Put Your Malignant Diagnosis Where the Sun Don’t Shine
A friend of mine informed me that John D. Gartner, “a practicing psychotherapist who taught psychiatric residents at Johns Hopkins University Medical School,” has branded Donald J. Trump with “malignant narcissism.”
This Google search finds many echoes of this story, but it appears that Susan Milligan’s article, Temperament Tantrum, in the January 27 edition of The Report, by US News, is the seminal story. It Is Time to Say It: Trump Is Mentally Ill, by Jeff Jarvis on Medium, is also popular.
It’s telling that Gartner himself says that he’s violated the “Goldwater Rule,” part of the ethics code of his profession, but then excuses himself because this is so important. To me, that admission invalidates everything else he says.
Not that I like Mr. Trump. He’s crude. But is he actually dangerous to the country? I don’t know. I consider any government to be a danger to the world, so I’m not the one to ask.
I think it’s EXTREMELY dangerous to use the opinions of psychologists to control people. I don’t consider psychology to be an actual science. Experiments aren’t repeatable, and it matters hugely who does them, what they’re looking for, and which model of psychology they believe in. There’s no way to separate experimenter from experiment. This is also true of particle physics, but less so. Much less.
Psychologists can help people, but only if they want help, and ask for it, and work hard on it, for a long time (cue lightbulb joke). Psychologists should have no input into public policy (not that there should be such a thing as public policy, but that’s a deeper issue).
Taxation is extortion, a heinous crime. End it.
Lightbulb joke: How many psychiatrists does it take to change a lightbulb? Only one, but it takes a long time, and the lightbulb has to really want to change.
[This short essay is also posted on my blog]