The mental state of chief executives

By Michael P. Riccards

On this site before, I have dealt with the issue of the physical fitness of the presidency. Now we have to come to grips with the more difficult issue of the mental state of chief executives.

Politics tends to attract persistent personalities, many of whom have had difficult childhoods.  But once in office they overcome those neuroses and blossom into true executives. But we are facing some real problems this year with both nominees. 

First, Joe Biden is 77 and looks weary both in life and in speeches.  He may have been once a consummate dealmaker in the old Senate, but these new people are ideologs without any space between them for compromise. Some of the things being said this last year by elected senators and representatives are frighteningly immature. 

Part of the problem is that they play to extreme constituencies from which volunteers and money come.  So they repeat their inane views about climate change and about cutting the police and about trade with the Chinese and about our traditional alliances.  

As for Trump, he promised to clear the swamp in Washington of influence peddlers. He pledged to drain the swamp of nefarious lobbyists, and instead he has the sewer running through Mar-a-Lago and Bedminister. Policy is brazenly bought and sold as ambassadors used to be and still are.

Most troubling is that Trump, like Jesus, rose again from the dead after three days, glorious and immortal claiming that God sent the virus to him in order to give him some enlightenment.  In fact, anyone who has taken drugs knows, these high-powered untested concoctions are dangerous. The FDA warns that oral dexamethasone, which he was on and may still be, may lead to psychic derangement when corticosteroids are used, ranging from euphoria, insomnia, mood swings, personality changes, severe depression and frank psychotic manifestations. This is exactly what an unstable president like Trump does not need,  He is already a basket case,

The 25th amendment, passed after the death of Kennedy, provides for a mechanism for presidential disability and removal.  But it is difficult to imagine any president, surrounded as they all are by syncopaths, would opt for that solution.  What is frightening is that these presidents have immense unchecked powers of destruction at their call. I fear for my country.

Michael P. Riccards, a former college president. is the author of 30 books, including a two-volume history of the presidency, The Ferocious Engine of Democracy, and the recently published Woodrow Wilson as Commander-in-Chief. He is providing the Jandoli Institute with commentary and analysis about the 2020 presidential campaign.

 

 

 

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