In recent weeks, the armchair psychoanalyzing of Donald Trump has become almost as popular as catching Pokémon, a development that hasn’t escaped the attention of the powers-to-be at the American Psychiatric Association (APA).
Earlier this month, Dr. Marie Oquendo, president of the APA, issued a statement in which she reminded her organization’s members of the so-called Goldwater Rule, “which prohibits psychiatrists from offering opinions on someone they have not personally evaluated.” (Source)
July 15, 2017
Let me issue the standard disclaimer of psychiatrists who discuss the mental health of public figures: I have not personally examined President Trump.
Therefore he is wrong to give us his evaluation.
Now, let me put to rest the concerns of Sen. Al Franken and political commentators John Oliver and Andrew Sullivan and anyone else who publicly or privately has questioned the president’s sanity:
Donald Trump is stone cold sane.
Dr. Ablow is largely correct about President Trumps attributes but he largely ignores any psychopathology that President Trump may have.
To do so would put him completely out of compliance with HIPAA privacy rules protecting the patient, (Source) and the likelihood of Donald Trump hammering him with a massive law suit.
When a man acquires billions of dollars through complex real estate transactions, invests in many countries, goes on to phenomenal success in television and turns his name into a worldwide brand, it is very unlikely that he is mentally unstable.
When the same man obviously enjoys the love and respect of his children and his wife, who seem to rely on him for support and guidance, it is extraordinarily unlikely that he is mentally unstable.
When the same man walks into the political arena and deftly defeats 16 Republican opponents and then the Democratic heir-apparent to a two-term president’s administration, the odds of that man being mentally unstable become vanishingly thin.
And when that very same man attracts to his team the kind of intellect and gravitas represented (to name just a few) by Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Dr. Ben Carson, Attorney General Jeff Sessions, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Secretary of Defense James Mattis, a retired Marine Corps general and commander of the U.S. Central Command, he cannot be mentally deranged. Period. It is a statistical impossibility.
Those who assert otherwise are political opportunists, or fools, or both (and I am thinking here, in particular, of Sen. Franken).
President Trump is the first human being to win this nation’s highest office without having held any other political office or serving as a general. Most political pundits thought his quest was pure folly. Most journalists assessed his chances as zero. So who was laboring under quasi-delusional thinking? Answer: Not Donald J. Trump.
Anecdotally, by the way, I have never had one bad Trump experience. Not one. I own several of his ties — all of them of the highest quality. I have stayed in his hotels and never had a single complaint (and I am a born complainer). I have eaten in his New York restaurant — flawless service, excellent food. I own an apartment at Trump Place in Manhattan. Impeccable design, sturdy construction, fabulous amenities. A mentally unstable man would be unlikely to deliver superior products across multiple industries, don’t you think?
If you’re still worried about the mental stability of the president, note this: The stock market doesn’t like instability. Investors, en masse, can take the measure of a man pretty darn well. The stock market has hit record high after record high since Trump’s election, and if you think that’s an accident, or that investors have all been fooled, it’s time to start wondering about your own capacity for rational thought.
I should note that nothing I am saying should besmirch the reputations of men like President Abraham Lincoln or Sir Winston Churchill, both of whom are said to have fought the ravages of major depression or bipolar disorder. One was instrumental in ridding America of slavery. The other was instrumental in saving the world from tyranny. Mahatma Gandhi, by the way, also reportedly suffered from depression. Psychiatric illness does not, a priori, disqualify a person from rendering extraordinary service to mankind.
Mind you, neither Lincoln nor Churchill nor Gandhi led a nation after becoming a business sensation and television star. That trifecta defines one man: President Donald J. Trump.
Now, think about those who are rabble-rousing about the president’s mental status. Take Sen. Al Franken. He’s all worried about the president allegedly overestimating the crowd size at his inauguration. But Franken is allied with Sen. Elizabeth Warren, who asserted she is Native American, when there is no evidence of that whatsoever.
And they’re calling Trump’s sanity into question? Really, you can’t make this stuff up.
Dr. Keith Ablow is a psychiatrist and member of the Fox News Medical A-Team