El Coyote Gordo (supergee) wrote,
El Coyote Gordo

Doctoring the election

In 1964 Lyndon Johnson was running against Barry Goldwater. A rabble-rousing rag called Fact got a few thousand shrinks, none of whom had a professional relationship with Goldwater, to say that he was mentally unfit to be president. It did not change my vote (all the way with LBJ!), but it did put the final nail in the coffin of the Freudian faith of my youth.

My favorite Horrible Example, unsurprisingly, deals with latent homosexuality, a buggerboo that was actually taken seriously in those primitive times. Goldwater was one because he said he wanted to be able to lob a missile into the men’s room at the Kremlin. That’s it. Really. His equally heterosexual opponent’s remark that “I never trust a man unless I have his pecker in my pocket” was not taken seriously, as of course it should not have been.

If I were running the Secret Shrink Establishment, I would not let my minions do that sort of thing because it gives the game away, like dueling Experts arguing over whether their science says that defendant is Bad or Sick. Now we have another election with a candidate who presents temptations for diagnosis. I suggest heeding the wise words of Dr. Eliot Gelwan:
As a psychiatrist, I’m finding it really difficult to bite my tongue and avoid doing pronouncements about Trump’s evident (and considerable) psychopathology. But there is an ethical mandate in my profession to avoid armchair diagnosis when one has no treatment relationship with someone and has not examined them face-to-face. So I think I’ll just continue to call him names instead.
Tags: psych
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