- The Washington Times - Tuesday, July 25, 2017

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

The American Psychoanalytic Association put out a memo to its 3,500 members to suggest it’s quite OK for them to publicly comment on President Donald Trump’s mental state — the heck with a longstanding “Goldwater rule” prohibiting such opining.

And the circle of sharks about Trump’s White House grows wider. Will the left stop at nothing — not even at the removal of normal and accepted professional medical rules — to bring down this president? Psychiatrists should get off the political train and stay in their office armchairs, where they belong.

The official statement from the APsaA reads this way: “The American Psychoanalytic Association takes the position that psychoanalysts should offer relevant psychoanalytic insights to aid the public in understanding a wide range of phenomena in politics, the arts, popular culture, history, economics, and other aspects of human affairs. … However, the [APsaA] expects psychoanalysts to exercise extreme caution when making statements to the media about public figures.”

Really? Extreme caution — that goes like this?

“We don’t want to prohibit our members from using their knowledge responsibly,” said the American Psychoanalytic Association’s past president, Prudence Gourgeuechon, who now practices as a psychiatrist in Chicago, Stat News reported. “[Especially] since Trump’s behavior is so different from anything we’ve seen before.”

Well, you got that right, anyway. 

Trump’s behavior is indeed different from any other White House administration in recent history — mostly, because he doesn’t play by established politicos’ game rules.

He makes his own. Oftentimes, as he goes. And his guiding compass, infuriatingly enough to the elitist of both political and media worlds, seems mostly to be this: America comes first.

Americans — yay, before even the special interests who’ve had carte blanche to buy pretty much what they want on Capitol Hill for decades.

But this is what the APsaA finds so grotesque? My, how far the patriot’s pendulum’s swung to the anti-American side. The “Goldwater rule” came about in the 1960s after it was decided a psychiatric survey of Sen. Barry Goldwater, to determine his mental fitness for the White House, wasn’t exactly ethical. The ensuing rule made it clear: Commenting publicly about a public figure’s mental state, absent that public figure’s consent, was indeed unethical behavior.

But because Trump’s got the political world in an upheaval, the APA’s tossing those ethics to the wind.

What’s curious is that decades ago, Trump the president would be seen as a red-blooded American.

And as a Democrat, Trump would be seen as a refreshingly bold voice — a pragmatic unafraid to bypass bureaucratic walls in order to bring about benefits for the little people.

But as a Republican who cares neither for political minds games with the media nor for trading and bartering away his agenda with Democratic-RINO alliances in Congress?

Suddenly, he’s a head case. And not just any old head case. A man with a mental impairment so large as to necessitate the supposed reputable APA to toss its standards and rubber stamp its members’ behaving like informed pundits for the media world. Can’t wait for the 30-second diagnoses to come.

Stat News already tipped off where APsaA members stand: “An increasing number of psychologists and psychiatrists have denounced the [Goldwater] restriction as a ‘gag rule’ and flouted it, with some arguing they have a ‘duty to warn’ the public about what they see as Trump’s narcissism, impulsivity, poor attention span, paranoia, and other traits that, they believe, impair his ability to lead,” the news outlet wrote. And in an emailed response, an APsaA spokesperson called the Stat News take on it misleading, saying the organization “did not encourage” members to violate the Goldwater rule.

That’s a red herring argument. You can’t open the door, then profess innocence when entries are made.

We don’t need psychological analysis of Trump. We need a warning about the hazards of supposed professional psychologists, psychoanalysts, psychotherapists and psychiatrists pretending like they can actually diagnose a person based on news feeds. This is beyond ridiculous. It’s beyond unprofessional.

It’s exactly the type of witch hunt behavior the White House says it fends on a daily basis from the mainstream media and from political enemies. Guess the APsaA will have to now be counted on that latter list as well.

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