MADELEINE BRAND, host:
This is Day to Day. I'm Madeleine Brand. In a moment, mourning Tom Brady's knee, we'll talk a little football.
ALEX CHADWICK, host:
First, the political funny bone. I'm Alex Chadwick. Fifty-seven days remaining until the general election. Just in time, contributing writer Brian Unger offers help for all you voters out there.
BRIAN UNGER: Are you having trouble deciding who's best experienced for public office? Hello, I'm Brian Unger of the Unger Report. I'm confident that I speak for millions of Americans who, as I do, suffer from a painful, embarrassing condition that, for a week, has gone ignored by mental health professionals. I'm talking about political dementia, PD...
(Soundbite of music)
UNGER: When you can't tell the difference between the experienced and inexperienced, good experience from bad experience, and worthless experience from valuable inexperience. Who has PD, political dementia? Usually you'll find them sitting alone in front of a TV, listening to the experienced argue for the value of experienced in experience. Symptoms of PD include disorientation, lightheadedness, forgetfulness, a rattled, imbalanced feeling, usually accompanied by a sensitivity to light and the dreamy, blue, laser-like gaze of Anderson Cooper.
(Soundbite of echo)
UNGER: Political dementia, PD, is triggered by exposure to excessive campaign rhetoric from pundits and politicians who begin to break down common sense, obliterate your instinct, and force you to rethink and question all that you've held as true, not to mention all the flatulence and bloating, ha. PD can be humiliating, a condition that causes people to withdraw into a world of ambivalence, confusion, and in extreme cases, makes them inexplicably undecided.
People with PD wonder, does a lot of experience make one seasoned and skilled, or old and out of touch? Is a little experience better when one knows just enough to be effective, or is that dangerous on-the-job training? For example, how much experience is needed to handle, say, nuclear weapons, or manage the people whose job it is to handle nuclear weapons, or handle the managers of nuclear-weapons handlers? Confusing, isn't it?
I used to think a person needed a lot of experience to be the boss of a nuclear power, but now I'm not so sure. Sometimes I think it would be better to have someone really inexperienced, say, a brand-new person to the whole nuclear racket, someone who could bring a fresh, untainted approach to the whole radiation thing. Hm. There goes my PD talking again. If you can't discern the value of experience or inexperience...
(Soundbite of music)
UNGER: Or if you yourself are experienced and are arguing on behalf of someone inexperienced, chances are you, too, have political dementia.
PD symptoms may intensify as Halloween approaches. Many PD sufferers find relief in early November. However, PD is a cyclical disease and may erupt on a quadrennial basis. Consult an experienced professional or a professional in inexperience.
And that is today's Unger Report. I'm Brian Unger.
NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by a contractor for NPR, and accuracy and availability may vary. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Please be aware that the authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio.