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Shoud a President Undergo Mental Health, IQ and Political Science/Civics and Basic Etiwuette Exams?

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Message Jennifer McCray
By Jennifer T. McCray, M.A.

Unlike voters (who don't need to take literacy tests at the polls), presidents should be held to a higher standard in terms of their elevated position as the leader of a world superpower.

Considering the vast duties required of the currently selected president George W. Bush, it is only fair that he and every other president after him (as he has been dubbed by many as "the worst president in history" both nationally and internationally) be administered various tests. Ironically, he strongly endorses the NCLB (No Child Left Behind) testing for all children (thus robbing them of acquiring critical thinking skills and forcing teachers to instruct according to the tests themselves) and making them automatons in the process.

Furthermore, the office of president itself has sunken to such a low that I bet former presidents such as Jefferson, Lincoln, FDR, etc. are probably rolling over in their graves in disgust. Bush has made this office such a mockery that it is difficult to fathom that men such as Lincoln, FDR, Kennedy, Carter, and Clinton (with the exception of the Monica L. incident) held the post with such dignity and respect that the entire world admired us.

Based on the knowledge above and the utter ignorance and uncouthness of Bush, I believe that hereafter all other presidential candidates undergo the same types of psychological and educational testing as the people who apply for civil service jobs (who are required to take various tests to determine their ability to perform the job) do. The instruments that would exhibit the core competencies for this position are the WAIS (Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale) - which assesses his overall IQ, the MMPI-2 (Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory) - which assesses any pathological mental illnesses such as psychopathy and/or sociopathy, in particular, high school-level political science/civics and geography exit exams.

Interestingly, some of the government agencies such as the CIA and FBI use these assessments on some of their more secretive agents. If this is so, why is it that the chief-executive-officer of the U.S. not mandated to take these tests? As you can see these requirements are not too much to ask of someone given the power of ruling the world's superpower? Already

Bush has shown his unfitness to effectively perform his duties by virtue of his stupidity, pettiness, arrogance, and mercilessness, vindictiveness. Altogether, these traits are very dangerous in a leader. They demonstrate how destructive an individual in this very valuable position is, for he is so blinded by negative traits that he is incapable of exercising rational judgment in worldly matters.

Yet another reason that I strongly believe that he should at least have the mental and
neuropsychological tests (specifically, the Halstead-Reitan) is that he appears to suffer from Wernicke-Korsakoff Syndrome.

According to the DSM-IV-TR, it is a "feature of long-term alcohol(and other substance abuse) - remember it has been stated the Bush heavily abused alcohol ( allegedly cocaine) for many decades - that impairs cognitive functioning which involve the following: language disturbance (this explains his inability to string together a coherent sentence without repeated coaching by his staff and his ineffectiveness in answering spontaneous questions from reporters who have not as been screened), his difficulty in carrying out basic motor skills ( the infamous pretzel incident in which he claimed to be choking and his frequent falls from his bike and Air Force One), deficits in planning, organization, and abstraction (everything has to be presented to him in the simplest, most concrete manner), his
extremely rigid mind set (the inability to take risks), his perseverance (his unwillingness to change from one task to the other (such as his "stay-the-course" belief in continuing the Iraq War despite facts that prove otherwise) and his confabulation (making up stories or "facts" to cover up his forgetfulness or lack of knowledge on an issue).

This argument is not be interpreted that anyone with a mental illness should be excluded from the office of president - only certain ones. For example, people with conditions such as sociopathy and pathological narcissisim are extremely destructive when they are given positions of leadership (as is what we are witnessing in this administration) and can cause needless suffering or death for many or millions of people. However, people with major depressive disorder (which Lincoln suppostedly had), bipolar disorder, and ADD/ADHD (Teddy Rossevelt) are often some of the best and most creative people in their occupations.

In addition, Bush displays his utter crassness by embarrassing our nation whenever he meets with other world leaders at events such as at the 2006 G-8 convention in which he yelled, "Yo, Tony (Blair)" or whomever with his mouth full of food. Additionally, if that weren't bad enough, he had the audacity to sneak up behind Germany's Prime Minister Angela Merkel and began massaging her shoulders, much to the disbelief of the Prime Minister herself and the other world leaders who witnessed this disgraceful behavior. In America what he did to her would constitute sexual harassment, for he shows no respect for her as a woman or as the prime minister of a major European country.

In conclusion, anyone can clearly see that, based on his poor job performance and overall disqualification for his position, George W. Bush should be the last president who can get away with being the most ignorant, inarticulate, personality-disordered, and generally worst president in American history. It as if we should all chip in and purchase a copy of Emily Post's Guide to Good Etiquette so that Condi can read it to and role-play it with him during one of his numerous vacations to Crawford, Camp David, or northern Maine. It is indeed a sad commentary when a president has such offensive manners that he makes rural or inner-city people look like world ambassadors in comparison.
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Jennifer T. McCray is a writer, workplace consultant and a mental health professional who holds a master's degree in Industrial/Organizational Psychology. In the past she has served as a university career and disability counselor for many years. (more...)
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Shoud a President Undergo Mental Health, IQ and Political Science/Civics and Basic Etiwuette Exams?

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