Daily 49er

Finding a caretaker for the President

After the release of “The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump,” maybe it’s time we take the idea of a mentally unfit president seriously.

U.S.+President+Donald+Trump+holds+a+signed+executive+order+to+declare+formal+recognition+of+Jerusalem+as+the+capital+of+Israel+during+an+event+in+the+Diplomatic+Reception+Room+of+the+White+House+December+6%2C+2017+in+Washington%2C+DC.
U.S. President Donald Trump holds a signed executive order to declare formal recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel during an event in the Diplomatic Reception Room of the White House December 6, 2017 in Washington, DC.

U.S. President Donald Trump holds a signed executive order to declare formal recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel during an event in the Diplomatic Reception Room of the White House December 6, 2017 in Washington, DC.

Olivier Doulier/Abaca Press

Olivier Doulier/Abaca Press

U.S. President Donald Trump holds a signed executive order to declare formal recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel during an event in the Diplomatic Reception Room of the White House December 6, 2017 in Washington, DC.

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This year has been the most politically disruptive year of my college career  — and I have el presidente Donald Trump to thank for that.

No one in the United States or across international borders can escape the actions and repercussions of the Commander in Chief; he’s always there, like a bad stepfather, looming over us through the media that he incessantly accuses of blasphemy even though it covers the facts.

He based his campaign on building a wall and helping the middle class; we have dozens of media covering the lack of a stone cold, 30 feet structure cutting off our nation from the world and the GOP tax plan that will end up destroying the already decreasing class of average-income earners. More so, his executive team of money-wranglers and sexual predators are publicized.

My point is that we have evidence. We have multiple sources telling us what this fool is up to, and in terms of believing the media, I want to make it clear that I’m pretty onboard with believing that they aren’t telling fibs to fit some socialist agenda.

Having said that, this leads me to my next, and more important point; even with this overwhelming evidence, Trump is clearly mentally ill. There. I said it. He suffers from an illness that everyone can continue to deny, but the facts are there as plain as the squirrels that exist on campus.

He denies the existence of a lot of events — like climate change — and continues to act and perform recklessly, leading a group of 27 American psychiatrists, psychologists, and mental health experts to assess his health and warn the world that Trump may be very well bound to what one of America’s leading psychohistorians, Robert Jay Lifton, calls “solipsistic reality.”

I was wary when I found out that these researchers were dedicating time to author a text (“The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump”) on this idea that Trump is seriously mentally ill. Solipsistic reality means that he’s incapable of embracing reality; he believes the reality of the self is the only one to exist, and everyone else’s proposed realities is nothing more than a danger that he needs to protect himself from. One example of this, according to Lifton in an interview, is Trump’s accusation that former President Barack Obama wasn’t a U.S. citizen.

He needs to delegitimize Obama…” Lifton said. “This is a personal, isolated solipsistic need which can coexist with a recognition that there’s no evidence at all to back it up.”

Even though Trump understood this probably wasn’t true, he needs things to be a certain way even when they’re not, so he lies to make up for the lack of consistencies in his realities. Like the whole “Obama is recording my conversations” bit. Even the intelligence community couldn’t find evidence.

I wouldn’t consider myself a fan, per se, of the man thus far, but to diagnose a person without actually meeting them is pretty unprofessional and unethical. The Goldwater Rule, or section 7.3 of the American Psychiatrist Association’s code of ethics, is no nonsense in regards to my concern: “it 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.”

But here we have Lifton and his team defying that. Instead, it’s their duty to push this information in order to prove that Trump is psychologically unstable and unfit for office  — both of which are 100 percent possible.

His fellow Republicans agree; Senator Susan Collins admitted recently that she was worried about his mental state. Senator Bob Corker accused the Commander in Chief of not demonstrating the competence necessary for a successful presidency. Earlier in the year, even voters said they believed his mental health was “poor,” while two out of three regularly question his temperament.

Why would it be so terrible to think that this is the truth? Instead of his spaced-out actions of a petulant child, his increasing instability might be a sign of a truly dangerous figure that slithered his way into our presidency. The walls of the world that once revolved around him — in his reality — are crumbling with attacks coming from his new kingdom. Who knows? Maybe it’s true. Maybe his erratic, destructive behavior, his sense of entitlement, his dictatorial personality all have a mentally-rooted reason.

Over the past year, we’ve had a weekly check-in of the man in charge, right, where he says something outlandish against a person or group, proposes an even more outrageous solution then watches it fizzle out until the next outburst. Recently, though, psychiatrists are identifying more and more examples of his mental decline: retweeting violent videos from an alt-right group, referring to Senator Elizabeth Warren as “Pocahontas,” and even denying that the voice on the “Access Hollywood” tape of him admitting to groping women was his  — despite stating earlier that it was, in fact, him.

I don’t think this is a time for Republicans to argue that these psychiatrists are a bunch of whiny, over-reaching liberals who, in their displeasure with their president, are finding ways to discredit his ability to run the country. If mental health decline can explain why this inexperienced, irrational human being acts the way he does, then I’m all for it. It’s not enough to say he’s just a racist, or he’s just stupid; for me, I need scientific proof. And even if after his term is over, after he’s out of the public eye, after someone’s received the authorization to declare, “Yup, this dude was pretty insane,” I’ll be happy.

1 Comment

One Response to “Finding a caretaker for the President”

  1. Christiana Koch on January 5th, 2018 5:00 pm

    Disability advocate Victoria M. Rodriguez-Roldan says this:

    “Does Donald Trump have a mental illness? I don’t know. No one short of the White House Physician has the right to make that judgement call. What’s more, it doesn’t matter.

    What matters is this: this is a man who has been a racist and a sexist demagogue since anyone first put a microphone to his face in NYC decades ago. He bragged about sexual assault and would joke about dating his daughter. He was already on the wrong end of the civil rights lawsuits by the time he was in his 20s. He lacks the empathy to relate with people, let alone run a government and relishes in abusing and humiliating his own staff, marking him as an extremely abusive person. Furthermore, he lacks any knowledge of matters of policy, let alone constitutional matters, and has proven his unwillingness to learn about this, and other matters, such as the impact a tweet of his can have on a nuclear crisis.

    Those are not mental health problems. To call it that would be not to acknowledge the gravity of the situation: that we have a morally bankrupt and fundamentally unqualified man as the President of the United States.”

    Now that I’m done quoting Victoria’s eloquent words, I will add in my personal two cents. To assume that someone is incapable of a job, yes even the presidency, is offensive to workers with disabilities, particularly mental disabilities, who are busting their butts trying to get or keep even a minim wage job in this workplace. Even the title “a caretaker” implies that needing a caretaker makes you less of a person. People with disabilities/disabled people/people with differing abilities are not less just because some of them need a caretaker to best contribute to this world. Your problem, and rightfully so, is with sexism and racism. I stand with you on those claims. But not your ableist tone in this article. Please research ableism and do not use mental illness as an excuse to be racist or sexist. Marginalized communities need to stand together, not write “social justice” pieces at the other’s expense.

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