March 10, 2021
How do we choose a President, Vice President, Speaker of the House, Majority/Minority Leader, or even Supreme Court Justices in our system of Government?
Unfortunately, it seems that the top folks are nominated and selected for popularity and financial prowess. There are two major categories that we truly should be looking at instead of a winning smile (akin to kissing babies) and ability to raise campaign funds (influence). These are mental stability and mental rationality. These leaders are in extremely powerful positions, and their ability to reason sensibly and logically is paramount to the well-being of the citizenry, or should be!
There are two approaches that a responsible public should examine before signing up future leaders of our Republic.
First is the issue of mental stability. How can this be determined? According to verywellmind.com, “The Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI) is the most widely used and researched clinical assessment tool used by mental health professionals to help diagnose mental health disorders. Originally developed in the late 1930s, the test has been revised and updated several times to improve accuracy and validity. The MMPI-2 consists of 567 true-false questions and takes approximately 60 to 90 minutes to complete, while the MMPI-2-RF has 338 true-false questions, taking 35 to 50 minutes to finish.”
The true-false answers in themselves don’t provide a direction, but hundreds of thousands of tests display a tendency toward mental issues that can be read by professionals in this arena. Some categories of conclusions are hypochondria, depression, hysteria, psychopathic deviancy, paranoia, and schizophrenia, among others. There are built-in identifiers for lying or presenting a positive face.
Second is the issue of mental rationality. Recently, some have suspected and even accused certain politicians of not being coherent. According to SAGE Journals, “Dementia is a term for a clinical syndrome characterized by progressive acquired global impairments of cognitive skills and inability to function independently.” Before casting a vote for a popular and well-financed candidate, Americans have a right to have all primary contenders tested using one of two common tests that a Primary Care Physician can administer. According to Dementia Care Central, the Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA) test is usually better at finding mild cognitive impairment. The Mini-Mental State Exam (MMSE) is better at finding more serious cognitive problems. None of these tests requires more than 15 minutes to administer but should be interpreted by trained professionals in the medical or psychological field.
Certainly the voting public has every right to match the success of our leaders against these aforementioned tests.
In his book, “The Doomsday Machine: Confessions of a Nuclear War Planner,” economist Daniel Ellsberg lists the many personnel who can launch nuclear weapons. In fact, he indicates there are thousands worldwide. Commanders of nuclear submarines, in certain protocols, have the authority to launch nuclear weapons, especially if the Unity of Command structure is nonexistent. Shouldn’t these people be tested also?
The bottom line of this analysis is that we obviously select our leaders less scientifically than we should. Isn’t it time to shift to a more trustworthy standard?
James M. Hoover