Do corruption, big-money influence and cronyism in politics have you feeling down? Never fear. Check out this gem of an AP article from the Sept. 5, 1971, edition of the Daily Camera for one psychologist's inventive solution.
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Apparently, the then-president of the American Psychological Association, Kenneth B. Clarke, recommended the development of a drug that would curb a politician's natural impulses towards corruption.
"The president of the American Psychological Association suggested Saturday development of a drug to be administered to successful politicians to prevent abuse of power in public office," reads the article.
"Clark, the first Negro [sic] president of the APA, said politicians should be the first to receive such a drug because they hold 'life and death powers over mankind' in this nuclear age.
"Saying the alternative to his over-all [sic] proposal may be ultimate destruction of the human species, the New York psychologist said initial use of mind-controlling drugs on politicians should cover a range from "the man aspiring to be a city councilman in Ward 8 right up to the incumbent or aspiring president of the United States.
"He urged also international agreement to assure that similar practices were inaugurated in all countries — like present efforts toward disarmement — because control over man's baser instincts would be 'disarmament in its most realistic sense.'"
Sounds like a great idea, right? Perhaps Clarke, were he active in the present day, would suggest a similar drug be developed for bankers and violent pro-life activists?
Maybe willingness to drug yourself for the common good should be a requirement for public service. Such a humbling admission of one's faults would be good for the country.
I kid, of course. The good doctor, I'm not so sure. Clark, not wanting to come off like an advocate of mind control, world domination or any other form of mad-scientistism, was careful to hedge his words.
"He stressed that before any such envisioned drugs were put to practical use, they should be pre-tested in humans to assure that while controlling baser instincts they did not also turn people into robots lacking 'the creative evaluative and selective capacities of human beings'"
I'm pretty sure something like The Onion could reprint this article word-for-word and pass it off as original. I'm shocked something like this got printed. It must be a joke, right? If anyone knows anything about this, let us know.