So, I had this whole long post written up about McCain and how I wonder if he's suffering from the early stages of dementia. I quoted from the diagnostic criteria and everything! But it was too long and too boring, so it's been scrapped (this is why I don't normally post all that often, I scrap a lot of posts).
Let's see if I can get the point across more simply.
First, watch this. It's only 13 seconds long.
Get that? Instead of saying "fellow Americans" he said "fellow prisoners."
Silly little misspeak, right? Anybody could do it.
But most people would notice it. There was no glimmer of recognition there. No correction. Not even a mangled "fellow prisonamericans" agglomeration. Still, no big deal. Everyone misspeaks from time to time.
Yes, it's humorous that he's talking about "standards of clarity and candor" while being decidedly unclear in his speech. But still, not a big deal!
Or could it be a symptom of impending dementia? Aphasia is quite common in those suffering from dementia.
Some other symptoms?
Well, you can find some here if you want.
For instance, "Personality changes occur, and the person may manifest changes that are the complete opposite from their previous personality."
Sure, McCain has reversed his stances on tax cuts, religious "agents of intolerance," and pretty much everything else he used to claim to stand for. He's gone from straight-talkin' maverick (which frankly was never really true, but let's just pretend) to bald-faced liar. And nary a day goes by that you don't hear someone say "The McCain of 2008 is a different person from the McCain of 2000."
But maybe that's all just politics, not dementia.
Here's another symptom: "Poor judgment and impulse control often go hand-in-hand."
Well, he did pick Sarah Palin. If that's not poor judgment, I don't know what is! There's also his massive gambling problem. But poor judgment and impulse control could just be part of his personality, not the result of his brain deteriorating!
"They may speak crudely, make lewd gestures and display their genitals."
Speaking crudely? Holy crap yeah he does that. But he's apparently done that for quite some time!
Thankfully I'm not aware of him showing off his genitals in public. I'm not going to search for that one though, because I'm scared of what I might find. Once again though, not necessarily dementia! He could just be a jerk! In fact, that's probably what he is!
"[T]heir speech can become stereotyped, slow, vague and filled with irrelevant details..."
Well yeah, though that applies even more to Palin than to McCain. And to some degree it applies to every politician. Not grounds for dementia, just resembles it!
"[T]here is memory loss for recent events... long-ago memories are retained and dwelled upon..."
Hmm... did you notice on the day he claimed that the "fundamentals" of the economy were strong how he started off with that claim in the morning and was saying basically the opposite by noon? Short-term memory loss? Nah, probably just lying.
As for long-ago memories, well of course he dwells on them! He hasn't done anything worthwhile in 40 years! Not dementia, just uselessness!
I'm not sure where forgetting how many homes you have falls in the short-term/long-term memory spectrum, so we'll just give him a pass on that.
"They may ... respond to situations inappropriately by crying, laughing, hostility, and immobility at inappropriate times."
I haven't seen McCain cry, though his creepy laugh certainly does pop up a lot. Also not sure about immobility. He's old, he doesn't move around that well.
But inappropriate hostility? Oh hell yes!
Still, seeing as his nickname as a young man was "McNasty" I'm inclined to think he's always had a bit of that hostility in him. Once more it's not proof of dementia, he's just an asshole!
"They may confabulate stories to make up for lost memories to conceal the degree of memory loss."
Like making up stories about sympathetic Christian captors?
But the cross story seems to have been ripped off from Solzhenitsen. Which would mean he's a plagiarist, not demented!
What does all this mean, taken together?
It doesn't mean that McCain suffers from dementia (even though I still suspect he's in the early stages). It simply means that his personality traits and the way he acts are already pretty in tune with people who do suffer from dementia. And that he's an impulsive, nasty, confused, unpredictable, lying asshole.
That's much better, isn't it?
At least he's not waving his genitals around yet.