There’s a thing called the Goldwater Rule which applies to members of the American Psychiatric Association; it says they can’t diagnose someone they haven’t personally evaluated.

The Goldwater Rule is published as an annotation in the Principles of Medical Ethics with Annotations Especially Applicable to Psychiatry. I encourage you all to read the full text of the rule below, and keep it in mind during this election cycle, and other events of similarly intense public interest.

The “Goldwater Rule:”

On occasion psychiatrists are asked for an opinion about an individual who is in the light of public attention or who has disclosed information about himself/herself through public media. In such circumstances, a psychiatrist may share with the public his or her expertise about psychiatric issues in general. However, it is unethical for a psychiatrist to offer a professional opinion unless he or she has conducted an examination and has been granted proper authorization for such a statement.”

Principles of Medical Ethics with Annotations Especially Applicable to Psychiatry

You know, people who go into the military get evaluated first. They get screened. Some candidates are rejected. But candidates for president are not evaluated or screened in any such way. There is no procedure for blocking a candidate who is just plain unfit for the job.

Trump should have been screened out long ago. There’s a terrible mismatch between what the president has the ability to do – like starting wars and deploying nuclear weapons – and the total lack of a system for insuring that the president is not a raging narcissist.

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