Friday, August 12, 2016

Should Presidential candidates be psychologically tested?

Donald Trump mocking handicapped
Maybe it goes without saying that Americans would prefer their President to be psychologically healthy.  But how do we know if our nominees are sane for sure?

One could postulate that anyone running for President is by definition psychologically healthy.  After all, being in front of the public exposes all of your abilities and frailties. It should be easy to spot someone who lives in a fantasy world or by their actions has other psychological problems deserving of a trip to the insane asylum.  How could a psychologically unfit candidate ever get by that scrutiny?

Perhaps there is a type of person who can pass that scrutiny even though they are not truly psychologically healthy.  If there is one such type of person in this election year, my guess is that is Donald Trump.  Now, I am not a psychologist or mental health worker, so my observations are based on my own bias on what I think normal is.

But it is also based on the findings of a group of seventy Republicans who have petitioned the RNC to discontinue funding for their Presidential nominee.  The members of this group have worked with Republicans throughout previous administrations and they enumerate a number of observations they have made about the statements of the candidate that seem to give credence to the questionable state of his psychological health.

Their letter includes the observations below:

  • Attacking Gold Star families of soldiers who died serving their country. 
  • Urging a hostile country to intervene in a U.S. election.
  • Suggesting that gun owners take action against his opponent if she is elected.
  • Repudiating our NATO treaty obligations to protect our allies.
  • Reportedly expressing interest in the preemptive use of nuclear weapons.
  • Exposing his total ignorance of basic foreign policy matters.
  • Stating his admiration for violent foreign autocrats.
  • Refusing to release any of his past income taxes including those not under audit.
  • Deliberately and repeatedly lying about scores of issues, large and small
  • His campaign is built on anger and exclusion where he has mocked and offended millions of voters including the disabled, women, Muslims, immigrants and minorities.
  • He has shown dangerous authoritative tendencies including threats to ban an entire religion from the country, ordering the military to break the law by torturing prisoners, killing families of suspected terrorists, tracking law abiding Muslim citizens in a database, and using executive orders to commit other illegal and unconstitutional acts.
  • Waging battle with other Republicans with his own super PAC and openly refusing to support Republican candidates.
It is also based on the opinion of 50 former Republican administration security experts that say Donald Trump is a clear and present danger to the safety and security of Americans.

If you believe that Donald Trump would be a good President, ask yourself why you are supporting him.  Could it be that he appeals to the skeletons in your own closet?  Perhaps he appeals to your secretly hidden worst nature.  Many of his supporters say he is just like one of them.  Does this mean that you are OK with the above list?  If not, then perhaps you are supporting the wrong candidate.

But I digress.  Perhaps it is time for Congress to enact legislation that requires all Presidential candidates to pass a psychological test before we allow them to run for office.  It appears that in this election, if we leave it up to the people to decide, it is quite possible that a person who should be in a mental hospital could wind up being President.

Then again, maybe we should just not vote for Republicans for any office.

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