Why Mike Miller cares what's under the receptionist's dress

Mental atrophy, bigotry or plain old curiosity?

May 05, 2011|By Laura Vozzella

Terry Shepard, a reader from Otterbein, wrote me to share these thoughts:

"As we review the lessons of the career of William Donald Schaefer, Maryland Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller may wish to particularly note one: Don't hang on too long.

"As studies have shown, as we age, the frontal lobes of the brain atrophy. And since these help inhibit, among other things, some inner thoughts from becoming speech, their atrophy allows hidden bigotry to be revealed. (See the October, 2007, journal Current Directions in Psychological Science or the Newsweek article on it by Googling 'Why Grandpa Says Inappropriate Things').

"Mr. Schaefer tarnished his considerable legacy by his public statements of, among other things, his sexism. Now, Mr. Miller, never the most enlightened leader in the first place, is revealing his bigotry out loud. As the Sun reported in its May 1 story about the failure of the Maryland Senate to pass a bill to protect transgendered people from discrimination, 'Miller told Maryland Public Television that senators didn't want to hire "people with male sexual organs who wear a dress to serve as receptionists."'

"Of course, I could be wrong. Perhaps Mr. Miller's inner thoughts dwell less on bias than about what's under his receptionist's dress."

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