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Sunday, July 26, 2009


Good comments. The good part of going to the gym (apart from more motivation to work out and not slough off) is the reminder that no man is an island... When I was younger, I would have found overhearing the jail talking an excuse to talk to the kids and they would have thought me some weirdo, but it is hard to hear people planning for/preparing for jail (tho sometimes people say such things for effect on the people around them).

But, as the last White House administration proves, a history of alcoholism doesn't seem to be a career impediment.

Certainly wasn't for Ulysses S. Grant, and probably a few others in our history. In fact, the "New Dealers" did very well running against prohibition.

Dr X: If you read the statement in context, by "impediment" I was referring to attitudes among the electorate. I assumed that many politicians, including a few presidents were alcoholics, What I didn't know was the extent to which the electorate knew as clearly as they did in 2000 that both a presidential candidate and a vice presidential candidate had a history of problems with the bottle. That election established clearly that today's electorate will vote for presidential and vice presidential candidates when it is widely known that they had a drinking problem and 2 or 3 DUIs between them. What I would like to see is a similarly clear indication that the public will elect a candidate who has been in therapy. I suspect that a history of psychotherapy is still an impediment to election.

I'm completely puzzled by another part of your comment. What does New Dealer support for ending prohibition have to do with the question of electability of politicians with alcohol problems vs those who've been in therapy? Of course, what you say is true, but how does it shed any light on the issue at hand?

I was simply agreeing that drunkenness is a pardonable offense. It was in Bush's case, as well as Grant's and probably others. The fact that the New Dealers were able to ride anti-prohibition sentiment to major majorities, only a few years after prohibition had been passed, confirms peoples acceptance of alcohol use - and to some extent abuse.

Dr X: I see. thank you for clarifying that for me Art.

What you say about therapy is probably true, but may be changing as people recognize it's value. The military now encourages therapy for combat vets who used to shun it because it was viewed as a career killer. I just saw a major CEO on Charlie Rose talking about how psychotherapy had helped him. So, who knows?

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