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tele: Liberalism - a mental disease.

I suppose it is a lot of fun telling half your audience that they have a mental disease, but it does very little good for your reputation.

Mathematics -- my profession -- is well-known for the high prevalence of mental disease within its ranks, all the way up to the most brilliant practitioners. This brings us no pleasure, and for many of us there is only lifelong pain and vast periods of time in which even the simplest and most routine affairs of life are enormously difficult.

It's hard to see the label of mental illness used as a club to shame or humiliate others. I thought only high-school bullies did things like that.

I look at my friends and companions in mathematics, and I see people who produce amazing results despite episodes of psychosis, depression, mania, and crippling dysphoria. Our families are our refuge and rescue, without whom we could not continue. We lead fragile lives.

Despite steady progress in psychiatry over the decades, many people with mental illness are utterly unaware of their affliction. We, as mathematicians, are all too painfully aware that we are affected. Are you so safe in your assumption of personal sanity that you feel justified in diagnosing wholesale mental illness among the entire class of your political opponents? Not to put too fine a point on it, if you were fully sane and sober would you ever say such things?

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