Letter to the Editor: Pavlov and Politics

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Almost 130 years ago Russian scientist Ivan Pavlov was studying how digestion worked in mammals.

He noticed that when he entered the room wearing a lab coat his dogs began drooling.  They thought it was dinner time.

Pavlov then started ringing a bell while feeding Fido. Fido slobbered all over the place.

Then he started faking-out Fido by withholding food while ringing the bell. Poor Fido started to drool.

With Newport Beach elections on the horizon, Pavlovian Theory is playing out in our sleepy little beach town.

Decked out in his Tommy Bahama’s lab coat, former councilman Keith Curry rings the bell with wild allegations causing his Pavlovian dogs to start to salivate.

Psychiatrist Susan Skinner slobbers all over herself on NextDoor. Lynn Swain spits-up all over social media. Candidate Clyda “Joy” Brenner becomes a Bernese Mountain Dog with a dishtowel draped her neck collecting drool. Councilman Jeff Herdman starts dribbling all over himself then calls Curry to ask for permission to stop.

It’s quite a site.

Pavlov’s classic conditioning is alive and well in Newport Beach.


Bob McCaffrey

Volunteer Chairman, Residents for Reform

Balboa Island

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