Are Gun Owners Cowards?

Many Americans are under the impression that gun owners are overcome by fear. This idea is everywhere, in news articles and editorials, scientific research, social media, blockbuster films, and other forms of popular culture.

From the Classroom: Engaging Statistics Students Who (Think They) Hate Math

Frankly speaking, most students don’t want to take math classes. I’m sure most of my students can recall vowing to never take another math class again after their Algebra 2 finals in high school. Imagine their disappointment when they learned that my Social Statistics course was a requirement needed to earn their undergraduate sociology degree….

3 ways China benefits from the Hong Kong protests

This piece first appeared on The Conversation. The summer of 2019 has seen week after week of protest in Hong Kong. The protests began June 9 when as many as a million people marched against a bill that could allow suspects to be extradited to China. Hong Kong’s chief executive, Carrie Lam, who was appointed by Chinese Premier…

The Facebook Settlement: Is This Justice?

This piece first appeared on the Independent Institute blog. The Federal Trade Commission has agreed to a $5 billion settlement with Facebook as a penalty for the social media giant’s unauthorized sharing of user data with consulting form Cambridge Analytica in 2017. Presumably, the settlement is warranted because of the harm done to users when Facebook shared…

Yesterday, the Beatles, and the Value of Earned Success

This piece first appeared on The Beacon The movie Yesterday is a tribute to the enduring legacy of popular music and its ability to bring joy to the human heart. Indeed, the movie succeeds as entertaining summer diversion. But it succeeds on another level as well by exploring the meaning and the dignity of work.  The movie…

Why are There so Many Candidates for President?

While the number of candidates running for president in 2020 may be unprecedented, a crowded debate stage is unlikely to be a strange sight in the future. The divisions within parties and the availability of money and media coverage outside of the traditional party network mean that potential candidates will continue to see – and take – opportunities where previously they did not.

Misogyny, Politics, and Reddit: How “The Red Pill” Forum Helped Trump Win

In closing, it is important to consider how forums such as this are key in organizing support for extremist candidates across geographic boundaries. We are not suggesting that The Red Pill forum was the group that fully paved the way for Trump’s victory. Rather, we seek to illustrate generic processes of digital recruitment and radicalization in the digital age. In an age of networked politics and increasingly interconnected social movements, enclaves of Alt-Right extremism such as this will serve as rallying points for future candidates, and feminists must be ready to oppose such extremism with great force.

Trump’s Tweets: What Do They Mean for Civil Conversations?

Arguably, Trump will go down in history for his catch phrases and unconventional political use of Twitter. It is not clear, however, whether historians will be kind to him – or us – when they look back at our political discourse. The good news is that we can control how we engage in tough conversations, and that through this process of engagement we will learn more about ourselves.

Time to Call it a Wrap for Florida Film Incentives

The research surrounding Florida film incentives is incomplete and full of plot holes. To justify spending taxpayer dollars on investing in an industry, more conclusive research is needed about the benefits — if any — from these industry subsidies. Until then, Florida should call it a wrap for film incentives.

Presidential Power and Public Appeals

We set out to fill an important lacunae in the research on comparative presidentialism, to systematically consider how presidents’ direct public appeals serve as one resource among many that presidents may use to advance their policy agendas.