Illustration by Max-O-Matic
The Trumpian lunacy spirals onward: The delusions - "Virtually no President has accomplished what we have accomplished in the first 9 months!" - the irrational rages - unfathomably, he is still harassing football players - and the narcissistic view of hurricane-ravaged Puerto Rico or any other disaster, which is always about him and the "great marks" he's getting even though it's hard - "It's in the middle of an ocean! And it's a big one!" - but not to worry, because he's from New York and some of his best friends are Puerto Rican. Yes. He said that.
Having heard and watched this sick crap along with the rest of us for too long, a group of esteemed psychiatrists and mental health professionals decided to re-examine the so-called Goldwater Rule - no diagnosis without personal examination and permission - at a conference at Yale University in the name of their moral and civic "duty to warn" during an "increasingly alarming Trump presidency." As a result of that gathering, over two dozen mental health experts wrote essays for a new book assessing "The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump," being released by Thomas Dunne Books on October 3.
Excerpts of their findings, published Wednesday by Newsweek, are not for the faint of heart - but are for those of us who believe the more information we have, the more effectively we can think and act. A brief summary: Yes, it really is that bad, and what you thought you were seeing, you were. Based on years of observing Trump's behaviors, psychiatrists found "overwhelming evidence of profound sociopathic traits," as well as malignant narcissism. Both disorders cause the multitude of symptoms clear to professionals and other sentient humans: Persistent loss of reality, paranoia, bullying, violent impulses, low self-esteem, lying and cheating, rage reactions and impulsivity and lack of empathy or compassion. And, possibly, dementia or Alzheimer's Disease, from which his father suffered.
Several writers stress that, regardless of what may be slight variations in their diagnoses, what's most important is their effect on the country. "The issue here is not whether President Donald Trump is mentally ill," writes Dr. James Gilligan, a renowned violence expert and professor of psychiatry and law at New York University who has been a consultant to several world leaders and health organizations. "It is whether he is dangerous. Dangerousness is not a psychiatric diagnosis." While all psychiatrists know mental illness, he notes, only some have studied the causes, consequences and prevention of violence, and it is their duty to "warn the potential victims, in the interests of public health." To remain silent about Trump's violence is "passively supporting and enabling the dangerous and naïve mistake of treating him as if he were a 'normal' president...He is not, and it is our duty to say so."