NEWS INDIA TIMES

Opinion 5 News India Times December 7, 2018 - NEW YORK new Pew Research Center survey on 26 foreign policy goals of the United States show conflicting partisan priorities between the Republicans and the Democrats, as well as gives great insight for popular dialogue in the run up to the 2020 Presi- dential elections. President Trump and the Republican Party will be heart- ened by the analysis of the survey which indicates that the best way to gain bipartisan appeal is to focus on security, including economic security. The twomost important fac- tors for Americans, according to the survey, is protection from terrorist attacks, and no dearth of jobs. A wide swath of the respondents, about seven-in-ten (72%), say that taking measures to protect the US from ter- rorist attacks should be a top priority for the country, while about as many (71%) say the same about protecting the jobs of American workers. The survey was conducted No- vember 7-16 among 10,640 adults, and released on Novem- ber 29th. Two-thirds (66%) say preventing the spread of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) should be a top long-range pri- ority for the United States. The survey reveals that with only a handful of excep- tions, including stopping the spread ofWMD, there are siz- able differences between Republicans and Democrats on the 26 foreign policy goals, and on several foreign policy goals, particularly the importance of maintaining US mili- tary superiority, there also are notable gaps between older and younger adults. Improving relationships with US allies ranks at the top of Democrats’ foreign policy goals (70% top priority) but is a middle-tier objective for Republicans (44%). It’s clear that Trump’s policy of ‘Make America Great Again’, touting the value of creating more jobs, at the risk of irking even close allies, has paid off; he’s got acceptance on this front. The re- sult also shows howmuch of control Trump now exerts over his core base, which has stood loyally by him, despite scathing criticism in the mainstreammedia. Again, in an indication of Trump’s growing popularity amongst his base, Republicans are 30 percentage points more likely to say that getting other countries to assume more of the costs of maintaining world order should be a top priority for US foreign policy (56% vs. 26%). Trump’s influence is clear also when it comes to trade and economic relations. Reducing the US trade deficit with other countries is viewed as a top foreign policy priority by 54% of Republicans, compared with 33% of Democrats. Andmore Republicans (51%) than Democrats (40%) say promoting US economic interests abroad should be a top foreign policy priority. A large majority of Republicans and Republican-leaning independents (70%) say that maintaining the US military advantage over all other countries should be a top priority for the US; just 34% of Democrats and Democratic leaners rate this as a top priority. Notably, maintaining US military superiority is a top priority for a majority of adults ages 50 and older (62%). But just 30% of those younger than 30 say this should be a top foreign policy priority. Democrat leaders and 2020 Presidential aspirants should take close note of the results on refugees and immi- grants.While only about four-in-ten Democrats (39%) say that aiding refugees fleeing violence should be a top foreign policy priority, far fewer Republicans (11%) say the same. Republicans are far more likely than Democrats to rate reducing both illegal immigration and legal immigration into the US as major priorities. The partisan divide on the importance of reducing illegal immigration, 48 percentage points, is wider than at any point in the past two decades (68% of Republicans vs. 20% of Democrats). It’s clear from the survey that if Democrats hope tomake a dent in vote share of some independent andmoderate Republican voters, they would have to take a leaf out of Trump’s notebook and talk of the need to secure the border andmaintain control of who and howmany immigrants enter the country. Democrats should also be wary of promoting the con- cept of bringing in a large number of skilled immigrant workers, which would translate to support to strengthen the H-1B visa program. It’s not favorably viewed by most Americans. The survey indicates that amongst the lowest priorities for American voters is attracting skilled workers fromother countries (16% top priority). Americans apparently over- whelmingly favor Trump in this aspect. Under his adminis- tration, the noose has tightened on the H-1B visa program, andmore restrictions than ever posed for visa workers. The issue of attracting workers fromoverseas ranks at the bottomof the table of long-range foreign policy goals, along with promoting democracy in other countries (17%) and finding a solution to the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians (18%). Another huge difference of opinion between the De- mocrats and the Republicans is on climate change. Parti- sans have long differed over the importance of dealing with climate change, noted Pew. But the gap is especially wide today, with 64% of Democrats and just 22% of Republicans saying that dealing with climate change should be a top for- eign policy priority for the US, said Pew. Also, partisan opinions about limiting the power and in- fluence of Iran and Russia are nearly mirror images: 52% of Democrats say reducing Russia’s power and influence should be a top priority, compared with 32% of Republi- cans. By contrast, 52% of Republicans rate limiting Iran’s power as a top goal, compared with 29% of Democrats. Re- ducing China’s power and influence is not a leading goal for either party, but more Republicans (39%) than Democrats (26%) rate this as a top priority. Sujeet Rajan is Executive Editor, Parikh Worldwide Media. Email him: sujeet@newsindiatimes.com Follow him on Twitter: @SujeetRajan1 WideningChasmInOpinionOnForeignPolicyGoals A Sujeet Rajan Executive Editor Parikh Worldwide Media R esuming a debate that has arisen occasionally in the past, some U.S. colleges have announced that they will no longer require applicants to provide standard- ized test scores, but instead will look to high school grade- point averages and subjective information. The institution I lead, Purdue University, will not be join- ing that group. A review of all the data tells us that no ad- missions criteria that ignores either the SAT or ACT exam can predict with equivalent accuracy a student's college performance, or his or her best placement level in critical freshman courses such as mathematics. Accepting a high school "A" at face value and enrolling a student in a calcu- lus course beyond his or her capabilities does the student a serious disservice by risking an avoidable failure. Still, assigning greater weight to high school grade-point averages has its merits. Inmany cases, the GPA proves to be a reliable indicator of discipline, persistence and resilience - characteristics necessary to succeed at the college level (to say nothing of adult life). In the current vernacular, these traits are often collectively called "grit." Enrollment experts agree on its significance. The problem is in knowing when a high GPA reflects it and when it doesn't. The challenge for today's college admissions officer is like the one faced by corporate recruiters: In an era of ram- pant grade inflation, which grades can you believe? Busi- nesses began learning years ago not to put much stock in diplomas from schools where the average graduate's GPA is 3.5 or higher andmay not be at all indicative of real learn- ing or readiness for the modern workplace. Last year, researchers reported that nearly half of high school seniors in 2016 - 47 percent - graduated with an "A" average. That's up from 38.9 percent in 1998. As ordinary students increasingly "earn" higher marks, teachers help top students stand out by granting them extra credit of vari- ous kinds. The result: It is now not unusual for colleges to see high school GPA averages above a "perfect" 4.0. Soon, it will be time to get real and reset the scale with its top at ei- ther 5.0 or 6.0. This GPA inflation occurred while national ACT and SAT scores were going down. It is increasingly clear that, though a strong high school GPAmay indicate "grit," it can also just be a sign of lax grading - producing not resilience but its opposite. The emotional fragility of many young people today is, by now, a well-documented phenomenon. College stu- dents' psychological problems, and genuine mental illness, are very real; every school I know of approaches the matter with utter seriousness and responsibility. Running a college necessitates ever-growing numbers of counselors and ther- apists, but keeping up can be difficult. Requests for ap- pointments start almost as soon as a new class arrives. This fall at our school, at least one freshman sought a counseling session before setting foot on campus. The trend has spawned a host of explanatory theories. Many have pointed to parental overprotectiveness as the primary cause, and, no doubt, that is a real factor. In the new book "The Coddling of the AmericanMind," co-au- thors Jonathan Haidt and Greg Lukianoff write that many young people, having too rarely handled problems or ad- versity on their own, now instinctively run, looking for an adult at the first whiff of difficulty. On campuses, one sees plenty of support for the authors' contention. Calls and emails fromworried parents - not only to the student but directly to university offices - are a daily fact of life. The phrase "helicopter parent" is no longer adequate; now you hear about "lawnmower parents." Many problems brought to our counselors are of social origin - loneliness, cyberbullying, just plain homesickness - but many others stem from academic anxiety, and small wonder. Freshmen who rarely saw a "B" during their K-12 years can be severely jolted when handed back a paper marked "C." Toomany participation trophies when grow- ing up is a lousy preparation for life at a reasonably rigorous university, let alone in the real world beyond. Of course, one easy solution for colleges is just to go with the grade-inflation flow, and obviously many institutions of higher education have chosen that route. Places deter- mined instead to stretch and challenge students, aiming to help them achieve their full potential, will have to take on the trickier task of identifying and fostering true grit, pro- viding quality counseling everywhere it's needed without worsening what is already an overly therapeutic culture. Meanwhile, let's hope the College Board comes up with a newGPA - Grit Potential Assessment. I guarantee you, our university will be the first customer. Daniels, a Post contributing columnist, is president of Purdue University and a former governor of Indiana. -S PECIAL TO T HE W ASHINGTON P OST Let'sValueGritOverGrades By Mitch Daniels

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