Friday, December 07, 2007

The politics of mental health

Rather unsurprising details are coming out about the Omaha mall shooter--a broken home, foster care, threats, anti-depressants, etc. Certainly those aren't always prerequisites for mass murder but they do tend to be an accumulation of hostility for some folks. Just guessing here, but thinking the trigger to mass murder might include deeper issues related to self-image based on the profiles.

Anyhow, when taken in combination with the New Hampshire nut who recently said he'd take a bullet for better mental health care after taking hostages at the Hillwoman's headquarters, it might be too tempting for some Dem candidates to ignore in support of their universal health care proposals. In other words, if only the government were there to solve this problem. Or in the words of one of them, "it takes a village".

Problem with that is it's not a problem the government can ever solve. Putting somebody in a state-funded institution or giving them free doses of Prozac can't change a heart or make someone more attractive to the opposite sex, or more confident at parties, or more popular at the club. We're all stuck with what we've got and the daily battle between good and evil resides internally, not externally.

The takeaway question is, which conservative candidate is best equipped to make the distinction should the issue become political? Huckabee might seem the obvious choice but Thompson is also well-positioned to make the case non-religiously, more so than Rudy and perhaps even Mitt.

No comments: