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Mayer writes: "The 'Goldwater Rule' forbids mental-health professionals to give opinions on public figures they haven't personally examined. Some may make an exception."

A protest against Donald Trump in Hong Kong. (photo: Vincent Yu/AP)
A protest against Donald Trump in Hong Kong. (photo: Vincent Yu/AP)


Should Psychiatrists Speak Out Against Trump?

By Jane Mayer, The New Yorker

21 May 17


The “Goldwater Rule” forbids mental-health professionals to give opinions on public figures they haven’t personally examined. Some may make an exception.

hen Donald Trump accused his predecessor Barack Obama of wiretapping him, James Comey, then the F.B.I. director, told colleagues that he considered Trump to be “outside the realm of normal,” and even “crazy.” Many Americans share this view, but the professionals who are best qualified to make such an assessment have been forced to remain mum.

“I’m struggling not to discuss He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named,” a psychiatrist named Jerrold Post said last week, speaking on the phone from his office, in Bethesda, Maryland. Post, who is the director of the political-psychology program at George Washington University’s Elliott School of International Affairs, and the founder of the C.I.A.’s Center for the Analysis of Personality and Political Behavior, has made a career of political-personality profiling. However, he is also a distinguished life fellow of the American Psychiatric Association, whose professional code of conduct forbids members to publicly comment on the psyches of living public figures whom they have not personally examined.

The ban, known as “the Goldwater rule,” is the legacy of an embarrassing episode from 1964. That year, Fact magazine published a petition signed by more than a thousand psychiatrists, which declared that Barry Goldwater, who was then the Republican Presidential nominee, was “psychologically unfit to be President.” Goldwater lost the election, but he won a libel suit against the magazine. The bad publicity seriously tarnished the reputation of the profession.

More than fifty years later, Trump appears to be testing the limits of the Goldwater rule. In March, the Washington, D.C., branch of the A.P.A. convened a meeting of its members to debate the rule. Post and several others argued that, given the President’s erratic behavior, the organization was infringing on its members’ freedom of expression. Psychiatrists, they insisted, have a responsibility to serve society at large. “I think there’s a duty to warn,” Post said. “Serious questions have been raised about the temperament and suitability of He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named.” He added, “It seems unethical to not contribute at this perilous time.”

The psychiatrist John Zinner took the argument further, suggesting that, as doctors, who swear an oath to protect their patients, psychiatrists have an obligation to speak out about the menace posed by Trump’s mental health. “It’s my view that Trump has a narcissistic personality disorder,” Zinner said later. “Trump is deluded and compulsive. He has no conscience.” He said that psychiatrists have a constructive role to play in advising policymakers to add checks on the President’s control over nuclear weapons. “That supersedes the Goldwater rule,” he said. “It’s an existential survival issue.” (There were some dissenters at the meeting. Dr. Mark Komrad, who is on the staff at Johns Hopkins Hospital and Sheppard Pratt Health System, worried that overturning the rule could be bad for the profession. “We’re already seen as peddlers of a liberal world view,” he said. “If we make pronouncements about Donald Trump, nothing is gained. You don’t need a doctor to tell you that the guy on the plane with a hacking cough is sick.”)

Post is part of a push to have the A.P.A. form a commission to revisit the Goldwater rule. He’ll make the argument to a larger audience later this month, at the association’s annual meeting, in San Diego. Meanwhile, the President’s sudden firing of Comey presented an almost irresistible case study.

Post, when asked about the firing, chose his words carefully. He said he agreed with lay commentators that Trump appeared to be trying to suppress the F.B.I.’s investigation into his campaign’s ties to Russia, revealing a pattern—a quickness to get rid of those who disagreed with or threatened him. The result, Post said, would be “a sycophantic leadership circle afraid to question him.” He added that the manner of the firing, which Comey learned about from TV reports, displayed “a failure of judgment in crisis”; it was likely to turn Comey into “a dangerous and resentful witness.” Post said that it reminded him of other leaders he had studied, including Vladimir Putin, “a quintessential narcissist,” whose “way of handling criticism is to eliminate—literally—the critics.” After the Comey episode, Post said, he worried that “He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named’s leadership is imploding.”

What would Post ask Trump, if he had the opportunity to get the President on his couch? Post cleared his throat and said, “I’m sorry, but I think I’d better not answer that.”

The question reminded him of the time, during a television interview, that Dan Rather asked him what he would do if he encountered Saddam Hussein. Not realizing that the microphone was turned on, Post, who had been discussing Saddam’s “malignant narcissism,” gave a less than scholarly answer: “I would run right out of the office!”


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-26 # Rodion Raskolnikov 2017-05-21 12:21
She would talk to Jerrold Post, the quack psychiatrist who has long been on the CIA's payroll for writing hack analyses of people the CIA hates and whom Post has never analyzed in person. Post is something of a joke or scandal among serious "psycho-histori ans" and even some of his colleagues at George Washington University. That's because he's a psychiatrist for hire. He will write what his paymasters at the CIA want him to write.

The so-called goldwater rule has never been anything to serious psycho-historia ns. One of Post's colleagues who discredits his work wrote a book on Bush called "Bush on the Couch."

It was Freud who first introduced the idea of using psychoanalysis to write about famous people of history or contemporary times. Of course, there are limitations but the insights are often good.

I've read all of Post's work on Saddam Hussein. It is trivial, banal, and clearly a hatchet job. I have several friends who met Saddam personally in Iraq. I've spoken on the phone with Saddam's foreign minister, Tariq Aziz. These are not scary people. They are not psychopaths like GW Bush or Dick Cheney. There's no need to run out of the room. But that is Post's drama and banality.
 
 
+1 # markovchhaney 2017-05-21 18:34
"It was Freud who first introduced the idea of using psychoanalysis to write about famous people of history or contemporary times. Of course, there are limitations but the insights are often good."

You mean like Hamlet? Wasn't likely to take offense or sue.
 
 
+28 # California Neal 2017-05-21 19:28
Your post is an attack on Post. How would you know that he's on the CIA's payroll? Do they publish a list of the persons they pay? Does Post brag that they pay him? Are you a spy?

In what capacity did you speak with Aziz? Were you a Russian operative?

A large number of mental health professionals agree with Post's concerns, including John Zinner in this article, who goes farther than Post. Other mental health professionals have spoken up since earlier in Trump's presidency.

There's never been a POTUS before who displayed, over and over, such a lack of character, intellect & due diligence to serve as POTUS, or who has surrounded himself with unqualified advisors. He repeatedly reminds people of a young child. Mental health professionals have described him as a malignant narcissist with paranoid tendencies.

Millions of Americans have become extremely & increasingly alarmed about the man in the White House, and the dangers that he may or does pose. Trump has operated out in public for a long time now (even tweeting during the wee & pre-dawn hours). There is more than sufficient information for many mental health professionals to have developed strong opinions that they may wish to share with the public, to provide warnings. They should be free individually to share those opinions, even though their organizations would probably still be well advised not to make statements about the mental condition of elected officials or candidates.
 
 
-2 # Anonymot 2017-05-22 12:31
Did you read this article or are you just using RSN to do a Hillary rant (she, as we know, was a Goldwater girl?) lack of character, intellect & due diligence" are not constituant for a shrink to weigh in on, although they should have weight in choosing a presidential candidate. You who are still screaming and trembling need to pull your senses together and try to make the best of Hillary's auto-destructio n instead of continuing with the let's-go-to-war -with-Putin silliness.

So you got a thoroughly incompetent businessman in her place. What he will do is totally unpredictable which is what he promised. She was still promising Goldwater when she low-blowed Sanders.

They were both"malignant narcissists," but she lost.
 
 
+5 # Kiwikid 2017-05-22 16:09
??? What?? Anonymot?? What does all Californian Neal said have to do with Hillary? No references to Hillary, no allusions that could even be stretched to point to her, yet you attack in what can only be described as a totally irrational way. Or, are you responding to a post in another article?
 
 
0 # kyzipster 2017-05-22 18:12
We're not allowed to criticize Trump without being seen as a Hillary cheerleader? I saw no mention of Clinton in California's post.

Pushing these false equivalences of yours has become its own kind of delusional propaganda imo. Plenty of reasons to criticize Clinton, to reject her completely, but Trump is a unique phenomenon and the POTUS, debate is warranted.
 
 
+4 # California Neal 2017-05-22 23:36
I read the article. Did you?
My post is not a Hillary rant, or any kind of rant, except perhaps at Raskolnikov's message. BTW, Bernie was the candidate I really supported.
I'm anti-war all the way, & always have been. My only reference to Russia was in asking Raskolnikov how he happened to be on the phone with Saddam's foreign minister, Tariq Aziz.
I have a lot of gripes against Hillary, including unfairness to Bernie & failing to conduct a good enough campaign to defeat the ignorant, incompetent, cruel time bomb who won. But she's not a malignant narcissist. You haven't really read up on it.
If HRC had been elected & tried to start a war with anyone, we would have had to fight to stop her. Meanwhile, the POTUS escalated in Afghanistan & bombed Syria, just another of his reversals of position since his campaign.
 
 
-1 # Annette Saint John Lawrence 2017-05-24 15:07
Quoting Anonymot:
Did you read this article or are you just using RSN to do a Hillary rant (she, as we know, was a Goldwater girl?) lack of character, intellect & due diligence" are not constituant for a shrink to weigh in on, although they should have weight in choosing a presidential candidate. You who are still screaming and trembling need to pull your senses together and try to make the best of Hillary's auto-destruction instead of continuing with the let's-go-to-war-with-Putin silliness.

So you got a thoroughly incompetent businessman in her place. What he will do is totally unpredictable which is what he promised. She was still promising Goldwater when she low-blowed Sanders.

They were both"malignant narcissists," but she lost.


Trump did not deserved to winn. Heavily involved in activism and a delegate to the Democratic Convention, a degree in Neurolinguistic s & MSS, Trump reproduced Hitler's method and targeted those married to ignorance until death....Or just plain lazy to research candidates. Yes I know they are angry but they are devoid of common sense. They will find out soon enough as they thrown under the bus. Part of Trump's Plan is another form of Genocide.
I confess, I smiled and even let a cheer to Hillary losing. Karma brought her her just deserts as it came back a bit heroine the ass as well as those in the Party who wanted to keep the power of the money machine along with her cohorts greed. to shun Bernie.
 
 
+1 # Rodion Raskolnikov 2017-05-23 05:29
Calif -- It is very well known that the CIA commissions Post's psychological profiles of national leaders the US hates. He even admits it in his writings. The CIA has long been in the psychological profiling business; in fact, it invented it as part of its mind control experiments in the 50s and 60s. Post is part of that operation. Here's a Mother Jones article that gives some of the overview.

The real inventor of CIA pyschological profiling was John Gittinger. He's featured in this documentary -- "You have treated me as a fish long enough"
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-noXrfZH52o

The problem with Post is that his analysis is based entirely on information given to him by the CIA. Some of it has also been published in the US press. The CIA is not honest in the reports it creates about leaders it wants to destroy. It invents really lurid fantasies. Post accepts those stories as true. He has been criticized by others in the profession for taking these stories as fact.

A psychological analysis really can only be made after long and careful face to face meetings with the subject. Post never meets the people he writes about. He's only providing fodder for the mass media character assassinations of foreign leaders. Post's work is really propaganda, intended for consumption by frightened Americans. There are very good psychoanalysts who try to write analyses that get into the minds of important people in the world.
 
 
-2 # Rodion Raskolnikov 2017-05-23 05:46
California -- "There's never been a POTUS before who displayed, over and over, such a lack of character, intellect & due diligence to serve as POTUS"


"lack of character" is a moral judgment or a value judgment, not a psychological analysis. It means you don't agree with or value the kind of mind Trump has. I don't either. But there are many people who value it highly. They like his bluntness, openness, combativeness, and ignorance of history and world events.

I do think that GW Bush had a worse character than Trump. Although he was smarter, Bill Clinton may also have had a worse character. All of our presidents have been really bad or evil people, including Obama who should be given an academy award for playing the role of nice guy. Maybe Trump will turn out to be the worst of the lot. He certainly has the potential to be the very worst.

We are in a mess. High office too often attracts terrible people or the good ones are pushed out rather brutally.

The important thing is that as a society we have rewarded and promoted sociopaths so that they now control many of our national institutions -- government, corporations, courts, schools. We've rewarded the kinds of personalities they have. Trump is part of that trend. He's now being regime changed by people who are even worse sociopaths than he is. (I'm not making a psychological analysis here. I'm using the term as common term).
 
 
+4 # California Neal 2017-05-24 01:21
I don't want to discuss the character of recent presidents. But Trump's history of stiffing contractors & workers, abusing employees, mistreating women (how about his disgusting comments to Billy Bush?), the fact that he campaigned as a bigot & governs as one, & his willingness to turn his back on his campaign promises & go along with GOP plans to take benefits from poor & working class people in order to reward the very wealthy all speak to HIS lack of the character you would want in a POTUS (or any other elective or appointive office).
 
 
0 # dbrize 2017-05-21 20:53
Maybe it will go like this...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a-WTmhUQlN0
 
 
+14 # Kiwikid 2017-05-22 03:03
Tell us a little more about yourself, Rodion - your background, qualifications etc. I'm sure there are many of us who would like to understand better where you're coming from. You don't address the issues at all raised in the article - but engage in an ad-hominen attack on one of the psychiatrists mentioned in an attempt to undermine what would appear to be the general accepted thesis, which is that the American President is certifiable. Unfortunately it seems that no one adequately qualified can get close enough to him to confirm the diagnosis.
 
 
+2 # California Neal 2017-05-22 23:43
I agree, except I think watching Trump on TV during the campaign, the transition & the presidency to date have given many well qualified mental health professionals enough for a diagnosis--one that would be highly unlikely to change if they got to conduct an evaluation in person.
 
 
+7 # Time Traveller 2017-05-22 05:50
Rodion, you blew your entire argument when you psychoanalyzed W and Cheney. Well, your argument was kinda slowly self destructing before that, but that was the coup de Grasse.

If you were high enough in Russian gov to chat with Saddam's foreign minister, and went to China with Putin recently, you must be close enough to Vladimir to bathe in HIS narcissism that Dump is emulating... Tell us more...Curious minds want to know!
 
 
+3 # Rodion Raskolnikov 2017-05-23 10:59
Time -- just for curiosity sake and because I'm proud of my association -- in the 80s I began to work with a group called Women for Mutual Security, founded by Margarita Papandreou (wife of Greek PM) and Raisa Gorbachev (wife of Soviet Premier). Their goal was to organize very high profile women of the world against war. In 1994, they organized a conference in Baghdad with the Federation of Iraqi Women. Saddam and Aziz came to the conference and talked with the participants. We kept up with Aziz for a few years. I was really devastated when he was arrested by the US in the 2003 invasion. He was not executed but died in prison. Likely that was because he was a christian.

WMS was a really great organization and did important work. It is now defunct. Its leaders have passed away.
 
 
+1 # Time Traveller 2017-05-23 20:11
Thanks for that, my good man! Great organization of strong, smart, and wide women! And sometimes it does seem like the elders we admired so much were giants and giantesses of a lost age. Where have all our heroes gone?
 
 
0 # Cassandra2012 2017-06-01 23:50
uh, you mean 'coup de grace' I assume....
 
 
+3 # Time Traveller 2017-05-22 06:06
Rodion, weeks ago I jokingly asked you if you were Putin himself, thinking Vlad would never have time or inclination to chat here.

But over the weeks here, enough clues have been adding up in this 62 year old historian's noggin to make me wonder. KBG Putin stays in shape physically with judo. Perhaps KGB Putin keeps his propaganda / disinformation skills honed here?

If so, it wouldn't be the first time I have outed a Head of State online... Search, "RSN Queen Elizabeth Irish Slaves."
 
 
0 # Time Traveller 2017-05-22 10:32
Pushing my speculation to its outer limits, the KGB no doubt had a fat dossier on late my father, who was one of the world's best jet propulsion engineers, with a lot of "spy vs. spy" action going on between his F-15 program and your Mig 25 program.

He died in 1976, soon after F-16 (same engine) rollout, at age 54. Cancer suddenly appeared in his back and spread. A single tiny grain of plutonium in his car seat would have accomplished that nicely, eh?
 
 
+36 # ER444 2017-05-21 12:35
This is really frightening!
 
 
0 # Adoregon 2017-05-21 17:38
Read: "Crowds and Power"
by Elias Canetti
 
 
0 # Anonymot 2017-05-22 12:07
Yes, but it's a tough read. Better yet, read his Auto da Fe.
 
 
+10 # Femihumanist 2017-05-21 17:48
I've been finding it very hard to not make negative statements about people with mental disabilities when I say what I think of Trump. I'm not a Doctor or Therapist and I shouldn't be comparing the shithead to anyone with a real mental illness or incapacity. Those words are not insulting; they are facts like saying someone has diabetes or cancer or arthritis. We need a whole different vocabulary for talking about him.
 
 
-14 # Anonymot 2017-05-21 18:06
Jane Mayer, if you have any smarts you'd be ashamed of what you said here. Hitler and Stalin and our very own CIA have used ugly psychiatrists in an ugly way over the years. That's why the constraints you complain about are there. Shrinks like Post are a cluster of preset opinions and say what the CIA mindset tells them to say. That's how they earn their overpaid posts.

Rascalnikov said it right. You should be writing for New yorker's public, not RSN.
 
 
+7 # markovchhaney 2017-05-21 18:32
"The ban, known as “the Goldwater rule,” is the legacy of an embarrassing episode from 1964. That year, Fact magazine published a petition signed by more than a thousand psychiatrists, which declared that Barry Goldwater, who was then the Republican Presidential nominee, was “psychologicall y unfit to be President.” Goldwater lost the election, but he won a libel suit against the magazine. The bad publicity seriously tarnished the reputation of the profession."

As well it should have. Goldwater was many things, but crazy wasn't one of them. Lyndon Johnson turned out to be quite the warmonger and got us up to our eyeballs in 'Nam.
 
 
+19 # MainStreetMentor 2017-05-21 19:28
So … if there’s a fire in your house, and sitting in your driveway is a full, pumper-truck fire engine, just because of, and according to this “Goldwater Rule”, you can’t put out the fire for fear of insulting the owner? Are you kiddin’ me? If there’s a problem … FIX IT! To hell with a “Goldwater Rule”. Fear of legal action has stymied and prevented other very necessary actions from taking place, too. It’s one of the major problems in our legislature and our judicial system! If there’s a “nut-case” occupying an elected office, legally remove that individual! What the hell is wrong with our elected official who allow such laws as the “Goldwater Rule” to be passed?
 
 
+3 # dbrize 2017-05-22 10:07
The "Goldwater Rule" is the informal creation of the APA not elected officials. Not that there isn't plenty of other things wrong with our elected officials. This one is not of their doing.

If you have any experience with our current legal system you are likely aware of the ease with which conflicting psychiatric testimony can be obtained.

Be careful what you wish for...
 
 
-1 # California Neal 2017-05-22 23:55
I just want to say that in some legal cases, one side calls an expert witness who is highly qualified & very convincing, & the other side calls a witness who is clearly just a hired gun, or someone who thought he or she understood something that he or she didn't.
 
 
+3 # California Neal 2017-05-22 23:50
The Goldwater Rule was created by a professional society, not by any public official(s).
 
 
+24 # Elroys 2017-05-21 19:30
i am not a psychiatrist; simply an observer of human behavior.
Over time we are repelled by those we know in our soul are evil (Hitler, Pol Pot, etc.). We are repulsed by those who we know are awful human beings. Many in our Congress today, most with an R in front of their name as examples.
I have witnessed Presidents since Kennedy and voted as soon as i could. I was inspired by John Kennedy, repulsed by Nixon and incredulous when GW Bush was elected. He and Darth Cheney should be rotting in jail for what they did in lying about WMD and attacking Iraq .
Barak Obama is probably the most moral, ethical, smart and decent human being who ever served as President. The Racist Repubs thwarted him at every turn and are among the awful and corrupt.
Donald Trump is from a completely different planet. Tens of millions of us knew from the start of the campaign that this was not a normal person and saw him as a joke - how could any American with a brain and soul vote for hits idiot without morals, how could we hold him up as a model for our children. Most knew from the start that Trump was a buffoon - and now he's anointed many like him to the most senior positions in our government at the most critical time in history. How could highly trained shrinks not weigh in here? We cannot allow this moron be used as a willing fool to those around the world who wish us harm? That's truly insanity and those who say they would vote for him again truly need their head examined.
 
 
0 # dotlady 2017-05-21 20:58
These are deep waters and should be avoided by professional psychiatrists, Yes, the nuclear power must be taken charge of by Congress. But an unsettled personality, a narcissist disorder, is part of our whole society and it would be hard to clearly delineate a border for action, thus far, against he who must not be mentioned.
 
 
+10 # diamondmarge7 2017-05-21 21:29
The REAL problem is what we would suffer under a PENCE Presidency. He is a Cnristian fanatic. Ryan, an unprincipled fool, and McConnell, Evil Personified, Pelosi, Feinstein, Schumer--Dems FOR HIRE all scare the bejesus outta yers trooly.
 
 
0 # Cassandra2012 2017-06-01 23:55
Quoting diamondmarge7:
The REAL problem is what we would suffer under a PENCE Presidency. He is a Cnristian fanatic. Ryan, an unprincipled fool, and McConnell, Evil Personified, Pelosi, Feinstein, Schumer--Dems FOR HIRE all scare the bejesus outta yers trooly.

But Trumpolini Trumplethinskin seems ok to you?
 
 
-22 # RNLDaWy 2017-05-21 22:13
I have a degree in psychology and worked for 6 years in a clinical setting. I have worked with all kinds of health professionals counselors and psychiatrists. Many many psychiatrists are patently fucked up people. No one is perfect and the bias of the policies and thinking that might conflict would definitely affect any psychiatric view. Saying Trump is so narcissistic or whatever is a low blow .. what you see is what you get .. he is not imbalanced in any clinical way .. this is garbage from those still whining .. and a common left argument that Trump is unfit .. crazy etc .. complete bullcrap!!!
 
 
+11 # CragJensen 2017-05-22 00:21
Yes - drumpf is a true "nutjob." and, somehow, he made it into the Oval Office. And so now what can or must we do? Hope and pray that he doesn't cast us into a nuclear nightmare? Take to the streets in protest? Complain and worry about his actions- past, present and future? Deluge our representatives with phone calls, letters, emails etc. We know he's nuts and we know he's dangerous so damned be any rules or laws that prevent anyone from shouting such blatant truth from the rooftops! Paul Revere's midnight ride is an American parable and its essential meaning needs now to ring out loud and clear within the hearts of every sane American. Wake up and prepare... for your very lives and your freedom now hang in the balance.
 
 
+15 # 1Michael 2017-05-22 00:35
I agree with the concept that a person shouldn't be evaluated without their behavior observed OVER TIME, how long depends upon the individual. For some, an hour will provide a good idea of their functioning Others are perfectly normal except under certain circumstances. Trump has provided months of inappropriate behavior that provides ample basis for a diagnosis using the gold standard of Psychiatry the: Diagnostic Statistical Manual which provides criteria that one must meet to be so labeled.
 
 
0 # California Neal 2017-05-23 15:19
This is true. The one thing I would add is that "malignant narcissism" is currently considered an experimental & not an official diagnosis, but it fits Trump perfectly. I would expect to see it in the DSM before too long.
 
 
+2 # jazzman633 2017-05-22 10:16
The fact that Trump just makes stuff up (thousands of Muslims cheering 9/11, Obama wiretapping him) should provide enough doubt as to his grasp of reality and fitness for office. What happens when he decides, with no evidence, that dozens of Russian submarines are poised to attack us and we must nuke Moscow NOW?
 
 
+1 # California Neal 2017-05-23 13:55
Jazzman, jazz fan here. It's hard to know if Trump makes stuff up because he's loony tunes or because he is a lying, scheming bastard who uses distractions to his benefit. When he gave up on Obama being a Muslim (not that his religion mattered), it was hard to believe that he ever believed it. That campaign was part of his strategy to appeal to bigots. Somebody please remind me exactly what mess Trump was in when he decided in the wee hours to say Obama "wire tapped" him.

That said, he is extremely scary. He decided to bomb Syria while emotional over the photos of children struck with chemical weapons, & without formulating any actual foreign policy to guide the decision. His psyche appears quite fragile & thin-skinned, & he has no experienced, rational foreign policy advisors,
 
 
+1 # RNLDaWy 2017-05-22 10:54
Inappropriate behavior defined how? There is a big diff between clinical pathology and what you deem normal. Truth of the matter is diagnostically you can evaluate EVERYONE . and all have a clinical 'tendency' one direction or another. Clinical psychology I back but historically they are capable of also doing a lot of damage. Study of abnormal is complex . but to deem someone UNFIT .. that is behavior off the charts .. and has been and is being used against journalists and those speaking out in corrupt regimes around the world .. they jail them to psych wards when they disagree .. similar rant here I believe .
 
 
+6 # Blackjack 2017-05-22 13:27
I am a retired licensed psychologist and I see the landmines on both sides of this argument. For me, though, the bottom line is this: So the APA, with considerable thought and noble intent to inform so as to prevent further tragedy, steps into the fray and publicly makes a statement as to the mental functioning of this president. Why would that matter? Trump has been on the scene in a very public way for years. Anyone with the ability to turn on a T.V. has had ample opportunity to observe him over time. During the past several months they have also had the opportunity to view the results of his "decisions" as a candidate and as the holder of the highest office in the land. What could the APA reveal to them that they cannot already observe as living, breathing human beings? How many of the Trump loyalists would be swayed by what the APA might say? They would likely see the APA conclusions as a plot to get rid of their guy for whom it took considerable amounts of their time, effort, and money to get elected. The only people who might be convinced by such a declaration are those of us with intact functioning brain cells--and we're already convinced! So the APA gets egg on its face again? Is that a good tradeoff? I don't think so, but because I am human, I might be wrong!
 
 
+2 # California Neal 2017-05-23 14:10
The APA should not, as an organization, take a position. A large portion of the members would not approve.

But individual members should have their freedom of speech, & should not be constrained if they see a duty to warn. So the APA should rescind the Goldwater Rule.

Granted, the mental health professionals who speak out might not win over any Trump voters--althoug h it might help with those who feel betrayed. Those who speak out might have an impact on people who didn't vote last time & will next time.

But for those of us who were & will be strongly against Trump, it's helpful to have professional opinions that help us understand the monster. I was not familiar with malignant narcissism, but when the first report with a diagnosis came out, & that was it, it suits him to a T(rump). I encourage people to read what malignant narcissism is.
 
 
+3 # angelfish 2017-05-22 14:10
NO one needs a Degree in Medicine OR Psychiatry to KNOW that Trump is a Grievously Ill and Unbalanced Caricature of a "man". Totally Self-Absorbed with NO ability to take responsibility for his failures is unreasonable in a Human Being and Fatal as a President of these United States! He IS fallible and can't remember what he says from one minute to the next! Perhaps it's Early Alzheimer's, most assuredly a SEVERE Personality Defect, however, HOW does a Country go about removing someone as UNFIT as Donald J. Trump from an Office he NEVER won Legitimately? He and his ENTIRE Regime should be removed until ALL the clouds of Criminal Activity and Collusion with a Foreign Entity are Resolved! The "Goldwater Rule" is Ridiculous on it's face and kept Ronald Reagan in Office LONG after he should have been removed due to his Alzheimer's Disease! We've GOT to be better at choosing our Candidates by Screening them BEFORE someone as unfit as Trump, can EVER rise to such prominence again!
 
 
0 # dbrize 2017-05-22 16:32
Quoting angelfish:
NO one needs a Degree in Medicine OR Psychiatry to KNOW that Trump is a Grievously Ill and Unbalanced Caricature of a "man". Totally Self-Absorbed with NO ability to take responsibility for his failures is unreasonable in a Human Being and Fatal as a President of these United States! He IS fallible and can't remember what he says from one minute to the next! Perhaps it's Early Alzheimer's, most assuredly a SEVERE Personality Defect, however, HOW does a Country go about removing someone as UNFIT as Donald J. Trump from an Office he NEVER won Legitimately? He and his ENTIRE Regime should be removed until ALL the clouds of Criminal Activity and Collusion with a Foreign Entity are Resolved! The "Goldwater Rule" is Ridiculous on it's face and kept Ronald Reagan in Office LONG after he should have been removed due to his Alzheimer's Disease! We've GOT to be better at choosing our Candidates by Screening them BEFORE someone as unfit as Trump, can EVER rise to such prominence again!


Now, now, it's been said that those who make carte blanc assertions as fact combined with excessive use of upper case shouting may also have "...severe personality defects...".

What the hey, could be we're all a little crazy...

"Still crazy after all these years"
Paul Simon
 
 
0 # California Neal 2017-05-23 14:46
Angel, I'll put it more kindly than dbrize. Excessive capitalization does not equal more persuasive writing, but rather more annoying writing. For instance, in your first sentence, after the first word, the only word that should be capitalized is (ugh) Trump. Capitalizing entire words for emphasis, especially when you don't have the use of italics, underline or bold, is different--so "NO" in your second sentence is fine.

With an immoral GOP running both houses of Congress, nothing will happen unless & until Mueller's or another investigation find dirt that enough Republicans find repelling--or until the Dems retake Congress next year.

People have been working since GW Bush won with only an Electoral College majority to round up enough states willing to commit their electoral votes to the national popular vote winner that we won't have to have any more popular vote losers as POTUS. I believe the blue states are in but we need some red states. This end-run is necessary because amending the Constitution is impossible, thanks to the red states.

The GOP unfortunately lacked leaders willing to convince their voters that Trump was unfit--& it lacked candidates strong & moral enough to defeat his bigoted, ignorant bluster. Then HRC failed to go after the Rust Belt votes that decided the Electoral College outcome.

Bernie would have won, IMHO, & we could have had a POTUS focussed on the needs of the people of this country, & one who would oppose discrimination & division.
 
 
+1 # RNLDaWy 2017-05-22 18:22
Trump actually was the least of the nut jobs that ran in the primary. Also you cannot mistake 'political lying' for reality. The campaigns are long .. murderously so and corrupt as hell for either side to participate in. Trump plays that game well. The left best stop lying about his mental were withal and get onto debating the policies they dont' like .. he does represent a lot that we disagree with .. but he is a soft Republican a former northeast Democrat .. and yeah he's got an ego .. you need one in that job .. right now he's doing out country a service meeting with Muslim countries allies and leaders in the war against Muslim extremes who want to take away all your rights .. now that is Crazy .. wake up Lefties .. you are going down a slippery slope on all of the bashing of Trump and like in the primaries he will come out unscathed .. and when he does please don't slit your wrists .. it's only politico .. and checks and balances all eventually win out .. and hey .. you get to Vote him out eventually ...
 
 
+1 # kyzipster 2017-05-23 09:17
..as Trump said and I believe, he could shoot someone in the middle of Fifth Ave and not lose any voters.

He's no more crazy than the GOP base and the years, decades, of insane right-wing propaganda that made his presidency inevitable. A malignant narcissist becoming a beacon of hope for the brainwashed masses makes perfect sense to me. You're right, he will come out unscathed, probably win a second term. 'The left', whatever the hell that means, still believes the average American sees him as offensive and outrageous. How could they not? Bull chit, they love him. The more 'the left' debates the danger and calls him insane, the more they martyr him. That's what America has devolved to.

Eventually the GOP base will wake up to the fact that they've been screwed, just like with Bush at the end of his second term. Just more debt and more of the nation's wealth in the hands of the top 1%. Wages will remain stagnant and the cost of health care will continue to rise. At least we stopped sharia law from taking over Kansas!
 
 
+1 # California Neal 2017-05-23 14:59
I agree that we're stuck with Trump, for now, as a result of decades of right-wing propaganda (with help from the Electoral College system & from the Dem establishment favoring HRC over Bernie). But with Mueller in place, & with Trump's sub-equatorial popularity ratings (thanks largely to independent voters turning against him), 2018 & 2020 could devastate the GOP. There could well be one or more impeachments along the way (what did Pence know & when did he know it? Ryan?).
 
 
0 # kyzipster 2017-05-24 09:17
I hope you're right.

I feel like we're experiencing the Bush years all over again in a lot of ways. Much hope during his first years, believing he couldn't possibly win a second term. It got so bad at the end of his presidency, I thought the Reagan Era had finally come to a crashing end. Both parties would have to move back to a more sane and stable center. How could the crash of 2008 not bring about some change?

Boy was I wrong. We got a corporate, lame duck Democrat in the White House for 8 years while the GOP emerged stronger than ever. We laughed at the Koch funded Tea Party and their sad little rallies yet they elected a president, even if we're not calling him the Tea Party candidate. I'm afraid I've become a pessimist. Our only hope is for a generation or two to die off.
 
 
+1 # California Neal 2017-05-23 15:13
It's "wherewithal." And I don't know where Trump's is.

Politically, none of the weak men who ran against Trump were capable of standing up to Trump's bullying, & they allowed themselves to be swept along with his politics of hatred. I would have been disgusted to have any of them as POTUS. And yet, none of them would have been so ignorant & unqualified, so surrounded with unqualified people, so incapable of governing, so willing to obstruct justice, so willing to brag to the Russians & give them secrets provided in confidence by an ally, so unwilling to read & learn, & so erratic & childish & thin-skinned & unbalanced that he deeply frightens so many Americans & so many other people around the world.
 
 
+1 # kyzipster 2017-05-24 09:30
They've always allowed the politics of hatred to help them win elections but the Limbaughs and Coulters of the world did the dirty work, Fox News helped of course. Hate radio has become a genre that reaches every small town in the country.

Trump showed us that even a presidential candidate can cross every line and come out on top. Clinton utters one insulting word and loses the election and people are still blaming the election on that one sentence. That might be accurate. Trump insults millions of Americans for months on end and wins. Journalists have normalized the hate by insisting it was his appeal to rust belt voters, lies about factory jobs, that helped him the most. One of many double standards that helps to keep conservatives in power.

That is the most frightening outcome of this election imo, even if Trump is impeached, he has shown right-wing extremists who now run the country that there are few limits that voters will tolerate.
 
 
+1 # policymaven 2017-05-24 22:28
I believe it what is missing in this conversation is the reality that the election that was conducted last November was fraudulent on its face. What we should be demanding is not trumps resignation, rather we should demand that the election be declared and void and insist on a do over. Yes, Trump is a malignant Narcissistic personality, but if he is impeached or forced to resign, we inherit a Christian theocratic state. Both of those choices are unacceptable.
 

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