Do White Supremacy and Male Superiority Explain ‘the Goldwater Rule’?

If you want to know who controls you, look at who you are not allowed to criticize. - Voltaire

The Connecticut Society for Psychoanalytic Psychology was one of the first organizations to form a “psychoanalysis in society” group in response to the exceptional presidency of Donald Trump. After speaking there a couple years ago, I was invited back with my esteemed colleague, Dr. Kevin Washington, former president of the Association of Black Psychologists, which remains to this day the only mental health association that issued a direct statement about the psychological dangers of this presidency. …


A blow-by-blow account of how mental health experts warned that what happened would happen — that a president was likely going to kill (hundreds of) thousands of Americans — but went unheeded

On August 9, 2020, William Saletan published a remarkable article on Slate by the title: “The Trump Pandemic: A blow-by-blow account of how the president killed thousands of Americans.” The below consists of quotes of that article, cited here with permission, and an item-by-item record of what mental health experts said would happen, based on our understanding of the president’s mind.

On July 17, President Donald Trump sat for a Fox News interview at the White House. At the time, nearly 140,000 Americans were dead from the novel coronavirus…. “Everybody thought this summer it would go away,” said Trump. “They used to say the heat, the heat was good for it and it really knocks it out, remember? So they got that one wrong.” Trump’s account was completely backward. Redfield and other U.S. public health officials … had cautioned against that assumption. The person who had held out the false promise of a warm-weather reprieve, again and again, was Trump. …


‘At the Bottom, All Tragedies are Stupid’

So are the words of Stephen King. Hence, perhaps even I could write a tragedy without any literary talent. For when comic absurdity becomes reality, that is tragedy enough, and one need only recount it.

The only mental health professionals I know of to have publicists are Jeffrey L— and John G—. Both have done everything they could to destroy the efforts of conscientious professionals, one from without and the other from within. One worked from a clever conniving that effectively got him posts he obviously little measured up to, and the other from a clumsy clownishness that assumed position with top professionals only to discredit them all. Both have obvious personality pathologies that echo those of Donald Trump, whether for or against him. …


‘Translation’ of Donald Trump’s July 3, 2020, Speech at Mount Rushmore

I am making an exception to my hiatus from “translations”, as this speech was especially troubling — showing further deterioration since the recent pressures of his falling poll numbers and his failure to wish away a deadly pandemic. The original transcript is here. What is Donald Trump really saying? is what I am trying to illustrate. Of note, these interpretations are formulaic, not sardonic or made up. Rather, they are serious analyses of what Trump himself is telling us about his intentions and his actions, through his own words. I have now studied his defense mechanisms in detail for nearly four years, including denial, deflection, projection, reaction formation, and predatory manipulation — enough to know not to take his words at face value. I have also studied their degree of distortion, tested against real-time events for accuracy, on a daily basis, over about six months. Severe symptoms sometimes cause one to state the opposite of the truth but, through this, divulge very precisely what one is thinking and what one means, without realizing one is doing so. …


The Accelerated Unraveling of Donald Trump

By Leonard L. Glass, Edwin B. Fisher, and Bandy X. Lee

June 13, 2020

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Photograph: Gerd Altmann

The last few weeks have seen a marked and unmistakable deterioration in Donald Trump’s mental functioning. While his unfounded embrace of conspiracy theories have been a hallmark of his shaky capacity to assess external reality, in the past he only had to promote his views with enough gusto and repetition, buttressed by references to “people are saying” and Fox talking heads to seem to carry the day on social media. Many viewed him as, if not entirely plausible, at least consistent, confident, and entertaining. But a succession of bizarre and outrageous assertions have been so obviously disturbed that even normally quiescent Republican leaders and military officers have felt compelled to break their silence. …


Our Back Story

My report is intended as a public service. An unprecedented report meant for unprecedented times, it seeks to keep with the principles and standards of psychiatry over format of typical presentation, since, for an extraordinary situation, trying to keep with the latter will result in distortion. It is written because, if not for dealing with a global mental health emergency, wherein at stake could be nothing less than humanity’s survival, I do not know what psychiatry is good for. The public will understand this, as it has from the moment it made the request….

So how did a clinician consultant and academic psychiatrist with no background or interest in politics come to speak up nationally about the president? I often say politics invaded my area of expertise, and that would be true. I was in forensic psychiatry, with an almost twenty-year career working with violent offenders. I consulted widely on prison reform and collaborated with governments and international organizations on public health approaches to violence prevention. …


At the Close of Mental Health Awareness Month, the Mental Health Emergency of the President has Gone Unaddressed

As Mental Health Awareness Month draws to a close, the most major national mental health emergency has still gone unaddressed. I am speaking of the mental health, or lack thereof, of the president. It is a mental impairment that has been deadly through action and inaction, with just one aspect causing at least 36,000 deaths and which is now fueling a nation’s flames.

That the mental health field has been silent is unconscionable. A prominent psychiatric association campaigned not just to protect a public figure against public safety, but stopped independent psychiatrists from trying to fulfill their duties. It used its clout to silence not only its members but all psychiatrists and, through public campaigns, all mental health professionals. …


A CRISIS EMERGENCY REQUIRES AN EMERGENCY RESPONSE: Call Protocol

Please call Nancy Pelosi’s office at: (202) 225–4965, with the following message. Non-mental health professionals, please start below “Our recommendations,” stating, “Mental health professionals recommend….” Your help will make a difference!

Honorable Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi:

We mental health professionals began warning against the dangers of this president since before his inauguration, organizing our first public event in April 2017. …


A CRISIS EMERGENCY REQUIRES AN EMERGENCY RESPONSE

Honorable Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi:

We feel that our leaders have failed us. Our president has severe mental problems that have made the coronavirus crisis significantly worse than it should have been.

We feel that our CIA has failed us, as it was supposed to know what was happening abroad and to warn us of threats so we could properly prepare.

We feel that our military has failed us, demanding even more money for tanks and missiles while not readying to defend us against a pandemic that is already killing far more Americans than all the recent wars and terrorist attacks combined. …


A Funny Thing Happened on Our Way to Alerting the Public …

… About one of the greatest mental health emergencies in the history of this nation.

We would not even have thought twice about it: we see a danger, and we report. For a danger as great as a threat to all human civilization, especially in a public servant who is in place to protect the people, of course the public had the right to know. Every mental health professional assesses danger, in every person one sees, every day, and passersby on the street are not exempt, as we have a professional duty to respond to emergencies. Having devoted decades to studying and treating violence-prone individuals almost identical in presentation to the president, I believed I had an extra advantage in recognizing the dangers, and hence extra responsibility. But it did not take a specialist in violence to see what I saw: many of my colleagues felt the same way. …

About

Bandy X. Lee

Forensic psychiatrist, violence expert, president of the World Mental Health Coalition (worldmhc.org), and editor of "The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump.”

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