A psychiatrist who has never met Donald Trump, never talked to him over the phone, never interviewed him, and never seen him in a clinical setting claims that the president of the United States is mentally unfit to serve.
Perhaps in another time, another universe, this would be part of a stand-up comedy routine (cue the laugh track).
Instead, it has become topic #1 in Washington as it was revealed a prominent psychiatrist briefed members of Congress recently about what a group of 27 mental health professionals have to say about Donald Trump’s sanity.
Note the hysteria in this report from Vox. Trump may not be crazy, but he’s driving his liberal enemies absolutely insane:
The longer Donald Trump is in office, the more he shocks and alarms us with his strange and extremely unpresidential behavior.
From the incoherent, fallacious interview he gave the New York Times on December 28 to Tuesday’s tweet about his “nuclear button” to his smearing of Steve Bannon, the incendiary remarks keep getting more menacing and portentous of disaster. As Vox’s Ezra Klein recently wrote, “The president of the United States is not well.”
But how unwell is he, really? Could the behavior be caused by some illness eating away at his mental capacity, or is it just bad behavior?
This is a question of crucial importance, not just because the vice president and the Cabinet (or Congress) would need certainty about his mental incompetence to invoke the 25th Amendment and declare him unable to do his job — an option that, while still highly unlikely to be used, is now regularly being discussed.
Of course, the question of his mental health would ultimately come down to a medical opinion. And no doctor, as far as we know, has evaluated the president’s mind for fitness to serve as president.
Yet there is a growing call from a group of psychiatrists — the best medical experts at interpreting aberrant human behavior — for exactly this: an emergency evaluation of the president’s mental capacity, by force if necessary.
Leading this call is Bandy Lee, an assistant professor in forensic psychiatry (the interface of law and mental health) at the Yale School of Medicine who has devoted her 20-year career to studying, predicting, and preventing violence.
She recently briefed a dozen members of Congress — both Democrats and Republicans — on the president’s mental state. And this week, she, along with Judith Herman at Harvard and Robert Jay Lifton at Columbia, released a statement arguing that Trump is “further unraveling.” In October, a collection of essays from 27 mental health professionals that Lee edited, The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump, was published.
As a demonstration of mental instability, the author takes the prize. But isn’t it unethical for a psychiatrist to declare someone “dangerous” without even ever being in the same room with him?
These efforts have not been welcomed by all of Lee’s colleagues in psychiatry — some say her warnings are unethical and break the Goldwater Rule, the American Psychiatric Association’s stipulation that its members never publicly discuss the mental health of a public figure. One esteemed fellow psychiatrist accused her in the prestigious New England Journal of Medicine of having “misguided and dangerous” morality.
In other words, the danger here is not from Donald Trump but from unethical, bird-brained mental health professionals who are violating a 50-year code against “diagnosing” people in public life.
For some Trump supporters, this is too much.
Former Trump deputy campaign manager David Bossie and Fox News’ Geraldo Rivera reacted on “Fox & Friends,” saying the questions about Trump’s mental health are outrageous and “infuriating.”
“The Democratic Party, the leadership of the Democrats need a mental health evaluation themselves. Nancy Pelosi, Chuck Schumer, these people are living in la la land,” said Bossie.
Another claim from Wolff is that Trump and the first lady didn’t want to win the election and were shocked when the results came in. Wolff claimed Melania Trump was in tears when it became clear her husband would become the commander-in-chief.
“That’s so outrageous,” said Bossie, recalling that he was there with the family and no such thing happened.
“Melania was ecstatic,” he said.
Rivera said he’s “infuriated” by claims that Trump’s mental health has deteriorated since his days on “Celebrity Apprentice.” Rivera said he knew Trump in those days and recently traveled from Puerto Rico with the president on Air Force One.
“It is a slander. It is low down and dirty. It is absolutely false. This man is as lucid and as intelligent and as intellectually in charge of himself as he has ever been,” he said, adding that Trump has a problem with being “acutely aware of too many things.”
To base a diagnosis entirely on Trump’s public statements and actions — taking them literally rather than as part of a reality TV show that Trump has made the presidency — is scurrilous, immoral, unethical, and a low-down smear. I have great respect for psychiatry and most of the medical professionals who practice it. These charlatans should have their licenses pulled.
What makes their statements even more incredible is that they are also basing their diagnoses on Trump’s words and actions behind closed doors in the White House as reported in the media. It never occurred to these ignorant amateurs that a lot of what’s been reported are lies or, at best, gross exaggerations? Sheesh.
Trump has destroyed the dignity of the presidency. He is a lout, a boor, a misogynist, a liar, and an ignoramus.
But he’s probably not “mentally unfit” to serve. And the mentally unbalanced psychiatrists who claim they can diagnose a patient without a proper evaluation in a clinical setting should sit down and STFU.