aside Dear Republicans, The President’s Mental Health Status Requires Attention, Not Avoidance

Image result for photos of Prudence L. Gourguechon, MD.

Prudence L. Gourguechon, MD.

NOTE: The following blog is an updated version of a post that I published in July 2017 (President Trump Is Not Fit To Serve, Based On Army Manual)

On the evening of July 5, 2017, I was watching the MSNBC’s TV host, Lawrence O’Donnell interviewing a psychiatrist from Chicago, where the guest, Dr. Gouurguechon was explaining how the Army has an 100 year old field manual which includes an updated section on how to evaluate if a  candidate is unfit for leadership positions and if a leader is no longer able to continue in such a role.

The republican President Donald  Trump, as the military’s Commander-In-Chief would fail this objective criteria. bigly. Yet, this is who, the Republican Party has assisted to become our 45th President of the USA and, for political expediency reasons, the majority of republican legislators continue to enable and cover for his numerous missteps. They have been using him as a Trojan horse as these republican sycophants in the White House and the US Congress act under the radar to accomplish their long sought after agenda items like their coveted future tax cut plan.

President Trump and Republican Congressional leaders announced a tax reform plan that reduces income tax brackets from seven to four.

And this is what “we the people” are dealing with as we observe the president meeting with leaders from around the world and dealing with crisis situations like North Korea’s continued testing of missiles that could possibly reach the west coast of the USA.

The Below YouTube published on June 20, 2017 shows the US House leader Paul Ryan detailing the republicans’ wish list which helps to explain why republicans are pretending that there is not a mad man living in the White House.

As per a 11/30/17 Salon article, Tony Schwartz, journalist and author of Trump’s “The Art of the Deal,” said he had knowledge of two phone calls from inside the White House from officials expressing serious concern about the president’s mental fitness.”

“I know that two different people from the White House — or at least saying they were from the White House and that turned out to be a White House number — have called somebody I know in the last several weeks to say ‘we are deeply concerned about his mental health,’” Schwartz told MSNBC’s Ari Melber on Wednesday (11/29/17) night.”

Editorial cartoon on Trump inauguration

“When Melber asked him how he could possibly know that, Schwartz reiterated that he knows the person who received the calls, and the person has “great integrity.”

“While that’s certainly the first public indication that White House staffers have expressed concern over Trump’s mental health, it’s by no means a new topic. Take Joe Scarborough for instance, who has raised questions about Trump’s mental stability for at least a few months now. On Thursday’s “Morning Joe,” the anchor called on Trump’s Cabinet to invoke the 25th Amendment, because he is “mentally unfit,” which would remove him from office. “People close to him say he is mentally unfit, people close to him during the campaign told me he had early stages of dementia,” Scarborough said. “Now listen, you can get mad at me. When are we supposed to say this? After the first nuclear missile goes? Is that when it’s proper to bring this up in polite society? Tell me.”

Image result for photos of Prudence L. Gourguechon, MD.
President Trump

Dear Republican Leaders, If anything should go dramatically wrong with this situation, the blood will be on your hands.

Here’s the rest of the story…

Prudence L. Gourguechon, MD. and  psychiatrist and psychoanalyst penned the following opinion piece, “Is Trump mentally fit to be president? Let’s consult the U.S. Army’s field manual on leadership,” for the LA Times on June 16, 2017.

Excerpts:

“Since President Trump’s inauguration, an unusual amount of attention has been paid to the 25th Amendment to the Constitution. That’s the measure, ratified in 1967, that allows for removal of the president in the event that he is “unable to discharge the powers and duties” of the office. What does that mean, exactly? Lawyers surely have some ideas. But as a psychiatrist, I believe we need a rational, thorough and coherent definition of the mental capacities required to carry out “the powers and duties” of the presidency.”

Image result for photos of g7 conference

“Although there are volumes devoted to outlining criteria for psychiatric disorders, there is surprisingly little psychiatric literature defining mental capacity, even less on the particular abilities required for serving in positions of great responsibility. Despite the thousands of articles and books written on leadership, primarily in the business arena, 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.”

Image result for photos of past g20 summits

Trust

“According to the Army, trust is fundamental to the functioning of a team or alliance in any setting: “Leaders shape the ethical climate of their organization while developing the trust and relationships that enable proper leadership.” A leader who is deficient in the capacity for trust makes little effort to support others, may be isolated and aloof, may be apathetic about discrimination, allows distrustful behaviors to persist among team members, makes unrealistic promises and focuses on self-promotion.”

Discipline and self-control

“The manual requires that a leader demonstrate control over his behavior and align his behavior with core Army values: “Loyalty, duty, respect, selfless service, honor, integrity, and personal courage.” The disciplined leader does not have emotional outbursts or act impulsively, and he maintains composure in stressful or adverse situations. Without discipline and self-control, a leader may not be able to resist temptation, to stay focused despite distractions, to avoid impulsive action or to think before jumping to a conclusion. The leader who fails to demonstrate discipline reacts “viscerally or angrily when receiving bad news or conflicting information,” and he “allows personal emotions to drive decisions or guide responses to emotionally charged situations.”

“In psychiatry, we talk about “filters” — neurologic braking systems that enable us to appropriately inhibit our speech and actions even when disturbing thoughts or powerful emotions are present. Discipline and self-control require that an individual has a robust working filter.”

Image result for photos of g7 conference

Judgment and critical thinking

“These are complex, high-level mental functions that include the abilities to discriminate, assess, plan, decide, anticipate, prioritize and compare. A leader with the capacity for critical thinking “seeks to obtain the most thorough and accurate understanding possible,” the manual says, and he anticipates “first, second and third consequences of multiple courses of action.” A leader deficient in judgment and strategic thinking demonstrates rigid and inflexible thinking.”

Self-awareness

“Self-awareness requires the capacity to reflect and an interest in doing so. “Self-aware leaders know themselves, including their traits, feelings, and behaviors,” the manual says. “They employ self-understanding and recognize their effect on others.” When a leader lacks self-awareness, the manual notes, he “unfairly blames subordinates when failures are experienced” and “rejects or lacks interest in feedback.”

“Surprisingly, the field manual repeatedly stresses the importance of empathy as an essential attribute for Army leadership. A good leader “demonstrates an understanding of another person’s point of view” and “identifies with others’ feelings and emotions.” The manual’s description of inadequacy in this area: “Shows a lack of concern for others’ emotional distress” and “displays an inability to take another’s perspective.”

The Army field manual amounts to a guide for the 25th Amendment. There is, however, at least one historical precedent. The journalists Jane Mayer and Doyle McManus tell the dramatic story in their 1988 book, “Landslide: The Unmaking of the President 1984-1988.”

“After reading the memo, Baker arranged a group observation of Reagan for the following day. On March 2, Baker, Cannon and two others — Reagan’s chief counsel, Arthur B. Culvahouse Jr., and his communications director, Tom Griscom — scrutinized the president, first at a Cabinet meeting, then at a luncheon. They found nothing amiss.”

“Much has changed since the Reagan era, of course. And we are all free to compare that observable behavior to the list of traits deemed critical for leadership by the U.S. Army.”

Related Article:

Mental Health Professionals Warn About Trump – The New York Times. 2/13/17

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12 comments

  1. Gronda, I applaud my wife when she said about fifteen months ago, there is something wrong with this man. I argued that it was his narcissistic ego and short attention span that were the culprits. But, she is right as you noted above.

    His narcissism is off the charts and he lives in an alternate reality where any criticism is fake news and whatever he chooses to find online is real because he found it. Global issues columnist Trudy Rubin of the Philadelphia Enquirer has a good editorial this week on the videos he posted.

    Here is a man who has an extremely powerful intelligence community, yet chooses to believe Alex Jones, Breitbart and Fox and Friends more.

    Other leaders have figured him out – roll out the red carpet, tell him how great he is and then he will do your bidding. His staffers have noted that he does not care to know details, so a good sales person can sway him with smooth talk. Keith

    • Dear Keith,

      Your beautiful wife was right on the money. It sounds like the peoples who knew him before are not claiming he was a saint but that he was smarter, had better control, could speak full sentences etc. He could very well have pre-dementia.

      These folks who have been his friends over the years are genuinely concerned about his declining mental health. They are not judging him but thinking that he is deteriorating quickly without getting the help he needs.

      For example, as per emedicine.com, some early symptoms could be:
      Uncharacteristic behavior
      Mood swings, often with brief periods of anger or rage
      Poor judgment
      Behavior disorders: Paranoia and suspiciousness
      Decline in level of functioning but able to follow established routines at home
      Confusion, disorientation in unfamiliar surroundings: May wander, trying to return to familiar surroundings
      Difficulty or inability to multitask

      Hugs, Gronda

      • Gronda, one of the dilemmas is Trump’s history has indicated the distracted thinking and difficulty telling the truth. The key constants are ego and image, which is why he attacks when criticized. So, it has been difficult to see the decline which exacerbates his negative traits.

        Keith

        • Dear Keith,

          The negative personality traits that one has will only be exacerbated by mental illness issues like early onslaught dementia. These negative personality traits did cost him in the past but it was compensated by his sales savvy which includes some degree of talking with coherent sentences. The skills that allowed him to compensate have been diminished.

          There is no doubt in my mind that he has mental health challenges. I am convinced that the sycophant republicans in the White House and the US Congress are fully aware of this real problem but they are choosing not to act .

          One has to ask why when for republicans, VP Mike Pence would be a viable replacement. I have my theories but I am doing some more thinking on this.

          Hugs, Gronda

        • Gronda, I agree with the sycophant compliance to get stuff done. Check out the comment I added to my recent post where in an interview aired on CBS Sunday Morning Warren Buffett basically refutes every reason cited by the GOP for the tax bill. Of course, he used a data point, which is lacking from the GOP argument. Call me crazy, but I think I would listen to Buffett moreso than Trump, Brady, McConnell, Ryan et al on financial matters. Keith

  2. It is telling that a variety of Major Mental Health professionals have joined to voice their concerns about Trump’s danger to both national and international safety. Meetings at high levels have been set up for next week.
    https://dangerouscase.org/

    And of course, the rumours of leaks from White House staff, concerned about Trump’s increasingly unstable behaviour are surfacing in the news media.

    Perhaps it is only days away from the 25th Amendment coming into play!

    • Dear Colettebytes,

      Thanks for the reference. The book is well-timed. Anyone who has ever had to interact with someone who suffered from some form of mental illness has noticed that there is something wrong in the White House. There have to have been mental health professionals wondering why isn’t something being done.

      I have been thinking that the sycophant republicans in the White House and the US Congress have been refusing to face this issue as they wanted to keep their Trojan horse around. I have become convinced over time that others were filling empty cabinet posts, etc. and that he doesn’t have any real comprehension about the major legislative bills that are being worked on like the tax cut bill.

      It has to be faced as our national security interests are at stake.

      Hugs, Gronda

    • Dear Suzanne,

      I am at the point that I am faulting the republican president’s sycophants in the White House and the US Congress more than the president himself. They are choosing the path of denial, avoidance etc except for doing their duty to protect this country from harm, both from within and without from a mad man living in the
      White House.

      Thanks a million times over for all of your support and for this reblog.

      Hugs, Gronda

  3. As my mother use to say, “If we don’t stand up for something, we will fall for anything.” Your post is the best I have read about Donald Trump and in my opinion, he is without doubt, mentally unfit to be President. However, he didn’t become president on his own, those that voted for this mentally unstable man, have an agenda that is short-sighted and certainly without moral standing whatsoever. Thank you for writing this in-depth analysis about Trump and the Republican Tax Plan that is blatantly skewed to make the rich richer and the poor, poorer and the middle class with our barely stable retired Americans, unstable as well. thank you, Karen

    • Dear Karen,

      WELCOME!!

      Your analysis backs up my thinking along the lines that the republican sycophants are choosing the path of denial, avoidance and by choosing not to act to address this issue because they would have some explaining to do. Well the explaining will be coming as the president’s mental health condition deteriorates.

      The signs have been there all along. When I claim that these same republicans would have been willing to sell their own Mothers to pass their long time coveted tax cut bill for the wealthy including themselves, I am not exaggerating.

      Thanks a million times over for your support and for this reblog.

      Hugs, Gronda

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