Does Trump Have Dementia–And If So, Should It Be Made Public?


We can probably all agree that Trump is a clinical narcissist. He may even be a sociopath. So when Trump has his physical this month, there is no need to test for these–though, in an ideal world, we would. It wouldn’t hurt if Trump had a psychiatric evaluation marking one or more of his mental conditions as “official,” but that’s not likely to trigger Vice President Pence and the cabinet to discuss invoking the 25th Amendment for the removal of Trump from office.

Dementia, however, might.

What I want your opinion on is Trump’s upcoming physical evaluation: should he be checked by a physician, or a team of physicians, not just for the health of his heart, but for the health of his brain, i.e. for dementia? That’s very different from whether Trump matches the DSM for this or that mental disorder.

I want to know if a team of neurological specialists judges Trump to have a serious medical condition. I want to know this because Trump has not yet started a war, nor used nuclear weapons, but he could over the next three years. It’s not about whether Trump’s mental states are, say, marked by delusional episodes–it’s obvious that they are–his Alex Jones fandom being Exhibit A. What’s at issue for me in his January physical exam is whether his brain is actually, objectively, clinically diseased.

If the rules of the game for Trump’s check-up this month includes the restriction on the physicians evaluating him that dementia-checking is off the table–then, Houston, we have a problem. One can’t be referred to a specialist for something one is not evaluated for, agree?

And so, should Trump’s medical check-up this month include some sort of sustained initial evaluation for dementia–he is 71, after all–and with specialists getting involved if signs are evident?

That’s all I’m asking. My concern is that a “don’t ask, don’t tell” regime is going to be put in place surrounding the question of Trump and dementia; that the politicos around Trump will keep this “elephant in the room” from going public by simply insisting to the physician or physicians involved that they are there to evaluate his general bodily health (his blood pressure, his basic blood levels, etc.), not his brain’s health.

It’s hard to imagine a narcissist and habitual liar like Trump submitting to sufficiently sustained questioning from a group of physicians looking to evaluate him for dementia–even as he shows public signs of its onset. Trump almost certainly does not want to know if he has clinical dementia–though if Trump were a decent man, one would think he would want to know, if not for his own safety, then at least for the safety of the country and the world.

Would you try to go on being president if a group of specialists diagnosed you with dementia?

Trump might.

So do you agree that Trump should be thoroughly evaluated for dementia as part of his January physical exam even if he himself does not actually want to know? Surely, given Trump’s access to nuclear weapons, a dodged or delayed diagnosis would be enormously reckless, don’t you agree?

About Santi Tafarella

I teach writing and literature at Antelope Valley College in California.
This entry was posted in Bernie Sanders, climate change, donald trump, feminism, hillary clinton, philosophy, science, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Does Trump Have Dementia–And If So, Should It Be Made Public?

  1. andrewclunn says:

    Oh, so the Left has pivoted to crazy already? Scott Adams has been vindicated yet again.

  2. keithnoback says:

    Neuropsych. testing isn’t that sensitive, even the research tools.
    Besides, I doubt that he’s demented – just a loudmouthed dumbfuck who appealed to the worthless little pricks who voted for him based on their commonly held traits: weakness, dickishness and dumbfuckery.
    Does his behavior truly suggest otherwise?

  3. Mya Faire says:

    He absolutely should be checked for dementia. People can ignorantly argue against the diagnosis of a mood, personality or mental disorder. But dementia can be empirically measured. The evidence of his having it is obvious, and growing. I agree: The safety of our nation depends upon the sanity and clarity of thought of our leaders. Ronald Reagan’s dementia began in office and was covered up by his party. Today’s Republican Party is even more subservient and cowardly, and would never admit there was a problem unless it was undeniable…which some of us already believe it to be. Excellent article. Ignore sheep like Andrew Clunn. He is under some sort of spell, or acting purely out of hate.

    • keithnoback says:

      Cognition can be assessed, but to say that dementia can be measured is a little off the mark. Still, I think I’d be concerned if the president couldn’t get a perfect score on the MMSE or MOCA.
      But that cedes a lot of ground.
      If he can draw a clock, is he then qualified? ‘Cause that’s the response you invite, and you have then taken the argument to a level where “necessary but not sufficient” arguments fall flat, i.e. the average Trump supporter’s level.

  4. Many have pointed out signs of dementia. I particularly remember one discussion about speech patterns. That is what struck me. Recently, I watched some videos of Trump being interviewed in the 1980s and 1990s. It’s amazing to see the stark contrast.

    Trump used to talk intelligently and coherently, sounding like a rather intelligent and well educated man. He threw fancy intellectual words into casual statements and did so correctly. The man once was capable of speaking not just in full sentences but in full paragraphs. The cognitive decline since then clearly has been drastic, without a doubt. The only questions remaining is how severe it is and what is causing it. Considering his status as a senior citizen, the most obvious explanation is an age-related brain condition.

    Most definitely, it is an issue of concern for government officials and for the citizenry. We are living in dangerous times. But even in peaceful times, this situation would still be dire. Dementia or not, his narcissism and/or similar personality disorders aren’t age-related. It’s possible Trump would have been even a greater threat to national security back when his brain was fully functioning.

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