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America's Social Health: Are We Losing 'Our Collective Minds?'

America's Social Health: Are We Losing 'Our Collective Minds?' Read Transcript

Dr. Marilyn Singleton is an Association

of American Physicians and Surgeons board member.

And in her latest column, she writes about the social health

of the nation, asking if we've lost "our collective minds."

She says, the Las Vegas mass shooting

with no apparent motive, is quote,

"an extreme representation of our sense

that our social fabric is unraveling."

She joins us via Skype to explain.

Dr. Singleton, maybe Stephen Paddock lost his mind.

But what makes you think that America

has lost our collective minds?

One of the things that I've been noticing over the years,

and part of this comes from just years

of seeing thousands of patients, whether at work in the hospital

or at an outside clinic that I ran,

that people just seemed to be more disconnected.

I'm not a psychologist.

I can't say why, only my observations

of, you look at people walking down the street, they're


They each have their own cell phone out,

busily texting others.

Why are they walking down the street

together if they're not talking with each other?

No one seems to talk to each other anymore.

You text some bizarre line of letters to someone.

And that's supposed to take the place of a conversation.

And this just seems that we need some connectedness

of one kind or another in order to keep our heads on straight

and to ground us.

And it doesn't seem like the mainstream

media is helping matters any.

And some members of the mainstream media,

and others every day, react to President Trump.

You also mention the reaction that Tim Tebow received

for taking a knee in prayer.

And then the response Colin Kaepernick received,

and other NFL players are getting,

for taking a knee in protest.

Please explain.

One of the things I think that this whole NFL taking a knee--

having lived in northern California

and knowing the 49ers and how this whole thing all began--

one, it's been changed to make it

look like it's some holy procedure for these fellas

to take a knee.

When in reality, taking a knee ends the play.

And trying to say that, no, we don't want any part of this.

We don't want any part of the flag.

We're having a protest because Colin Kaepernick

didn't get a job.

And it's the idea that's just happened over the years--

and even people who aren't very religious

notice it-- that it's OK to mock and make

fun of people who want to show their Christian faith.

But all bets are off if it's somebody else.

I remember Tim Tebow.

This all started with Tim Tebow actually, remember Tebowing?

He took a knee in prayer.

And now it's come to this.

And just that has been really bastardized,

turned into taking the football knee, where making it

look like these fellows are doing

something for a noble purpose.

And perhaps they are, but that message certainly

isn't coming across.

Well, and I think it's also a matter of the venue.

Now what about millennials and what's

happening on college campuses?

You know, the violence and hatred

that we've seen at Berkeley and other places in recent years,

why now?

One of the things that I believe

has started this is it's so common

and so many writers talk about this.

If you don't have a good argument

in a political conversation, the default method

is to call someone a name.

And I think the arguments for some of these policies,

whether it be racial or health care

or many other social issues, nobody has a good reason.

Nobody can say why 50 years of the same policy hasn't worked.

Therefore, it should be continued.

They don't have an answer when asked,

point blank, we've been doing this for 50 years,

and things have gotten worse.

When there's no answer, well, then I guess you're a racist.

And the children in school are not

being taught critical thinking.

So they don't have an answer.

Therefore, what do you do?

Just like a child, you act out, whether it be violence or name

calling or trying to get people who do have their facts,

trying to quiet them.

Because there is an old expression,

"don't confuse me with the facts."

And that's exactly how they're responding to newer ideas,

rather than absorbing them, and trying to say, OK,

how can we make our society better?

Now, some critics of President Trump would say,

well, a lot of it starts with him,

with the way he's been critical of people, some of the things

that he has said and the tweeting that he's been doing.

He's a polarizing President.

He's made unkind remarks at times about people,

even within his own party.

What responsibility does he have in this?

To a certain extent, sometimes I

wonder is he crazy like a fox.

Of course, he's been very provocative

and said things that certainly I wouldn't say.

But he has gotten people talking about it.

And as my mother always said, two wrongs don't make a right.

So just because President Trump has said some edgy things

on his Twitter doesn't mean that everybody has to take that up.

Where do you see our society heading then in all of this?

What I see happening is I think

the pendulum is swinging way too far, where people's eyes are

starting to open up.

And let's just say, I can only hope.

However, my son teaches at the community college--

two different community colleges.

And he says over the years, he has seen students

starting to ask more questions and not

accepting what they've just been fed for the last 12 years

while they've been in the government schools.

And there are some bright spots,

are there not, especially in the midst

of a crisis like the one we just saw recently in Las Vegas?

Oh, my goodness, people really step up to the plate.

And this is one thing that's always

made me so happy because we know that people really are good


People don't look at people with labels.

And when a crisis occurs, all those labels are erased.

And then once the crisis is over,

the politicians get a hold of people again.

And they label you this, you this, you this.

And therefore, you're not supposed to like each other.

You're not supposed to talk to each other.

But these crises have just brought

out the best in everybody.

And we just have to find a way to remind the people that when

you are rescuing somebody, whether in the hurricane

or during the horrible Las Vegas event,

that you didn't care what color they were.

You didn't care what political party they were.

And we have to keep that mindset going.

That's right, one America.

Dr. Marilyn Singleton, we appreciate your insights.

And thanks for taking the time to set us straight.

Well, thank you so much for having me on your show.


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