Type to search

What Should We Do About A Mentally Ill President?

Featured Post National News Politics Top News US White House

What Should We Do About A Mentally Ill President?


It’s time to face up to the obvious: The President of the United States is deranged.

I don’t mean that he’s merely idiosyncratic or pushing policies that I think are crazy, nor do I say this as just another political jab. I mean that Donald J. Trump literally is mentally ill.

OK, I’m no doctor, but you don’t need a doctorate in mental disorders to see that his behavior in public and on Twitter is beyond abnormal — it’s psychotic. As we’ve seen, he routinely plunges uncontrollably into prolonged fits of petty paranoia; he succumbs to delusions of imperialist grandeur; he spouts absurd right-wing rumors as facts (while simultaneously denying that actual facts are true); and he is pathologically addicted to lying, bizarrely repeating his most blatant fabrications even after they’ve been totally debunked.

A sane, temperamentally-balanced president — possessing all the power and majesty that America’s supreme office conveys to an Oval Office occupant — doesn’t get into demeaning public snits with the likes of Arnold Schwarzenegger; doesn’t feel a constant need to puff himself up with ridiculously false claims, like his frantic insistence that the crowd at his inaugural celebration was the largest ever; doesn’t rage rabidly at media outlets that question his competence or displease him, blasting them as “enemies of the people;” and doesn’t unleash a furious, all-out attack on Barack Obama just because some screwball radio talk-show conspiracy theorist made a claim that the former president had wiretapped Trump’s campaign.

These are not mere eccentricities, not just Trump being Trump — it’s obvious that the guy is not well and is unable to handle the stressful demands of being president of our democratic republic. Indeed, his flaky behavior suggests he’s on the brink of a personal breakdown, and his ever-more-frequent retreats to his posh Florida golf resort tells us he doesn’t even want to do the job.

Many people who attain high public office grow in their position of trust. Some, however, just bloat.

Trump has put bloat on spectacular since entering the White House, where he’s had a disastrous start. He chose a cabinet and staff mostly made up of ideological quacks, incompetents and Wall Street grifters. Yet, buoyed by his explosive ego, the president pronounced his start historic: “I don’t think there’s ever been a president elected who in this short period of time has done what we’ve done.”

Sadly, he’s right. For example, they made a reckless, autocratic, and unconstitutional attempt to ban millions of Muslim immigrants from our land. They embarrassed America with a hasty, failed, and deadly military raid in Yemen. They had to ax the kooky guy he chose to be his national security advisor. They’ve even apparently been caught colluding with Russian meddlers in our politics. Some record!

And now Trump has embraced a GOP replacement of Obamacare, hailing a”Trumpcare” substitute that will jack-up our health care costs, cut benefits, and eliminate coverage entirely for millions of working-class and poor people — all while also sneaking in yet another underhanded tax cut for the rich! It’s so awful that even hordes of Republican lawmakers have gagged, refusing to swallow it. Yet, lost in self-deception, Trump calls it “wonderful”.

We have a president who is detached from reality, careening from one mess to another. But who will say: “The emperor has no clothes”? He’s so far gone that when he read his recent address to Congress straight off the teleprompter, without his usual pugnacious ranting, Republican enablers of his antics and even the media establishment he scorns applauded him for being “presidential.”

Huh? The speech was a nasty wad of lies and right-wing nonsense. If the occasional appearance of sanity is all we ask of Trump, then his reign of insanity will be our fault. His loved ones and his party should intervene — for his sake and for America’s. But they won’t. Will we?

IMAGE: DonkeyHotey / Flickr

Jim Hightower

Jim Hightower is a nationally syndicated columnist and one of America's most prominent progressive voices. His column carried by more than 75 publications across the country. Prior to becoming a writer, Hightower served as Texas Agricultural Commission from 1982 to 1991.

  • 1


  1. Dominick Vila March 10, 2017

    We would have been much better off if our focus on presidential health during the campaign had not been limited to physical fitness. Trump is, clearly, unstable and dangerous. What many of us considered expressions of arrogant, immature, narcissism may be attributed instead to mental illness. To think that such an unfit person is sitting in the Oval Office, within reach of a button that could destroy the world is terrifying. Unfortunately, the chances of psychiatrists and psychologists coming forward spontaneously to voice concern over Trump’s unfitness to be President of the United States. Let’s hope we don’t learn the consequences of the decision made by so many fellow Americans when it is too late to do anything to reverse it.

    1. dbtheonly March 10, 2017


      We can spend four years wishing what might have been. Or we can figure out what we do now.

      There’s little we can do about Trump. We can hope and pray he’ll pull a “Palin” & quit. We can hope for impeachment. We an hope for the 25th Amendment Solution. My money’s on 25th Amendment if anything.

      Or we can get out and attend the town hall meetings and voice our disapproval of the Republican Agenda. We can contribute to Democrats, at every level, in every special election, in every mid term. We can quit trying to find fault with fellow Democrats and embrace the diversity.

      Most of all we have to get out and vote. EVERYONE. EVERY TIME. NO EXCUSES. NO EXCEPTIONS!

      1. FireBaron March 10, 2017

        Don’t know whether I agree with you or not. The reason I say so is if the impeachment process is successful, there will be this as a reaction – President Pence.

        1. BDD1951 March 10, 2017

          I think Pence will not be a chronic liar. Personally I would rather have Pence than what we have now.

          1. sigrid28 March 10, 2017

            I’m with you. My hope (note that I do not say “expectation”) is that the Republicans who will have to impeach Trump will begin to yearn for a Pence presidency (warts and all), get rid of Trump, and see to it that Pence restores the State Department and other agencies Trump has gutted, so the country can get on track.

          2. Mama Bear March 10, 2017

            so…it looks like they have normalized Pence in all of this and everyone will overlook his anti-science, anti-gay, anti-woman and god know what other antis that we don’t know about.

          3. dbtheonly March 10, 2017

            It’s the comparison. Pence is sane if extreme. Trump is, maybe extreme and definitely crazy. I prefer Trump. If you disagree, fine. It’s a matter of choice.

            Which leads back to my point. It isn’t just Trump, or Pence, or Ryan. It’s each and every Republican in each and every level of government. We have to defeat them all.

          4. Mama Bear March 10, 2017

            I have to agree, but for me it is sort of like saying I would rather have a broken right leg than a broken left leg.

          5. plc97477 March 10, 2017

            He would at least be relatively sane.

          6. Martha Bartha March 10, 2017

            You are very astute!

        2. Aaron_of_Portsmouth March 10, 2017

          Truly a frightening alternative in its own right. We have a system of governance that values the combination money/incompetence/amorality/boastfulness above “moderate wealth/integrity/humility/altruism”, the latter being a sign of weakness and lack of “drive(?)”.

        3. dbtheonly March 10, 2017

          You don’t have to agree FB, I certainly respect your right to disagree, we’re friends & that’s not going to change.

          As I said to Mama, below, it’s not a matter of Trump vs Pence. I prefer Trump, you may disagree or not. The point is that the Republicans, at all levels of government, are engaged in destroying the America I love. Republicans, outside of government, are actively engaged in destroying the very fabric of our society. Trump is a symptom, not the disease.

      2. plc97477 March 10, 2017

        I would like to add. NO THIRD PARTY CANDIDATES!

        1. itsfun March 11, 2017

          I see President Trump as our first third party President. He has both sides of the powerful establishments against him. Drain the swamp Mr. President.

    2. FireBaron March 10, 2017

      Teflon Donnie demonstrated his instability throughout the campaign. However, the dyed-in-the-wool racist, white, undereducated, underemployed reactionaries who listen to every word on right-wing talk-radio ate up all his empty promises and outright lies that these folks would be “better off” than the people of color as long as he was elected.
      Since the election, not only have we been subjected to lie after lie from his mouth, as well as those of his toadies and lickspittles, we have also been witness to a rise in racist, antisemitic public displays of disaffection against “them people”, culminating in the assassination of a worker from India by one of his supporters, and the attempted assassination of a Sikh in another location. We have seen Jewish cemeteries with toppled headstones, Jewish and Muslim centers receiving bomb threats, NAACP and Urban League offices broken into and defaced.
      So, his illness is spreading.

      1. BDD1951 March 10, 2017

        And the burning of our beautiful mosque right here in my town. They have now determined it is arson. It has been there for years until Dump got people all stirred up. The gold colored dome is laying on the ground.

        1. Aaron_of_Portsmouth March 10, 2017

          What a shameful thing to do to anyone’s place of worship, whether one accepts the Religion it represents or not. The same applies to administrative facilities of any Religion and their cemeteries and/or burial sites of individual religious adherents.

          1. BDD1951 March 11, 2017

            I want to cry every time I drive by it. It was so beautiful.

        2. iamproteus March 11, 2017

          Acts such as this and others are no different from the acts committed by ISIS etal in their sphere of influence which destroy centuries old edifices and artifacts. Such acts of barbarism should be rewarded with extreme penalties.

    3. Michael Allen March 10, 2017

      Please, email and a scary uranium deal were much more important to The New York Times and the MSM than discussing policy proposals, or the despicable character of Trump.

    4. sigrid28 March 10, 2017

      There has been a petition signed by thousands of mental health professionals–I’ll track it down and cite accurately. Lawrence O’Donnell covered it on his program.

    1. iamproteus March 11, 2017

      I see you’re still stupid, godzilla. No need to continue driving the message home.

  2. Mama Bear March 10, 2017

    The Republicans will do nothing. Period. They are all so busy trying to please their donors (and themselves) that they could care less what he is doing. With a couple of exceptions of course. What we need to pray for is that someone, some country, some 3-letter organization will take care of things.

  3. rhallnj March 10, 2017

    Pretty soon we will have full page ads in the NYT from mental health professionals attesting to all this. I give him one more psychotic Twitter outburst, after which people will start serious removal talk.

  4. Aaron_of_Portsmouth March 10, 2017

    The public assessment that Donald is mentally ill is one that needs to be broadcast over and over again. As “Spicey” of SNL would say: “Now print that—that’s your story!”.
    Regrettably, few in the GOP tent would submit to irrefutable evidence(the byword for that is ‘fake news’), careful reasoning(an irrelevant process), nor rational conversation and deciding to do the right thing(paralysis of the ability to do what is required has set in permanently).
    Given all that, the options are to embark on a determined gradual dismantling of a system of governance which is decayed from its outer facade down to the beams and rivets. First step would be to start having polite conversations with neighbors pro-Trump, anti-Trump, and neutral in order to converse frankly and with due respect to all opinions in order to reach a general consensus that what affects any number of citizens in our nation, affects all citizens, whereby a state of mind will result leading to a wiser electorate. And in parallel, we should be thinking of gradually accepting the fact that this dynamic affects the entire planet, and a new process of healing will arouse the attention of others across the world. Ambitious, yes. But a requirement that can’t be ignored.

  5. yabbed March 10, 2017

    We are going to pay a terrible price for having this mentally unstable man in the presidency. We are already diminished in the world’s eyes and now we are seeing our structures of government be dismantled. If we do not impeach his man soon we shall never as a nation recover.

    1. Martha Bartha March 10, 2017

      Don’t hold back, tell us how you really feel!

  6. Aaron_of_Portsmouth March 10, 2017

    As an addendum and continuation of the train of thought regarding Trump’s mental fitness, is a larger issue and questions.

    For instance, Putin by all visible evidence is afflicted with a mental illness that mirrors in many ways Donald’s characteristics: An over-developed sense of importance, being self-centered, a paranoia and sense of incompetence linked more so to nationalist/expansionist dreams and aspirations, being deceitful, and having a natural inclination for lying. Both are motivated by power, money, and the sense that enough is never enough.

    Then there is a plausible relationship, a cause-and-effect, that links the adoration of wealth, on accruing more of it, and the utter absence of any real sense of connection to other humans. Nationalist ideology and rhetoric are on the rise, fueled by a fear of change as a result of the “conservative” preoccupation with maintaining the status quo; both of these outlooks seem to trigger an isolationist/expansionist view in order to both protect one’s sphere from change while simultaneously feeling the urge to expand the sphere. Much of the chanting and sloganeering about Make America Great Again, building up the military, and the need to keep power restricted to one’s self-defined group, are the result of isolationism, nationalism, and materialism. These latter qualities gain ascendancy when morality and “real” religious sentiments are absent, and therefore no “brakes” can be applied to halt isolationism, nationalism, and materialism.

    Only by shifting the current priorities, as predominantly displayed by Trump, Putin, Chinese officials, North Korea, Assad, and ISIS, from an isolationist, nationalist, outlook, and religious fanatical impulses, to the sanity offered by moderation, and a sense that “the earth is but one country, and humankind its citizens”, can relief be forthcoming and a calm predominate in human affairs and interactions.

  7. Martha Bartha March 10, 2017

    He must be forced to step down!

  8. Steve Wood March 10, 2017

    Please ladies and gentlemen, the only hope progressives have is NOT removing Trump. Eventually the independents that actually determine the winner in national and most state contests will desert the Trump camp for being both irresponsible and reprehensible. Congressmen (and women) will be running away from this disaster in 2018 but hopefully not so far as to prevent progressives from winning the majority of races. Lastly look at the alternative to Trump. Mike Pence is (unfortunately for progressives) a moral thoughtful principled conservative. He is far more dangerous policy wise than Dippy Donald. Not only that but we get Paul Ryan as vice president.

    1. leadvillexp March 17, 2017

      I am a middle of the road Republican. I believe in women’s rights and gay rights. I believe in equality of all people, religion, sex, color or otherwise. I also feel that the government has failed us. believe in the Constitution and Bill of Rights. They can not be changed. If you try to take any of my rights away I will fight you. The Clintons tried to take away my firearms. I have a right to defend myself, the police can’t do it. They come after the fact. When you tamper with my rights, such as the Second Amendment you will be defeated. Take that o the bank next election. Yes I am the NRA. Individual people.

  9. secondclassguy March 11, 2017

    It’s a combination of arrogance and ignorance, these by themselves aren’t to bad, but together are dangerous. There’s another thing to fear, and that is enough people elected him, which means what he is appealed to enough people who are like him.

    It didn’t matter to them he has no morals, no integrity, and lies as naturally as breathing. This was all acceptable to large numbers of Americans. So we can also ask what do we do with so many mentally ill people. My hope is that their insanity is only temporary

    1. BDD1951 March 11, 2017

      There are many good Republican that just vote that way no matter what. Mostly the older generation. They’ve voted that way for years and don’t do any research. They just vote. There were many voters that had never voted before in their life and Trump appealed to them. I say that they came up out of the river bottom and don’t really know anything.

      1. secondclassguy March 11, 2017

        Yes Trump cast a yet deep in the river and came up with all those bottom feeders and harmful bacteria

    2. plc97477 March 11, 2017

      My hope is that their insanity is a form of dementia and they are all on their death beds.

    3. leadvillexp March 17, 2017

      I voted for President Trump, The alternative was worse. I would have voted for Bernie but the Dems were to stupid. Maybe the Dems will dump the Clintons next time.

      1. secondclassguy March 17, 2017

        I wouldn’t be calling others stupid when you think Trump was a second choice to vote for instead of Sanders. The two are exact opposites

  10. itsfun March 11, 2017

    If the writer is talking about Obama, we re-elected a mentally ill President.

  11. Howard Covitz March 11, 2017

    6 reasons … DJT is unfit … https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ybVAMryf3zo

  12. itsfun March 12, 2017

    What we did is re-elect Obama.

    1. ivory69690@yahoo.com March 12, 2017

      nope Obama is sane its the DUMPSTER that has the pea brain mind illness

  13. ivory69690@yahoo.com March 12, 2017

    fear not the mentally ill clown behind the curtain yes the DONNY DUMP brain dead followers are ones that can make the rest scared that these kind of people are in the country . I cant understand why all these people are afraid of DONNY DUMP (people in office ) he cant fire the ones the people voted in . by right thy all should be giving and treating the DUMPSTER CLOWN with the same respect he treats every one else with NONE NO RESPECT ) thy all should do as he dose when thy make statements just like he dose . call it like it is (and he is ) no more should anyone in an office of the USA should say DONNY DUMP that’s not true and that’s not a true statement you mad (again ) call it and say it just as it is . tell the clown that’s a lie and tell him in a statement you are a pathological liar and let them (the ones in office DEMS tell it like it is ) tell the DUMPSTER he is a pathetic , arrogant , ignorant lying big mouth blow hard . put theses truth out there for the people of the country and DEMS show you’re not afraid of this deranged clown car driver . a good thing is for the DEMS it will be the truth . and one knows the KING CLOWN will come back on his childish tweeter account and act the deranged child minded clown he is . if the DEMS do this enough thy and we all know the DUMPSTER cant let these things go. so he will show the fool he is and act the idiot he is for all to see (and already know ) who knows it might even bring some life to his brain dead followers and thy will open their eyes and see DONNY DUMP as just the addicted junky seeking his FIX OF ATTENTION . (yes its a slim chance any of his brain dead followers can ever have life put back into their brain dead pea minds ) but who knows there might be the straw that breaks the camel’s back .


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.