. These measures often clash with popular perceptions o f drug use as a liberating, enjoyable experience—pointing to marijuana as an example of a harmless drug. Yet, the facts of marijuana use undermine this myth. O f the 5.6 million Americans
No single individual is immune from the consequences o f drug use. Drugs ruin lives, wreck families, and destroy communities.
suffering from illegal drug dependence or abuse, 62 percent are dependent on or abusing marijuana. And more young people are currently in treatment for marijuana dependency than for alcohol or for all other illegal drugs combined. Finally, parents, teachers, and other mentors, must not only confront such stereotypes but they must also conquer their own cynicism. Once again the facts are immensely encouraging. For example, in the case o f drug use, parents in particular are the most influential factor in their children's decision-making. Two thirds of teens aged 13 to 17 admit that losing their parents' respect is one o f the main reasons they refrain from drug use.
A new dimension to drug prevention efforts is drug testing. Last summer, the U.S. Supreme Court validated this effort. The Court upheld an Oklahoma school district's drug testing policy to randomly drug test students. Without question, this decision represented a major victory for the anti-drug community. Schools that have implemented drug testing programs have successfully deterred drug use. Hunterdon Central Regional High School in New Jersey provides one unequivocal example. After initiating a drug testing program, the school saw significant reductions in 20 to 28 drug use categoriesâ€”for instance, cocaine use by seniors dropped from 13 to 4 percent. Similar results occurred in Autauga County, Alabama. There marijuana use declined from 18.5 to 11.9 percent. Drug testing should
not be undertaken as a unilateral response to the drug problem, but rather it should be one component o f a broader program designed to reduce illicit drug use by students. Testing is not meant to punish but rather to prevent. It is a strategy of soft deterrenceâ€”a compelling example of conservative compassion. In addition, drug treatment programs are in place for those individuals plagued by the epidemic of drug addiction. Last year, the National Household Survey on Drug Abuse reported that 100,000 Americans claimed to have sought treatment but could not obtain it. As President Bush stated in this year's State of the Union address, "a nation that is tough on drugs must be compassionate to those addicted to drugs." He has proposed a three-year, $600 million "Access to Recovery" initiative to assist those Americans
who need critical recovery services. The president has pledged to increase treatment funding by $1.6 billion over five years. This commitment will ensure that those struggling with drug addictions will get access to the treatment that they so desperately need. Since different needs require different roads to recovery, various providers are available, including community and faith-based programs. A chief constituent of the Access to Recovery initiative is "drug courts" within the judicial system, in which arrestees receive treatment in lieu of incarceration. As of February 2003, there are over 1400 drug courts in the United States responsible for treating over 75,000 people. Drug courts promote abstinence through drug testing and escalating penalties for repeat offenders. Moreover, participants have shown a relatively small propensity to recidivate: only 5 to 28 percent end up doing so while the rate is a marginal 4 percent for drug court graduates.
[Drug] testing is not meant to punish but rather to prevent. It is a strategy o f soft deterrence—a compelling example o f conservative compassion. A final theater of war involves the drug trade itself. Americans spend more than $63 billion a year on illegal drugs. Like any business, it operates in a market. It has vulnerabilities to exploit and incentives to motivate, and risks to temper. Thus, the theory of classical economics based on the laws of supply and demand still holds true: reduced supply will increase the price of drugs and eventually lead to reduced demand. Interdiction is vital to disrupting the market. Nevertheless, many argue that interdiction is an exercise in futility because there are too many miles to cover. But government agencies such as the Department of Defense and the Department of Homeland Security are using intelligence to narrow this broad spectrum
of trafficking possibilities into a more definable and tractable cluster of heavy trafficking areas, such as parts of Colombia, the Andean Ridge, Mexico, and Afghanistan. Once again, these efforts have achieved significant success. Last year, 50 percent of the heroin produced in Colombia was seized and 15 percent of the soil's coca plants were eradicated. In Mexico, opium production dropped by an astounding 40 percent between 2001 and 2002. Mexican law enforcement, in collaboration with U.S. authorities, seized a striking 75 percent of marijuana and heroin produced in 2002. In the United States, law enforcement seized a quarter of the black market cocaine coming across our borders. Furthermore, the Department of Justice, Treasury and Transportation have joined in the Department of Justice's Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) in order to improve accountability, coordination, and focus. The OCDETF improves concentrates federal resources to disrupt and disable major trafficking organizations and provides the framework for federal, state, and local law enforcement to work together to target wellestablished cartels operating in the drug trade. Likewise, collaboration between the DEA, FBI and Department of Justice has resulted in a consolidated list of top trafficker targets—the Consolidated Priority Organization Target. The list facilitates cooperation between these agencies. President Bush's renewed war on drugs represents the best of compassionate conservatism—combining strategies of deterrence such as random drug testing with programs that promote effective compassion like the Access to Recovery initiative. Indeed, the president's National Drug Control Strategy is an eclectic mixture of policies—ranging from treatment of the individual drug user to waging war against organizations that enable and encourage drug dependency. Most importantly, this new strategy recognizes that there is a spiritual dimension to drug addition, reflecting the president's broader emphasis on faith-based solutions to social problems. TBS
LEGISLATORS DELAY IMPORTANT BUSINESS BECAUSE COLLEAGUES ARE BUSY RUNNING FOR PRESIDENT Candidate
% Of Votes Missed
# Of Votes Missed
Rep. Dick Gephardt
Sen. John Kerry
Sen. J o e Lieberman
Sen. Bob Graham
Sen. John Edwards
Updated through 9/5/03 Data does NOT include votes missed because of illness
74 College Republicans at Brown GOP@Brown.edu
E d i f i o ^ W i i t e t s , Cartoonrilsplll|phic D e s i j | ^ r s , liisktess Managers. "What we call the market is really a democfllc process involving minions, and in some markets billions, of people making personal decisions that express their preferences. Wh%i yo||faear someone say that he doesn't trust the market, and wants to r^Jllceit with government edicts, he's really'i|||||^ from a democratic process to a totalitarian one" - f i l t e r Williams "' '.V.'W.'.'.V.
Sp ec ta t o r ^ B H I l H H f f
The Death of Standards
The Tragedy of Affirmative Action i
By Alan J. Silverman *
n June 23, 2003, the United States Supreme Court ruled, in two separate cases, that racial preferences in state universities' admissions programs are permissible under the Constitution. In Grat^v. Bollinger, the Court struck down part of the University of Michigan's undergraduate admissions program, which automatically awarded 20 points on a 150-point scale to "underrepresented minority applicants"—blacks, Hispanics, and Native Americans. (Under that program, a perfect SAT score was worth 12 points, legacy status four points, and a good admissions essay three points, totaling 19 points for having all three.) At the same time, Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist's majority opinion in Grat% allows state universities to devise other methods of considering race in admissions. In Grutter v. Bollinger, the Court upheld in toto the Michigan Law School's program, which enrolls a "critical mass" of underrepresented minority students, a phrase nowhere clearly defined injustice Sandra Day O'Connor's majority opinion. The high court, in sustaining affirmative action, maintained that state universities have a compelling interest in "the educational benefits that flow from a diverse student body." The twin rulings simultaneously annulled the concept of equal justice under law, and disposed o f the nation's 227-year-old convention that rights belong to individuals and not to groups. Appellants in both cases charged that the use o f race in state university admissions violates the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, Title VI of the Civil Rights Act o f 1964 [42 U.S.C. §2000(d)], and 42 U.S.C. §1981 (a). The Equal Protection Clause instructs: "No State shall... deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection o f the laws." Title VI provides, "No person in the United States shall, on the ground of race, color, or national origin, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to cUscrimination under any program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance." Section 1981(a) states, "All persons within the jurisdiction of the United States shall have the same right in every State
and Territory to make and enforce contracts . . . and to the full and equal benefit of all laws and proceedings for the security of persons and property is as enjoyed by white citizens." A single principle runs through all of these provisions: racial equality before the law. For those committed to the view that the judiciary's role is to apply rather than rewrite laws, it is clear that these provisions forbid racial discrimination simpliciter. To withdraw legal protection from any race would therefore violate the relevant laws, absent a compelling state interest.
The constitutional question In her majority opinion in Adarand Constructors, Inc., v. Pena, another case that involved affirmative action, Justice O'Connor wrote that any racial discrimination by the government "must be analyzed by a reviewing court under strict scrutiny." In Grutter, she explained that such discrimination is permissible under the Constitution only if it is "narrowly tailored to further compelling government interests." In Richmond^.]. A* Croson Co., she wrote that because discrimination o f this sort is "highly suspect," courts must use "searching judicial inquiry into the justification for such race-based measures" and into the methodology of every such measure. Only twice before Gratt^ and Grutter had a majority of the Court accepted any interest as compelling enough to justify racial discrimination, as Justice Clarence Thomas pointed out in his opinion concurring in part and dissenting in part. The first interest was national security, as identified in Korematsu v. United States—wherein the Court sustained the government's wartime internment o f the Japanese. The second interest was government action to remedy past dis crimination, as identified in Croson. Now the high court adds "diversity" to that list, and accompanies this revision with some of the worst reasoning ever seen in a Supreme Court opinion. Bearing in mind that these cases involve "strict smitiny," it would be reasonable to expect the Court actually to use
strict scrutiny. That expectation would be incorrect. In neither case did the Court challenge the argument that diversity is a compelling interest for racial discrimination. Chief Justice Rehnquist's opinion in Grat% assumed without any comment that it is a compelling interest. And in the most insipid paragraph o f her majority opinion in Grutter, Justice O'Connor declared: The Law School's educational judgment that such diversity is essential to its educational mission is one to which we defer. The Law School's assessment that diversity will, in fact, yield educational benefits is substantiated by respondents and their amid. Our scrutiny o f the interest asserted by the Law School
is no less strict for taking into account complex educational judgments in an area that lies primarily within the expertise o f the university. Our holding today is in keeping with our tradition of giving a degree of deference to a university's academic decisions, within constitutionally prescribed limits.
This disposition partakes less o f "a degree of deference" than of total judicial abdication. The Court accepted, without any argument whatsoever, that diversity is a compelling state interest for racial preferences. The only evidence provided for this assertion was that a lot o f liberals like diversity. In a move reminiscent of the great escapes of Houdini, the Court shook off the very precedents which it cited as binding. There was no "searching judicial inquiry into the justification for [the] race-based measures." Here we have the paradox of the new affirmative action jurisprudence: strict scrutiny without the scrutiny. It was the late Justice Lewis F. Powell Jr., writing in University of California Regents v. Bakke, who popularized the diversity rationale for racial preferences. Though not a single Justice joined the part of his opinion recognizing diversity as a compelling state interest, today it mysteriously stands as precedent. Justice Powell declared without evidence that racial, ethnic, geographic, and other diversity makes a student body intellectually robust. (That declaration originally came from the Harvard catalogue, not from any scientific report.) One strains to imagine why significant numbers of blacks, Hispanics, and Native Americans are necessary for learning calculus or studying Shakespeare. Moreover, Justice Powell added that members o f different racial and ethnic groups "may bring . . . experiences, oudooks, and ideas that enrich the training of [a] student body." In other words, blacks think black, Hispanics think Hispanic, whites think white, and so forth. Our universities should be stamping out this sort of thinking, not preserving it. Many prestigious universities have admissions practices that give the lie to Justice Powell's contention that diversity, of the type that he understood, is compelling. Howard University is a renowned institution o f higher learning for blacks—"the black Harvard," as some have called it. It is obvious that the administrators of this university do not believe that bringing in significant numbers of whites and Asians—thereby making the university more diverse—would make it a better place to learn. Consider also Brandeis University, where about two-thirds o f students are Jewish. Brandeis admissions officers seem to think that diversity of background is not necessary for dynamic discourse, not even as it relates to the most transcendental issue in life—religion.
Smith and Wellesley Colleges are women's institutions with excellent academic reputations. Assuming for the sake of argument that members of different races bring different points of view to a university, it is clear that members of different genders do the same. Few topics have attracted as much popular or scholarly attention as the differences between males and females. But Smith and Wellesley have shown no concern for maximizing the diversity that Justice Powell found so compelling. Many professionals in the field of education must know something that Justice Powell did not. A further problem with the Powell opinion in Bakke is its loopy propensity for self-contradiction. Incredibly, the Justice who saved racial preferences for a generation wrote, "Preferring members of any one group for no reason other than race or ethnic origin is cUscrimination for its own sake. This the Constitution forbids." Taking a factor into account in admissions decisions means that the factor will be dominant in at least some cases. Otherwise, there would be no reason to consider it. I f race never makes the difference between acceptance and rejection, then it is not a factor. If it does make the difference, then someone has been preferred, and someone else excluded, purely because of race. The reader might object that the reason for these preferences is not race but the benefits that racial diversity provides. That position is untenable. No university can pinpoint or predict the supposed benefits that an applicant's race will have for
the university. No applicant is predicted to make the campus more diverse than would any other member of his race. The ultimate benefit is invisible to the admissions officers at the point of decision. Accordingly, universities target race by itself, treating diversity as identical to the educational benefits which that diversity is thought to provide. Thus, affirmative action is discrimination for its own sake, and the Constitution does forbid it. Devotees o f racial preferences may point to other questionable activities by the admissions boards of state universities. Clarinet players, athletes, and children of alumni can expect to have an edge over their competitors, and this certainly is dis criminatoryâ€”which means that affirmative action supposedly is a good thing, not because it has good company, but because it has bad company. The answer is fivefold. First of all, this argument implies that any white or Asian person can benefit from these additional forms of discrimination, and consequently that racial preferences merely cancel out that advantage. This is blatandy false. Second, while no white person can benefit both from these preferences and from race, a favored minority can. Third, being an athlete is a talent, as is being proficient at the clarinet This does not at all justify a preference, but it is better than a racial or legacy preference, since these do not reward a talent or positive deed. (Racial and legacy preferences definitely should be scrapped.) Fourth, affirmative action is no better with immoral company than without Finally, the
Equal Protection Clause does not prohibit all state cUscrirnination, only state dis crimination on the basis of race. The Fourteenth Amendment does not enact John Rawls's Justice as Fairness. While the Court quotes from its prior ruling in Brown v. Board of Education, the result that it reaches is more closely attuned to Plessy v Ferguson. In Plessy, the Court held that racially segregated public accommodations did not violate blacks' rights under the Equal Protection Clause if the accommodations were of equal quality. Having placed its imprimatur on a law that treated blacks differently than whites, the Supreme Court invited the Jim Crow era, which reversed previous advancements in race relations. Justice John M. Harlan dissented. He wrote, "Our Constitution is color足 blind, and neither knows nor tolerates classes among citizens. In respect of civil rights, all citizens are equal before the law." The Court disagrees, now as then. Only three Justices believe that state discrimination against whites is as unconstitutional as state cUscrirnination against blacks: Chief Justice Rehnquist, who concealed this belief to get majority support for his opinion; Justice Antonin Scalia; and Justice
pretend to serve justice. For admissions officers to prefer the daughter of a prosperous black lawyer over the more qualified son of impoverished white immigrants does nothing but promote racial inequity. Defenders of this policy have argued that it does not set up barriers against whites, but only prevents them from taking advantage of a system that is "structurally biased" in their favor. This is pure, unadulterated moonshine. Nobody gets five extra points on an exam for being white. When students sit in the same class and take the same notes and tests, prejudice cannot possibly seep its way into grading without triggering a lawsuit. As for standardized tests, there
Racial preferences today neither benefit those minorities who suffered in the past nor punish those who cracked the whip, but spread fault for the past across present and future generations of whites and Asians.
Thomas. The other six Justices' views are hypocritical. You is nothing "white" about the questions that they pose. The cannot have Brown on the one hand, which struck down SAT, for example, measures reading and math skills. Students racial discrimination by the government, and Grat% and of different races do not fare equally well, but this is no Grutter on the other, which permit it to flourish. Either the evidence of racial bias in the tests. Asians and Jews fare Constitution is colorblind or it is not. disproportionately well on these tests, and nobody believes that a predominandy white Protestant country would bias But is it good policy? the tests in their favor. And despite the general belief that socioeconomic background dictates one's academic success, Supporters of the Court's rulings may believe that these Native Americans, who have had the worst history, and who decisions are necessary to reset the balance of racial justice. still have the worst living conditions, routinely outperform Often, they add that the four decades of preferences that blacks and Hispanics. According to the College Board, Native whites and Asians bemoan today cannot compare to the Americans' average verbal SAT score in 2002 was 479, and 345 years of torment endured by the preferred minorities' their average math score 483, compared to 430 verbal and forebears. On this argument, the rights of individual litigants 427 math for blacks, 446 verbal and 457 math for Mexicancome in a distant second to the supposed moral benefit of Americans, 455 verbal and 451 math for Puerto Ricans, and playing an interracial got-you-back game. Racial preferences 458 verbal and 464 math for other Hispanics. today neither benefit those minorities who suffered in the The Center for Equal Opportunity, a research group past nor punish those who cracked the whip, but spread based in Washington, D C , analyzed 1995 admissions data fault for the past across present and future generations of from the College of Literature, Science and the Arts at the whites and Asians. As former Judge Robert H. Bork writes University of Michigan. It determined that, under the in Slouching Towards Gomorrah, these preferences stand to program that the Court struck down in Grat^ a black reason "only if we ignore individuals and think of races as applicant with a 2.9 high school GPA, a verbal SAT score undifferentiated blocs whose members live forever." Racism of 420, and a math score of 520, had an 88 percent is the only possible basis for such thinking about the races. It probability of acceptance, while a white applicant with the is racist to punish individuals not because of their deeds but same numbers had a 4 percent probability. A Hispanic because of the past deeds of others who shared nothing applicant had an 84 percent chance; an Asian applicant, a 3 with them but their skin color. A policy like this cannot percent chance. With a 3.2 GPA and double 500s on the
SAT, a black student had a 98 percent probability o f acceptance, compared to a 22 percent probability for a white student. According to 1995 admissions data provided by Michigan Law School, under the program upheld in Grutter, 83 percent o f favored minority applicants who had an undergraduate GPA ranging from 3.25 to 3.49 and an LSAT score ranging from 156 to 158 were admitted, whereas one percent of other applicants (whites, Asians, etc) with identical GPAs and LSAT scores were admitted. One hundred
Racial preferences make a mockery o f academic standards ...This is why a racial preference can be damaging to its supposed beneficiary. percent of favored minorities with a GPA ranging from 3.25 to 3.49, and an LSAT score ranging from 161 to 163, were admitted, while 5 percent of other applicants with the same GPAs and LSAT scores were accepted. Racial preferences make a mockery o f academic standards. The standards may be imperfect predictors o f students' future success, but surely this is no reason to weaken the standards onlyfor favored minority groups, as the universities have done. The prestige of a university depends in no small measure on its academic standards. Many people apply to Michigan for the s tatus that they will gain from a Michigan degree, and the status owes itself to the University's relatively high standards. Affirmative action compromises those standards. Obviously, lowered standards are easier to meet than ordinary standards, and hence, their pervasiveness casts a pall of doubt over all minority achievements. This is why a racial preference can be damaging to its supposed beneficiary. There is no reason to be equally impressed with the average black Michigan graduate and the average white Michigan graduate, since the former probably benefited from racial double standards. It is safe to assert that most people are not equally impressed with that achievement. Any minority students who truly earned their place at Michigan or elsewhere are liable to face the stigma that attaches to all "beneficiaries" of racial preferences. Those preferences are too pervasive for anyone to know who earned his acceptance and who received it as a gift. The argument that minorities face omnipresent discrimination in the United States and therefore need racial preferences is unimpressive. To justify affirmative action, in which we discriminate against more than 70 percent of our
population, supporters o f that policy must do better than claim that everything but the house cat is out to get minorities. Study after study has claimed to prove racial cUscrimination, only to be utterly discredited. For example, everyone has heard that banks reject black mortgage applicants at a higher rate than they reject whites. Few, however, have heard that banks reject whites at a higher rate than they do Asians. Or, as Alicia H. Munnel writes, in Mortgage Lending in Boston, that the studies that "proved" cUscrimination did not control for relevant variables. Major factors that broke down unevenly along racial lines, creating an artificial rejection gap, were the applicants' net worth, adequacy of collateral, debt burdens, credit histories, and the kinds of homes that they wanted to purchase (multiple-dwelling units, favored by blacks, are economically riskier than single-family homes, favored by whites). When studies like this are published, liberals assume that race was the only difference between blacks who were rejected and whites who were accepted, which is almost invariably false. A recent study of employment practices, however, found that job applicants with "black-sounding" names were less likely to be called for interviews than applicants with "whitesounding" names, even when the resumes were identical in all other respects. The applicants with white names received one response for every 10 applications they filled out, while the applicants with black names received one response per 15 applications. A problem with this study is that it counted as black names that are actually Arabic, like Rasheed. There are much more serious problems, however. First, it is unrepresentative of employers in general. The resumes went out only to businesses that posted ads in the Boston Globe and the Chicago Tribune. Second, it is not clear that affirmative action employers were less likely to treat black names and white names differently than non-affirmative action employers. Third, the study assumes that certain applicants were passed up because the people who reviewed the resumes assumed those applicants to be black, which is unwarranted. Many companies do not want to hire people simply because they have bizarre names. It is safe to assert that an applicant named Heinrich or Hoku or Gay or Melon or Cappuccino or Cha4rles (these are all real names) would not receive one response in 30 applications. Or, employers may not want to hire people who have names associated with defiant attitudes toward the general public. Most blacks do not have names like these. Those who are presented as radically different can expect to be treated as such. All of this is not to say that racial cUscrimination against minorities does not exist. On the other hand, to claim that
minorities must contend with an omnipresent racism that hovers in the air, to be breathed in and out, is preposterous. And it is only that level of racism that could justify systematic discrimination in the opposite direction. Were this country racist, it would not have an Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, a Civil Rights Office in the federal Department o f Education, a Civil Rights Division o f the federal Department o f Justice, an Office o f Federal Contract Compliance Programs, or thousands of civil rights divisions
[Affirmative action] enables the stench o f doubt to permeate any discussion o f minority academic success, or o f white or Asian failure.
alike. It aims at racial brotherhood and cross-racial understanding, yet creates grounds for racial resentment. It undermines the academic standards from which the elite universities draw their prestige. It enables the stench of doubt to permeate any discussion of minority academic success, or o f white or Asian failure. It assumes that historic disadvantages prevent minorities from participating fully in American life, an explanation that completely fails to account for Jews and Asians, who have suffered disadvantages on a grand scale, and who have done better than the majority population without preferential treatment. And it views America as thoroughly imbued with white racism, even though the University of California, when compelled by Proposition 209 to halt its affirmative action program, spent $160 million yearly on outreach programs to boost minority enrollment.
The Supreme Court's rulings have replaced the concept o f equal individual rights with the concept o f in federal, state, and municipal agencies. The United States unequal group rights. The overwhelming majority of this has all of these things, as Judge Bork points out, in addition country's population is now excluded from exercising the to "more than 100,000 government lawyers, investigators, rights that the Fourteenth Amendment conferred upon all and agents who spend hundreds o f millions o f dollars persons. As if to play a joke on the nation, Justice O'Connor enforcing the laws and regulations" against discrimination. averred, "We expect that 25 years from now, the use of Minorities and whites alike here enjoy economic, political, racial preferences will no longer be necessary to further the and social liberties virtually unknown outside this country, interest approved today." But if the use of such preferences , and these would remain intact without affirmative action. does turn out to be "necessary" to maintain a diverse student Professor Thomas Sowell (who is black) observes, in his body, the Court will likely uphold them. Professor Sowell syndicated column, "The black poverty rate was cut in half writes, "Massive scholarly studies o f countries around the before affirmative actionâ€”and has barely changed since world have failed to turn up a single country in which the then." different racial or ethnic groups are proportionally represented in occupations or institutionsâ€”except where Final thoughts governments have imposed quotas." I f some groups, like Jews and Asians, are overrepresented, then obviously other If the Constitution's principles are to have any meaning, groups will be underrepresented. Favored minorities then social experiments of dubious or negative value should constitute the latter group today, and so they will tomorrow. not be permitted to override them. No state can have a Preferences will still be necessary 25 years from now to obtain compelling interest in bad social policy. And the strong weight a "critical mass" of minorities. In other words, affirmative of evidence shows that affirmative action is very bad policy action now, affirmative action tomorrow, affirmative action indeed. It imposes injustice on individual lives. It professes forever. to value diversity, but treats all members o f each race as TBS 4
Polemics • v
^ _ ^
By Stephen Beale 1
Blaming Iraq First
his summer retired General Wesley Clark appeared on Meet the Press to discuss his candidacy and evaluate the situation in Iraq. When asked to comment on possible intelligence failures, Clark traced them back to the earliest days of the war on terrorism: "I got a call on 9 / 1 1 . I was on CNN, and I got a call at my home saying, "You got to say this is connected. This is statesponsored terrorism. This has to be connected to Saddam Hussein.' I said, 'But—I'm willing to say it but what's your evidence?' And I never got any evidence. And these were people who had—Middle East think tanks and people like this and it was a lot o f pressure to connect this and there were a lot of assumptions made." "Middle East think tanks and people like this"? Sounds suspiciously like one o f those innumerable bastions o f neoconservatism. One likely candidate is the Project for the New American Century, a nexus of neoconservative intellectuals, editorialists, and policy makers who wrote a letter to President Bush—just nine days after September 11 —urging him to make regime change in Iraq a top priority. And, like Clark's mysterious caller, the letter expresses little concern over evidence: "It may be that the Iraqi government provided assistance in some form to the recent attack on the United States. But even if
evidence does not link Iraq direcdy to the attack, any strategy aiming at the eradication o f terrorism and its sponsors must include a determined effort to remove Saddam Hussein from power in Iraq."
Clark refrained from mentioning Iraq in connection with the terrorist attacks. I f only the Bush administration had exercised the same restraint.
Unilateral Nation You know the Bush administration is in trouble when it is asking the United Nations for help. On September 23, President Bush delivered a wandering speech at the United Nations General Assembly that managed to cover everything from terrorism in Casablanca to the international sex trade and the A I D S epidemic. T h e presentation was part o f a two-day "charm offensive" designed to warm the United Nations up to the idea of sending its own international force into Iraq. t
Equally as culpable is the American Enterprise Institute. On September 18, the Institute's Michael Ledeen, Resident Scholar in the Freedom Chair, declared that the "real threat" was not al Qaeda but "Iraq, Iran, and the others." Not to be outdone, the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs issued a press release on September 13, calling for the Bush administration "to provide all necessary support to the Iraq National Congress, including direct American military support, to effect a regime change in Iraq." Fortunately, Clark refrained from mentioning Iraq in connection with the terrorist attacks. I f only the Bush administration had exercised the same restraint.
Bush remains adamant that he invaded Iraq to defend the "credibility of the United Nations." And now he is asking the United Nations to save the integrity of the United States. Yet in making this Faustian bargain, Bush is only further compromising his credibility. For this institution explicitly rejected Bush's war rationale when it refused to commit military forces to the Iraq invasion. And earlier this month, Hans Blix—the former United Nations chief weapons inspector—reiterated this position on CNN: "With this long period, I'm inclined to think that the Iraqi statement that they destroyed all the biological and chemical weapons, which they had in the summer of 1991, may well be the truth." If Bush and the United Nations cannot even agree on the reasons for the war, how can they expect to cooperate on the way to end it?
ordinary Americans. In the age of mass media, political power depends on the skills of persuasion wielded by public officials. In this regard, Arnold is an indispensable asset to California Republicans. Not only does Arnold bring experience as a seasoned actor, but the very characters he has portrayed By Stephen Beale in his movie career make Arnold something of a conservative icon in pop culture. Chief among these is his rights, gay rights, and against school Moderation in temper is always a virtue; most famous role as the hyper-macho vouchers, but he is also opposed to moderation in principle is always a vice. Terminator in the mid-1980s and early partial-birth abortions, gay marriage, tax -Thomas Paine The Rights of Man 1990s, which marked a cultural increases, and he was a firm supporter moment—a reaction to the 1960s he essence o f politics is the of Proposition 187. Indeed, on the revolt against the white male. Arnold reconciliation o f principles with issue o f immigration alone, Arnold as a celebrity-candidate has capitalized pragmatics. Ultimately, the execution of holds an unimpeachable conservative politics must operate under the position that is to the right of many sovereignty o f principles. Yet Republicans nation-wide. Consequendy, In the age of mass media, determining the relationship between the contention that Arnold lacks any political power depends on the two is more often a question of credibility as a conservative is not only the skills o f persuasion prudence than judging between black incorrect but also irresponsible. and white. I f conservative Republicans And i f Arnold's line-item issue wielded by public officials. In were guilty in the 1990s of sacrificing portfolio does not inspire Republicans this regard, Arnold is an principle on the altar of opportunity— to rally around him then the indispensable asset to by enlisting in the establishment circumstances of California as a state California Republicans. campaigns of Bush I, Dole, and Bush and as an integral part of this nation II—then true-believer conservatives are should impel them to leap to his cause. now committing the opposite mistake From the perspective o f pure politics, on this image to energize his campaign in California's runaway recall election. Arnold's candidacy represents a last for governor. Consequently, he is On O c t o b e r 7—barring any chance for Republicans to challenge the uniquely positioned to communicate further delay tactics on the part of his Democrats' dominance o f the state basic conservatism to new Republican supporters—Governor Gray Davis post-Prop 187. And California is adrift recruits and he also offers the possibility will face a three-time Terminator, a not only politically but also culturally— of actually implementing these ideas quixotic Tom McClintock, et tu as many social conservatives worry that into political office. Thus, what he lacks Bustamante—in addition to a cast o f immigration is transforming California in intellectual rigor is certainly redeemed 132 candidates that includes a porn star, into "Mexifornia." Indeed, even by the promise he shows as a great a porn publisher, and a midget actor. California's current budget blues are communicator. In characteristic Clintonian fashion— partially the product of the imbalance Clearly, Arnold's candidacy merits rank and file California Democrats both in "taxpayers and tax-consumers" that the support of principled conservatives oppose the recall and support is created by immigration. and pragmatic politicians who wish to Bustamante, whereas conservatives Moreover, movement conserv reclaim California for the Right. Only must choose between Arnold atives must recognize that although the ambition and blind idealism of an Schwarzenegger, who is an ambivalent Arnold may lack philosophical obscure state senator stand between conservative, and McClintock, who consistency and executive experience, Republicans and the governorship of boasts impeccable ideological he retains one advantage the party has a most important state. credentials. True, Arnold Schwarz lacked since Ronald Reagan—an ability enegger is for gun control, abortion to effectively communicate with TBS
Arnold for Governor
Only the Terminator Can Save California
S E M P E R FIDELIS