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Friday, February 17, 2017

Presidential Character and Mental Health

In my new book, How to Select an American President by James A. George and James A. Rodger (c) 2017, recommended is that every presidential candidate receives an independent medical and psychological evaluation performed by board-certified professionals. This is similar to what corporations do in recruiting and staffing senior management positions. The results are made available to those who are deciding, in the case of President, that is We the People.

Also, the book suggests that leadership profiles can indicate the type of personality and associated characteristics are desirable for the leader of the free-world. I defer to professionals to help voters make the assessment. Responsible political parties and third-party advisors such as The League of Women Voters should provide guidance.

Now, Donald Trump does not demonstrate desirable leadership characteristics for governing in a pluralistic democratic republic. In fact, his public behavior and that reported from inside The White House indicate that the President may be suffering from personality disorders that impede his judgment and expose the nation to unacceptable risk.

"In an unprecedented public letter, health professionals warn of Trump's 'grave emotional instability.' 
By Kerry Eleveld   
Thursday, Feb 16, 2017, · 3:39 PM EST
VIRGINIA BEACH, VA - SEPTEMBER 06:  Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump pauses during a campaign event September 6, 2016, in Virginia Beach, Virginia. Trump participated in discussion with retired Army Lieutenant General Michael Flynn.  (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Donald Trump careened his way through a rambling, tangential diatribe of a press conference Thursday that left congressional Republicans and Democrats alike with their "jaws on the floor." Trump’s unhinged display underscored a letter published in the New York Times Tuesday and signed by 35 physicians and mental health professionals who broke with long-held ethics standards to address Trump's "grave emotional instability." They wrote: 
Mr. Trump’s speech and actions demonstrate an inability to tolerate views different from his own, leading to rage reactions. His words and behavior suggest a profound inability empathize. Individuals with these traits distort reality to suit their psychological state, attacking facts and those who convey them (journalists, scientists).
In a powerful leader, these attacks are likely to increase, as his personal myth of greatness appears to be confirmed. We believe that the grave emotional instability indicated by Mr. Trump’s speech and actions makes him incapable of serving safely as president. 
The letter’s lead signatories were Lance Dodes, a retired assistant clinical professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, and Joseph Schachter, former chair of the Committee on Research Proposals for the International Psychoanalytic Association. They noted that they finally broke their "self-imposed" silence because it had "resulted in a failure to lend our expertise to worried journalists and members of Congress at this critical time."

Image from The Conversation

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