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December 20, 1965

Democrat or Republican— Sailor or Landsman

Author Affiliations

Durham, NC

JAMA. 1965;194(12):1331. doi:10.1001/jama.1965.03090250065032

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To the Editor:—  I think the main observation to be made about the charming Oslerian controversy (193:223, 1965) started by the redoubtable chest surgeon, William Keith C. Morgan, (a Welshman, I am certain) is that regardless of our intellect we are entirely creatures of the brain stem or our emotions. Truly rational and sensible behavior eludes us all and I might add, thank goodness! This is what makes Democrats and Republicans, Catholics and Protestants, Conservatives and Liberals, sailors and landsmen and enables such institutions as horse racing to flourish. This makes understandable why one able scholar may draw one set of interpretations from the Dead Sea Scrolls and another equally erudite one makes diametrically opposed conclusions. We, all of us, are prone to see not the true situation as it exists, eg, Napoleon's misinterpretation of the arrival of Blücher on the field, but what we want to see. Napoleon

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