In 1972 Thomas Eagleton was chosen to run as the democratic vice-presidential nominee under George McGovern in the race against Richard Nixon. But it soon emerged that Eagleton suffered from depression and had received shock treatment for it. A scandal erupted, and Eagleton stepped down, forming a cloud that still hovers over politics today.
Psychiatrist Nassir Ghaemi thinks the public is mistaken in wanting leaders who appear sane and mentally healthy. In A First-Rate Madness, he proposes that Eagleton may have actually been the best candidate to deal with a national crisis because of, not in spite of, his depression.
The crux of Ghaemi’s argument is that people who are depressed exhibit what psychologists have dubbed “depressive realism.”
I never cease to be amazed at the intellectual dishonestly of psycologists. It is sheer hutzpah and absurdity to claim to diagnosis a person who you have never meet. Secondly, the whole point of mental illness is that you have a lack of ability to discern reality in one or more areas of life. To know that a person lacks reality testing and at the same time claim that person is more insightful than people who have no demonstrated lack of reality testing is sheer insanity. But given that all of psychology is based on the delusion Freud dreamed up in his frequent cocaine high states, that there is a unconscious (ego, id and superego), which has never once rationally been proven to exist, that controls all of our conscious actions, I shouldn’t be surprised at this latest theory of theirs.
Next thing you know, they’ll be writing that schizophrenics make good national security advisors, or better yet, ought to be the people who fingers are on the nuclear bomb explosive devices.
Thanks for the comment! Actually, though, the book doesn’t have anything to do with Freud. You should give it a read before dismissing it. It’s quite compelling.