No, Donald Trump is not unfit to serve as president — regardless of what HE says

No, Donald Trump is not unfit to serve as president — regardless of what HE says
Jamie Raskin (Image: YouTube screen grab)

Ever since Election Day 2016, the pendulum has swung back and forth several times, not to mention up, down, and sideways, as Democrats in Congress and their allies in the media flit from argument to argument on why Donald Trump should be unseated as president.

One minute, the “rationale” for impeachment is that Trump colluded with the Russians to steal the election from Hillary Clinton, who by all rights won anyway because she carried the popular vote. The next it’s Trump’s incivility to women, gays, Muslims, and Mexicans, which is tearing the fabric of the nation asunder. Counterarguments that Barack Obama was a divisive leader — and egotist, like Trump — fall on deaf ears.

Right now, the liberal removal-from-office checklist has cycled around to one of my personal favorites: the claim that Trump is mentally unfit to continue serving and should be removed according to the Twenty-fifth Amendment’s “crazy man clause,” aka the Goldwater Rule. As evidence of his instability, the Left points to his recent bellicose tweet directed at North Korea’s unstable despotic leader Kim Jong un.

This is just the latest excuse. Last July a group of psychiatry professors banded together to draft an open letter to Congress, proclaiming that Trump’s “widely reported symptoms of mental instability — including grandiosity, impulsivity, hypersensitivity to slights or criticism, and an apparent inability to distinguish between fantasy and reality” — make him unfit to remain in office. “Widely reported” by whom, the doctors never said, though they did preface the letter by noting that “professional standards do not permit us to venture a diagnosis for a public figure whom we have not evaluated personally.” Then of course they turned around and did just that.

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For this latest go-round, Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.), who spearheaded the first effort to invoke the Twenty-fifth Amendment, is back, accompanied solely by Bandy X. Lee of Yale, who has once again violated Section 7 of the American Psychiatric Association’s “Principles of Medical Ethics,” which stipulates:

[I]t is unethical for a psychiatrist to offer a professional opinion unless he or she has conducted an examination and has been granted proper authorization for such a statement.

The problem runs deeper than that, according to other psychiatric professionals. Psychiatrist Prudence Gourguechon, a past president of the American Psychoanalytic Association, said in an interview with FiveThirtyEight:

A diagnosis is good for treatment and for insurance reimbursement — without a diagnosis you can’t get your psychological or psychiatric visits covered — but it’s not very good for understanding people in their depth and complexity.

Still others write off crusades like the one against Trump as nothing more than attempting to score political points. Susan Molchan, a psychiatrist  formerly employed by the National Institutes of Health, maintains that diagnoses from afar are “essentially name-calling and … not constructive. It’s making an assumption and trying to attach a stigma, and it’s not fair to people who are clearly mentally ill and aren’t bad.”

Finally there is Trump himself, who used his favorite medium of communication, Twitter, to weigh in on the discussion of his mental health:

If you’ll permit me to play amateur psychologist — and why not? Every Dem in Congress and the media are — Trump has not yet demonstrated an incapacity to remain on the job, his tweet intimating the contrary notwithstanding.

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Howard Portnoy

Howard Portnoy

Howard Portnoy has written for The Blaze, HotAir, NewsBusters, Weasel Zippers, Conservative Firing Line, RedCounty, and New York’s Daily News. He has one published novel, Hot Rain, (G. P. Putnam’s Sons), and has been a guest on Radio Vice Online with Jim Vicevich, The Alana Burke Show, Smart Life with Dr. Gina, and The George Espenlaub Show.


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