As a senior member of the ‘Over the Hill' generation of national punditry, I find myself (almost) bereft of comment at the unexpected revelation of Mayo-Clinic skill levels in gerontology on the part of Donald and his Trumpists. I have opened a subscription to the Journal of Geriatric Research in anticipation of Donald Trump’s first peer-reviewed article on remote diagnosis. Rumors also abound that Trump plans to brand a chain of assisted living facilities with his name on leaving the Oval Office in January. Trump plans an advertising campaign built around his claim that Joe Biden will be an early customer.
In the interests of science and educating the public, I wish to share some as yet unpublished research on a no more remote but more professional diagnosis of the mental status of Donald Trump. The researcher attributes Donald’s conditions to a combination of age, obesity and childhood trauma. He was born in one of the outer boroughs of New York in 1946 (he was still soiling his diapers when I started kindergarten). Donald demonstrates textbook symptoms of age-related Parkinson’s disease, i.e., unsteady steps on a slightly inclined ramp and needing both hands to keep his water glass from trembling. Donald’s lack of facial expression, which some of his critics wrongly, in the researcher’s view, attribute to his complete lack of human compassion, is another classic dementia symptom. Donald also demonstrates significant short-term memory loss; witness his statement that during an official visit to France in 2018 he telephoned his wife to express his remorse at not being able to join other dignitaries at a memorial ceremony honoring World War II dead. He forgot that his wife was in the hotel room with him. The research paper asserts that his critics are wrong when they call Donald a liar for his demonstrably false statements in answering press questions. Donald simply forgets the question before he can answer.
The yet unpublished paper also goes on to describe many symptoms that indicate ‘mixed’ maniacal episodes, perhaps attributable to his traumatic childhood as described in a book by a noted clinical psychologist with intimate knowledge of the Trump family history.
1. Restlessness, and decreased need for sleep: Donald stays awake half the night watching FOX news and tweeting irrationally, perhaps as many as 50 tweets a night.
2. Inappropriate/impulsive speech or behaviors: When asked about Ghislaine Maxwell, the alleged procurer of young girls for pedophile Jeffrey Epstein, he replied, “I just wish her well, frankly.” Asked by Laura Ingraham of FOX “who controls Biden?” Donald said, “people that you’ve never heard of …People that are in the dark shadows.” Donald also told Ingraham that police shootings are much like “playing golf.” He answered another question by saying that he had to be aggressive because he was “standing in a sea of incompetent people.” Under other circumstances one’s heart might have gone out to Laura Ingraham, as she tried to cut Trump off from his more bizarre comments.
3. Taking on lots of schemes and grand ideas, impaired concentration, jumping from idea to idea: Building a multibillion-dollar wall that keeps falling over ranks as a grandiose scheme worthy of ancient Chinese Emperors and fits that definition. So does his advocacy for many odd and sometimes dangerous ‘cures’ for the coronavirus. Remember Hydroxychloroquine? Or perhaps, oleander (a poisonous flower that kills livestock that eat it)? Or, the advice that people drink bleach and other household cleaners to kill the virus?
4. Increased sexuality, possibly including inappropriate sexual behavior or promiscuity: Telling The View that he would date Ivanka were she not his daughter. Being recorded on video tape bragging about grasping the private parts of women. And, asking his former lawyer about the latter’s 15-year-old daughter, “when did she get so hot?” Asking that same lawyer to buy the silence of prostitutes appears normal by comparison.
5. Anger and hostility: Donald bullies and insults opponents, they are “America-hating Marxist despots,” “Sleepy Joe” Biden, “Crazy Bernie,” “Nasty Woman Hillary,” his own Attorney General an “idiot,” Arianna Huffington (along with many other women) a “dog,” and cheering on his supporters beating protestors at one of his rallies, calling them “obnoxious,” “absolutely disgusting,” and praising the beating of a black man saying "the audience hit back and that's what we need a little bit more of." Not least, he slammed down the phone in rage in a conversation with the Prime Minister of Australia, one of our closest allies.
7. Inflated self-esteem – feeling like one is special or better than others – having special powers or insights (commonly referred to as grandiosity): Quoting from a website (PsychCentral) for people seeking psychiatric assistance. Trump has been thusly quoted: “Some people would say I’m very, very, very intelligent,” (Fortune, April 3, 2000). “My I.Q. is one of the highest!” (Twitter, May 8, 2013). “All the women on The Apprentice flirted with me? –? consciously or unconsciously,” (How to Get Rich, 2004). “It’s very hard for them to attack me on looks, because I’m so good-looking,” (NBC’s Meet the Press, Aug. 9, 2015).
(8) Relentless verbosity. Oh come on. Do you really need examples?
Under the circumstances, we should give credence to the reports that the Department of Defense gave him the wrong codes on the nuclear football.