Donald Trump is demented — and I mean that literally

Filed in National by on January 24, 2017

A guest Post from Alby Damned

Psychoanalyzing Donald Trump has been an all-American parlor game for going on 18 months now, but I think we may be asking the wrong question — or, perhaps, viewing it through the wrong frame. I don’t think he is mentally ill.

Yes, there’s ample evidence of Trump’s narcissism, paranoia, verminophobia, racism, and misogyny, along with a grab-bag of minor personality quirks. But most people are missing the obvious signs of a potential health problem that, I believe, renders him mentally unfit to carry out the duties of the office.

I strongly suspect Donald Trump suffers from dementia.

This idea is not new. It was floated as far back as October 2015, when Steve King assembled evidence at Death and Taxes. Esquire’s Charles Pierce, whose father succumbed to Alzheimer’s, for months has noted symptoms consistent with the condition. But the idea seems not to have broken through to the general media.

I mostly forgot about it myself until I saw something the other day, quoting something Trump said back in April, in an interview with Bob Woodward of the Washington Post. Woodward, ever the sycophant, asked him about the fact that he was running as a Republican. Let’s go to the transcript:

BW: [W]e have this party that you are running to be the nominee in, and it’s got two heritages. Lincoln and Nixon.
DT: That’s true. That’s true.
BW: And why did Lincoln succeed? Thought about that at all?
DT: Well, I think Lincoln succeeded for numerous reasons. He was a man who was of great intelligence, which most presidents would be. But he was a man of great intelligence, but he was also a man that did something that was a very vital thing to do at that time. Ten years before or 20 years before, what he was doing would never have even been thought possible. So he did something that was a very important thing to do, and especially at that time. And Nixon failed, I think to a certain extent, because of his personality. You know? It was just that personality. Very severe, very exclusive. In other words, people couldn’t come in. And people didn’t like him. I mean, people didn’t like him.

You see what’s going on there. Trump is fishing around in his memory for what it was Lincoln did. He knew it was important, and he knew he should remember it, and that it came at a crucial time… dammit, why can’t I remember what that guy did?

Most outlets treated the story as evidence that Trump is stupid, which he clearly is not, or was not in the not-so-distant past. Yet he could not remember basic facts that all Americans take in with their mother’s milk: Lincoln saved the Union and freed the slaves. Trump didn’t just forget a name or a place — the proper nouns are the first to go — he forgot the entire biography of Abraham Lincoln. He reached for the memory file and came up empty.

Like many Boomers, I have aging relatives who have suffered (or are still suffering) from dementia, some with Alzheimer’s, some not. I’m obviously no doctor, but I have dealt with many different people, not all of them as old as Trump, who in the earlier stages of dementia could still bluff their way through most situations with all but their intimates. I increasingly get the impression that Trump is doing the same.

The medical community tells us that at least two of these core mental functions must be significantly impaired to be considered dementia:
• Memory
• Communication and language
• Ability to focus and pay attention
• Reasoning and judgment
• Visual perception

Trump’s problems with communication and language are obvious. So is his inability to focus on a subject for any length of time. His reasoning and judgment have been called into question repeatedly, and there are many instances, like the Lincoln example above, demonstrating an impaired memory. I had no reason to doubt his visual perception until he said he saw millions of people at his inauguration.

The only doubt now is how “significantly” he is impaired in any of those areas. He’s not so far gone that he can’t bluff his way through with his usual vocalizations, but I think the country is owed a true physical and mental assessment of the president’s health, from a doctor who examines him for more than 10 minutes. I have little doubt what such a battery of tests would find, but I welcome the findings whatever they might be.

I would call it sad, except that sounds like I’m mocking him, and I don’t mean to. But neither do I find Trump a sympathetic figure in any way. In my experience, people in the grip of dementia lose the ability to mask their true selves. And you’ll notice that Trump has increasingly become exactly as he’s always been, only more so.

Alby Damned is the nom de guerre of retired journalist and talk show host Al Mascitti. He lives in Hockessin.

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Jason330 is a deep cover double agent working for the GOP. Don't tell anybody.

Comments (73)

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  1. mediawatch says:

    Welcome, Alby Damned.
    Here’s hoping you contribute regularly.

  2. Jason330 says:

    I hadn’t considered it, but it adds up. Also – I’m sure one of the first things he gets (in addition to the nuclear football) is a check up from a qualified, accredited doctor. It may be his first in 20 years, so who knows what they’ll find?

  3. Ben says:

    I wonder how sickly he looks under all that spray-tan. Not sickly-shaming here, I believe in equal opportunity employment, but if he is having an episode…. or passes out due to illness, the Office must be filled by someone physically and mentally capable of holding it. apologies if that came out as abelist.

  4. RE Vanella says:

    I’m uncomfortable with any medical diagnosis of a person who’s basically a stranger. Especially since Trump’s public statements have always seemed to me to be basically an act. For 30 years he’s built a character. This character is perfectly suited to market his so called high-end brand. I think I’m on solid ground, for example, arguing that Trump knows exactly what Lincoln did. The issue is the public clown Trump doesn’t want to get into it. It doesn’t serve his purpose.

    I believe that many people are evaluating his public behavior and his public statements as if they are genuine indicators of the real man’s character or disposition. I don’t think that’s so.

    I’ve heard reports that after doing his TV routine and shitting on say people in the room Trump will than speak to those same people privately in a cordial manner. Now to play this game for this long and into the US presidency is very dangerous. Trump is likely quite disturbed. But I wouldn’t consider his statements as a sincere reflection of the man. I think he’s selling something.

  5. puck says:

    Racist right-wingers experience cognitive dissonance when praising the President who defeated them in the Civil War.

  6. bamboozer says:

    My sad fate too know far too much about dementia, I lost two aunts and a grandfather to it, my mom is in the 7th stage of the disease (bed ridden), my wife and her mother have it as well. The “test” consists of 10 questions, I’ll repeat it to you if you like as I know it by heart. But That’s It, other than an autopsy there is no test for the disease. My non medical opinion: Trump does not have the disease, he’s always been like this and it’s at least partly an act. If he is in the early stages it can be hard to detect, partly because the relatives are in denial, know all about that as well. Also know that the disease can progress quickly or very slowly. If he does have it the stress of the job will make it apparent, but we are nowhere near that point.

  7. Jason330 says:

    What are the ten questions?

  8. Alby says:

    “I’m on solid ground, for example, arguing that Trump knows exactly what Lincoln did.”

    Then you don’t understand dementia. The issue isn’t whether he “knows,” it’s that he couldn’t remember what it was. This is the kind of question they ask you when you have a concussion, like “who’s the president?” only knowing that LIncoln freed the slaves is even more basic.

    You, for example, wouldn’t be able to give the answer Trump gave. It’s impossible to fake not knowing what LIncoln did. I mean, really, what’s the simplest answer to all his behavior? Occam’s razor says it’s dementia.

    Also, there are times and places where his lapses into incoherence don’t serve the purpose you cite at all — the CIA speech the other day is a good example.

  9. Mark says:

    Lazarus was resurrected and went on to found a chain of discount clothing stores here in the States. His rebirth was a blessing to all of us locally who were ragged and needy.
    Now it appears we have a new phantom in Alby Damned rising from a short imposed slumber. I may have my Biblical history wrong but I hope Alby goes on to fully materialize on these pages and beyond.

  10. RE Vanella says:

    Two things. First I don’t think dementia is most simple answer. I believe mine actually is. He’s developed a image, a character, to sell his brand. He continues to do this.

    Second, I do believe the routine at the CIA served his purposes. To assume it doesn’t is based on your point of view not his.

    Trump is doing the same routine he’s done for 30 years or more. His ranting incoherence won him election to the world’s most powerful office. Why wouldn’t he just keep up the act?

    Dementia is a deteriorating disease. How has he been able to keep this up that long?

    I get what you’re arguing. I respectfully disagree.

  11. Alby says:

    And I respectfully disagree with your understanding of Occam’s razor. Keeping up a long-running ruse is a much more complicated answer than illness.

    “How has he been able to keep this up that long?”

    I don’t know how long it’s been this bad, but through enablers, obviously. Why do you think he needs Ivanka and Kushner so close to him? Those closest to him see what’s going on, and they have to keep it hidden.

    Reagan was suffering Alzheimer’s incidents his whole second term. Nancy knew, which was why she was standing there to prompt him when he spaced out.

  12. mouse says:

    I’m just wondering if this will be the first non impeachment removal of a POTUS in our history. It could come to that if he acts like this during important decisions or crisis

  13. RE Vanella says:

    I’m just going to make one final general comment on this. I don’t think any lay-person with no medical training whatever should be making a very serious medical diagnosis based only upon the public behavior and statements of a celebrity he’s never met in person.

    Also, I don’t know how productive it is to trade in highly speculative conspiracy theories. There were plenty of theories about a newly elected Obama. We dismissed them on grounds similar to these. I think this actually makes the resistance look irrational and unserious.

    While I agree that Trump behaves in dangerous ways and doesn’t engage in any way we would expect an intelligent reasonable person to communicate, this is a bridge way too far for me.

  14. Alby says:

    To underscore my point, check out this Trump interview with Tim Russert from 1999, when he left the GOP to run with the Reform Party.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l_joQ1kxxZs

    All the braggadocio, delusion and self-regard are there, but listen to him talk. He speaks clearly, in complete sentences. It’s very difficult to dumb yourself down purposely, so I don’t think his current inability to complete a sentence is intentional.

    There has been severe deterioration in his ability to navigate social situations, which he can mask somewhat because it dovetails so smoothly with his authoritarianism.

  15. Alby says:

    @REV: You’re just a little contrarian, aren’t you? I’m going to lose the “respectfully” part.

    I don’t give a flying fuck what you think a layman should do, because I don’t care what you think generally. I said right in the post that I’m not a doctor, but I do have eyes and a brain. You might not.

    “I think this actually makes the resistance look irrational and unserious.”

    Now you’re projecting, because your argument is irrational and unserious.

    If you have something intelligent to say, now would be a good time to start.

    BTW, “conspiracy theory” doesn’t mean what you apparently think it does. And I read the fiction. Don’t quit the day job.

    And I have met him in person, at the Hotel du Pont when he unveiled the “Tour de Trump.”

  16. RE Vanella says:

    You’re funny with the insults. You know there’s a reason medical doctors have ethical standards against this kind of thing. Do you know what those reasons are and why they are in place? When you evaluated Trump at the hotel DuPont what methods did you use? How long was the session?

    I understand you’re all wound up. Many people who fall down the conspiratorial abyss have this same difficultly controlling emotions. You’re being pulled into a trap. I advise you to fight the urge.

    Look, it’s a textbook conspiracy theory based on a complicated medical diagnosis gleaned from what you’ve observed on TV and read on the internet. I think I’m on pretty solid ground here dismissing it.

    If you find this argument in any way irrational that’s funny to me. You argued that the Trump family is actively hiding a serious mental condition that you’ve diagnosed. That would mean they are conspiring, yes?

  17. Alby says:

    @REV: It’s not an official diagnosis. It’s an observation, and you have done nothing to refute any of it other than to say I’m not a doctor, which I acknowledged in the first post.

    Look at your argument here. You have neither addressed nor refuted anything I have said, just said I shouldn’t speculate like that — while you speculate that it’s all an act. Why is yours valid and mine not? The opposite is true — I have offered ample evidence, you have offered none.

    Furthermore, your scenario, not mine, is the conspiracy theory. In your scenario, everyone knows he’s faking it and noone lets on. In mine, even the people he deals with daily don’t understand what’s going on.

    Your little shtick might fly with someone else, but I know a self-important fake when I interact with one. Go work on your fiction.

  18. RE Vanella says:

    Dude, why the insults? It’s weird. Settle down.

    You argued for a specific medical diagnosis that you can’t possibly know. It’s nonsense.

    That being said I’ll give you that the examples you give of his bizarre behavior and his strange statements are very troubling. Nobody’s knows why. I posit that it’s a marketing thing based on his ego. You made a specific medical assessment. On balance I think I’m on better ground.

    On the conspiracy bit, I’ll concede on that. Perhaps it’s happening and nobody has noticed this but you.

  19. Alby says:

    @REV: Lots of people have noticed. Google it. Follow the links. Get a brain, moran.

    You are arguing that your psychological diagnosis is more valid than my physical one. That’s weird right there. I made a logical case for it based on observations. More evidence of it piles up every day. And every day the notion that it’s all an act becomes less likely.

    We write here every day, asserting things we can’t possibly know. You do it yourself constantly. Apply your self-standard to others for once.

    The insults are the only way to get you to pay attention. You might not have noticed this about yourself.

    Here’s a pro tip on the fiction from someone who has spent 35 years as an editor: Nothing good ever begins with an entire verse of a song.

  20. RE Vanella says:

    Based on your previous diagnoses, I think your assessment of me is equally flawed.

    You have a very high opinion of your medical assessment skills. Based on your background this is very odd. What does this say about you?

    And I was engaging your arguments before you felt the need to insult me. I think that’s very clear.

    And I take you criticism to heart. As I hope you do mine. You’re headed down a very weird hole here trying to identify mental issues like in this fashion and then saying the evidence is piling up on the internet.

  21. Alby says:

    It says I spent 35 years having to research topics of every imaginable variety. What do you bring to the table?

    And you were not engaging my arguments. You set forth your alternate theory with nothing to back it up. I insulted you because that’s not refutation, and only a moron would think it is. And I can’t stand morons.

    I suggest you learn how to argue before engaging in it again.

  22. RE Vanella says:

    Based on your extensive knowledge of behavioral deficiencies what does it mean when you just consistently utilize the same insults over and over?

  23. Alby says:

    It means I don’t want to get really nasty.

    And pointing out that you still haven’t “refuted” anything isn’t an insult, it’s a fact. Give it a whirl.

  24. sue says:

    I agree with Alby. Trump’s father suffered from the disease ,and his inability to form cohesive thoughts and lapses in memory made me wonder a long time ago. Eventually, it will all come out.
    We need to put into law that all serious candidates must share a complete physical and their tax returns. If you want the job, prove you are mentally, physically, and financially fit for it.

  25. RE Vanella says:

    You’re funny. What do you want me to do list all the books I’ve read and catalogue the scholarly journals and periodicals to which I presently subscribe?

    My argument is that any analysis of someone’s behavior and what those observations may mean with regards to someone’s mental health is very precarious and likely a mistake to try to do from the perspective of your living room. I think it serves very little purpose because there’s nothing substantial to it other that a layperson’s speculation. Therefore I dismiss it.

    How is that not responding directly to what you argued?

  26. RE Vanella says:

    Yes, the examples you give are things Trump has said and done. I do not dispute that. I dismiss the conclusion you make that he has a specific mental disease because I don’t think a recently “retired” editor/radio announcer is in any position to go from observable public behavior and a speculative medical diagnosis.

  27. Alby says:

    Yet I’m not the only one. And I don’t think a bad would-be novelist and contrarian crank has any credibility at all.

    You’re a dipshit, fella. Don’t let anyone tell you any different. Sorry I have to share a movement with you.

    “How is that not responding directly to what you argued?”

    It’s dismissing the argument based on the messenger. This is what is known as a “logical fallacy.” Look it up.

    Meanwhile, does this fit in better with your “theory” or mine? And, despite your constant claim that it’s a “diagnosis,” I specifically called it speculation. Comprehend what you read much?

    http://www.salon.com/2017/01/24/donald-trump-is-addicted-to-the-media-and-its-worrying-his-aides/

    Why do you keep saying I”m funny? Because you’re so obviously not?

  28. Alby says:

    I’m also puzzled by why medical speculation is specious, but your psychological speculation is not. Your inability to understand your own double standard is why I call you a moron.

  29. RE Vanella says:

    There’s a very basic and scientific approach to diagnosing disease. So yeah, in this case I can dismiss it based on the messenger because the messenger has neither done the training nor the appropriate patient evaluation to make these claims.

    I’m not even going to comment on a link from Salon. You should be very embarrassed.

    You continue to insult me on the internet, which is very bizarre. Luckily you’re a local nobody who has just been nudged into “retirement” making unsubstantiated medical diagnoses on the internet. And I’m the dipshit! Hilarious.

    What’s my psychological speculation? If it is similar to your medical speculation I will withdrawal it. I’m not sure what you are referring to though.

  30. Alby says:

    You have set up a mockery of what I wrote, and are attacking that straw man for all you’re worth.

    I made no “diagnosis.” I pointed out behavior consistent with a diagnosis.

    You can keep saying “hilarious” all you want. It doesn’t improve the quality of your argument. I’m not the issue. His behavior is.

    My daughter is a doctor. My son-in-law is a doctor. I know how diagnosis works. I am bringing up a possibility that I don’t see considered anywhere, yet when you start to view things through that prism other behavior makes more sense.

    What part of this mental exercise you don’t understand is of less concern that the fact that you can’t help but shit on any idea you didn’t formulate yourself. Go read your own archive if you don’t believe me.

    Your response to the post was the first insult. You didn’t look at the evidence, you simply impugned me. You still don’t understand why that’s a logical fallacy.

    You’re not nearly as smart as you think you are, sport. Fuck off.

  31. RE Vanella says:

    Nah, I don’t think I will.

    How about this. I’ll concede the point you made. The behavior you described could potentially be jammed into a list of symptoms of a certain mental disease or disorder. OK. You didn’t make an official diagnosis. OK

    So what’s the point, then, was my point. People go on WebMD and self diagnosis by matching symptoms to a list of possible ailments. And these are at least the people presenting the symptoms. I think evaluating these behaviors via the media and making this assessment is misguided and unhelpful.

    Who is this argument directed toward? Who are you trying to convince? Do you think this idea will catch on? Will people be demanding a full work-up?

    It’s my understanding via other media reports that Trump’s private behavior is quite a bit different than his public persona. Have you considered this as part of your conclusion ?

  32. Alby says:

    Gee, no, RE, I’ve never read any of the stuff you have. I’ve never been exposed to the dominant media narrative on this. Insert eye-roll here.

    Seriously, you are a contrarian, so your default setting is “reject.” If you really were going to be “respectful,” you would have been so.

    ” I think evaluating these behaviors via the media and making this assessment is misguided and unhelpful.”

    But your theory, which I characterize as psychological, is supported by the same things. You still don’t see this, do you?

    Yes, I think this idea will catch on — through Charles Pierce, not me. Why did you treat us all to your fiction? Did you think it would catch on? We all do this for pretty much the same reason — we have ideas and we float them.

    “Your idea is invalid because you’re not a professional in that field” is, as I have told you three times now, a logical fallacy. I still don’t think you have looked it up.

    Do you actually understand Occam’s razor? I have proposed a theory. Evidence for this theory is thick on the ground — the media reports of the last few days, for example — and none of it acts to refute my suspicions, which were clearly labeled exactly that.

    My explanation is simple and consistent with the evidence. I don’t think that is refutable, but go at it, sport. It’s clearly what you live for.

  33. Damn Alby, I miss you on the radio :)

  34. Alby says:

    @Mark: El Som and I might be able to fix that for you fairly soon, though it would be in podcast form, not over the air.

  35. RE Vanella says:

    You’re taking my criticism very personally and I’m not sure why. Maybe I could assess this behavior of yours along with your known physical attributes and age and determine a potential medical problem. But I won’t because that’s dumb.

    I stand by what I wrote.

    I don’t see how a celebrity creating as public persona to market his brand is psychological I guess since every celebrity does this. I don’t even know if that’s correct, but it’s the most simple explanation.

    How is challenging your idea disrespectful? There is nothing disrespectful about taking a contrarian view. And you’ve insulted me multiple times and I didn’t insult you personally one time.

    You’re a very strange man. You think you know Trump just like you think you know me. You must understand deep down that this is impossible.

  36. Alby says:

    @REV: As for the “unhelpful” charge, let’s see what reason the GOP gives for removing him from the office when it decides the time is right. This one is a whole lot easier than acts of official malfeasance.

  37. Alby says:

    I’m basing it on the available evidence, just as you are. You STILL don’t see your double standard.

    You didn’t challenge my idea. You challenged my standing. You STILL don’t see the difference.

    And you still haven’t looked at the link to the interview from 1999. Tell me if you think today’s Trump is representing himself the same way. In 1999 he had coherent thoughts and finished sentences. Are you saying he finely calibrated his personality to sink to the third-grade level in his utterances? Has anyone said he speaks in complete sentences behind closed doors, or have they said he keeps exhibiting irrational behavior?

    It’s disrespectful because you didn’t consider the evidence at all. You attacked me. You STILL don’t see this.

    The problem isn’t with me. It’s with you. I’m just defending my theory against your specious bullshit.

  38. Ben says:

    Does anyone really think he’ll be removed from office by a republican congress? Reagan had Alzheimer’s IN OFFICE and they let him stick around. We are stuck with this orange sack of shit until 2024…. IF we are allowed ot have elections by then. Were it up to the GOP the president would be elected by the House and the house is gerrymandered to shit. America is finished.

  39. Ben says:

    The only saving grace is, he’ll probably forget the launch codes and is too proud to admit it.

  40. RE Vanella says:

    Attacked? You’re hysterical. Again I stipulated above that the facts you presented are accurate. I dismiss the conclusion because you haven’t done anything required to suggest a specific diagnosis. (N.B. “suggest”)

    You picked out the most egregious instances of recent behavior and shoved them into a catalogue of symptoms because you wanted to argue for a mental disorder. You did hypochondriac’s WebMD routine, and on a third party to boot.

    http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/mental-illness/basics/tests-diagnosis/con-20033813

  41. Ben says:

    this is very productive in fighting drumpf, you guys. The LAST thing the nazis want is for their enemies to fight and attack each other. you’re the best.

  42. RE Vanella says:

    @Ben – Agreed on the removal bit. I mean I wish he’d be removed for whatever reason. He’s a clown and a national embarrassment. But it’s wishful thinking.

    I’d bet anyone here $500 (to charity or personally) that Trump completes his term.

    On the arguing, that’s fair enough, but I do have a position and I’m sticking to that. Al and I both abhor the President. I just don’t think the armchair psychoanalysis gets us anywhere at all for the reasons that I wrote.

  43. Disappointed says:

    Judging from the irrational anger expressed in this thread, I suspect Alby is also one with mental issues.

    By the way, Alby, people compared Bush’s debate performances as Guv and as Pres and tried to draw the same conclusions you’re trying to make with Trump.

    I think Trump is an ignorant sociopathic narcissist, but that does not make him organically brain-damaged, which is dementia. He would not be able to have made it through the primary and all the debates if he were.

    Like bamboozler, I have watched the progression of dementia. Trump ain’t got dementia.

  44. Alby says:

    “Attacked? You’re hysterical.”

    Says the guy who disapproves of armchair diagnoses. Jesus, you’re incredible. You said I insulted you first. I pointed out that dismissing me was the first insult.

    “I believe that many people are evaluating his public behavior and his public statements as if they are genuine indicators of the real man’s character or disposition….I’ve heard reports that after doing his TV routine and shitting on say people in the room Trump will than speak to those same people privately in a cordial manner.”

    This is just as indicative of dementia (not all of which is Alzheimer’s related, bamboozer) as it is of duplicity. I’d gauge this if I could not by his anger or lack but his ability to articulate. That is what has obviously degenerated in recent years.

    OF COURSE he’s been acting as a character for 30 years. That’s why this isn’t obvious to people. But I’m not basing this on his underlying character — check above, you’ll see this is what I wrote right off the bat — it’s based on his inability to stay on topic and raising some of those topics in highly inappropriate settings. That, not the bragging etc., is what has diminished.

    Is it wishful thinking?

    http://www.rawstory.com/2017/01/theyll-pull-the-trigger-robert-reich-explains-how-the-gop-is-playing-trump-till-they-can-dump-him/

    It’s equally possible that this is the real GOP’s strategy. Consider it before you reject it.

    “You picked out the most egregious instances of recent behavior”

    Actually, I skimmed the surface because this is a blog. You should research it yourself before you dismiss it — or would that be too much work — “and shoved them into a catalogue of symptoms because you wanted to argue for a mental disorder.”

    And you accuse me of being out of my depth. Here you claim to know my motivations for posting this, never considering that I arrived at this possibility after much thought and research. Yes, some of it is anecdotal, because I’ve been close witness to three people with dementia, none of it Alzheimer’s, in the past three years. That’s why the idea occurred to me; I researched it and saw that others have already written about it.

    Yet you accuse me of nursing some pet theory instead of thinking this through — perhaps you should look up “projection” if you ever decide to research before shooting off your mouth.

    “You did hypochondriac’s WebMD routine, and on a third party to boot.”

    Refute the source material then. You still don’t seem to understand the difference between a suspicion and a diagnosis. AS long as we’re psychoanalyzing each other, why is it so important to you to shoot this down?

    Dementia is not a “mental illness” in the sense that schizophrenia is; as far as we know schizophrenia is not marked by the same kind of physical deterioration of brain tissue that dementia is.

    You could have raised any of this on the issues. You impugned me instead. You take this high-horse stance that diagnosis is a serious thing, as if we weren’t just talking on a blog.

    I’m doing this now to save you a lot of beating about the head and shoulders in the future.

  45. Anonymous says:

    Dear Alby,

    I won’t argue with you. You’ve made an assessment(s). But the question is what we do with that assessment. Let’s say you and I are both licensed psychiatrists. We can diagnose President Trump if we wish, but every diagnosis eventually needs a prescription, right? Not necessarily a medication available from the local pharmacy, but some sort of treatment plan. What is your treatment plan for President Trump?

  46. Alby says:

    @Disappointed: Very convincing.

    Alzheimer’s is not the only form of dementia, and the fast-deterioration type isn’t the only type of Alzheimer’s. Instead of a snap judgment, watch his behavior and see for yourself.

  47. Alby says:

    @A: I have no treatment plan. It’s a way of interpreting his behavior, nothing more. Some people couldn’t bear it, apparently.

    I’m sure resistance to this idea will be enormous. His inner circle won’t want it to get out, because he’s the meal ticket. The wider GOP, if and when it can assemble the evidence, will be motivated to depose him. A medical issue like this would give them much less antagonistic grounds to do so than an impeachment would.

    Reagan got through an entire term while suffering from Alzheimer’s. There is precedence for someone successfully appearing to perform the president’s duties while others do the actual work — and lots of people think that was the idea from the first, when one of the Trumplings was revealed to have told VP candidates that they’d be the real president. Trump would just hold rallies.

    It’s another weapon conservatives in Congress can use against him, once they realize they have it.

  48. RE Vanella says:

    Dismissing the great man’s argument is the first insult! Impugned even! Ha. Again, very funny.

    You think it’s a valid conclusion. I don’t. All your bloviating and insults and minor league psychoanalysis is unconvincing.

    I mean one could examine from a long distance a bitter old fat man who has been put out to pasture in the suburbs who insults people on the internet for no reason and make all manner of conclusions about said man and his mental fitness. One could.

    I think we’re probably done.

  49. Alby says:

    One could. But that would be just another example of shallow thinking and mind-reading on the part of a proven ass.

    Dismissing anyone’s argument is an insult.

    You engage in this thread in every behavior you claim is valid reason to dismiss me, and you STILL don’t see it.

    Go back to your literary pretensions and stop trying to hang with the smart people.

  50. RE Vanella says:

    You missed your calling. brother. If you were 30 years younger and 100 pounds lighter you could audition for the role of the left wing Alex Jones. Maybe this local podcast deal will resurrect your career before it’s too late. I think you should be introduced as WDEL’s douche-bag emeritus. What do you reckon?

    I do like how you’ve burst back on the scene with your provocative ideas and scathing comments. I wonder if local media will pick up on this reemergence. I see a full profile in the Hockessin Community News in your future. Parlay some of that old AM radio prestige. I mean old literally.

    On another note, you seem to be very well versed in my stuff. Do you have it catalogued on your bedroom wall, complete with pushpins and cross-references? Should I be worried that you’ll waddle down off your local media throne and stalk me?

    I’m guessing I’m perfectly safe.

    I anticipate your next stupid idea.

  51. Disappointed says:

    @Alby 12:52

    I did not mention Alzheimer’s at all, now did I?

    I am quite aware that many cases of dementia are not Alzheimer’s disease, which is why I specifically did and would not mention it. And I do watch Trump’s behavior. It is not consistent with early dementia. Just because he is good at tossing word-salads does not make him demented.

    But you really do make snap judgements and have anger issues, no question.

    Get a grip, man!

  52. Alby says:

    Name the time and place, pal. I’d love to have a nice sit-down talk with you. I want to see how easily you laugh face to face.

    I’m not looking to “resurrect my career.” I’m not looking for coverage. I’m retired because I can afford to be. I”m doing this to fight the Trump regime. You still have offered no evidence that this idea is “unhelpful.”

    What’s wrong, you don’t like being judged by what you wrote? I’ve been subjected to threats and insults from far better than you for 35 years.

    @Dis: Re: Anger issues. Yeah, and?

  53. bamboozer says:

    Wow, resembles a Red Clay School District Shoot Out. But on to the ten questions, there are a variety and they do change them up.
    1) What day is it?
    2) what city is this?
    3) where do you live?
    4) What state is this?
    5) How many floors is this building?
    6) What year is this?
    It then usually goes to a part where they say “I’m going to give you three words”, something like couch, green and lamp. They then ask questions based on the three words. The big one is the last one and the first time you hear it it’s rather poignant.
    “Do you know why your here?” Sad beyond belief I cannot recommend it.

  54. Alby says:

    “Just because he is good at tossing word-salads does not make him demented.”

    Straw man. I offered far more than that. Your inability or unwillingness to process the information is not my fault.

  55. Alby says:

    @bamboozer: The test you are talking about is for people in advanced stages of dementia. I’m talking about the stage where you can still cook dinner but finish the meal before someone realizes you left the burner on.

    “They then ask questions based on the three words. The big one is the last one and the first time you hear it it’s rather poignant.”

    And that is precisely what the Lincoln answer sounded like to me. Seriously, that’s an easier question than “who’s the president?”

  56. RE Vanella says:

    I’m at Catherine Rooney’s pub everyday after work.

  57. Disappointed says:

    Alby, I am angry, too – furious, actually. But, man, you don’t need to take it out on people who simply disagree with with you about Trump’s mental condition. It ain’t personal. We’re all fighting the same battle. It is OK if someone sees this differently than you. You don’t have to try to destroy them over it.

    Unless Delaware Liberal wants you to take Cassandra_m’s role here. In that case, I totally understand.

  58. Alby says:

    “after work” being? I’m free this afternoon.

    If you’re going to the Philly march Thursday I can meet you there.

  59. Alby says:

    Disappointed: I’m sorry, I truly am. But if I’m disrespected, I respond with disrespect. Trump has stated his belief that if you’re hit, hit back harder. It’s a common response from us people with abusive fathers, but that’s a different armchair psychoanalysis.

  60. Alby says:

    “We’re all fighting the same battle.”

    No, we’re not. I’m not fighting for women’s rights, for that implies that if we win women’s rights the fight is over.

    I am fighting Trump and conservatism, in that order. Women’s rights are but a small part of my problem with conservatism, and anyone who has different priorities is not fighting the same battle, but the same enemy.

    “It ain’t personal.”

    Sure it is. You think he made up those insults but didn’t really think they were true?

  61. RE Vanella says:

    Feel free to note before I made any personal remarks toward him Al insulted my writing twice. Called me a moron twice. A dipshit. Questioned my intelligence twice. Told me to fuck off. This was prior to me making any personal attacks at all remember. And all this for the personal “insult” of dismissing of his stupid long distance WebMD speculation.

    I asked why the personal insults twice. No help.

    So WDEL’s douchebag emeritus it is.

    I stand by every word.

  62. alby says:

    And you’ll be at Rooney’s when?

    Appeal to the audience. Another logical fallacy. Are you familiar with the concept?

    You insulted my standing to make this argument. You picked this fight, not me. I take it personally. You meant it so, too, but now you’re chickenshit to admit it.

    I stand by every word, too.

  63. Ben says:

    I hope we still get to have these fun arguments when we’re all in gulags.

  64. liberalgeek says:

    I sort of want to go to CR’s today. It’ll be like blogging in real life (and 3D!).

    What an embarrassment…

  65. bamboozer says:

    Dear Alby, my turn. The advanced stage of dementia is when they forget how to eat, walk, talk and lose control of essential functions of the body. Seen it, ugly and upsetting is far too mild. The middle stage of the disease can be very long and go slow or fast. Supposedly there are seven stages but only an expert can tell the difference between the stages. If you take the patient to a neurologist the test is the first step in diagnosis. My wife failed 9 out of 10.

  66. Sara W says:

    Before this degenerated into a third-grade schoolyard brawl, I thought the topic was interesting. Having nursed several family members who suffered from dementia, I too have wondered if Trump might be showing early signs of the condition. His limited vocabulary, inattentiveness and quick frustration are all classic behaviors of elderly folks with the condition. The way he ignored his wife consistently at the inaugural was also very typical of geriatric dementia patients; they just simply forget who they are with very easily. They’re in something of a fog. In short, they do a sort of reverse development process; they act like big toddlers. Very self absorbed, unaware of reality. They need a lot of coaching to understand what is real and what isn’t. What is appropriate, what is boorish and rude. Trump’s dad had the condition and it is genetic. I could also explain why his kids surround him in a protective way. They probably know he’s impaired and are shielding him (and us) from his worst behaviors. Planting his son in law in an advisory role is part of that strategy. Having him declared incompetent cuts them off from all the perks they need. A physician I know believes from his observations of Trump’s public behavior and private personal history that he likely suffers from narcissistic personality disorder (yes, physicians are entitled to speculate on public figure’s psychiatric disorders based on their observable behaviors; btw, none of us ever met Hitler, but we all can safely speculate he was a sociopath without Vanella jumping down our collective throats). And we’re all entitled to offer up evidence and argument for our theories without being told to “fuck off” or that we are otherwise defective for expressing an idea. What makes the interwebs such an unwelcome place for the non-combative is that they have to wade through miles and miles of you guys slagging each other for sport because you really hate guys like trump and so you whale away at each other because he’s not reading this stuff, you’re reading each other. Grow the hell up. “He insulted me first” sounds like my kids! And I tell them, This is why we can’t have nice things.

  67. That is a great post, Sara. And I write that as someone who has been guilty of the behavior you describe.

  68. Disappointed says:

    Thank you, Sara W!

  69. RE Vanella says:

    Sara, you’re right on both counts.

    I really do think that drawing conclusions like this based on only behavior observed via media is a very dicey proposition. It’s dangerous to speculate as it could undermine the cause.

    I understand what the symptoms are & they do fit into that illness. It’s hereditary & all. Point taken.

    But I let the insults get the best of me.

    On the bus home I did realize how schoolboyish this is. When you described it as “third-grade”… I feel you on that.

    After the protest on Saturday I was noting to my wife how great the vibe was. No edge or anxiety. Her response was, “that’s because it was mostly women.”

    We’re doing the same dumb & unhealthy shit.

    Sara, thanks for your comment. I’m standing down.

  70. liberalgeek says:

    Neither of them are going to respond because they are at Catherine Rooney’s trying to figure out how they are going to explain to their wives how they found themselves fist-fighting with someone from Internet-land.

    Edit: I stand corrected

  71. RE Vanella says:

    I’m glad I got that in under the gun!

  72. Sara W says:

    Just so you don’t think the people with actual credentials in psychotherapy aren’t concerned, http://www.usnews.com/news/the-report/articles/2017-01-27/does-donald-trumps-personality-make-him-dangerous?src=usn_tw