He's CRAZY. There are rumors of "early onset dementia". The President shows signs of Narcissistic Personality Disorder. He could be a sociopath. Hosts on the mainstream media programs breathlessly question willing "psychiatrists" or "psychologists" about the mental health status of President Trump. The #Resistance repeats these soundbytes to bolster their screech of "IMPEACH" and "25th Amendment". And now it appears the mental health of the President has actually become a partisan issue.
There was plenty of discussion regarding President Trump's overall temperament for the job of leader of the free world during both the Republican primary and the general election. In full disclosure, I was asking these questions myself quite a bit and his style is still not the one I would prefer on any number of occasions.
Note I said style. He is bombastic. He can be caustic. He is not careful in his language and fires back at those who criticize him. Even when it is clearly punching down. He also props himself up with aggrandizing comments about his intellect and smarts. All of these are behaviors he exhibits on a regular basis. And has forever.
Now these are all signs of something much darker. Things geared up earlier this month with a Congressional briefing by Dr. Bandy X. Lee the author of “The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump: 27 Psychiatrists and Mental Health Experts Assess a President”. Mind you none of their assessments would meet the standard for a clinical diagnosis, but is was a bestseller anyway. And Democrats actually took a briefing from her.
However, thanks to Michael Wolff's book Fire and Fury it seems there are now an even bigger number of mental health professionals willing to make observational diagnoses of a mental illness and a press willing to report on them.
But of course the author says you don't even need to be a doctor
Oddly, we've been here before. Fact magazine asked psychiatrists a simple question during the 1964 election. "Do you believe Barry Goldwater is psychologically fit to serve as President of the United States?". A sampling of the comments returned varied widely from diagnoses of schizophrenia to admonishments for even asking the question in the first place.
This led the American Psychiatric Association to implement the Goldwater Rule. According to the APA:
The ethical principle, in place since 1973, guides physician members of the APA to refrain from publicly issuing professional medical opinions about individuals that they have not personally evaluated in a professional setting or context. Doing otherwise undermines the credibility and integrity of the profession and the physician-patient relationship.
No one you have seen commenting on the news has personally examined the President. Mr. Wolff is not a mental health professional licensed to even evaluate a person's mental health. Yet the media and their allies in the Progressive movement are using these statements as a basis to create fear and doubt, not just about the President, but also about those in his Administration who are failing to come forward with similar concerns.
So once again, the APA had to reissue a statement saying this is not okay. No ethical professional should be doing this. And only a doctor who has completed a full examination and has an appropriate release from the patient should be making any comments about diagnosis or mental fitness. This seems reasonable.
I do not expect the Democrats or their allies in the media to be reasonable. But it would be nice to believe they will be ethical and follow the APA's lead in covering what is rumor and speculation at best. Armchair quarterbacking is bad enough. Armchair psychiatry is an abomination and an insult to the doctor patient relationship for those actually suffering from mental illness.
So no Brian Stelter, it is not the media's obligation to ask professionals with an unqualified opinion these questions. Just stop.