Diagnosing Trump: Mental health professionals are speaking out

And it's not looking good for the Liar in Chief:

These behaviors include but are not limited to: condescension, gross exaggeration (lying), bullying, jealousy, fragile self-esteem, lack of compassion, and viewing the world as Us versus Them. Having observed the school-yard bully tactics Trump employed during a series of public debates as well as his boasting presentation during interviews, we felt it would be important to raise awareness about some of his behaviors.

So in January 2016, we published Bullies: An Exploration Into Different Types of Bullies. Note: Our intention was to use a picture of Trump to make our point but were dissuaded due to the possibility of offending some of our Psychology Today readers, who are also his supporters, and so opted for a generic-looking meanie as our bully poster boy.

If you could have offended enough of those readers back in early 2016 with the truth of his personality disorder, we might not be in the situation we're in. But better late than never:

And then… On January 31 of this year, Psychology Today’s Editorial Staff published Shrinks Battle Over Diagnosing Donald Trump: Chaos in the White House Fuels Discord Amongst the Experts. The article leads with a petition by author and psychologist John Gartner, Ph.D., declaring that Trump has “a serious mental illness that renders him psychologically incapable of competently discharging the duties of President of the United States.” Gartner is a former professor of psychiatry at Johns Hopkins, currently in private practice in New York and Baltimore. To date, more than 26,000 psychologists, psychiatrists, and other mental health professionals have signed the petition, which has no legal power but does drive home the point that these professionals are gravely concerned about the mental health of this president.

But the point of this well-written article is highlighting the conflict going on in the mental health field: While some believe it is possible to diagnose through observation, some feel it is unethical and inappropriate to do so, while still others question whether or not psychology should be used to address issues of governance.

Yeah, I get that. It's a slippery slope, and the profession could easily end up being incorporated into the often zany world of campaign politics. That being said, when confronted with somebody like Trump, who is obviously suffering from some sort of mental disorder, the people look to that profession to get some idea of the consequences his election could bring about. Sitting on the sidelines will serve no purpose but keeping us in the dark, maybe until it's too late.



He admires Nixon ...

... and that if that isn't enough to give you pause, consider this, noted by a former director of the Nixon Library in a Slate article.

Remember the Chennault Affair, where Nixon sent representatives to derail Johnson's Vietnam peace talks during the election?

The Russian hacking scandal has the potential to be the Chennault Affair of our times. In both cases a foreign power made a decision that influenced—but arguably did not determine—the outcome of an election. The difference is that the declassified record about 2016 so far does not indicate any collusion between the Trump campaign and the activities of the Russian Federation. But Trump’s comments during the campaign and his tweet-allegation of Obama wiretapping in recent days are reminiscent of Nixon’s over-the-top denials to Johnson that he had anything to do with the South Vietnamese reticence to negotiate and his later public criticism of his predecessor. On Nov. 3, 1968, Nixon told Johnson in a private conversation (that LBJ taped!), “My God, I would never do anything to encourage Hanoi—I mean Saigon—not to come to the table … Good God, we want them over in Paris.” He didn't.

After he became president, Nixon—convinced that Johnson had been conspiring against him—spread reports alleging that Johnson had tapped his campaign plane. Nixon knew this wasn’t true—he had access to the intelligence records from 1968—but saying your predecessor was spying on you can make a compelling story, especially when you have something to hide yourself.

The difference between Trump

and your average garden-variety narcissist: He can say anything, no matter how f**king crazy, and a huge number of people will believe it, no matter how much evidence is presented to the contrary.

Which is (of course) dangerous as hell in a President, because it usually leads to megalomania.