Don’t say you weren’t warned

Before becoming a teacher, I spent many years working with the developmentally disabled, as well as people afflicted in adulthood by a variety of brain disorders. As I watched Donald Trump’s press conference the other day, I was struck more than ever by how much his rambling thoughts, false starts, repetitions, topic-irrelevant and pragmatically inappropriate utterances, and peculiar gesticulations resembled those of institutionalized people I used to take care of. I’m not joking here. Only a slight leveling down of vocabulary and he’d have fit well in a group home I used to work in, one that specialized in elderly mentally disabled patients.

Republicans seem to see this kind of behavior as either evidence of Trump being “unpolished” (read: “genuine” and “honest” unlike that fancy-speaking stealth-Muslim Obama) or “performing” as part of his grand, ingenuous scheme to MAGA, and stick it to the Democrats and their fake news enablers.

I’m sure these are comforting fantasies, but anyone who has worked professionally with brain-afflicted individuals recogizes what’s really happening here. Odds are that Trump will continue to degenerate and/or will commit some horror that will give pause even to his most ardent defenders.

If you’re among his supporters, don’t say you weren’t warned.

 

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2 thoughts on “Don’t say you weren’t warned

  1. Come on; it wouldn’t be the first US president since Roosevelt arousing doubts about his mental capacity to be the head of government. The US presidency isn’t a one-man show; it’s a machine with sufficient build in routines and safeguards to avoid “the one guy pushing the red button” situation.

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  2. The U.S. not being a “one-man show” isn’t a reason for feeling comfortable about having a president with a brain disorder. I would say that minimal cognitive competence is a very low bar to set for the commander-in-chief of the most powerful country on the planet, but Trump arguably doesn’t even meet that. In any job requiring leadership, or almost any job at all for that matter, Trump would have been fired by now just on the basis of the symptoms I’ve described (not to even mention his pathological lying, casual cruelty, etc.).

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