The Corner

The GOP and Animal Intelligence

For those of us, unlike Representative Paul Broun, who prefer our exotic animals alive and well, rather than dead and on display next to the table lamp in our office, this weekend’s Wall Street Journal has a terrific story about animal intelligence. As in: We’ve greatly underestimated it:

A growing body of evidence shows . . . that we have grossly underestimated both the scope and the scale of animal intelligence. Can an octopus use tools? Do chimpanzees have a sense of fairness? Can birds guess what others know? Do rats feel empathy for their friends? Just a few decades ago we would have answered “no” to all such questions. Now we’re not so sure.

We’ve also underestimated the depth of the GOP’s branding problem if we think that the image of a man spending big bucks to go to Africa and kill and eat a young lion is appealing to most voters. It’s the very cliché of a cold-hearted Republican, even if the hunter in question supports conservation efforts (perhaps to ensure there will always be exotic animals to hunt).

More intelligent GOP outreach, and better office décor: a gorgeous photo of elephants.

Most Popular

Culture

Courage: The Greatest of Virtues

EDITOR’S NOTE: The following is Jonah Goldberg’s weekly “news”letter, the G-File. Subscribe here to get the G-File delivered to your inbox on Fridays. Dear Reader (Or Listener), As the reporter assigned the job of writing the article about all of Sidney Blumenthal’s friends and supporters told his ... Read More
Immigration

My American Dream

This morning, at 8 a.m., I did something I’ve wanted to do for as long as I can remember: I became an American. I first applied for a visa in early 2011, and since then I have slowly worked my way through the system — first as a visa-holder, then as a permanent resident (green card), and, finally, as a ... Read More
U.S.

The Gun-Control Debate Could Break America

Last night, the nation witnessed what looked a lot like an extended version of the famous “two minutes hate” from George Orwell’s novel 1984. During a CNN town hall on gun control, a furious crowd of Americans jeered at two conservatives, Marco Rubio and Dana Loesch, who stood in defense of the Second ... Read More