"Prejudice, which sees what it pleases," said Aubrey T. DeVera, "cannot see what is plain."
When I returned to talk radio in 1991 after a 16-year hiatus I promised myself I was going to focus the opinion side of my business on what is right or wrong rather than who. For a decade I have been able to maintain that approach with only an occasional failure. Yes, I am a flawed man.
In the routine of "us" versus "them" -- conservative v. liberal; Republican v. Democrat -- I still get surprised by some of the petty, venial, and myopic reactions to solid facts that either contradict a previously conceived opinion, or come from a source to which the audience may harbor prejudice.
I mean, come on, if Osama bin Laden (a bad guy and for-real terrorist) claims that the sun will rise in the east and two plus two is four, should the information be rejected because you don't like the messenger?
If Bill Clinton (and I confess this is a stretch but hey, it's a hypothetical) were to become a for-real repentant sinner and confess everything and proceed to redirect his formidable personal talents to support and fund a constitutional renaissance to restore the republic to the model the framers gifted us, should we applaud and embrace him or reject his reformation because of his past deeds?
I have been writing this column for WorldNetDaily.com since January 1998. Since then I have received tens of thousands of interesting e-mail on various issues referenced in this space. Usually I receive a reaction after someone reads either a column or one of the Sunday Q&A interviews.
This past Sunday's interview was with Don Pierson from the Citizens Commission on Human Rights. The focus of the piece was my observations and comments about the probable connection between school violence and (what I believe to be) the excessive use of prescription psychotropic drugs such as Ritalin.
In the wake of every tragic school shooting inevitably there is another push for more aggressive draconian gun control. Guns are the most common tools used to inflict mayhem and death so the tool must be vilified. However, what other common elements do all the school shootings have? Mental disorder and psychotropic drugs. Hell, even the manufacturers warn that among the side effects of their product is the potential for psychotic behavior. I made the connection independently, long before I ever heard of CCHR.
Just as I often note that some people don't like facts that contradict their preconceived opinions the collorary is also true. Some people like facts that confirm their preconceived opinion. I believe there is a very real connection between the epidemic use of psychotropic drugs and violence.
Before the piece ran Sunday we started getting negatives -- not for the topic, but for the messenger:
For the purpose of the interview I didn't and don't care what kind of goofy, dogmatic, heretical, or pyramid agenda the originating organization allegedly embraces.
The facts are interesting. The professional expert analysis (independent of Hollywood front men, product sales, or alleged mind control) should stand on their own. But they won't.
Some readers will discount everything and anything claimed or documented in Sunday's Q&A just because it came from a guy who works for an organization that was founded and funded by someone they don't like. As I said at the outset, however, I have always tried to focus on what is right or wrong rather than who. It is fascinating that the bigotry and prejudice for the L. Ron Hubbard club is so intense as to overshadow significant facts they submit regarding the very real dangers of psychotropic drugs.
"A prejudice is a vagrant opinion without any visible means of support," said Ambrose Bierce.
Hubbard (I don't believe any relation to the current bogeyman) once said,
"If I supply you a thought you may remember it and you may not. But if
I can make you think a thought for yourself, I have indeed added to your
stature." Then again, as Dennis Miller says, "That's just my opinion --
I may be wrong."