Several weeks ago, Mary L. Trump, the niece of the president, released a book titled Too Much and Never Enough: How My Family Created the World’s Most Dangerous Man. She was interviewed several times on TV and in the press. I have not read the book, but I’ve read excerpts, and it is A.) fascinating, B.) chilling, and C.) run for the hills.
In a column yesterday penned by Mary L. Trump that ran in The Washington Post, she offered insight of the fact that psychiatrists were no longer able to discuss in public about presidents, nominees, and such – after the American Psychiatric Association established the “Goldwater Rule.” She is a psychologist, and has taught and worked in a clinical practice.
Here are the first two paragraphs she wrote about what happened about this issue:
“In 1964, Fact magazine published an unscientific survey asking psychiatrists whether they thought the Republican nominee, Barry Goldwater, was psychologically fit to serve as president of the United States. The problem wasn’t that professionals felt the need to share their views of what they considered Goldwater’s dangerous ideas; it was the irresponsible and often bizarre analyses that were in some cases based entirely on rank speculation. ‘Goldwater is basically a paranoid schizophrenic’ who ‘resembles Mao Tse-tung,’ one offered. Another said that he ‘has the same pathological make-up as Hitler, Castro, Stalin and other known schizophrenic leaders.’ A third said that ‘a megalomaniacal, grandiose omnipotence appears to pervade Mr. Goldwater’s personality.’
“Embarrassed, the American Psychiatric Association (APA), in reaction to this debacle, established the ‘Goldwater Rule,’ which barred its members from diagnosing public figures. It concluded that ‘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.’ That’s fair, as far as it goes. But in March 2017, shortly after my uncle, Donald Trump, was inaugurated, the APA didn’t just reaffirm the rule — it expanded it past the point of coherence. Not only were members prohibited from diagnosing public figures, now they could no longer offer a professional opinion of any sort, no matter how well supported or evidence-based, even if they believed that a public figure posed a threat to the country’s citizens or national security.”
Now, with the overwhelming use of social media, you could see this type of pronouncements might go way off the rails, but for those of us who know what they are talking about, well…. As noted, run for the hills.
So now: There are 8 days left before the election.
And last night, on 60 Minutes, the program ran what was left of the interview with President Trump. He had walked off the set because of Lesley Stahl’s questioning, and he posted a tape of it on Twitter. Chicken.
You sort of have to view it, because it, um, didn’t go very well. My eyes flew open just watching this, but was not able to turn away.
Get your ballots in. For those of us in Colorado, do not mail your ballot in at this point. Drop it off in a drop box or vote in person. I deposited my ballot more than a week ago, and it was the first time I had slept in weeks.
Below are links to the Washington Post column by Mary L. Trump, and the 20-minute portion of the 60 Minutes interview when Donald Trump walked off the set. Finally, from Huffington Post, there is a roll-your-eyes situation in which the president’s press secretary handed Stahl a giant box with the promised comprehensive healthcare plan. Stahl opened the box, and riffled the papers: No plan was there, just a lot of documents that had absolutely nothing involved in healthcare.
Yeah, that October surprise.
P.S. The photograph at the top was taken by a Reuters photographer at a recent rally; it struck me that I had seen images of eyes or hair, but not someone’s mouth.