Linus Pauling was a very stubborn man. All of the attacks on his character made in 1950 -- the press accusations, the Caltech
investigation, the hate mail, and lost contracts -- only seemed to increase his political activism. Through the 1950s, he
figured, he spent fully half his time on political work. It was not because he liked it that much. He later said that he would
have greatly preferred thinking about scientific problems. But he stayed involved in peace work for several reasons. In part
it was because he refused to be pushed around. In part it was because, as he put it, "I felt that it was my duty as a citizen
of the United States of America and as a scientist to take part in politics." In part it was to keep the respect of his wife.
Finally, at a very deep level, he simply felt that it was his birthright.
America, in his view, was built on the concept of free speech, so it was his duty to speak freely about what he thought was
true. In his view, American politics could be considered a matter of statistics. "The principle upon which a true democratic
system operates is that no single man is wise enough to make the correct decisions about the very complex problems that arise,
and that the correct decisions are to be made by the process of averaging the opinions of all the citizens in the democracy,"
he told an investigatory committee. "These opinions will correspond to a probability distribution curve extending from far
on the left to far on the right. If, now, we say that all of the opinions that extend too far to the right. . . are abnormal,
and are to be excluded in taking the average, then the average that we obtain will be the wrong one. An understanding of the
laws of probability would accordingly make it evident to the citizen that the operation of the democratic system requires
that everyone have the right to express his opinion about political questions, no matter what that opinion might be." The
free expression of political opinions, no matter what they were, was more than a right or a responsibility. It was a statistical