Steve Sailer

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Steve Sailer
Born (1958-12-20) December 20, 1958 (age 58)
United States
Nationality American
Alma mater Rice University
Occupation Journalist, columnist, blogger
Home town Studio City, Los Angeles

Steven Ernest "Steve" Sailer (born December 20, 1958) is an American journalist, blogger, and movie critic, a Taki's Magazine and columnist, and a former correspondent for UPI. He writes about race relations, gender issues, politics, immigration, IQ, genetics, movies, and sports. As of 2014, Sailer stopped publishing his personal blog on his own website and shifted it to the Unz Review, an online publication by Ron Unz that described itself as an "alternative media selection."[1]

Sailer's writing has been described as a precursor to Trumpism, seeming "to exercise a kind of subliminal influence across much of the right in [the 2000s]. One could detect his influence even in the places where his controversial writing on race was decidedly unwelcome."[2] Tyler Cowen has described Sailer as the "most significant neo-reaction thinker today."[3] After the 2016 election, Michael Barone credited Sailer with having charted in 2001 the electoral path that Donald Trump had successfully followed.[4][5]

Personal life[edit]

Sailer grew up in Studio City, Los Angeles.[6] As a child, Sailer appeared alongside four other grade school students on the "Kids Say the Darndest Things" segment of Art Linkletter's House Party. He majored in economics, history, and management at Rice University (BA, 1980).[7] He earned an MBA from UCLA in 1982 with two concentrations: finance and marketing.[8] In 1982 he moved from Los Angeles to Chicago,[9] and from then until 1985 he managed BehaviorScan test markets for Information Resources, Inc.[10] In 1996, he was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma, and in February 1997, he was treated with Rituxan. He has been in remission since those treatments.[11] He became a full-time journalist in 2000[12] and left Chicago for California.[13]

Writing career[edit]

From 1994 to 1998, Sailer worked as a columnist for the conservative magazine National Review, in which he has since been sporadically published.[14]

In August 1999, he debated Steve Levitt at, calling into question Levitt's hypothesis, which would appear in the 2005 book Freakonomics, that legalized abortion in America reduced crime.[15]

Sailer, along with Charles Murray and John McGinnis, was described as an "evolutionary conservative" in a 1999 National Review cover story by John O'Sullivan.[16] Sailer's work frequently appears at Taki's Magazine[17] and Alternative Right,[18] while Sailer's analyses have been cited by newspapers such as The Washington Times,[19] The New York Times,[20] the San Francisco Chronicle and The Times of London.[21][22] He has been featured as a guest on The Political Cesspool.[23]

Sailer's January 2003 article "Cousin Marriage Conundrum", published in The American Conservative, argued that nation building in Iraq would likely fail because of the high degree of consanguinity among Iraqis due to the common practice of cousin marriage. This article has been republished in The Best American Science and Nature Writing 2004, and in One World, Many Cultures.

After the 2004 US election, Sailer discovered a very strong correlation between voting patterns and fertility rates. He described the fertility link in an article in The American Conservative: "Among the 50 states plus Washington, D.C., white total fertility correlates at a remarkably strong 0.86 level with Bush’s percentage of the 2004 vote. (In 2000, the correlation was 0.85.)"[24] Writing in the New York Times, pundit David Brooks referred to this article as showing the "surprising political correlations" of what he dubbed "natalism".[25] Sailer later discovered a slightly stronger correlation between marriage rates and voting, and dubbed his theory of modern American voting as "Affordable Family Formation": "a state’s voting proclivities are now dominated by the relative presence or absence of affordable family formation."[26] The correlation between home prices, marriage rates, and voting was verified by George Hawley at the University of Houston, using county-level data for the 2000 election.[27]

In 2008, Sailer published his only book, America's Half-Blood Prince, an analysis of Barack Obama based on his memoir Dreams from My Father.

Sailer is the founder of an online discussion forum called Human Biodiversity Discussion Group, whose members he has described as "top scientists and public intellectuals".[28][29][30]

Views and criticism[edit]

Sailer has generally held that nature versus nurture debates have worked out scientifically that the two sides are "about equally important: maybe fifty-fifty" such that the "glass is roughly half-full and half-empty."[31] He's thus often written on issues of race and intelligence as well as gender and intelligence issues, arguing that social groups face inborn advantages and disadvantages but that conservative socio-economic policies can improve things for all.

Sailer cites studies that say, on average, blacks and Mexicans in America have lower IQs than whites,[32][33] and that Ashkenazi Jews and Northeast Asians have higher IQs than non-Jewish whites.[34][35] He says that prosperity helped blacks close the IQ gap.[citation needed] He suggests that a problem with mass immigration of non-white Mestizo Mexicans into America is that native-born whites in the US will become a master caste to a non-white servant caste.[36] He also considers that "for at least some purposes—race actually is a highly useful and reasonable classification,"[37] such as providing a very rough rule-of-thumb for the fact that various population groups may inherit differences in body chemistry that affect how the body uses certain pharmaceutical products,[38] for "finessing" Affirmative Action when that's economically convenient,[39] and for political gerrymandering. Sailer has also argued that Hispanic immigration is "recreating the racial hierarchy of Mexico" in California:[40]

While upwardly mobile Mexican-Americans marry blonde Anglos, downwardly mobile white men wed Mexicans. Now, there is no doubt plenty to be said for getting hitched to a Mexican lady. They probably tend to make better mothers, homemakers, and cooks than the leggy blonde careerists who, however, are so much more in demand in Southern California. But sadly, there is a big social cost to Anglo-Hispanic marriages—which raises severe doubts about America's ability to assimilate Latino immigrants. As pro-immigration/pro-assimilation researcher Gregory Rodriguez admits, "Surprisingly, in most homes headed by an Anglo/Latino couple, Spanish becomes the household language."

Thus, those L.A. blue-collar whites who don't flee to Utah will tend to assimilate genetically and culturally into Latino culture.

Rodolfo Acuña, a Chicano studies professor, regards Sailer's statements on this subject as providing "a pretext and a negative justification for discriminating against US Latinos in the context of US history." Acuña claimed that listing Latinos as non-white gives Sailer and others "the opportunity to divide Latinos into races, thus weakening the group by setting up a scenario where lighter-skinned Mexicans are accepted as Latinos or Hispanics and darker-skinned Latinos are relegated to an underclass."[41] Sailer considers Hispanic a non-racial characterization,[42] identifying non-Hispanic White Americans as second-class citizens because of affirmative action, which he claims has caused and will cause more and more "anti-white pogroms".[42]

During the United States presidential election, 2004, Sailer estimated that based on the intelligence tests from military records of candidates George W. Bush and John Kerry, Bush probably had a higher IQ by about 4 IQ points.[20][43] In a report on the findings for The New York Times, journalist John Tierney called Sailer "a veteran student of presidential IQ's", and cited the judgement of Professor Linda Gottfredson, an IQ expert at the University of Delaware, that Sailer's study was a "creditable analysis".[20] Although citing Bush as having a higher IQ, Sailer has condemned Bush as "irresponsible" and "uninterested in proficiency and honesty".[44]

Sailer summed up his view on nature and nurture in October 2012 as:

If you analyze a host of real world outcomes using adoption studies, fraternal v. identical twin studies, twins-raised-apart studies, the history of early childhood intervention research, naturally occurring experiments, differences between societies, changes over history, and so forth, you tend to come up with nature and nurture as being about equally important: maybe fifty-fifty. The glass is roughly half-full and half-empty.[31]

Sailer's article on Hurricane Katrina was followed by accusations of racism from left-wing organizations Media Matters for America and the Southern Poverty Law Center.[45][46] In reference to the New Orleans slogan "let the good times roll", Sailer commented:

What you won’t hear, except from me, is that "Let the good times roll" is an especially risky message for African-Americans. The plain fact is that they tend to possess poorer native judgment than members of better-educated groups. Thus they need stricter moral guidance from society.[44]

Conservative columnist John Podhoretz responded in the National Review Online blog by calling Sailer's statement "shockingly racist and paternalistic" as well as "disgusting".[47]

Sailer describes his personal ideology as "Citizenism", which he explains as:

I believe Americans should be biased in favor of the welfare of our current fellow citizens over that of the six billion foreigners... [since] Americans grasp that we are lucky to be American citizens and they want to pass on their good fortune to their posterity undiluted.[48]

He views this as an antithesis of racism, and he argues that African-Americans, Jewish-Americans, European-Americans, and other groups can rally behind this. He has also stated that "White Nationalism is worse than a crime, it's a mistake" and argued that the ideology, if widely adopted, would actually hurt American whites rather than help them.[48]

The "Sailer Strategy"[edit]

The term "Sailer Strategy" has been used for Sailer's proposal that Republican candidates can gain political support in the American elections by appealing to working-class white workers by heterodox right-wing nationalist and economic populist positions. In order to do this, Sailer suggested that Republicans support economic protectionism, identity politics, and express opposition to immigration; among other issues. The goal of this is to increase the share of the white electorate, and decrease the minority share of the electorate, with the belief that minority votes could not be won in significant numbers. [5][49][50]

The strategy was similar to that used by Donald Trump in the 2016 election, and has been claimed to have been one of the reasons Donald Trump was able to win support from rural white voters.[5][49][50] Due to this, Sailer has been described as one of the most influential conservative thinkers of the 21st century.[5]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Steve Sailer Blog Posts". Retrieved September 27, 2014. 
  2. ^ Dougherty, Michael Brendan (14 July 2016). "How Trumpism hid in plain sight for 15 years". Retrieved 3 October 2016. 
  3. ^ Cowen, Tyler (6 June 2016). "What is neo-reaction? - Marginal REVOLUTION". Retrieved 3 October 2016. 
  4. ^ Barone, Michael (2 December 2016). "Would Another Republican Have Defeated Hillary Clinton?". National Review. Retrieved 3 December 2016. 
  5. ^ a b c d Willick, Park MacDougald, Jason (April 30, 2017). "The Man Who Invented Identity Politics for the New Right". Daily Intelligencer. Retrieved 2017-05-03. 
  6. ^ "Yeah, Yeah, Diversity Is Strength. It’s Also Secession". 
  7. ^ "The paradox of majoring in economics". 
  8. ^ "College rankings". 
  9. ^ "The Chicago Way". 
  10. ^ Popper is my homeboy: a manifesto | Economics | The American Scene
  11. ^ Steve Sailer (May 7, 2007). "Presidential candidates with cancer". Retrieved August 1, 2012. 
  12. ^ "Canada Doesn't Want Me". 
  13. ^ The Jewish Factor in Blue States – Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social Science
  14. ^ "Steve Sailer on Stephen Jay Gould on National Review Online". 2002-05-22. Retrieved 2009-06-12.  "Archived here". Archived from the original on January 18, 2012. 
  15. ^ "Does Abortion Prevent Crime?". 
  16. ^ Types of RightNational Review "Archived here". Archived from the original on February 20, 2006. 
  17. ^ Taki's Magazine, "Steve Sailer," (retrieved on May 27th, 2011).
  18. ^ Alternative Right, "Steve Sailer," (retrieved on May 27th, 2011).
  19. ^ Galupo, Scott (June 16, 2007). "You go, Guv". The Washington Times. 
  20. ^ a b c Tierney, John (October 24, 2004). "Secret Weapon for Bush?". The New York Times. The New York Times Company. 
  21. ^ Stillwell, Cinnamon (August 3, 2005). "Racism Rears Its Ugly Head in Mexico". San Francisco Chronicle. 
  22. ^ Hunt, Tristram (June 20, 2008). "Barack Obama should swap Chicago for Phoenix". The Times. 
  23. ^ "The Political Cesspool: Guest List". The Political Cesspool. Archived from the original on February 22, 2012. Retrieved Feb 1, 2012. 
  24. ^ Baby Gap: How birthrates color the electoral mapThe American Conservative
  25. ^ The New Red-Diaper BabiesNew York Times
  26. ^ Value Voters: The best indicator of whether a state will swing Red or Blue? The cost of buying a home and raising a family.The American Conservative
  27. ^ Home affordability, female marriage rates and vote choice in the 2000 US presidential election: Evidence from US counties – Party Politics
  28. ^ "Steve Sailer".  "I'm a [...] founder of the Human Biodiversity Institute, which runs the invitation-only Human Biodiversity discussion group for top scientists and public intellectuals."
  29. ^ Dreger: The Controversy Surrounding The Man Who Would Be Queen: A Case History of the Politics of Science, Identity, and Sex in the Internet Age (Arch Sex Behav (2008) 37:366–421): "Bailey indeed does belong to the HBI ‘‘private cyber-discussion group’’—the sort of online discussion group usually referred to by the less thrilling name ‘‘listserv’’—and Bailey acknowledges that some of the most active members of the HBI list could legitimately be called right-wing (Bailey, 2006a); this would include the list’s founder, Steve Sailer."
  30. ^ The Human Biodiversity email discussion group
  31. ^ a b Sailer, Steve (October 25, 2012). "A Short, Stylized Dialogue On Epigenetics". Retrieved October 27, 2012. 
  32. ^ Sailer, Steve (2006-08-15). "Steve Sailer's iSteve Blog: The black-white IQ gap—has it narrowed?". Retrieved 2009-06-12. 
  33. ^ Sailer, Steve (2005-06-07). "Steve Sailer's iSteve Blog: Aversion to "Acting White" Worse Problem for Hispanics than Blacks". Retrieved 2009-06-12. 
  34. ^ Steve Sailer's iSteve Blog: Peter Frost's explanation for high average Ashkenazi Jewish IQs
  35. ^ Steve Sailer's iSteve Blog: New York Times on IQ
  36. ^ "Pondering Patterson [II]: OK, How White Are Hispanics? By Steve Sailer". 2001-05-25. Retrieved 2009-06-12. 
  37. ^ "06/08/01 – Pondering Patterson [IV]: Why We Can’t Get Beyond Race". 2001-06-08. Retrieved 2009-06-12. 
  38. ^ "Implications of correlations between skin color and genetic ancestry for biomedical research". Nature Genetics. 36: S54–S60. doi:10.1038/ng1440. Retrieved 2011-04-13. 
  39. ^ "Who Wants To Be A Minority?". Retrieved 2011-04-13. 
  40. ^ "America's Imported Caste System". Retrieved 2011-04-13. 
  41. ^ Acuña, Rodolfo. U.S. Latino issues. Westport: Greenwood Press, 2003.
  42. ^ a b "06/28/01 – Pondering Patterson [VI]: Responding To The Reality Of Race". 2001-06-28. Retrieved 2009-06-12. 
  43. ^ "10/21/04 – This Just In—Kerry's IQ Likely Lower than Bush's!". Retrieved 2009-06-12. 
  44. ^ a b Sailer, Steve (September 3, 2005). "Racial Reality And The New Orleans Nightmare". Retrieved October 30, 2012. 
  45. ^ —S.S.M. "American Conservative reportedly to publish far-right columnist's baseless, racially charged claims about "wigger" Obama | Media Matters for America". Retrieved 2009-06-12. 
  46. ^ "Extremist Steve Sailer is Source for CNN’s ‘Black in America’ Series | Hatewatch | Southern Poverty Law Center". Retrieved 2009-06-12. 
  47. ^ [dead link], John Podhoretz, National Review group blog, September 5, "Archived here". Archived from the original on November 13, 2011. 
  48. ^ a b Sailer, Steve (October 8, 2005). "Sailer vs. Taylor, Round II – "Citizenism" vs. White Nationalism". Retrieved July 20, 2010. 
  49. ^ a b "A Tale Of Two States". The American Conservative. August 10, 2016. Retrieved 2017-05-04. 
  50. ^ a b Sabisky, Andrew (November 10, 2016). "I predicted Trump could win back in January 2015". International Business Times UK. Retrieved 2017-05-04. 

External links[edit]