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Saturday, July 13, 2024

O’Donnell and Scarborough get it: Trump is dangerous


It has taken far too long for the television antidote to Fox New, MSNBC, to recognize and explain how Donald Trump has a dangerous psychiatric disorder. I couldn’t keep counts of the times I heard hosts and guests say “I’m not a psychiatrist” and watch them roll their eyes as they tried to make sense of Trump’s behavior as if it was inexplicable.

His most unhinged behavior was always explainable. I am weary of Democrats saying, as a freshman member of Congress just did on MSNBC, Trump’s behavior is becoming increasingly bizarre and unstable.” You merely have to understand the basics of abnormal psychology that these words describe psychopathology.

On MSNBC’s “The Last Word” Wednesday night host Lawrence O’Donnell began with

In his first public speech of the new year the president of the United States revealed that the 27 psychiatrists and mental health professionals who co-authored the book ‘The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump’ were right, that Donald Trump’s condition is obviously getting worse.

Now all of us in middle age and above find us spending more and more time looking for our keys. There is some neurological decline is absolutely inevitable over time but Donald Trump’s is dramatic.

If you thought that his pathological lying could not become more pathological or that he could not become more delusional you were wrong. The mental health professionals who told us he would are right.

Lawrence O’Donnell was the first MSNBC host to recognize that Trump had a dangerous psychiatric disorder. Last year in February he interviewed clinical psychologist Dr. John D. Gartner, the founder of the Duty to Warn group of mental health professionals advocating for removal of Trump under the 25th Amendment.

UPDATE: In recent months Joe Scarborough has been questioning Trump’s mental fitness, with the latest coming on Thursday when he brought this up on Morning Joe:

“There would be people going up to the White House this morning saying, ‘Mr. President, questions abound whether you were fit for this office. If this continues, we are going to ask your Cabinet to take a vote on whether you were fit for office and invoke the 25th Amendment….

This is a man who obviously is not fit to hold the office, and we’ve known that for a very long time. But he keeps giving a preponderance of evidence to those members of the House and the Senate that will carry that vote. He is not fit, he is not acting fit, and he is pushing foreign policy initiatives that are actually going to do grave damage to this country, our national security and embolden and strengthen our enemy.”

Nearly two years ago one of the first mental health professionals to warn about the dangerousness of Donald Trump because of his psychopathology was clinical psychologist John D. Gartner. Over two years ago he started an online petition Mental Health Professionals Declare Trump is Mentally Ill And Must Be Removed which eventually had over 70,000 signatures. He has had numerous articles published and has been interviewed in many publications.

O’Donnell interviewed Gartner along with psychiatrist Lance Dodes, MD. in February. (Watch video here)

In October, 2017 O’Donnell interviewed the editor of “The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump” Yale forensic psychiatrist Bandy X. Lee, M.D., M.DIV. who appeared along with Tony Schwartz, co-author of Trump’s “The Art of the Deal.” (Watch video here

When Rachel Maddow and other MSNBC hosts expressed puzzlement over Trump’s erratic and seemingly irrational words and decisions, O’Donnell consistently explained his behavior as being attributable to his having a severe psychiatric disorder.

Fox News managed to find someone to dispute the claim that Trump isn’t mentally fit to be president. The person they found, Gina Loudon whose book jacket proclaims that she’s ‘America’s favorite psychological expert.’ An article in the Daily Beast revealed the truth: “Trump Adviser Gina Loudon’s Book Claims She Has a Ph.D. in Psychology. She Doesn’t.”

In fact, anyone with mental health credentials who has gone public claiming that Trump is psychologically unimpaired and fit to be president is an outlier in the profession. While there are technical professional disputes as to whether he fits one or another diagnostic category or ethically should be given a diagnosis, I can’t find a single reputable mental health professional who says he is mentally stable.

Lawrence O’Donnell deserves kudos for grasping this early. Hopefully he can educate his MSNBC colleagues who still haven’t figured it out. I am tired of all the head scratching when Trump behaves in a way that can only easily explained by reading “Psychology for Dummies.”

I would be remiss if I didn’t give equal credit to former psychotherapist, popular progressive radio host, and author Thom Hartmann who often talks about whether Trump is up to the presidency, and whether he is temperamentally and psychologically unfit to be president, and that he should be removed under the 25th Amendment (video). 


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