It is very telling that the American Psychiatric Association felt the need to remind their members about this:
“The unique atmosphere of this year’s election cycle may lead some to want to psychoanalyze the candidates,” Maria A. Oquendo, president of the APA, wrote, “but to do so would not only be unethical, it would be irresponsible.”
As Aaron Blake goes on to explain, that ethical position from the APA is often referred to as the “Goldwater Rule,” which was first established in response to the 1964 election. It is now being re-invoked due to the candidacy of Donald Trump.
While I completely understand and support the APA’s position, Trump makes it very difficult to avoid discussing his mental fitness when he seeks the office of POTUS and makes comments like the one he did yesterday.
“Hillary wants to abolish, essentially abolish, the Second Amendment,” Donald Trump said Tuesday. “By the way, and if she gets to pick her judges, nothing you can do, folks. Although the Second Amendment people, maybe there is, I don’t know.”
First of all, he’s lying. Here is what Clinton said during her speech at the Democratic Convention:
I’m not here to repeal the 2nd Amendment. I’m not here to take away your guns. I just don’t want you to be shot by someone who shouldn’t have a gun in the first place.
We will work tirelessly with responsible gun owners to pass common-sense reforms and keep guns out of the hands of criminals, terrorists and all others who would do us harm.
But the truth is – a lot of politicians lie, especially when it comes to characterizing the positions of their opponent. It is important to recognize why Trump would lie about that. He wants gun rights activists to be afraid that Clinton threatens their 2nd amendment rights. Then he goes on to suggest they exercise those rights “if she gets to pick her judges.” As I pointed out yesterday, that would come AFTER she wins the election, so claiming he was talking about their voting rights is simply his campaign’s attempt to do damage control after these incendiary remarks.
A lot of people are pointing out that Trump knows how to play the media and this was another attempt to grab the spotlight. That view has some merit. But I think it goes deeper than that. Josh Marshall isn’t a psychiatrist and didn’t provide a medical diagnosis, but he pretty much nailed it.
You’ve seen the quote. It speaks for itself. But remember this. For Donald Trump, life is about domination. There are dominators and the dominated. Right now he’s being dominated, beaten, humiliated. That may be fun to watch if you’re a Democrat. It’s not fun for him. That psychic injury will drive escalating reactions.
The context of these remarks yesterday was the overwhelming evidence that Clinton is not only winning this election, we might be heading towards a landslide in November. Donald Trump’s brain can’t handle that reality and all his instincts are to lash out at his opponent – even to the point of threatening violence. That is exactly why he has repeatedly talked about his admiration of leaders like Vladimir Putin and Kim Jong-Un.
More than anything else he has said or done, it is this world view and his reaction to being dominated (i.e., losing) that makes Trump unfit for office.