Thursday, June 02, 2016

Are you insane enough to be President of the United States?

No matter what happens, the next President of the United
States will be nuts. The question is, how nuts?
Let’s face it, you’ve got to be nuts to want to be President. 

You’ll spend a year in a grueling, voice-killing, health-wrecking political campaign. 

You’ll be lied about and vilified by the opposite side as the devil incarnate, while you throw similar charges at them.

I admit, it's possible that you may undergo all this, and a gauntlet of press scrutiny, and of violently negative commentary, a bit more serenely than most of the Republican candidates for nomination have this year. You may not have to fight a self-evident urge to whip out a ruler, zip down your fly, and measure your penis on television. But you’ll undergo an unbearable ordeal all the same.

Then, if you win the election, you’ll spend four years away from home, sleeping in a public building . That’s almost exactly what homeless people do on freezing nights in New York.

Furthermore, regardless of where you stand on anything, the Other Side will be out to fling mud and manure at you. They will try to wreck your reputation and destroy you by any means possible, some of those means extra-legal.

Your life will be in danger. There will be all kinds of enraged people out to kill you, from stray drunks, and unemployed and politically disaffected malcontents, to Al Queda and ISIS. You, and your family, will need to be guarded day and night by phalanxes of Secret Service agents, some of them so unreliable that when they should be guarding you, their minds are likely to be on booze and hookers.

Little wonder the hair of most American presidents  to date has turned white while they were in office, if it wasn’t already white by the time they got there.

Nixon and John F. Kennedy clandestinely filled their medicine cabinets with psychotropic drugs, recently uncovered documents reveal. In fact, Kennedy aide and historian Arthur Schlesinger Jr. suggested in his journals that several modern presidents were mentally unbalanced; he recorded top aides arguing whether President Lyndon Johnson was clinically paranoid or a manic-depressive, and fretted that there was no constitutional “procedure for dealing with nuts.”
As I said, you’ve got to be nuts. It seems to be a prerequisite of the job.

Donald Trump is so nuts that he has received mental status diagnoses that range from "classic narcissistic personality disorder” to full blown “psychotic.”

Not that Hillary isn’t nuts, too. What’s with her obsessive-compulsive need, as demonstrated by the whole e-mail server brouhaha,  to shoot herself in the foot? And then what's with her other obsessive-compulsive need to tough it out and pretend her toe isn't bleeding, instead of fessing up and putting the whole matter to rest by admitting she made a dumb mistake and apologizing? 

Bernie Sanders? He thinks he can start a revolution of the human spirit. He thinks he can inspire civil behavior, human kindness, and social consciences, by sheer force of will, from coast to coast, right here in the United States of America. Right. And I am the King of England and Slobovia.

Jill Stein of the Green Party? If she gets so much as a significant fraction of one percent of the vote, and the Democratic candidate loses by a similar fraction, she’ll forever after be vilified with the same kind of opprobrium that Ralph Nader suffered when Gore lost to Bush. And yet she insists on running.

So what are we Americans to do?

Here's what. This nation needs to design a presidential insanity scale. It should measure a variety of psychological factors and first of all avoid vetting  for nomination any candidate who is not nuts. That's because any sane person won’t want to run. (Case in point, Elizabeth Warren.) 

Nor should anybody who is one of  the wildly, totally, unstoppably  out of control whackos be permitted to run, because that person might, during his first 72 hours in office, sink the United States economy, loot the U.S. Treasury, set off a nuclear bomb, unleash a nuclear war, and get us all incinerated. (I’m lookin’ at you, Donald Trump.)

No, what we need is somebody who is certifiably half nuts. Crazy enough to run. But not crazy enough to do  more than a generation or two of lasting harm. And we need a diagnostic scale to measure that person by.

Psychiatrists, do your stuff!


Anonymous said...

Ummm. Gore lost to Bush. He was WJC's VP...

and he invented the Internets don'tchaknow...

Pedantic Bastard signing off.

- Z

The New York Crank said...

Good catch Anon. Thank you for calling it to my attention. I'm not sure where my mind wandered to when I wrote that, but at any rate, it's fixed.

Iron City said...

Crank, you have put into words something I have thought for awhile. We have a hosed up system where if you take the job of chief executive/commander in chief and identify the "skills, knowledge, and abilities" (KSAs as they are called in federal civil service speak) and then identify the KSAs and personality type that wants to run for the job it is amazing that there could be anyone with even most of both sets of "KSAs". So essentially every time around we are rolling the dice. It is amazing we have done as well as we have so far. But each election is an independent trial and we have a probability of electing a bozo who will really mess up the country. Come to think of it that last comment is grossly unfair to clowns.