News and Tribune

April 22, 2013

CUMMINS: My, how things change overnight

Local columnist

What is so important about the human brain? We know it is running generally on half, but the White House recently announced the president has unveiled a “breathtakingly ambitious initiative” to map the human brain. One would think he’d have more important things to do other than spend scarce tax money on futile projects. His ultimate goal is to understand the workings of the human mind. About 50 years ago, cognitive psychology, the science of the mind, merged with neuroscience, the science of the brain, and it only further confused everything. How to explain the stupid things people do? What does the president hope to accomplish? There is the danger that taking the brain apart might reveal that one or both main brain types — liberal or conservative — could be diseased.

Attempting to explain a political mind is asking too much from science or from God. We think that when God permitted man to have a taste of free will, he saw that it was good, but didn’t foresee man forming big governments. Then man formed even bigger governments, ones that could do everything for everybody and it was even better, but God was astonished and disappointed when these governments locked everything into huge bureaucracies. God preferred the emphasis be on one’s soul and spirit, not on paperwork and Dumpsters to put it in. 

As this political evolutionary process developed, man recognized the need for campaign contributions to finance TV attack ads. Money was good because it helped your side attack the enemies of smaller or larger government proponents, whichever you would fight to the death for. Then there were disputes over this valuable money, requiring the Supreme Court to pass judgment. Although God had already passed judgment, saying “Love one another,” the Supreme Court reversed it. They said a big corporation had a right to speak and that they could use big money to express it rather than speaking English or Spanish. It would be ridiculous for a board of directors to all speak at once anyway. Well, you know how dumb this all became, and is. What happened is that man’s brain became warped.

Women’s brains were not warped until much later. The Biblical plan worked well for centuries after Paul of Tarsus instructed women to remain silent in church, possibly implying to do the same in the house. Having babies gets old, so women began to speak each time they had the chance, which was limited because their husbands were out fighting religious wars against each other. Joan of Arc, Golda Meir and Margaret Thatcher were forerunners to speaking out, and now we have Hillary Clinton, who may become the ruler of the known free world. Men did not worry back then, thinking God would protect them no matter what they said or did. Did God change his mind just as women do? How come he now permits women to express their innermost thoughts when men feel it is sissy or seldom have down-deep ones?

During the past 20 years, we have experienced a major and cataclysmic shift in gender reversal. What it amounts to is that women are now shouting shrilly from rooftops and podiums and blogging vociferously and lucidly, “Get out of our way.” As a traditional man, who freely used what little clout I had, I find this alarming. Perhaps President Obama is on to something with his breathtaking ambitious initiative to understand the biology of the human brain, but maybe not. What if science finds the female brain geared more toward peace over war and love over hate?

Sorry, men, but as we became cocky and complacent, women passed us by. We should be extremely concerned, if not totally alarmed, as the traditional man sits by watching his influence and power seep into a sinkhole. According to Christina Sommers, a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, boys are falling behind and bringing up the rear in the academic and many other fields. Obviously, she’s sees it this way, because she is a “female” resident scholar. If she were Charley Sommers, she’d see it our way.

 In the past few years, however, significant studies and surveys reveal women are surpassing men in academic achievement and other constructive endeavors. More women are attending college, graduating and going on to attain higher degrees and better jobs in industry, government and the professions. More men, though, are degreed from baby-care institutes and junior-high food schools.

When men change their 3,405th diaper, they will re-group and reverse this trend, years after Michelle Obama’s second term.

— Contact Terry Cummins at