Top News About Politics, Trumpism, Mental Health

A sampling of interesting articles about politics and/or Trumpism and mental health that were published in June:

I. What sickens you…and how do you vote? (Personality Quiz), Ben Ambridge, The Guardian

Ben Ambridge, the author of Psy-Q: Test Yourself with More Than 80 Quizzes, Puzzles and Experiments for Everyday Life, states,We may say that we find opponents’ political views ‘sickening’, but did you know that your sensitivity to various forms of ickiness correlates with political views?” Take the quiz and see where you stand and/or if this concept makes any sense to you.

II. Could the Stress of a Trump Presidency Make Americans Sick?, Maggie Fox, NBC News

So, perhaps you’ve heard of Trump Anxiety Disorder and Post-Trump Stress Disorder? But there’s also, of course, another way Trumpism could lead to illness. From Fox’s intro:

Donald Trump’s presidency could make Americans sicker — and not just from the stress of his polarizing politics…

His administration’s proposed cuts to health and well-being programs could also hurt the population’s health, if history is anything to go by…

III. What’s More Frightening Than An Evil World Leader? A Stupid One, Oliver Burkeman, The Guardian

Oliver Burkeman‘s weekly “This Column Will Change Your Life” often touches on mental health issues, and with levity. An excerpt from this one that deals with Trumpism:

As you’ll have noticed, there’s an awful lot of stupidity afoot in the world. To take the obvious example, consider the principle the journalist Josh Marshall calls ‘Trump’s razor’, after the philosophers’ rule known as Occam’s razor: when trying to decode the president’s actions, the stupidest explanation you can think of is always likeliest to be true. It’s sometimes argued that we should be grateful for stupid leaders, since at least their stupidity makes life less hazardous: imagine if they were sufficiently focused and clever to implement their worst ideas! But that wasn’t the view of the late Italian economist Carlo Cipolla. In 1976 he published a tongue-in-cheek essay that’s been gaining new attention in the age of Trump. The Basic Laws Of Human Stupidity makes the alarming case that stupid people are by far the most dangerous.

IV. Is Trump Mentally Fit to be President? Let’s Consult the U.S. Army’s Field Manual on Leadership, Prudence L. Gourguechon, Los Angeles Times

Gourguechon notes, “… I have found only one source where the capacities necessary for strategic leadership are clearly and comprehensively laid out: the U.S. Army’s ‘Field Manual 6-22 Leader Development’.”

Five qualities she takes away from this guide: trust, judgment and critical thinking, self-awareness, empathy, and discipline and self-control. How does Trump rate?

V. Trump and the Goldwater Rule: When Is It Okay to Voice a Professional Opinion About the Mental Health of the President? Kurtis Lee, Los Angeles Times

The Goldwater Rule is an official American Psychiatric Association position against diagnosing a public figure like Trump without doing an actual clinical assessment. A couple opinions from Lee’s article:

John Zinner, a clinical professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at George Washington University, says many Americans are scared and concerned about Trump’s behavior and that his field has a responsibility to speak out…

Ellen Covey, a professor in the Department of Psychology at the University of Washington, says it is appropriate for mental health professionals to ‘condemn specific patterns of behavior such as habitual lying, blatant disrespect for others, self-contradiction and erratic behavior as inappropriate for a person holding a public office.’
But that’s different than making a diagnosis, she said.
‘Such behavior patterns can be pointed out without the need to label them as a specific psychopathology,’ she said. ‘The behavior speaks for itself.’

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