We now have official word from the American Psychoanalytic Association. Mental health professionals are well within bounds to offer professional opinions on a politician’s mental state. At least one doctor, Dr. Prudence Gourguechon, has indicated that this change in policy is necessary because “Trump’s behavior is so different from anything we’ve seen before.”
To saaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay the least!
A number of mental health professionals have already weighed in with warnings about how Trump is, to put it bluntly, dangerously unfit to serve. One has called Trump a Narcissist, a group of 37 warned that “Trump’s speech and actions make him incapable of serving safely as president,” and a group at Yale’s School of Medicine say they have an ethical responsibility to warn us of Trump’s dangerous mental illness.”
The old Goldwater Rule was originally directed at psychiatrists to prevent them from affecting the course of politics with their opinions. It states that no doctor can make a medical pronouncement of anyone without an examination in person. This made more sense in the burgeoning days of mass media, but in our modern world with constant social media blaring our details to the world, an examination in person isn’t as necessary. There is more to be heard from Donald Trump’s own Twitter feed than he could ever get out in a half-hour interview on the couch.
From a layman’s perspective, Trump’s behavior definitely seems irrational.
- He makes enemies for no reason, such as transgender people or Mexico.
- He has no anticipation of consequences, such as when the courts blocked his travel ban.
- He shows no empathy, in mocking people for gender, race, religion, and even handicaps.
- He lashes out seemingly at random, such as at Senators or Intel agencies.
- He seems to be ruled by impulse rather than forethought, especially when he tweets.
- He has persisted in conspiracy theories such as questioning Obama’s birth certificate and claiming the media altered photos of his inauguration.
- He seems to have no ability to learn, such as when he lashes out at Senators for not voting his way when he should understand that the executive and legislative branches of government are separate by now.
We could go on, perhaps even a whole book. But we’ll leave it to the doctors, who have thankfully stepped in. What took you so long, doc?