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The ADHD of Politics

Exercise your franchise
Exercise your franchise

So, America, you have an election coming up do you? I’m just up here in Canada watching. I have no opinions to pass on.

Well, let’s be clear, I have opinions, I just have none about your candidates, none I care to pass on that is. It’s not my place to tell you how I think about candidates I can’t vote for, not my place to suggest that the choices I might make if I could would have any business in a post here.

But I have opinions about ADHD and politics. Or at least I have opinions about ADHD symptoms and candidates.

Here’s my suggestion

If you suspect a candidate on the ballot of having ADHD, disregard that. Instead, consider the symptoms that that candidate presents and decide how they fit in to a life of politics.

It seems that ADHD symptoms can be positive or negative. Some of them might be both.

Remember when I said I don’t understand what they mean when they say I think outside the box? I said, “Box? There was a box?” Well, yes, I was going for the cheap laugh. But in governance, that ability to think outside the box is the thing that makes certain all possible options have been considered before decisions are made.

How will it show during the politicking?

Good question. Perhaps it would stand out during debate, and possibly during interviews. When it seems like there could be only two possible responses to a situation, the candidate that can think outside the box will be the one that comes up with the response that no one was expecting.

What about the cons?

It’s true that the person with ADHD will likely be distracted easily. Once elected that won’t likely be an issue as staff will be able to keep the office and the elected ADHD official on track. But getting elected is not a good time to be answering questions about fiscal responsibility with observations of the number of babies in the crowd or “how great the weather is, just look out that window will ya?

Additionally, there’s the possibility that a single issue might become an all consuming issue thanks to perseverance or a little thing we call hyper-focus. In politics, single issue candidates sign their own death certificate when they cannot speak to other issues because they are consumed by the one they feel is key.

And the pros?

Politicians, in order to be functional, need to be charismatic. That comes more readily with the flamboyant nature of many people who have ADHD. They need to be conscientious, and many of us are very sensitive; possibly too sensitive to be in politics but this is the pros part of the discussion.

And as we said earlier, thinking outside the box helps.

And the final decision?

Basically, if you are having to choose between two or more candidates, it might be best to leave ADHD out of the equation all together and consider the candidates pros and cons individually, decide which one has the best abilities, qualities, characteristics and policies to offer to the office they are seeking election to, and vote accordingly.

Hey, wait a minute, that sounds like voting responsibly. Well, there’s a novel idea. Let’s do that.

Well, you do that, I can’t vote in your election.

The ADHD of Politics

Kelly Babcock

I was born in the city of Toronto in 1959, but moved when I was in my fourth year of life. I was raised and educated in a rural setting, growing up in a manner I like to refer to as free range. I live on the traditional lands of the Chippewas of Nawash in an area where my family history stretches back 6 or 7 generations and my First Nations friend's families go back hundreds of generations. I was diagnosed with ADHD at the age of 50 and have been both struggling with the new reality and using my discoveries to make my life better. I am a freelance writer and I write two blogs here at Psych Central, one about living with ADHD and one that is a daily positive affirmation that acts as an example of finding the good in as much of my life as I possibly can.

Find out more about me on my website: writeofway.

email me at ADHD Man

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APA Reference
Babcock, K. (2016). The ADHD of Politics. Psych Central. Retrieved on July 14, 2020, from


Last updated: 22 May 2016
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