Back in 1964, a whole bunch of psychiatrists decided they would like to psychoanalyze Republican presidential candidate Barry Goldwater. The result was what's known as the "Goldwater Rule."...Flier is Jeffrey Flier, the former dean of Harvard Medical School. His tweet was "Narcissistic personality disorder. Trump doesn't just have it, he defines it."
The American Psychiatric Association first began to follow the rule in 1973, but given recent events, it saw fit Wednesday to remind psychiatrists across the United States that the rule exists and must be followed.
"The unique atmosphere of this year’s election cycle may lead some to want to psychoanalyze the candidates," Maria A. Oquendo, president of the APA, wrote, "but to do so would not only be unethical, it would be irresponsible."
It's not clear whether Oquendo's post was a direct response to Flier's tweet or Scarborough's comments ["We’re asking ourselves — I didn’t say this, but this is what everybody is saying: Is Donald Trump a sociopath?"], but the timing certainly seems to fit. She did not respond to a request for comment....
Do you know what I'm about to say? WaPo is highlighting the things people are saying about Trump, but the APA warning came out Wednesday and is more closely synchronized with attacks on Hillary Clinton. WaPo doesn't even mention the spate of analysis of Hillary Clinton that followed her "short-circuited" remark. The "timing certainly seems to fit" — if anything — a desire to protect Hillary from attacks. The analysis of Trump's mental health has been going on for a while.
And here's my post from this morning observing that discussion of Trump in terms of mental illness has unleashed a corresponding approach to attacking Hillary Clinton. I'm against this kind of cheap, phony medicalizing of political discussion, whether it's done by psychiatrists or amateurs — or WaPo columnists like Kathleen Parker who thinks her own experience with brain injury puts her in a "unique position" to talk about Trump's brain.