Are Dissenting Views a Sign of “Craziness”?
At Hamline University, a college student who expressed conservative views on gun control and affirmative action was recently suspended and ordered to undergo a “mental health evaluation.”
Psychologists sometimes abuse their position by labeling people who disagree with their liberal views as crazy. Many psychoanalysts and psychiatrists argued that former President Ronald Reagan and 1964 Republican presidential nominee Senator Barry Goldwater were mentally ill. (Goldwater, a happy and well-adjusted man who was well-liked even by his Democratic colleagues in the Senate, sued and won a substantial settlement after he was accused of ailments such as being a paranoid schizophrenic).
The American Psychological Association (APA) equates political litmus tests with psychological health. Aside from the ACLU, the APA is perhaps the most frequent filer of amicus briefs in the Supreme Court advocating radical left-wing outcomes, claiming that they are required for public health. It filed briefs in favor of racial quotas in cases like Gratz v. Bollinger (2003), which struck down the University of Michigan’s undergraduate affirmative action policy, and Comfort v. Lynn School Committee.
It has also repeatedly urged restrictions on politically incorrect speech and freedom of association in cases like Boy Scouts of America v. Dale (2000), which rejected the APA’s argument that the State of New Jersey should be able to dictate whom the Boy Scouts select as their members and leaders. And it argued against a state law that merely required that women be given relevant information about the risks of abortion procedures, which the Supreme Court upheld in Planned Parenthood v. Casey (1992).
Based on the APA’s rigid political litmus tests, any moderate, conservative, or libertarian policy maker must be deemed a threat to public health.