A leading psychiatry group has told its members they should not feel bound by a longstanding rule against commenting publicly on the mental state of public figures — even the president.
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.
How ironic. Psychoanalysis is a branch of psychiatry and therapy that has always prided itself on being thorough. In classical psychoanalysis, you meet with a therapist several times a week for years on end. Psychoanalysts want to really get to know you and probe your psyche in painstaking depth. While it applies to paying patients, it apparently does not apply to the President of the United States — at least if that President is Donald Trump. When it comes to Donald Trump, even psychoanalysts have taken off the gloves. Go after him with everything you’ve got!
It’s not that I’m in favor of the Goldwater Rule, the non-legally binding prohibition on offering opinions about the mental status of public figures. Mental health professionals have the same First Amendment rights as everyone else. The Goldwater Rule was adopted after some psychiatrists answered a 1964 survey on whether Sen. Barry Goldwater, the Republican presidential candidate that year, was mentally fit for the Oval Office. It’s not that I think mental health professionals shouldn’t be free to candidly speak their opinions on anything, so long as they do not violate the confidentiality of their patients or clients in the process. It’s the hypocrisy that’s so sickening, especially from the psychoanalytic community that prides itself on being in-depth and thorough.
Would the psychoanalytic association have applied repeal of the informal Goldwater Rule to President Barack Obama? Not a chance. But the subject never came up, because mental health professionals and psychiatrists rarely challenge the prevailing view that government-enforced “compassion” is and ought to be the law of the land, and Obama was associated with that socialistic and communistic view more fervently than Donald Trump. I know from three decades of experience in the mental health profession that leftism is the overwhelming norm, although non-leftists tend to keep quiet since Democrats are not generally the most tolerant sorts, as we know.
The only precedent being established here is yet another violation of integrity in the wake of Donald Trump’s surprising election victory. According to the standards agreed upon by virtually all mental health professionals (myself included), it’s not possible to formally evaluate someone you do not know and have never met. You can certainly comment on the actions and statements of any public figure with credibility as being indicative of, or consistent with, some kind of mental health syndrome or disorder. But you cannot diagnose them. Through this reversal, the association of psychoanalysts appears to be giving the green light to speaking of Donald Trump in diagnostic terms. While it might not be illegal, it’s a brazen abuse of professional authority for political means while pretending those intentions have nothing to do with politics.
What’s going on here is not difficult to understand. The way is being paved to impeach Donald Trump, by any means possible or necessary. Psychiatrists and other mental health professionals are being brought on board to take up for the threatened establishment that pays a lot of their bills through our mostly nationalized system of health care reimbursement, especially Medicare and Medicaid. When you talk of “the swamp”, you can now include among the ranks these painstakingly rationalizing mental health professionals who refuse to come out and say what they really feel: That they want all dissenting opinion squashed. That’s the reason they’re after Donald Trump. It’s the same reason the media, Democrats, trial lawyers and all the other pressure groups who live as parasites at the public trough are against him.
It’s all outrageous, but also so tiring. These people are the most unworthy adversaries imaginable. Don’t trust them with your mental health, or with anything else.
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