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The Ethics of Warning the Public About a Dangerous President

The Ethics of Warning the Public About a Dangerous President

Bandy X. Lee, Leonard L. Glass

Mental health professionals should further engage in educating the public, not less.

“The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump” became an instant bestseller in ways that even one of the largest publishers in the nation did not anticipate. (Photo: Lesley Becker/Globe Staff)

The true definition of responsibility is having the ability to respond. These fine people have not just the responsibility but the duty and obligation as well. I thank them for their service to our country and it’s well being. That being said, it is quite obvious even to a lay person that something is wrong and it needs to be addressed Before something happens. Unlike Sandy Hook and other such events where there was cause for concern.


On most days, I would agree with you that the country deserves Donald Trump, especially since 95% of the voting electorate supports the parties of the Duopoly.

It’s fucking insane to support corporate rule, but they keep doing it election after election.

But, as for Donald Trump, the entire country doesn’t deserve him because of the mindless zombies who are addicted to being dumb and voting for political parties that have been ripping them off for 30 years.

These same people say that there are no reasonable alternatives to the corporate Whores masquerading as politicians.

Yet, there has been a party that puts People, Planet, and Peace before Profit, which neither party of the Duopoly can claim, but Corporate Warmongers looked better to them.

Yes, Donald must be disposed of, and, as soon as possible, but don’t blame everyone for the “lesser of two evil” voters who gave us this current moron.


As Dylan sang, “You don’t need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows.” I think most people, should they meet and interact with Trump on a personal basis, stripped of his celebrity and political status, would instinctively be uncomfortable with Trump, if not downright repelled. Certainly, any responsible citizen should be aghast that such a dishonest, intellectually lazy and such a cruel man is sitting in the White house. Of course, the fact that such a man as Trump IS sitting in the White House shows just how little responsibility and accountability in our political system are worth.


PonyBoy, as I have said elsewhere here, and would like the Drs. to see if they monitoring this information:

Now that I have fully read the transcript of NY"Times" reporter Schmidt’s interview last week with Trump at his Florida golf resort — where the Trumpster is on a ‘working vacation’ (BS), the following is my assessment of that loopy interview:

IMHO, any serious analysis of Emperor/president Trump’s quotes in the NYT interview are clearly analogous to the following discussion between Gen. Turgidson (George Scott) and President Muffley (Peter Sellers) in the 1964 Kubrick anti-war film “Dr. Strangelove”:


General Ripper called Strategic Air Command headquarters shortly after he issued the go code. I have a partial transcript of that conversation if you’d like me to read it.


Read it.


The duty officer asked General Ripper to confirm the fact the he had issued the go code and he said, “Yes gentlemen, they are on their way in and no one can bring them back. For the sake of our country and our way of life, I suggest you get the rest of SAC in after them, otherwise we will be totally destroyed by red retaliation. My boys will give you the best kind of start, fourteen hundred megatons worth, and you sure as hell won’t stop them now. So let’s get going. There’s no other choice. God willing, we will prevail in peace and freedom from fear and in true health through the purity and essence of our natural fluids. God bless you all.” Then he hung up. We’re still trying to figure out the meaning of that last phrase, sir.


There’s nothing to figure out General Turgidson. This man is obviously a psychotic.


Well, I’d like to hold off judgment on a thing like that, sir, until all the facts are in.



So much focus on Trump is either idioatically naive or intentionally misleading. Trump represents a significant sub-culture in the country. He was nominated by one of the two major parties. That’s what the country is. Trump as an individual is not relevant. What’s relevant is the system - which he has not changed. These “fine” individuals who apparently wrote this “best seller” - would serve society better if they used their competence to dissect the system and point us to the mental health of not just Trump, but several others that the system produces, such Bush and Obama and Clinton etc…who have normalized droning people around the world or lough when they are killed. These “fine” professionals would help us understand better these phenomena with their deeper analysis. Focusing on Trump is easy peasy - and of course sells books.


You can thank the korporate MSM – both right (wrong) and left (over) – for the roughly 34% of 'Murikans who are mindless zombies that voted for Tweetle-Dumb, and the roughly 35% of 'Murikans who are mindless zom­bies that voted for Krooked Hilliary – but don’t forget the 30% that the MSM has successfully turned off so that they don’t vote at all, and the 1% who voted for “unapproved” minor-party candidates or who wrote in alterna­tives.

There may be a few reasonable alternatives, but with 99.44% of the media controlled by the Multi-NaZional Korporations, only their whores get any meaningful publicity whatsoever.

The Korporate Warmongers / Whoremongers are essentially all the majority of incurious 'Murikans are ever allowed to see, and with the semi-“open” internet apparently a thing of the past it’s going to get a LOT worse before it gets any better.

The track record of the supposedly ‘lesser of two (great) evils’ candidate was sufficiently bad that enough of those who weren’t aware of Tweetle-Dumb’s record were so disgusted by the past fifty years of duopoly poli-
tics that they believed his lies and voted for him out of desperation for change.  But – as even some of them
are now admitting – he WAS lying, and now they (and the rest of us, unfortunately) are getting More of the Same Old Same Old — and in Spades.


"So much focus on Trump is either idioatically naive or intentionally misleading."
Agree. Social psychologists and sociologists might be of more help than mental health professionals. As you point out, the problem is in the prevailing system rather than anyone given individual.

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As with the pustules of Bubonic Plague, Tweetle-Dumb is just one symptom of a serious disease.
But he IS contagious, and treatment is urgently needed.


Vicious cycle, isn’t it, Uncle Fester?

The MSM are good for maybe one thing.

Reporting about massive storms.

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from the article:

‘IN SPITE of widespread concern regarding Donald Trump’s ability to execute his office, the psychiatric establishment continues to enforce silence on its members, depriving the public of their expertise. Hampering the profession’s ability to warn about danger needs reconsideration. A sense of this critical need gave rise to “The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump,” a collection of mental health expertise made accessible for lay readers.
Ordinarily, psychiatrists abide by what is called the Goldwater rule, which prohibits diagnosing public figures without a personal examination and without consent. But assessing dangerousness is different from making a diagnosis, in that we are evaluating the situation, not the person. The same person may not be dangerous in a different situation, for example, but a diagnosis stays with the person…’

What a bunch of hooey! Of course they’re evaluating the person, not making a clinical diagnosis, of course. But doing so while presenting themselves as expert evaluators, without any vis-à-vis evaluation. It’s one thing to give an opinion of a person’s possible threat. But quite another to do so while implying that the opinion is an expert opinion.

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The graphic reminds me of The Door’s “Riders on the Storm”. “There’s a killer on the road who’s brain is squirming like a toad…”

We’ll wait for the missiles to launch before we declare Trump mentally ill.

Just like in mass shootings. Too late to act and prevent. Always reacting after the innocent people have died.


!50 states have given authority to psych professionals to lock people up. Isn’t that a danger to human rights? How can one defend against an unfair diagnosis? What if a diagnosis was made by a quack? How could one defend against forced medication by the state? Lives could be ruined unfairly under such a system

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I agree. To me, Trump is only a symptom of and a result of the American, political disease. And to my way of thinking, the only antidote for this miasma, is a major operation to eradicate this political disease; otherwise, nothing will change even if Trump is impeached. Trump is dangerous, but not nearly as dangerous as the political disease that has infected America.

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Have you read the book?

Have YOU read the book?

Most everyday people could adjudge Dump as having something wrong but may not be able to pinpoint quite what their intuition tells them nor assess how unstable he really is and what that might look like when he’s REALLY under pressure, what he might do.

But professionals IN the field of human behavior, experts, can give a more detailed analysis (lower case ‘a’) and flesh out possibilities of what the dangers such a personality as his poses. Analogy: most people could look at a used car where there is rust and see that rust, but someone more experienced like an auto mechanic or body shop man, an expert, could suggest other places to look for the rust, too, and based on where the rust is, he could give pretty good guesses on why the rust is there and project what that might mean for the overall performance of the car’s motor and chassis over the next months/years.

Expert opinion doesn’t necessarily mean diagnosis, especially one made without testing of and interviews of the target person. It simply means an opinion rendered by professionals in the field based on observations of the person over a period of time or series of events.

I won’t say that the chapters in the book are perfect or that I agree with every single point made, but I will say the book is worth reading and gives much food for thought—for the present and future candidates & elections. It’s too bad the explanations about Dump weren’t widely provided before the election so that more people might have been able to pinpoint their uneasiness about him better, avoided minimizing, normalizing, or denying his potential for damage, learned more about assessing candidates, and voted for someone healthier for the country and world.

GYes, you’re right. (You might look at my response to johnlannetta.)

People who want better gun control laws cite the potential dangers of an abuser with a history of violence, arrests for same, and anger issues getting his hands on heavy-duty firearms. In this case, the dangerous person can be identified before he gets all those guns and can be refused service to buy guns.

Same thing with the public knowing enough about unstable, delusional, paranoid, narcissistic, and/or lying personality characteristics.

Where did you see “lock people up”? That’s not what these writers said. Read the third paragraph more carefully. Most hospitalizations they talk about are a 72-hour hold so the person can be observed and evaluated by the medical/psychiatric staff. If a patient is psychotic, strung out on some drug, actively suicidal or homicidal, then there are steps to go through to protect him and the public.

Any professionals in the behavioral health field have a LEGAL and ETHICAL responsibility to act on their assessment that someone is a realistic or imminent threat to his own or someone else’s safety. Each state has its own reporting requirements. Read up on the Tarasoff Case so that you can understand what’s being said in this article.

I’m not sure what your axe to grind is, but before you get hysterical, you should ask more about the concepts, laws, etc.

“As with the pustules of Bubonic Plague, Tweetle-Dumb is just one symptom of a serious disease.”

I prefer to think of him as an inflamed boil on the buttocks of a fin de siècle republic, as it totters off the world stage and into the cumulative history of such failures. It will be in good company, as it devolves into the latest authoritarian nightmare.