The Corner

Politics & Policy

Don’t Medicalize or Criminalize Donald Trump

A few weeks ago the press and the Left were in a fever about the president allegedly having dementia, and now they are in a fever about his allegedly having committed obstruction of justice. I think these are both misconceived attempts to medicalize or criminalize Donald Trump. Does Trump have personality traits — lack of attention span, lack of interest in details, etc. — that hamper his presidency? Of course. It doesn’t mean that he is literally sick such that the 25th Amendment would or should be invoked. Does Trump, at bottom, have a view of what the Justice Department should be — namely, a fiefdom loyal to him personally — that is disturbing and should be resisted by his advisors? Yes. It doesn’t mean that he’s committed criminal obstruction of justice such that he’s going to be indicted and thrown in jail.

The root of the effort to medicalize or criminalize Trump is the same: A fantasy that he can somehow be leveraged out of office before the 2020 election. Trump’s temperament and view of DOJ are obviously legitimate matters for the opposition to take up against him and to use as fuel for all the normal means to oppose a president — obstruction in Congress, protest marches, attempts to defeat Republican candidates, etc., etc. But the Left is vested in abnormal means to oppose Trump, which explains the feverish attempts to rule him out of bounds on medical or criminal grounds.

Rich Lowry — Rich Lowry is the editor of National Review. He can be reached via email: 

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