US Election Politics 2020: Is President Donald Trump Mentally Unstable?
Is President Donald Trump mentally unstable? Does he have a personality disorder? A group of eminent US psychiatrists say yes, despite having never examined him personally. Are they being irresponsible, or are they right? By Ben Arogundade. April 14, 2020.
Is Donald Trump crazy? These magazine front covers, from Rolling Stone and New Republic, are explicit in their suggestion that the US president is mentally unhinged. Both covers are among 240 featured in the new book, ‘Fake Views? The Donald Trump Book Of Covers’, by author Ben Arogundade.
IS DONALD TRUMP MENTALLY UNSTABLE? The question shadowed him in the run up to the 2016 election and beyond. Psychologists have attempted to analyse whether his pathological lying, belief in conspiracy theories, tweeted threats and bullying, and generally erratic behaviour are signs that he is mentally unfit for office. “As someone who's studied Trump, as someone who's met Trump, who's interacted with him socially, I can say with absolute confidence that he suffers from severe personality disorders, perhaps a cluster of disorders,” says Ben Michaelis, a New York psychologist. Baltimore-based psychologist John Gartner leads a group of mental health professionals called Duty To Warn, which contends that the president is mentally unfit to hold office. A Change.org petition, launched in January 2017 garnered more than 70,000 signatures. But it has also been criticised, both by the American Psychiatric Association and the American Psychological Association, who advise psychologists against assessing the mental health of someone they have not examined personally.
According to Politico, a group of congressional members asked Dr. Bandy X. Lee, a Yale University psychiatry professor, to assess Trump's mental state. “He's going to unravel, and we are seeing the signs,” she told the magazine. “Trump is going to get worse and will become uncontainable with the pressures of the presidency,” she predicted. Non-healthcare professionals have also been quick to state their opinion about the president’s mental health. The January 2018 publication of Michael Wolff's book, Fire and Fury, further ignited speculation about the president's state of mind after the author gathered testimony from Trump staffers. “My indelible impression of talking to them and observing them,” Wolff wrote, “is that they all — 100 percent — came to believe he was incapable of functioning in his job.” Republican attorney George Conway, who married to Kellyanne Conway, political consultant to Donald Trump, said, “In my view he is a sociopath and a malignant narcissist. When a person suffering from these disorders feels the world is closing in on them, their tendencies get worse. They lash out and fantasise and lose any ability to think rationally.”
But Trump's doctor, Dr. Ronny Jackson, refuted all claims that the Republican is mentally unstable. “The president's overall health is excellent,” he maintained, following four hours of physical and psychological testing. “There's no indication whatsoever that he has any cognitive issue.” Jackson, who also served presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama, performed a 15-minute mental health test called the Montreal Cognitive Assessment, which evaluates mild cognitive dysfunction, and is generally used to test for early onset Alzheimer's and other forms of dementia. Trump scored 30 out of 30, although the test was criticised as a screening measure only, which lacked detail. “Just because a person gets a 30 out of 30 doesn't mean you wouldn't pick up even very significant impairments in further testing,” said Dr. Paul J. Moberg, clinical director of neuropsychology at Pennsylvania University Medical School. “A screening measure is not enough to assess competency.”
The four magazine covers shown here — which feature in the new book, 'Fake Views? The Donald Trump Book Of Covers' — are amongst several that posed the question about Trump's sanity in the most graphic fashion. The New Republic, drawn by illustrator André Carrilho, renders the president as a psychiatric inmate trussed up in a straitjacket, panting heavily as if he's just been restrained by the white-coated staff. The word “Crazy” within the headline is supersized in red, with Trump appearing to have crashed to his knees under its weight. 'Courrier International' offers a more disturbing image of an X-ray-style silhouette of Trump's head with a hand grenade inside, poised to go off at any second. The grenade is enlarged, appearing to be the same size as his brain, maximising the sense of danger implied within the Trump psyche. 'Newsweek''s offering is similar, only this time Trump's ghostly silhouette is imprinted with the words, 'Insane In The Membrane', after the famous lyrics to the 1993 rap song by Cyprus Hill. The lead story for Rolling Stone's cover, entitled 'The Madness Of Donald Trump', directly questions the president's mental health. The illustration, by Victor Juhasz, renders Trump as a crazed, demented figure, so pumped up with rage that his head has swollen to dangerous proportions and his forehead has collapsed under the weight of his hair. He stands isolated atop the divisive wall he promised to build, but with his trusty mobile at hand, ready to tweet if things get too boring.
Ben Arogundade’s new book, ‘Fake Views? The Donald Trump Book Of Covers’, features 240 of the US president’s best front pages, spanning 40 years in the public eye, including these examples from ‘Courrier International’ and ‘Newsweek’.
Fake Views? The Donald Trump Book Of Covers
The illustrated story of Donald J. Trump’s rise from real estate mogul to the White House, told through a unique collection of 240 of his front covers, from 1979 to the present. Witness Trump depicted as the anti-Christ, Adolf Hitler, The Joker, a Ku Klux Klansman, a terrorist, a psychopath, a narcissist and a sexual predator, to name but a few.
WINNER: GENERAL NON-FICTION: Indie Book Awards 2019.
FINALIST: BEST COVER DESIGN: Indie Book Awards 2019.
After eight years in the White House, the legacy of the USA’s first African American president is still being debated and defined. Were the media’s portrayals of him and his achievements accurate, or did they get it wrong?