By Bob Leggett:
Dr. Bandy X. Lee – a noted Yale professor and psychiatrist — presented a sobering and alarming assessment of the current president’s mental health and his fitness to hold office in a virtual discussion with Fairfax County Democrats on July 8. She warned that his conduct is almost certain to get more egregious and dangerous during the remaining months of his presidency.
Dr. Lee, who has no political party affiliation, is President of the World Mental Health Coalition and an expert on violence prevention. She is the editor of The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump – a collection of essays by mental health experts on the current president’s threats to the nation’s public health.
Dr. Lee prefaced the discussion by stating that she and her colleagues feel it is their professional duty to alert the American people of Trump’s dangerous patterns of behavior that are putting the nation’s security and citizens at risk.
In her view, the President lacks the mental capacity to lead the nation. He, for instance, lacks the ability to absorb information, such as that contained in the President’s Daily Brief – a publication that is compiled daily by the intelligence community and assesses worldwide threats to our nation’s security. She bases her diagnosis on observing Trump’s daily behavior and on information contained in the Mueller Report. She said that as much as 10 percent of the world’s leaders – including Putin in Russia and Erdogan in Turkey – possess similar traits of psychotic and irrational behavior.
Dr. Lee expressed concern about the willingness of Republican Senators and Congressmen to slavishly follow Trump’s lead. Some of them, she said, possess similar behavioral traits as Trump. Others, she says, based on personal discussions with them, feel he is mentally ill, but they are reluctant to express their feelings publicly. She agreed in principle with noted historian Anne Applebaum’s assessment of “Why do Republicans Abandon Their Values for Trump” that appeared in a recent edition of Atlantic magazine and was reviewed in the July 1 edition of the Blue View.
She opined that the forthcoming book by Trump’s niece, who she describes as a respected professional, comports with her own assessment of the president’s ability to lead the nation.
Dr. Lee stated that Trump’s irrational behavior is deteriorating as he becomes more frustrated from an inability to hold rallies that stroke his ego and by the COVID-19 pandemic that has not gone away. His frustration surfaces in his continuing efforts to create divisions in the country and with his continued obsession with conspiracies and hoaxes. The impeachment hearings, she said, greatly enhanced his grandiosity.
Dr. Lee feels that Trump will not resign no matter the circumstances. The next six months, in her view, will be even worse. Trump will continue, she said, to encourage division and violence across the country, and he will continue to do anything to subvert the election — including inciting a civil war or even an international conflict. We need to understand the mental issues at play and deal with it using appropriate tools.
When asked what advice she would give Joe Biden, the presumptive Democratic nominee for President, she said he should (1) place the issue of mental health front and center in the campaign; and (2) face the cognitive health issue head on. The point needs to be made that not only does Biden have the cognitive capacity to be President, but that Trump’s mental illness is so debilitating that it he is incapable of leading the nation any longer.
Dr. Lee warned, however, that the nation cannot wait until the election to try to moderate his behavior. A massive showing of repudiation of the Trump presidency is needed, including large, peaceful demonstrations. She recommended that the Congress hold televised hearings and have scientists testify on the President’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic. This would send a psychological message to Trump that he would have difficulty processing.
The election in November is perhaps the most important in the recent history of the United States. It behooves all of us who value the Constitution, the rule of law, and our very way of life to do what we can to ensure that Joe Biden is elected President this November.
Bob Leggett is a former intelligence analyst and military veteran with a doctorate in economics from Lehigh University. He is a member of Hunter Mill District Democratic Committee.