Conservatives Issue a Clarion Call on Trump’s Mental Health

Given what we know about Donald Trump and the presidency, I have been suggesting for a long time that his mental status will not get any better and can only get worse. As that prediction materializes, the president’s behavior has triggered several conservatives to issue warnings about his deteriorating mental health.

The most comprehensive comes from Peter Wehner, who served under three Republican presidents and is now a senior fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center, a conservative think tank. Reacting to some of Trump’s more inflammatory tweets over the weekend, Wehner refers to the president as “a damaged soul with a disordered personality.”

It doesn’t take a person with an advanced degree in psychology to see Trump’s narcissism and lack of empathy, his vindictiveness and pathological lying, his impulsivity and callousness, his inability to be guided by norms, or his shamelessness and dehumanization of those who do not abide his wishes. His condition is getting worse, not better—and there are now fewer people in the administration able to contain the president and act as a check on his worst impulses…

Whether the worst scenarios come to pass or not is right now unknowable. But what we do know is that the president is a person who seems to draw energy and purpose from maliciousness and transgressive acts, from creating enmity among people of different races, religions, and backgrounds, and from attacking the weak, the honorable, and even the dead.

Donald Trump is not well, and as long as he is president, our nation is not safe.

Leading the charge of conservatives commenting on the president’s mental health is George Conway. Right now he is best known as the husband of Kellyanne Conway, counselor to President Trump. But he also made a name for himself by representing Paula Jones in her lawsuit against Bill Clinton. Conway has been expressing his concerns about the president recently on Twitter. This was the end of a stream where he reacted to some of Trump’s lies.

Conway tweeted the diagnostic criteria for Narcissistic Personality Disorder and asked, “Tell us, @realDonaldTrump—which of these diagnostic criteria do you not satisfy?” To explain, he tweeted a link to an article in Rolling Stone titled, “Trump’s Mental Health: Is Pathological Narcissism the Key to Trump’s Behavior?”

At one point, Conway teamed up with Bill Kristol to express his concern.

Jennifer Rubin joined the bandwagon.

Whether meant seriously or not, Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein’s alleged consideration of the 25th Amendment seems, in retrospect, not to have been irrational at all. Since President Trump’s firing of James B. Comey as FBI director and the appointment of a special counsel, Trump’s mental and emotional health has seemed to fray. The pace of lies and nonsensical accusations, the resort to conspiracy theories and refusal to conduct himself like an adult (let alone the president) often pick up in the wake of bad news from the special counsel and widespread criticism of the president’s unhinged behavior. So it was this weekend following his refusal to directly condemn white nationalism in the wake of the New Zealand massacre and the defection of 12 Senate Republicans last week on the resolution repealing the emergency declaration.

These are not warnings coming from partisans seeking to undermine the opposition. Instead, they are clarion calls from conservatives to Republicans currently in office and those serving in Trump’s cabinet to take the situation seriously, before it’s too late.

Nancy LeTourneau

Nancy LeTourneau is a contributing writer for the Washington Monthly. Follow her on Twitter @Smartypants60.