Honest Question: Should people with documented dementia be allowed to vote in this country?
|Would you trust this character to pick the next leader of the free world?|
This won't be long for two reasons: firstly I no longer have the capacity to author long detailed articles and secondly, its a pretty basic question that is both simple to ask or explain yet almost impossible to answer.
In full transparency, I have Lewy Body Dementia and already know my mental faculties have been impacted.
So my first/main question is this: should only sane voters be allowed to vote in say presidential elections? This may sound horrible and set off alarms everywhere but it is a question from the heart and I feel I have skin in this particular game. Even so, I seriously question my qualifications to vote. I will leave the whole Pro half of this for now as it has been beaten to death in other media forums. On the Con side though, I know the following is true:
1. You can have the worst dementia or insanity and hold it together long enough to get through the voting process.
2. In my mind, when you vote for a person for a particular office or job, you are stating to the best of your knowledge this person is the best person for the job or position. Problem is when you cannot think clearly, you can't perform this kind of internal examination. In short, you may THINK you know whats going on but truth being what it is, the odds are astronomically high that you are basing your choices of bad or badly-remembered information. IOW, a vote was made for what was probably the WORST person for the job. No partisan follies or intentional malice, just calling it for what it is.
3. There are currently something like 17 million cases of Alzheimer's disease, something that targets the cognitive side of things almost exclusively. No law prevents the craziest person in America from voting for Captain Kangaroo. Yet even *I* see the potential danger here, and I don't have the delusions yet either.
Therefore when going to legally vote I have conflicted feelings, on one hand I know that for an accident of the damage caused by the protein deposits in my mind, I could easily be voting based on lies and delusions. On the other hand, I feel like I understand the issues enough to vote on them.
Yet I know that is an unusual set of circumstances according to accepted knowledge of LBD; for most folks with related versions of dementia the fog is more pervasive throughout the day. Most of us really have no business altering the course of history in this country.
I honestly feel that way and if I am an outlier so be it but it shocked the missus when I told her; she was adamant that I be able to vote no matter what.
There is also the slippery slope side of this conversation: if people with dementia should not vote, where do go with people who have no exact dementia diagnosis but are just plain too stupid and uninformed to make a rational choice......this would immediately keep folks like Marjorie Taylor Greene or whatever her name is now from holding public office. However this bit of fantasy shall remain so if for no other reason than such a thing would be a nightmare to administer.