In Which It Is Shown That Progressives Can Be Just as Hostile to Truth as Republicans

Filed in National by on December 3, 2018 29 Comments

The first post I wrote for Delaware Liberal back in January 2017 was about my suspicion that Trump was, in addition to his many character defects and possible psychopathy, showing signs of dementia.

I got pushback from angry people who thought I was trying to absolve him of all his other defects. Their point wasn’t that I was incorrect — how can you be incorrect when you’re talking about probability, not established fact? — but that such a diagnosis, if true, would somehow exonerate him from his criminal behavior. People were arguing not from evidence, but from their desired outcome.

Guess what? They’re still at it. A psychologist named Ian Douglas Rushlau, who practices in King of Prussia, Pa., wrote a Daily Kos “diary” in which he made the same points I did back then. (In fact, in the nearly two years since I wrote, we’ve seen dozens of occasions on which Trump has seemed lost and confused, most recently when he wandered away from the president of Argentina at a G20 group photo op.)

I know you’re not supposed to read the comments — especially at Daily Kos, where the commenters include a higher-than-average number of passive-aggressive SJW snowflakes — but I urge you to have a gander at the large number of people in the comment section who argue against this diagnosis not because of any facts available, but because they don’t want to see Trump use mental incapacity as a defense.

Rushlau was careful to state he wasn’t making an actual diagnosis, that he was talking about public behavior that seems to indicate a mental decline. A bunch of people — lacking Rushlau’s background in the field — put forth other diagnoses, particularly malignant narcissism, which they only learned from other psychologists who were likewise speculating. He might have that disorder, too, but all the people who claim “he was always this way” are doing so without looking at the evidence. Many of them flat-our said they wouldn’t believe it because doing so might let Trump off the hook.

My stance on that is simple: Occam’s Razor. Yes, Trump could have any number of relatively rare psychological conditions, but the most probable cause of his frequent disorientation is the far more common condition of dementia, furthered by the facts of his age and family history. Progressive dismissal of even the possibility falls into the category of science denial — if you believe something isn’t true despite evidence that it is, you’re no better than a climate denier.

One asshole went so far as to claim Rushlau was violating professional ethics by opining on the matter — which, if used to censor people with credentials, has the effect of only letting people who don’t know what they’re talking about do all the talking.

I wish the lesson were simply that Daily Kos is a viper’s pit of left-wing assholes, led by Kos himself. But I’m afraid that Occam’s Razor leads me to the conclusion that many progressives are as unwilling to follow the truth wherever it leads as conservatives are.

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  1. bamboozer says:

    I advised caution at first concerning dementia, as time passed I saw the signs starting with cognitive difficulties when he walked past his limo after leaving the plane. Things like Covfefe are a sign as well. I have read the dementia deniers comments, I find them comical and perhaps a result of the trolls at work, more than a few do show eagerness for revenge. But Occam’s shaving utensil or not all it proves is a great many progressives hate Trump, demented dotard or not.

  2. AQC says:

    Dementia, like insanity, does not exonerate one unless it is determined they did not have the mental capacity to know right from wrong at the time crimes were committed. Personally, with some training, I believe he has dementia and he is a sociopath

    • Alby says:

      I can only point to these things as a layman, and it’s not definitive. He shows many signs, and I think that in the absence of a physical examination, which he has not undergone in years, it’s impossible to say he does NOT have dementia.

  3. what did you mean? says:

    get a grip, without the patient, a history and records there can’t be any ‘diagnosis’

    waste of time to say who has dementia

    • Alby says:

      Get a grip yourself. The evidence is there for all to see; the preponderance of it indicates its probability.

      You, meanwhile, have repeatedly shown yourself too stupid to engage in discussions here. Takes some nerve, and lack of brains, on your part to talk about people wasting time. Go pull your pud somewhere else.

    • AQC says:

      Lack of an official diagnosis does not mean it doesn’t exist.

  4. Dave says:

    My father had dementia. I also have other family members with who have been diagnosed with and display cognitive impairment. Trump shows plenty of signs, from his limited and repetitive vocabulary, to his penchant for pictures/imagery used to communicate and his memory difficulties.

    It’s early onset. Those of us who have dealt with it or are dealing with it our families are all too familiar with the signs.

  5. mouse says:

    I wonder if smoking too much weed can cause such confusion

  6. jason330 says:

    I don’t have any stake in arguing that Trump doesn’t have dementia, and I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that he does. I would be GREATLY surprised if any of the people in a position to do anything about (Cabinet, Senate) it stepped up to do something about it.

    No. It will fall to us, the voters to remove Trump from office.

  7. Paul says:

    Have you seen the reporting on Matt Bai relative to the opening of, “the front runner?”

  8. Alby says:

    “It will fall to us, the voters to remove Trump from office.”

    At this point, that’s how I prefer it. We’ve gotten halfway through the interregnum and now he’s hobbled by a Democratic House.

    The only way Trump will ever be held to account is if the next president is a Democrat. Therefore I don’t want Pence to get in office so he can pardon Trump. I want Trump to stay until he’s defeated in November 2020, presumably by a Democrat, and my support will go to the candidate who promises to hold him to account.

    • jason330 says:

      …my support will go to the candidate who promises to hold him to account.

      There will be no shortage of candidates running on the “let bygones be bygones” platform.

    • delacrat says:

      If you really want “Trump stay until he’s defeated in November 2020”, then why are you excited over Muellergate which would lead to an impeached Trump, allowing “Pence to get in office so he can pardon Trump” and become his heir apparent/abhorrent for possibly 8 years?

      • Alby says:

        You don’t know what any of it will lead to; indeed, given that no impeachment has ever succeeded, your prediction is unlikely. The fact that you make it anyway is why you’re useless. You don’t know the future and don’t want to know the past. Why should anybody take you seriously?

        Try to think more clearly. If no probe, we don’t find out what happened. What part of this don’t you understand, and why are you against it? For once in your sorry existence, answer the questions.

        Almost everyone else is aware that getting to the bottom of this matters. The onus is not on us to explain why, but on you to explain why not.

        • delacrat says:

          “Almost everyone else is aware that getting to the bottom of this matters.” – alby

          The problem is, if there was a “bottom of this”, after two years, you’d think Mueller would have gotten there by now.

          • Alby says:

            No, I wouldn’t, because I am personally acquainted with how the FBI goes about its business.

            What you see as “a problem” (you don’t say why it’s a problem, just assert that it is) I see as process, and I say that from experience.

            You?

    • Dave says:

      Wholeheartedly agree!

  9. Rufus Y. Kneedog says:

    It must be very early onset then. The first thing I noticed about my step fathers dementia was the change in his personality. I don’t think Trumps personality has changed one iota. When he shows signs of becoming calm, mature and reflective I’ll buy it.

  10. ben says:

    My vote is still with syphilitic dementia. He seems like the type of personality who wouldn’t acknowledge an std and he’s bragged about how dangerous the 70s were for himself, what with all the unprotected “consensual and unpurchased” sex. Also, I much prefer this be something he did to himself and could have had control over. Genetics are too deus ex… medica?

  11. Alby says:

    @Rufus and ben: These things are possible. We just don’t know, and may never, unless a court orders a psych workup. As I said, the simplest explanation, and therefore the most likely, is the most common condition, which is dementia.

    Remember, I’m not talking about his assholeishness. I’m talking about the incidents in which he just blacks out on his feet, or can’t remember concepts (go back and look for the interview in which he can’t tell Bob Woodward what Lincoln did that was so important), or talks in Palinesque word salad. These are not one-offs, because they happen a lot. “He’s always been an asshole” is insufficient explanation, at least for me.

  12. puck says:

    It’s also possible he is just a fucking moron. As an entitled prick, he never had to develop any mental muscles, and everyone always told him he was great.

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