Shrink Tells CNN: ‘Evil’ Trump More ‘Destructive’ Than Hitler, Stalin, and Mao

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Crazy might be the best term for describing the first segment of CNN’s so-called Reliable Sources on Sunday. Media janitor Brian Stelter invited on two far-left psychiatrists to debate how the media should cover President Trump alleged mental illness. While one was busy advocating to throw out professional ethics, the other one was declaring Trump had been worse than some of the last century’s most evil people.

Dr. Allen Frances was there to counter the argument that the media should tap psychiatrists to get medical opinions about the President’s mental health. “Well, I think that medicalizing politics has three very dire consequences. The first is that it stigmatizes the mentally ill. I've known thousands of patients, almost all of them have been well-behaved, well-mannered good people. Trump is none of these,” he pressed.

From there Dr. Frances became more unhinged as he wildly lashed out at the President, the “crazy” public for electing him, and suggested Trump was worse than some of mankind’s most heinous killers (click “expand”):

The second issue is that calling Trump crazy hides the fact that we're crazy for having elected him and even crazier for allowing his crazy policies to persist. Trump is as destructive a person in this century as Hitler, Stalin, and Mao were in the last century. He may be responsible for many more million deaths than they were. He needs to be contained but he needs to be contained by attacking his policies, not his person.

It's crazy for us to be destroying the climate our children will live in. It's crazy to be giving tax cuts to the rich that will add trillions of dollars to the debt our children will have to pay. It's crazy to be destroying our democracy by claiming that the press and the courts of the enemy of the people. We have to face these policies not Trump's person.

Communism killed more than 100 million people during the last century alone with Nazism killing more than 20 million. Stelter sat idly by and said nothing while Francis slandered the President. On Twitter, he blamed his passiveness to the lies on “tech difficulties”. But he’s admitted to willfully letting lies slide on his show.

 

 

Discussing the issue in psychological name-calling terms distracts us from getting out to vote. The important thing is to get Trump out of office,” Dr. Frances declared loudly.

He was there to counterbalance to Dr. Bandy X. Lee who was the president of the World Mental Health Collision, an organization that apparently wanted to upend the American Psychiatric Association’s staunch “Goldwater rule,” an ethical guideline, so they could give mental health evaluations of the President with impunity.

Dr. Frances  lashed out at them too:

Well, the problem is that the diagnosis offered have been amateurish. They don't apply to Trump. They will never get Trump out of office and I'm worried that in dealing with the psychological motivations and inaccurate diagnosis, we lose the focus on getting out to vote and that's much more important at this point.

“First of all, I'd like to clarify that I have never diagnosed, in fact, I have always emphasized dangerousness of overdiagnosis. Dangerousness is about the situation, not the person. Mr. Trump as a private citizen would not be such a great danger,” Dr. Lee argued.

She insisted her organization was “not trying to medicalize politics” but “trying to meet our professional responsibility to society,” which was apparently to warn the public about Trump’s mental health. That’s some strenuous mental gymnastics.

Stelter even encouraged her in her organization’s mission (click “expand”):

STELTER: So, your advice to the press to outlets like CNN and NBC that are trying to cover Trump, what's your advice?

LEE: My advice is, consult us. There are now thousands of mental health experts who are eager to speak beyond belief. In fact, they have formed a professional organization called the World Mental Health Collision and made me president. People can go to the website dangerouscase.org.

And that’s no surprise. Stelter told Dr. Frances that he didn’t “care about the political stuff” and only want to “connect the dots” to push his anti-Trump narrative:

I care about connecting the dots be between all of these ridiculous things that happen every day. And my fear is that people are a little bit too afraid to say, “Whoa, this is a problem. There is something wrong here when he's attacking his Federal Reserve chair, misspelling the guy's name and doing 50 of those things a day.” Kind of grasping for the language to use around this, but it's sensitive. I hear you, it’s complicated.

Despite previously urging for not diagnosing Trump and name-calling, Dr. Frances gave in; describing the President as a “baby”, a “spoiled brat”, a “conman”, and “the most narcissistic person maybe in our time, a narcissist for all times.

This is CNN.

The transcript is below, click "expand" to read:

CNN’s Reliable Sources
August 25, 2019
11:06:56 a.m. Eastern

BRIAN STELTER: So Dr. Lee, first, to you, you have been trying to sound an alarm for the past two years about the President's fitness. Has the press been listening to what you and your colleagues have been saying?

DR. BANDY X. LEE: Um. Not at all. Um. I feel that the press has actively tried to shun us especially The New York Times editorial that seems to have been published in collaboration with the past APA president. And I've been very concerned about the fact that the American Psychiatric Association has been working as pretty much as an agent of the state to --

STELTER: To stop people from talking about this issue?

LEE. Yes, I'm speaking of the new, what many of us have started to call a gag rule. They have modified the original Goldwater rule, which I'm a staunch supporter of, into an order that allows for no exception and it basically says that we're not just allowed to diagnose but say anything of any kind in relation to a public figure.

Here is what the original Goldwater rule says. That psychiatrists have a responsibility to society as well as to patients and we are expected to contribute to activities that improve the community and better public health, and so when we're asked about a public figure, we should educate the public in general terms, just not diagnose.

STELTER: Right, without saying I'm diagnosing because you've never met the man.

LEE: Exactly.

STELTER: You can describe what you're seeing. Dr. Francis, I know you disagree with this view that Dr. Lee and a couple dozen other psychiatrists have published in this book. You say it's dangerous to be talking this way, why?

DR. ALLEN FRANCES: Well, I think that medicalizing politics has three very dire consequences. The first is that it stigmatizes the mentally ill. I've known thousands of patients, almost all of them have been well-behaved, well-mannered good people. Trump is none of these. Lumping the mentally ill with Trump is a terrible insult to the mentally ill and they have enough problems and stigma as it is.

The second issue is that calling Trump crazy hides the fact that we're crazy for having elected him and even crazier for allowing his crazy policies to persist. Trump is as destructive a person in this century as Hitler, Stalin, and Mao were in the last century. He may be responsible for many more million deaths than they were. He needs to be contained but he needs to be contained by attacking his policies, not his person.

It's crazy for us to be destroying the climate our children will live in. It's crazy to be giving tax cuts to the rich that will add trillions of dollars to the debt our children will have to pay. It's crazy to be destroying our democracy by claiming that the press and the courts of the enemy of the people. We have to face these policies not Trump's person.

Now, it's absolutely impossible, you can bet the house that the Congress, that Pence, that the cabinet will never ever remove Trump on grounds of mental unfitness. That will never happen. Discussing the issue in psychological name-calling terms distracts us from getting out to vote. The important thing is to get Trump out of office.

STELTER: But I'm not talking about namecalling. I'm talking about asking questions that are really uncomfortable. Not saying we have the answers, I'm saying we need to bring it up.

FRANCES: Well, the problem is that the diagnosis offered have been amateurish. They don't apply to Trump. They will never get Trump out of office and I'm worried that in dealing with the psychological motivations and inaccurate diagnosis, we lose the focus on getting out to vote and that's much more important at this point.

STELTER: Dr. Lee, your response?

LEE: First of all, I'd like to clarify that I have never diagnosed, in fact, I have always emphasized dangerousness overdiagnosis. Dangerousness is about the situation, not the person. Mr. Trump as a private citizen would not be such a great danger. I also object to the moral attribution that Dr. Francis is giving. Those with mental illness are no different than the general population. Some are good, some are bad. In fact, mental pathology is defined by destructiveness, whether one is destructive toward oneself or against others. It is something we need to treat and address.

STELTER: So, your advice to the press to outlets like CNN and NBC that are trying to cover Trump, what's your advice?

LEE: My advice is, consult us. There are now thousands of mental health experts who are eager to speak beyond belief. In fact, they have formed professional organization called the World Mental Health Collision and made me president. People can go to the website dangerouscase.org.

We started on an ethical basis. I held an ethics conference at Yale to speak about, to discuss the gravity of speaking up and after that, we collected the essays of 37 of the most renowned psychiatrists and mental health experts from around the country and that's how the book came about. We're not trying to medicalize politics, we're trying to meet our professional responsibility to society.

STELTER: And Dr. Francis, your advice for the press? How do you feel the press should handle these ongoing questions about the President's health?

FRANCES: The problem is I thought the book was really silly. The people most willing to offer diagnosis know the least about it, have never contributed to discussions about diagnosis. There is absolutely no doubt that Trump is dangerous. Everyone knows that. Everyone should have known that before the election.

The question is he dangerous because he's a bad, evil conman or dangerous because he's mentally ill? And on that issue, I think it's very clear he's dangerous because he's evil. He's not dangerous because he's mentally ill. And the mentally ill argument, if it gets him out of the office, go with it even if inaccurate. Anything to get this man out of office.

But it won't work so piling on inaccuracy, stigma, the press will be getting people who know nothing about psychiatric diagnosis spouting off at the mouth, it won't add to the discussion, it will district from the political stuff and we have to focus on how evil are his policies and how important the election is.

STELTER: You’re talking about the political stuff. I don’t care about the political stuff. I care about connecting the dots be between all of these ridiculous things that happen every day. And my fear is that people are a little bit too afraid to say, “Whoa, this is a problem. There is something wrong here when he's attacking his Federal Reserve chair, misspelling the guy's name and doing 50 of those things a day.” Kind of grasping for the language to use around this, but it's sensitive. I hear you, it’s complicated.

FRANCES: I have -- I think I have better language. I think Trump is best characterized as a spoiled brat, as a baby having temper tantrums, as a completely unfit person unable to meet the challenges and the responsibilities of his office, as a con man, as a-- the most narcissistic person maybe in our time, a narcissistic for all times. All of these as a thief. As a corrupter of others, as an obstructer of justice. These are terms that all make sense. Attributing every bad behavior that humanity is capable of to mental illness misses the point of evil and also stigmatizes the mentally ill.

(…)

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