The signs of mental health problems became quite noticeable after the election of Richard M. Nixon as President of the United States. If you are old enough to remember, President Nixon towards the end of his Presidency became widely identified by his trademark statement I am not a crook. His impending impeachment was historic. Watergate tainted his presidency for all time and it had a perverse effect on the American voter. The elections of future Presidents, after Nixon were like a roller coaster, each person elected was the polar opposite of the previous President. The era of the extremes, the era of the Schizophrenic voter began.
With few exceptions the voting public has gone to the polar opposite from election to election. In reaction to the lawlessness of the Nixon White House we next elected President Jimmy Carter. Carter made history during the campaign by admitting to Playboy magazine that he had in his life lusted in his heart. It was a phenomenal admission. Most President’s had not only lusted but had acted on their lust in our history. But here we were, having just gotten through a historic event the resignation of President Nixon, and instead of electing another crook we elected an extremely moral and upright person to be President. No one could have been more different from Richard Nixon than Jimmy Carter.
President Carter became the sweater President. He sought sacrifice from the American people by encouraging citizens to turn their thermostat down during the winter for the good of the country. He was a well meaning person but the American people started to doubt themselves. The economy turned south and our Commander-in-Chief, who might have been our chief moralist in chief became unpopular.
So what did the American voter do in response to their own self doubts about American greatness, we elected Ronald Reagan as President. We elected Doctor Feel Good. He smiled and told good Irish jokes and he helped us feel good about being an American. Again. you could not have found a more different person to be President than Ronald Reagan. Gone were the days of self sacrifice and in came the days of Americans being exceptional. We could not have gone in a more extreme direction than voting in a President who spoke against government. Government was seen as the problem. Reagan pictured government as being the enemy of liberty, even though he sought to be a leader to free the world of the evil empire the Soviet Union.
His successor was an exception is some ways, but George Herbert Walker the former head of the CIA, was actually elected President of the United States. Their is a bit of a contradiction when on one hand you talk the talk about Conservatism but the voter elects a former head of the CIA. Really!
After a debate with Bill Clinton, the American people got the idea that George Bush did not connect with the average American so he was replaced by William Jefferson Clinton who could sell ice to an Eskimo. Again, we elected someone who from a personal characteristic way was the opposite of President Bush. Gregarious, and charismatic he connected with the public as just a regular guy who understood their pain. He was the second coming of Doctor Feel Good. No matter how many human foibles he displayed the American people could not get enough of President Clinton and he like Reagan was elected to two terms.
The next election does not count because the American people voted to elect Al Gore, a wooden uninspiring person. He was the polar opposite of Bill Clinton. He received 500,000 more votes but the Supreme Court decided the victor.
After the glib Bill Clinton the American voters got George Bush and they did elected him to a second term. President Bush claimed to be a compassionate conservative. He was so compassionate, that he began a war in Iraq that had nothing to do with 9/11 and Hussein had no weapons of mass destruction. President Bush was the king of the good old boys, you’d want to have a beer with him but he had trouble putting sentences and words together. He gave incompetence a new meaning, going to war but cutting taxes at the same time. He conserved things so well that we went from a country reducing our debt and being the biggest creditor nation in the world to being the biggest debtor in the world. And look who holds a lot of our debt, China?
So how did the American voter respond in 2008? They really went overboard in going from a person who could not put a sentence together to electing the first African-American as President. Not only that President Obama is very erudite, with soaring speeches that inspire people. President Obama will go down in history as being one of the smartest men we have elected along with the founders, Lincoln, John Quincy Adams, Teddy Roosevelt, FDR and JFK. He has been no drama Obama, with an administration remarkably free of scandal. Those who have been chosen for cabinet posts or his own character and family have been curiously devoid of scandals. Even one of his political adversaries Newt Gingrich, a historian, admitted on Meet the Press, that President Obama will go down in history as being a consequential president and depending on who wins in 2016, he was compared by Gingrich to Woodrow Wilson and FDR. Talk about polar opposites you could not find a more stark difference than between President Obama and President Bush.
Now we come to the ultimate test and election to determine how schizophrenic we are, the election of 2016. In one corner, we have Hillary Clinton who would be the first woman President. Her choice may boil down to the voter’s choice of either trust or competence. We also have the first admitted Socialist to be a serious threat for the nomination of a major political party.
The Republicans have doubled down on trying to find a true conservative as their nominee, but meanwhile the term outsider is now associated with some of their candidates.
First in the minds of Republicans now is THE DONALD, a multi-billionaire. Trump makes our man Mitt Romney seem poor. But he claims to be just one of us.
You have a brain surgeon, Ben Carson, claiming to be qualified to be President. Some one should examine his brain.
Talk about Schizophrenia!!!!
We have the potential my fellow citizens of having the ultimate in polar opposite elections. Only time will tell who will be the nominee of each party. We await the outcome to see if our trend of polar opposites continues. The election in 2016 will tell a lot about who we are as a nation. Will we elect someone who will make the trains run on time, who seems to have controversy follow her? Will we have the first woman elected President? Or will we elect the King of the Oligarchs, Donald Trump? Can a socialist become President, not of the Rotary Club but of the United States? Will Jeb Bush make it a dynasty for America and become the 3rd Bush to be President? I am excited and how about you?