- The Washington Times - Saturday, September 15, 2018


Gina Loudon — author of a new book that she said on Fox News would show with “science and real data and true psychological theory” why Donald Trump is one of the most “sound-minded” presidents of all time — has unleashed a hornet’s nest of liberal outcry, most notably from the therapists of the nation.

But their outcry is hypocritical.

They say Loudon hasn’t the professional degree to determine Trump’s mental fitness, and even if she did, she’s not capable of diagnosing him long distance.

Pot meet kettle? Read on.

Here’s the backstory, beginning with Loudon, who’s a member of Trump’s 2020 Media Advisory Board and whose just-released book, “Mad Politics: Keeping Your Sanity in a World Gone Crazy,” includes a reference in the dust jacket bio to her being a “Ph.D. in psychology.”

She’s not; Loudon actually has a Ph.D. in “human and organization systems” from Fielding Graduate University.

Her publisher, Regnery, has taken responsibility for the error.

“The jacket copy was written by Regnery, not Gina,” said the publisher’s senior director of publicity, Alyssa Cordova, in a statement to the Daily Beast. “As Human and Organizational Systems is a field of psychology, we simplified that simply as ‘psychology.’”

Regnery will update the dust jacket.

Loudon, in the meanwhile, has been out and about, making the media rounds to discuss her book’s content. Among her remarks?

In context of discussing on Fox News the “Trump derangement syndrome” that’s recently come to the New York Times, via the now-famous anonymously printed anti-Trump op-ed, Loudon said: “[M]y book actually uses science and real data and true psychological theory to explain why it is quite possible that this president is the most sound-minded person to ever occupy the White House.”

That has sent the psychology field into a tizzy.

First this, from Jacqueline Hobbs, president of the Florida Psychiatric Society, reported in the Hill: “No mental health professional should discuss an individual’s mental health without their permission and a face to face evaluation.”

Then this, from Jim Sliwa, a spokesperson for the American Psychological Association: “Psychological assessments should only be done by a psychologist who has a license to practice in the state in which they are doing the assessment.”

You don’t say.

What a difference a few months make.

“We’re Psychiatrists,” blared one Politico headline in January. “It’s Our Duty to Question the President’s Mental State.”

The piece was written by Bandy Lee, an assistant clinical professor in law and psychiatry at Yale School of Medicine, and by Leonard Glass, an associate professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and a senior attending psychiatrist at McLean Hospital.

Lee and Glass were also co-authors of the 2017 book, “The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump: 27 Psychiatrists and Mental Health Experts Assess a President.”

Of course, these 27 psychiatrists didn’t really examine the president — not in the way the title would have believed. What they did was watch Trump’s politics, from a distance, listen to Trump’s speeches, from television and radio, and read his Twitter feed now and again and then conclude, based on that, this guy’s crazy.

They didn’t shy from spreading their opinion, far and wide, either.

“We believed Trump’s mental state presented a danger to the public and felt we had a duty to warn,” Lee and Glass wrote in Politico, explaining why the need for a whole book blasting away at the president.

Meanwhile, back on the Psychology Today farm, in December 2016, this from University of California social psychologist Sonja Lyubomirsky: A piece entitled, “Obama, Positive Psychologist-in-Chief,” that contrasted the 44th president’s supposed refusal to sink into “cynicism, bitterness and fury” with Trump’s much darker, negative manner of politicking.

Once again with the long-distance psychological summations.

All that — despite the Goldwater rule, ethical guidance from American Psychiatric Association that says thou shalt not diagnose what thou does not know — and thou cannot possibly know what thou has not personally evaluated.

It’s obvious, the fields of psychology, psychiatry, mental therapy, behavioral assessment, what have you, have become saturated with progressives who want to use their degrees to push progressive partisan politics.

They’re hypocrites with high degrees, nothing more.

• Cheryl Chumley can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter, @ckchumley.

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