Aug, 17, 2010 By Jack Jodell (in association with BURR DEMING of FAIR AND UNBALANCED.COM – see my Blohroll at bottom right hand column).
Happy start of the new week! This Monday, our podcaster extraordinaire, the incomparable Burr Deming, gives us a little lesson dating back to 1964 on how and why it is unfair and unwise for political pundits to cast judgment on the mental health of public figures, as one publication had done back then to Barry Goldwater. He calls out the ignorantly condescending Ben Stein for having done that recently on Fox “News” – this time to President Obama.
As Burr tells it, in 1964, “…Psychiatric professionals had no business making a clinical judgment about a national figure with whom they had never had any personal contact. Those few who answered were clearly making a political statement in the guise of a diagnosis….[Today], Psychiatric specialists wisely keep from speculating on the hardliners in Iran and in the United States. Obsession and paranoia seem to occupy the ragged edge of modern conservative mentality. Whatever clinical terms might apply, were a personal examination ever [to] occur, the detachment from reality seems apparent to the non-professional layperson.
The outrage from liberals in 1964 was vocal and lasting. You do not diagnose mental illness in a public figure from a distance.
The outrage from conservatives in 2015? It is the sound of one hand clapping. It is the silent tree falling in the forest, heard by no-one.”