Politics & Policy

Shrinks Free to Say Trump Is Crazy

The American Psychoanalytic Association just repealed its so-called “Goldwater Rule,” which forbids mental-health professionals from diagnosing politicians they have not examined.

Now, shrinks will be able to opine from afar on MSNBC — and similar clinically professional outlets — about President Trump’s supposed mental illness(es).  From the Stat story:

The statement, an email this month from the executive committee of the American Psychoanalytic Association to its 3,500 members, represents the first significant crack in the profession’s decades-old united front aimed at preventing experts from discussing the psychiatric aspects of politicians’ behavior. It will likely make many of its members feel more comfortable speaking openly about President Trump’s mental health.

The impetus for the email was “belief in the value of psychoanalytic knowledge in explaining human behavior,” said psychoanalytic association past president Dr. Prudence Gourguechon, a psychiatrist in Chicago. “We don’t want to prohibit our members from using their knowledge responsibly.”

That responsibility is especially great today, she told STAT, “since Trump’s behavior is so different from anything we’ve seen before” in a commander in chief.

“Responsibly,” no doubt means that such ”diagnoses” will be restricted to conservative politicians. For example, I am sure Hillary will never receive the distant diagnosis treatment despite all the shrinkage fodder to be had there! 

I have a theory that this story validates: Trump brings out the worst in both his supporters and detractors.

In this case, trashing long-standing professional standards in the greater cause of destroying the Trump presidency — and perhaps convincing Vice President Pence to hearken to Ross Douthat’s crackers call to invoke the 25th Amendment.

Of course, once Pence did that, he would be next to be diagnosed from the virtual psychiatrist’s couch.


Wesley J. Smith — Wesley J. Smith is a senior fellow at the Discovery Institute’s Center on Human Exceptionalism.

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