It has been all about Donald Trump these past four weeks, as in what madness is he up to today?
Not a day has gone by since this American president took office has he not made ridiculous and untruthful public statements through Twitter and/or at press conferences.
To call him a narcissist would be putting it mildly, and perhaps incorrectly.
True, he seems to be caught up in his own grandeur and has an unquenchable desire for public attention. But he also appears to be mentally ill. And unstable.
An Op-ed piece on the New York Times site by Richard E. Friedman asks the question that is surely on the minds of many people around the world: Is It Time To Call Trump Mentally Ill?
It’s not so easily done, Friedman points out while addressing the growing chorus of voices, including psychiatric professionals, questioning Trump’s mental health.
“Diagnosis requires a thorough examination of a patient, a detailed history and all relevant clinical data — none of which can be gathered from afar. Narcissism, for instance, isn’t the only explanation for impulsive, inattentive and grandiose behavior. Someone could be suffering instead from another clinical problem like attention deficit hyperactivity disorder; the abuse of drugs, alcohol or stimulants; or a variant of bipolar disorder, to name just a few. This is all to say that when mental health professionals label public figures with mental illnesses, it is not just unethical — it’s intellectually suspect. We don’t have the requisite clinical data to know what we are talking about.”
And as Friedman further points out, you can suffer from a psychiatric problem but still be competent to go to work every day. He says at least 10 U.S. presidents showed signs of mental illness while in office, but they still did their jobs.
Finally, he says we shouldn’t label Trump mentally ill and let him off “the moral hook.”
“Not all misbehavior reflects psychopathology; the fact is that ordinary human meanness and incompetence are far more common than mental illness.”
To digress for a moment, one has to wonder about Trump’s advisors and their failure to guide him and help him present a more presidential image. WTF!?
Another New York Times Op-ed piece asks this question: How Can We Get Rid of Trump?
Apparently, betting websites are taking wagers on when Trump will leave office, with one using July as a target date.
Writer Nicholas Kristof looks at the options — impeachment, resignation, Section 4 of the 25th Amendment — and concludes that the United States will be stuck with Trump as president for the next four years.
Personally, I’ve been overwhelmed by — and transfixed on — all the drama coming out of the White House. And I’m not alone on this: Everybody’s talking about Donald Trump every day. And he’s making sure we do talk about him.
It’s the proverbial vicious cycle that many of us simply cannot walk away from, especially those in the media: we have to report on Trump. We can’t ignore him, because as mad as he may appear to be, things could get much crazier if we let him carry on unchecked.
And so we are caught up in the whirlpool that is Donald Trump . . .
About Sunday Reads posts: This is a weekly feature giving us all a chance to point to an article or two or three that we found interesting in the preceding week, or the morning of. They can be offbeat, humorous, weighty commentary, whatever. So, if you have any recommendations, please point to them in the readers’ comments section below.