Rep. “Big Tim” Sullivan (D — NY), officially insane
Princeton’s Stewart Paton ’86, a psychiatrist, spoke last night at the Illinois Society of Mental Hygiene convention, the Chicago Tribune reports. Says Dr. Paton: “Everybody is afflicted with incipient insanity, and anyone can become insane.
There are in this country more insane persons than there are students in the colleges and universities. . . . Unlike any other disease, insanity is never the same. There are twenty-seven varieties of this mental sickness. . . . Sometimes the sufferer from insanity has strong tendencies to crime. He cannot help himself. He really is not responsible. He should not be punished or isolated. He should be treated. He can be cured. That is the domain of the psychopathic hospital.
The courageous message brought to this convention of psychiatrists by the psychiatrist from Princeton was: we need to spend more money on more psychiatrists! “The care of these should be placed in the hands of intelligent medical men. The matter should be treated in a scientific way.”
Dr. Paton’s assessment that insanity pervades American society has merit in at least one respect: it supplies an explanation for the recent behavior of several public officials. One will recall the following reports:
January 4: Rep. William W. Wedemeyer (R — Mich.) leaps into the sea and dies.
January 11: Rep. Timothy D. Sullivan (D — NY), aka ‘Big Tim,” “Dry Dollar,” “Big Feller”: (1) suffering from tertiary syphilis, aka “the pox,” “great scabies” “morbo mostruoso”; (2) who recently wrote and enacted a draconian gun-control law while suffering from syphilis-induced dementia; (3) is adjudicated insane and committed to a sanatorium, aka “insane asylum,” “loony bin,” “nut house.”
January 12: Rep. Thetus W. Sims (D — Tenn.) proposes hanging Cabinet members who mislead the president.
January 17: Postmaster General Frank Hitchcock publicly addresses how to mail babies by parcel post.
January 17: New York Mayor William Jay Gaynor writes a colored man that slaves were happy under slavery.
January 18: Rep. Seaborn Roddenberry (D — Ga.) insists on legislation banning at any inaugural ball all “vulgarism of the ‘hoochee coochee’ dance, and all similar forms of gymnastic convulsive movements suggestive of the degenerate revelries.”
January 19: Rep. William M. Calder (D — NY) proposes parting the Atlantic Ocean to end the formation of icebergs.
January 21: New York Mayor William Jay Gaynor urges bankers to spread money like butter.