"Could America Elect a Mentally Ill President?" on Monday's Access Utah
Alex Thompson, writing in Politico Magazine, says “Political taboos, campaign dealbreakers and electoral glass ceilings are crumbling. Members of Congress are openly gay and bisexual, there’s a black man in the White House, and a woman may be next. Voters have accepted all sorts of behavioral warts and missteps in their political candidates, too. DUIs? A mistake of their youth. Draft dodgers? There’s a long list. Womanizers? A much longer list. Illegal drugs? In just a few short elections, we’ve gone from a president who “didn’t inhale” to one who openly admits using cocaine in his youth.
Yet one large taboo remains stubbornly fixed—mental illness. Sure, it’s part of the conversation, in that pundits these days can, and do, speculate casually about whether Donald Trump has narcissistic personality disorder, Joe Biden has slid into depression, Hillary Clinton is clinically paranoid or Jeb Bush will be undone by a Freudian sibling tangle. But here’s the really sick thing: For a politician to admit to seeing a psychiatrist would likely be far more politically damaging than any of the possible symptoms of actual mental illness.”
On Monday's Access Utah, Alex Thompson will join the discussion and provide insight into a world of high expectations and powerful stigmas. In the upcoming year, could America elect a mentally ill president? And what might be the implications?
Alex Thompson is an editorial assistant at the New York Times.