Ted Cruz…Rand Paul….Ben Carson…Lindsey Graham…Donald Trump? While many may look askance at the current field of Republican candidates for President & bemoan the sad state of our democracy…personally I can’t help but feel pleasantly encouraged that, for ONE of our major political parties, at least, mental illness appears to no longer be the barrier it once was for those seeking elective office. There was a time in this nation’s shameful history when any group as astonishingly detached from reality, as this current crop of candidates obviously is, would have been considered unfit for ANY job AT ALL, much less be given ACTUAL consideration for the HIGHEST OFFICE IN THE land! This represents a tectonic shift in attitudes towards the mentally ill in our nation & a potentially giant leap forward for every American who has ever been diagnosed as clinically insane. What’s remarkable is how fast this shift has happened! It seems like only a short while ago, we as Americans would have had some (if not ALL) of these Republican representatives carted off to a mental ward after hearing even five minutes of their incoherent ramblings on television! There, they might have been subjected to electroshock or psychiatric medication in an effort to “cure their delusions”. But thankfully we have come to a place where someone like Rick Santorum or Donald Trump no longer has to live in fear of being placed in a strait jacket or carted away to some “looney bin” simply because of their total inability to articulate a single rational thought. And a place where lacking the fundamental ability to distinguish between fantasy & reality appears to no longer be a DISQUALIFIER for someone seeking public office but something to be proudly TRUMPeted! (excuse the pun!)
Republican primary voters today are leading the charge toward a new openness…saying with one voice that they are tired of the old paradigms. And that they are no longer willing to dismiss someone’s ideas merely based on the fact that none of them makes any logical sense. They are saying to all the “naysayers” out there that the days of coherent rational thinking are over! Let other people choose candidates that will make decisions using intelligence & reason! It’s a new day in the US…one where intellectual consideration and enlightened thinking have NO purchase!
No longer will the mentally deranged be restricted from leadership roles in our political process. No longer will those who are “cuckoo for cocoa puffs” be banned from electoral consideration just because they may be “a couple beers short of a six pack”. It’s now a time when the unhinged among us are given, not only acceptance, but a NATIONAL platform for the expression of even their most nonsensical of notions!
Let us never return to those primitive days when those “with a screw loose” were marginalized and kept from the levers of power. Let us never forget our long shameful legacy of prejudice which often relegated the disturbed “wack-a-loons” & “total nut-jobs” in our society to the sidelines simply based on the fact that “their lights were on but there was nobody home” or because their “elevators didn’t go to the top floor”! .
To see such an astonishing array of obviously psychotic people actually being taken seriously as candidates for the most powerful position in the world…..well……I for one find myself without words. Who among us would ever imagine such a day would come? What US citizen doesn’t stare slack jawed at this remarkable spectacle….& shake his head in astonished disbelief? I feel myself welling up now as I type this post…