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Monday, August 27, 2018

New Book Review: The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump

Full disclaimer: I am a true blue liberal democrat and was dismayed when the unqualified candidate received the Republican nomination in 2016, and was appalled when he proceeded to the White House.  My husband, an unenrolled independent voter, was also distressed by the election, but died unexpectedly a month later, on Christmas morning.

In the past twenty months I've struggled with a complicated grief, following the loss of my best friend and husband of 46 years ... and tried to ignore the demise of our political system. When I saw a video of an interview with the editor of this book and the co-author of Trump's Art of the Deal, I was intrigued and ordered a (used) copy from Amazon.

Clearly, the video was not a balanced view ... both Dr. Bandy Lee (editor of The Danagerous Case of Donald Trump) and Tony Schwartz (Trump's co-author) were both expressing their awareness and concern with Trump's mental status. His many verbal gaffes were discussed, and his recent firings of many intelligence officers was distressing enough to lend credibility to their positions of disdain.

Dr. Lee's collection of more than two dozen essays contributed by psychiatrists, psychologists and a linguist expert (Noam Chomsky) is somewhat repetitive and a considerable admonishment of Trump's continuing presence in the White House.  Dr. Lee had organize a "Duty to Warn" conference at Yale, where many of these observations were discussed among this group of colleagues. The book addresses the conundrum of trying to weigh this Duty to Warn against the Goldwater Rule, which states that psychiatrists have a professional standard that prohibits 'assessing' public figures whom they have not personally met with and evaluated. The Duty to Warn is another professional standard that mandates that psychiatrists act to prevent a dangerous patient's behaviors himself, others, or the public at large.

The general concensus of these essays clearly points toward activation of the 25th Amendment of the Constitution, which gives Congress the power to remove a president's powers if he is shown to be incompetent. This would meet the responsibility of the psychiatriac community's Duty to Warn. And would remove teh nuclear codes from Donald Trump.

People who consider themselves activists will glean a lot of verbiage and relevant data in the essays to assist 'We the People' in any organized efforts toward impeachment, and I highly recommend this book for that reason.

To those still convinced that Trump is on the right path, aligning himself with dictators, autocrats and tyrannists, and withdrawing America's alliance with other world powers that are more democratic, I must apologize for my true blue liberal position. I defend your right to state your opinion, and ask that you respect my right to defend mine.

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