Mental Illness And The Presidency
America may not be perfect, it may not even be pluperfect, and, truth be told, its glory days as a superpower seem to be shrinking faster than telephone poles in the rear-view mirror of a Cadillac El Dorado fleeing a crime scene. However, there is one area in which we have progressed nobly, that is, making good on our constitutionally guaranteed claim of unequivocally equal opportunity for all, regardless.
It seems incredible today but, when I was just a little Funny In The Head, JFK’s Catholicism was a source of fierce debate and considered a political liability. When Barack Obama became president he made history because of his racially mixed heritage. Today, many people believe that Hillary Clinton will be our next president, which would make her the first woman to smash through the nation’s loftiest glass ceiling.
America's First Mentally Ill President
Like fish on the beach sprouting legs, our national soul is evolving in ways we may consider heartening, but is the playing field level enough to shoot marbles? I know what you’re thinking, and more to the point, I know what I'm thinking, and here it is. Who will be America's first mentally ill president?
Not surprisingly, this question was taken up by the APA (American Psychological Association), in a lengthy research project. The resultant white paper, entitled “Mental Illness and the White House: You Don't Have To Be Crazy To Work Here But It Helps”, put forth a highly controversial theory.
Chumley Throckmorton, APA press liaison, put it thusly, “Like so many explorations, our findings contradicted our expectations. We tracked the growth of mental illness acceptance over the past century and plotted it against long-range political trends in order to predict when the first certifiably crazy president would be elected.
“What we found instead was that every American president going all the way back to Washington could, under current psychiatric standards, be considered crazy. We identified what might be termed, 'Presidential Syndrome', in which a person simultaneously craves power and powerlessness, adulation and abuse, unflinching loyalty and constant betrayal, and a never-ending tsunami of insoluble problems.
“According to APA experts there is absolutely no situation in which a person craving this cacophony of contradictions could conceivably qualify as sane.
“One may easily point to the depression of Lincoln,” Throckmorton said, “who, in fairness, had reason to be depressed. The hilarious bipolar exploits of Teddy Roosevelt leap to mind, as does the morbid obesity of President Taft. Millard Fillmore had a pathological fear of accomplishment, and so on and so on. But these are distractions."
Throckmorton gazed over the top of his reading glasses and, oozing gravitas, added, “Has there ever been a mentally ill president is not the question to ask. The real question is, has there ever been a president of the United States who was not mentally ill?”
McHarg, A. (2014, January 30). Mental Illness And The Presidency, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2019, September 16 from https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/funnyinthehead/2014/01/mental-illness-and-the-presidency