All errors should be reported to

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

I'll spare you the $47,434 in tuition at Brown this year

Brown University's Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs paid Twitter money to promote a link to its "Watson Institute Faculty Respond to the First Presidential Debate."

Tuition at Brown is $47,434. Reading their comments tells you all you need to know about Brown.

The highlights.

From Mark Blyth, Eastman Professor of Political Economy:
Given the polarization of this election, the negative views of both candidates held by the voters, and the intense feelings each candidate arouses among core supporters and the general public, I very much doubt that there are millions of Americans sitting around saying, “Gee, I’m totally undecided. Trump or Hillary? What am I to do?” While polls in June and July showed as many as 25 percent of voters undecided, today, according to Reuters, only 7 percent are truly undecided. Now, from that number, eliminate those masking their true preferences and adjust for likelihood to actually show up and vote, and you get very few people who really have not made up their minds yet. Given this, what is the debate going to do?
Oh, Kay. Democracy is meaningless.

From Margaret Weir, Professor of Political Science and International and Public Affairs:
This debate was about persona, not about policy. Hillary Clinton showed that a female candidate could “look presidential.” Donald Trump’s thin-skinned, emotional responses reconfirmed questions about his temperament. Trump’s boast that paying no taxes is just good business highlighted the deep gulf between thinking like a real estate mogul and thinking like a leader charged with promoting the common good.
Vote your genitalia.

From Newell M. Stultz, Professor Emeritus of Political Science:
I believe, with most of the public "talking heads" I have heard giving their own opinion over the last half hour that Donald Trump provided confirmation of most of the limitations his Democratic Party critics have being pointing to in his case for months, while Hillary Clinton's performance must have greatly reassured these same individuals.
Talking heads know everything. Vote David Byrne.

From James Green, Carlos Manuel de Céspedes Professor of Latin American History:
In spite of the political and economic crisis confronting Brazilians at the moment, I spent a lot of time in June explaining to my university colleagues in Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo, and Brasília how and why Trump managed to get the Republican nomination. “Do you really think he can become the President of the United States?” they universally asked in disbelief. Hundreds of thousands of other U.S. citizens travelling the globe have received similar incredulous queries from the curious, who are truly concerned about the November elections and the implications for their countries and their futures.
Imagine Latin Americans not liking Trump. Wonder why?

From Nick Miller, Dean’s Assistant Professor of Nuclear Security and Policy:
Donald Trump’s debate performance provides further evidence that his views on nuclear weapons are incoherent and misinformed, if not outright dangerous.
They said the same about Reagan.

From Keith Brown, Director of Postdoctoral and Undergraduate Policy Programs:
Facts Are Not His Friends
Nor hers either.

From Ross Cheit, Professor of International and Public Affairs and of Political Science:
On criminal justice, Secretary Clinton proposed some basic tenets of the burgeoning movement for criminal justice reform in America, beginning with greater attention to discriminatory police practices and to the heavy-handed effects of mandatory minimum sentencing. Donald Trump did not offer any recognition of problems in the criminal justice system. Instead, he criticized Secretary Clinton for using the word “superpredator” in the 1990s, while repeatedly invoking Richard Nixon’s 1980s rhetoric about “law and order.”
Nixon's presidency ended in 1974, but Trump is the one with the problems with facts, right?

From Michael D. Kennedy, Professor of Sociology and International and Public Affairs:
I dreaded this debate between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. She easily won, but I’m not sure democracy will. The Fantasy of Trump may be too powerful to be affected by anything we heard tonight.
There's the problem. No one fantasizes about Hillary. Not even Huma.

From Stephen Kinzer, Senior Fellow in International and Public Affairs:
Although the United States seems trapped in a “forever war” that extends across much of Central Asia, the Middle East, and North Africa, this was not a theme in the presidential debate.  Trump missed a great chance. He could have accomplished two things: clarify his own positions on national security issues, and portray his opponent as a warmonger.  He did neither.
That was the closest to a Trump supporter as Brown's super-educated Watson staff got. He hated her and him.

From Catherine Lutz, Thomas J. Watson, Jr. Family Professor of International Studies Professor of Anthropology (that's the full title):
Donald Trump had one thing that he repeated nearly two dozen times at last night’s debate, and it was the word “deal.”  America’s leaders have been making “bad deals” with foreigners, he repeatedly claimed – bad trade agreements primarily, but also bad diplomatic arrangements – and he would make great ones.  As throughout his campaign, he reminds voters that the deals he has made as a businessman have made him a billionaire (his inheritance, his bankruptcies, his abuse of litigation and sub-contractors aside) and they, he implies, are what will make the voters economically successful again. He has argued or assumed that these skills qualify him to be President over Hillary Clinton, despite his complete lack of governing experience and her wealth of it.
Yes, ask Ambassador Stevens about her experience.

Finally, from Chas Freeman, Senior Fellow in International and Public Affairs:
“Debates” of this incoherent sort just add to the already severe national angst over our democracy's ability to govern competently. Political reporting in the United States is now indistinguishable from sports coverage. It is all about how the game is played, not about its consequences for the citizenry or the world. This is no way to select a leader or to gain a mandate from the people to govern. It provides no guidance about what must be done and how, and it unnerves rather than reassures our partners abroad.
So there you have it, one jaundiced worldview that thinks Trump is the worst thing since Reagan. Their opinions run the gamut from A to B.

They are about as diverse as the Fox News All-Stars panel.

Thirty years from now, their intellectual heirs will grudgingly acknowledge that President Trump didn't blow up the world and the economy improved, only because of luck.

So I saved you wasting $47,434 to attend Brown and listen to lectures from this Echo Chamber of Horrors.


My new book, "Trump the Press," is a fun read that details how the experts missed the rise of Trump. Read the reviews in the right column.

Please purchase "Trump the Press" through Create Space.

The book also available in Kindle and as a paperback on Amazon.

Autographed copies area available. Email me at for details.


  1. Brown university faculty lining up for their rides on the tumbrils to come.

  2. I really wish that these so called educator's would get a proper education themselves. The USA is not a democratic styled government. It is a republican style. Yes people are allowed to vote, but in the end it is the electoral college that decides

  3. "Richard Nixon’s 1980s rhetoric about 'law and order.'"

    Somebody is ignorant of history. Nixon was President in the early 70s.

  4. Hillary Clinton is the person running for class president whose campaign stances win the approval of the teachers.

    Unfortunately, the teachers are not the people voting for class president.

    -Mikey NTH