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There are fresh revelations this week about the state of ol Tricky Dicky’s mind to be released in a new book by David L Robb entitled “The Gumshoe and the Shrink” telling us once again about the 1960 Kennedy / Nixon election.

Robb contends that Richard Nixon had been seeing a psychiatrist Dr Arnold Hutschnecker since the early fifties for a variety of mental disorders, and contends that had the public been aware of these then Nixon’s career would never has blossomed and he would never have finally made president.  Further, he contends we might never have been as happy as we were that he stood in as President during 1955 whilst he was Eisenhower’s Vice President, when Ike had heart problems.

Now, has David Robb taken a good close look at the mad as batshit selection currently on offer from the Republican party?  There is easily a further book there- nay a full three day conference!

Madness and instability in the Presidents?  Shocking certainly, but new?  Not at all far from it.

You don’t have to be mad to be President but it seems to help.  I discussed insanity in the presidential cohort back in August 2010 at “The Madness of the Presidents”.  And I offered a reason too.

I noted, just in passing, these most obvious examples:-

Abraham Lincoln was clearly depressive during the years of the Civil War, wandering the White House alone at night, fearful that he would lose his mind as utterly as his wife had. Even as a young man, contemporaries had feared he might take his life when under strain.

Franklin Piece added to his spectacular alcoholism by being both depressed and suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

Ulysses S Grant astonished those who knew him when he became President as they felt his alcoholism was so appalling he wasn’t fit to hold down any job far less that of President.  Added to this, although he was a general he was phobic and had a debilitating fear of blood.

Madison, Rutherford Hayes and Woodrow Wilson all suffered mentally as young men.

Coolidge was a hypochondriac, who also had a social phobia, doubtless contributing to his reputation as a poor dinner guest and raconteur.  Silent Cal was never destined for the charity dinner circuit.

Jefferson, who may well have been a high functioning Asperger’s sufferer, could not abide meeting people.

Theodore Roosevelt, whose enthusiasms led a British Ambassador to describe him as “an interesting mix of St Vitus and St Paul”, was manic to the point of being bi-polar.  As, indeed, was Lyndon Johnson.

Nixon’s alcohol abuse “was pretty remarkable and alarming given the authority he had”.  A paranoid who was genuinely being got at by everyone.

Now we know from my blog, that many of these Presidents were related to each other.  This includes Nixon.  27 of the 43 (43 because Grover Cleveland served twice in two non sequential administrations) are related by blood and marriage.

It is clear that researchers are not aware of these genealogical links which make these Presidents less a random selection from the politically interested, and more a sub-set of a class of oligarchical nobles.  Were people more aware would the voters be as sanguine?.  Would people see the Presidential class of politician differently if more people were aware of their genealogical and genetic links.

In a world of troubles would you choose to trust a group of the mentally challenged with the top job?

Copyright David Macadam 2012