Jewish World Review Nov. 1, 2001 / 15 Mar-Cheshvan, 5762

Drs. Michael A.Glueck & Robert J. Cihak

The Medicine Men
JWR's Pundits
World Editorial
Cartoon Showcase

Mallard Fillmore

Michael Barone
Mona Charen
Linda Chavez
Ann Coulter
Greg Crosby
Larry Elder
Don Feder
Suzanne Fields
James Glassman
Paul Greenberg
Bob Greene
Betsy Hart
Nat Hentoff
David Horowitz
Marianne Jennings
Michael Kelly
Mort Kondracke
Ch. Krauthammer
Lawrence Kudlow
Dr. Laura
John Leo
Michelle Malkin
Jackie Mason
Chris Matthews
Michael Medved
Kathleen Parker
Wes Pruden
Sam Schulman
Amity Shlaes
Roger Simon
Tony Snow
Thomas Sowell
Cal Thomas
Jonathan S. Tobin
Ben Wattenberg
George Will
Bruce Williams
Walter Williams
Mort Zuckerman

Consumer Reports

Common sense good for our mental health -- THE last few decades of the 20th century witnessed the death of common sense.

In war, truth may or may not be the first casualty. But in this war, a sudden national restoration of common sense seems to the first sign of healing. We've finally admitted what we've known all along. Political Correctness is not only incorrect; it's a willful denial of reality.

A few simple examples.

We've been told that a family of four Swedes on an airplane was just as likely to hijack the plane as four young foreigners with Islamic backgrounds and questionable visas, so no racial profiling. Tell that to the 5,000 grieving families. Yes, racial profiling can and has been abused, but usually it reflects simple common sense. A few days after 9/11, an Islamic graduate student wrote in the "Wall Street Journal" that if the inconvenience and indignity ofprofiling him kept other Americans alive, it was a price he would gladly pay.

Decades of Looking out for Number One - either Me First or My Group First - have distracted us the equally important job of Looking Out for the Common Good. We've lobbied for selfish entitlements without corresponding responsibility. We've been bullied by race and gender-based extortionists, hate mongers, corrupt religious preachers, and those who seek to derive their moral stature (and income) from chronic condemnation of all things American.

But on 11 September, we rediscovered that what unites us is more important than what divides us, especially against enemies who see us all as potential American corpses. No quotas were assigned the rescuers at the Pentagon and WTC. No one asked who might get the blood they donated. A wonderful TV commercial puts it best: people of every color, class, dress, origin, gender, size and shape, saying one after the other, "I am an American."

There's also a new respect for the rights of the majority. As JWR columnist Bill O'Reilly reported in a recent column, an elementary school principal in a Sacramento suburb put up a sign that said "G-d Bless America." The mother of one of the 600 students objected and contacted the ACLU. The school principal stood firm and did not remove the sign. The community ostracized the bullying parent and her little girl (sadly, perhaps) no longer goes to that school. Writes O'Reilly, "... it demonstrates that the majority of Americans are in no mood for irrational nonsense."

And there's a new common sense regarding the world. Nowhere does the U.S. Constitution say that the United States of America covering two percent of the surface of the globe is responsible for the other 98 percent. Three hundred million of us need not bear the burdens of six billion others. We are by nature a generous people; our history proves it. But common sense tells us that the failures of much of the world are their own doing, no matter how fervently they or their PC minions blame us.

Since 9-11, even the highest and best paid levels of the "Punditocracy" have mustered a bit of rationality. So often, liberals are people who don't have to live with the real-world consequences of the policies they advocate and opinions they express. Amazing, once Brokaw's and Rather's offices got anthraxed, how quickly their moods changed. Now we'll see how well they've learned the simple lesson that there's evil out there . . . and how long they'll remember it.

We've also rediscovered real heroism. Some people are in the heroism business: the "first responders" and the military, who accept hardship and hazard as part of the job. Other heroes are average people who, in the hour of emergency, somehow always seem to appear. How fittingly ironic it was to watch that Hollywood telethon, all those glitz-and-glitter celebrities crying real tears over genuine heroes.

And at last, we're beginning to comprehend that in war we must close our borders to non-citizens of potentially hostile intent and stop apologizing if -- heaven forbid -- we actually inconvenience somebody. How about some common sense when, from time to time in war, we unintentionally hurt civilians? Let's never forget that underinternational law the real war criminals are those who place legitimate military targets in close proximity to civilians, and that a nation attacked has every right to take action against states that harbor the attackers.

Finally, perhaps it's not too much to hope that this rebirth of common sense extends beyond the present war, and into other areas of our national life. No, the Politically Correct and their self-righteous irrationality won't disappear just because they've been proven hazardous to our health. But once you've had the disease, and recovered, you do enjoy some residual immunity.

The rebirth of common sense is good for our state of mental health as well as our national survival.

Michael Arnold Glueck, M.D., of Newport Beach, Calif., writes on medical, legal, disability and mental health reform. Robert J. Cihak, M.D., of Aberdeen, Wash., is president of the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons. Both JWR contributors are Harvard trained diagnostic radiologists who write numerous commentaries and articles for newspapers, newsletters, magazines and journals nationally and internationally. Comment by clicking here.


10/26/01: Your right to medical privacy --- even in terror time
10/12/01: Failed immigration policy ultimately bad for nation's mental health: Enemy within leads to epidemic of jumpy nerves
09/28/01: Can legal leopards change their spots: A treat instead of a trick
09/21/01: Civil defense again a civic duty
08/30/01: Shut down this government CAFE
08/23/01: School Bells or Jail Cells?
08/15/01: Time to take coaches to the woodshed
08/10/01: Blood, Guts & Glory: The Stem of the Stem Cell controversy

© 2001, Michael A. Glueck & Robert J. Cihak