Author of Saving Democracy!, Wasted Genius and Common Genius


Q- Why do you make so many references to sports teams, coaches, and athletic accomplishments in your books which are mostly aimed at setious economic and political issues?
A- Because our best coaches and the best teams rely on a few fundamental principles that govern human behavior—principles that have been forgotten by many teachers and parents. Winning coaches have a great insight into human motivation, individual aspirations, team play, and the need for a profound respect for the dignity and success of each person. They have a lot to tell us about how to organize and empower people, communities and how to bring up kids. I believe that their wisdom trumps all the educational and political theory that our academics and politicians are constantly arguing about.

Q- You criticize most of the politically correct dogmas concerning equality, diversity, immigration, and multiculturalism. Does that make you a racist?
A- Well, disagreeing with those feel-good notions does usually attract such an accusation. But think of this–if all people, religions, and cultures are equally good, why would anyone need diversity or immigration? Honoring both equality and diversity is inconsistent and illogical. Now, in fact, it is obvious to most people that cultures and religions, as well as all individuals, are different in many ways. And scientifically, we know that where there are differences there are differences in quality. We should respect all God’s people, but if you believe all religions and people are equal you’re living in a dream world.

Q- Does you belief that people and their religions differ so much make a difference in how you feel about immigration?
A- It does. For 400 years America benefited from a flood of immigrants; they were voluntary migrants who made sacrifices to gain freedom and opportunity. Long before that similar enterprising migrants founded Phoenicia, Venice, Holland, and other free nations. Those movements, as in colonial America, created self-sorted populations of exceptional persistence and self-reliance–and they all succeeded well for centuries before the aches of maturity set in. Just as with sports teams, societies that attract capable and motivated members will succeed. But diversity? Do you want to include divisive members on your baseball team? Do you want lazy or disruptive people on your soccer team? If not, why would you want them in your community?

Q- Can you explain more about your belief that Darwin’s theory of evolution is not significant for humans? Isn’t evolution proven beyond doubt?
A- Well, humans are quite different from animals and plants. There is strong scientific evidence that human beings as we know them appeared suddenly on earth somewhere between 60 and 100 thousand years ago and have not changed appreciably since then. Those first humans had unique capabilities that separated them from all other creatures. There has been little change in our basic structure since we first appeared-evolution operates very slowly. The increases in capabilities that we have seen have been genetic-from mate selection-and has been based on who raised the most offspring. Demographic studies suggest that in England, for 800 years, from 1200 to 2000AD, the more successful people out reproduced the least successful by 2 to 1. That had to have a positive effect on the average capability of their people!

Q- But what about survival of the fittest?
A- Our ancestors had fire, clothing, and tools which made them relatively immune to the laws of the jungle. Biological changes for humans over the past few tens of thousands of years have been limited to superficial characteristics like height, skin color, and medical immunities. There has been, however, for thousands of years, a significant “selection” for individuals with practical skills because such people were able to raise more children than less capable people. But, today, with extensive social safety nets, even the least competent individuals can survive and thrive.

Q- You make the interesting observation in your books about monogamy, and the “honey-do factor?”
A- Yes, that came to me as a result of thinking about why and how humans improved their lifestyle so significantly. W. Cleon Skousen writes about the “5,000 Year Leap” which describes some 28 principles that underlay free societies. But, to me, it was monogamy and its impact on both genetic diversity and human behavior that allowed those principles to be developed, and I explain how that venerable matrimonial institution helped advance mankind so rapidly.

Q- You refer to Jared Diamond’s assertion that Yali, an uneducated boy in New Guinea, is as competent, or more competent than an American teenager?
A- Not only that, but Yali is probably smarter than all the members of our Federal Reserve System. Professor Diamond in effect supports my point that our extended school years and today’s comfy and artificial classroom environment actually hold our kids back. The great scientific and engineering advances of the Industrial Revolution were made by young people who had been apprenticed out at the age of 12-15 with limited schooling to learn a useful trade. But in today’s culture, the honors go to the high IQ soft-science Ivy League graduates–they have peopled the government, Wall Street, foundations, and think tanks, and given us the huge mortgage financial crisis that destroyed the savings of millions of thrifty Americans. Even Yali, with no formal education, would know enough not to guarantee bad loans.

Q- In Saving Democracy! you suggest that there were certain characteristics of the early Americans that may have made them more capable than others?
A- Yes, that is very possible, and it reinforces my belief in the importance of the non-IQ forms of competency that I developed in Wasted Genius. Those individuals who had the gumption to pick up stakes and take their families across the Atlantic in small wooden boats must have been endowed with an unusually high level of guts, grit, a love of freedom, and an extraordinary spirit of self-reliance. Thus our immigrants self-selected for those types of competency that are more important than IQ. They had more of the important forms of “TCQ” that I write about than those who chose not to make the voyage. They created an American citizenry that may have been more innovative and more action-oriented than other nationalities. But it was not a superiority of what we think of as IQ, but a superiority of initiative, common sense, and practical wisdom.

Q- How does that relate to today’s immigration debate, with hordes of illegals coming into the country?
A- All migrants aspire to a better life so God bless them! The problem is not with immigration, but with our welfare system. If the immigrants had to rely on themselves, their churches, and friends to support their families, as all our own immigrant-ancestors did, they would be no burden to the country. Instead, they would be a positive addition to our workforce. And if the enticement of liberal free benefits was removed, future immigrants would be coming here for opportunity, not handouts. We would screen out the opportunists and gain the well-motivated.

Q_ There is a frightening section in your book about negative evolution—that our population is getting less competent?
A- That has to do with birth rates and family structure. Our governing elites have taken those people in the country who have demonstrated the least ability to support themselves and given them money in almost direct proportion to how many children they have. Now, I believe that many members of the lower economic class are there, not because of a lower IQ, but because they have less of the other attributes of what I call total competency. And we are paying them to out-reproduce those parts of the population that have the most of those essential capabilities. When that distortion in birth rates is combined with a growing number of illegitimate births, less parental oversight, and an increasingly gang and drug related culture, we are creating more dysfunctional citizens—sort of a survival of the unfittest.

Q- So you are pessimistic about our future ?
A- It is very hard to reverse the downward spiral once it has started. A failing of democracies is that they are so tolerant and compassionate that their people resist the tough choices–especially if most of them are affluent and comfortable, and made to feel guilty about that. But, I’m an optimist by both nature and training–the reason I write is to spell out what made America succeed more than any other nation in the history of the world. The lessons of that history, if applied, could reverse current trends and save our children and grand-children from the privations of a tired and bankrupt nation.

Q- So what has been your reaction to President Obama’s message of hope and change?
A- No practical mind ever relied on “hope.” It’s a catchy abstraction that appeals to fuzzy minded people. And any “hope” that relies on changing things so that the least successful among us have an absolute right to live off the most successful is a recipe for disaster. There are lessons of history that I enumerate in these books, they establish very clear economic principles, and they are recognized as well in most child-rearing manuals—It is a profound mistake for both families and nations to reward poor behavior while punishing good behavior.

Q- You suggest that if an abstract thinking elite gain full control in Amkerica that we could see an Orwellian or Huxley nightmare in the future?
A- Yes. All top-down planned socieites are totalitarian in nature. That is why democracies do so well-they prevent theose at the top from dictating what the people must do. But if the people become sheeple, and allow the leaders to run their lives, give them hosuoing, food, aetc. they will olse their independent spirit. Eventually, the theorists at the top will seek ways to control tgheir subjects and maint