Pointing out the idiocies of Donald Trump is as easy as shooting fish in a barrel and, to most people’s minds, no more than he deserves. But is it just that he’s dumber than dumb, or could he be suffering from a degenerative mental disorder? Academic and social commentator Sophia A. McClennen thinks it’s a distinct possibility.
Writing for Salon, she points out that on an increasing number of occasions he has not simply been deceitful, egotistical or just plain wrong. He actually seems to be losing the plot.
Trump: I don’t want to use, I don’t want to start the process of nuclear. Remember the one thing that everybody has said, I’m a counterpuncher. Rubio hit me. Bush hit me. When I said low energy, he’s a low-energy individual, he hit me first. I spent, by the way he spent 18 million dollars’ worth of negative ads on me. That’s putting…
Editor (interrupts): This is about ISIS. You would not use a tactical nuclear weapon against ISIS?
Trump: I’ll tell you one thing, this is a very good looking group of people here. Could I just go around so I know who the hell I’m talking to?
It’s like the rambling response you might get from an aged relative, which makes you snigger. A bit like slapstick comedy, you can’t help chuckling even though you know it’s not really funny. Not funny, because those ramblings may be a symptom of that scourge of the elderly, Alzheimer’s Disease.
As McClennen points out:
“At times it can be very hard to distinguish between extreme right-wing politics and symptoms of dementia. The Alzheimer’s Association tells us that if two of the following core mental functions seem impaired then it is time to seek medical help: Memory, communication and language, ability to focus and pay attention, reasoning and judgment, visual perception.
Alzheimer’s carries other symptoms besides memory loss including difficulty remembering newly learned information, disorientation, mood and behavior changes; deepening confusion about events, time and place; unfounded suspicions about family, friends and professional caregivers; more serious memory loss and behavior changes.”
Those angry late-night tweets. The mood swings. The tantrums and vendettas. The frequent confusions, like not knowing Tim Kaine from Tom Keane, and insisting that Putin would not send troops into Ukraine when in fact he already has.
The fact that Alzheimer’s is thought to be hereditary and Trump’s father died of it. Plus the killer fact that, if elected, Trump will be 70 – the oldest ever inaugurated. It starts to add up.
Democratic Congresswoman Karen Bass (Calif.), an experienced medic, has called for Trump to undergo a psychiatric assessment, though she is more concerned about narcissistic personality disorder than incipient Alzheimer’s.
Whatever the reason, the Republican National Committee may be licking their lips at the prospect. If they’re truly considering a replacement for Trump, this could solve a major problem. According to Party rules, their nominated candidate can’t be fired, but:
“The Republican National Committee is hereby authorized and empowered to fill any and all vacancies which may occur by reason of death, declination, or otherwise of the Republican candidate.”
That word “otherwise” is a catch-all term, but it would surely embrace the candidate being found medically unfit.
So perhaps it’s time to have some sympathy for the guy. It’s almost certainly time for him to go and see a doctor.
But before we switch to sympathy, here’s Donald at his most unpleasant:
Featured image: Caricature by Donkey Hotey adapted from Gage Skidmore/Flickr/Creative Commons