The U.S. House voted Wednesday to remove the word “lunatic” from the Federal Code. It was a move that was a long time coming, one that’s been pushed and supported by the American Psychiatric Association, the American Counseling Association, and the National Association of School Psychologists. In sum: it’s not a great thing to call someone.
“The term ‘lunatic’ derives from the Latin word for moon,” said Texas Republican and Judiciary Committee Chairman Lamar Smith, on the House floor Wednesday. “Before the modern era, it was used to describe a person who suffers from mental disease because of the belief that lunar cycles have an impact on brain function. But as science and medicine have progressed, society has come to understand mental illness with more clarity.”
There was one, completely reasonable dissenting opinion, from Tyler Representative and Tea Party firebrand Louie Gohmert.
“Not only should we not eliminate the word ‘lunatic’ from federal law when the most pressing issue of the day is saving our country from bankruptcy, we should use the word to describe the people who want to continue with business as usual in Washington,” Gohmert said in an e-mail to Bloomberg.Â Gohmert is also the person who claimed Hamas was sending women to the United States to have “terror babies” who could then come back to the United States and blow up buildings and humans.
I just wish there was a word for someone with that kind of irrational thinking.