A snapshot of history

In the US government’s bungled response to the Coronavirus we see several generations of chickens coming home to roost, the predictable results of starving and shrinking government so that it can be “drowned in a bathtub.”   This widely held conclusion that democratic government is the enemy has become a mantra of millions  of our fellow citizens at the end of forty years of concerted effort by our most important citizens to permanently enshrine their privilege at the expense of the rest of the citizens.

Ronald Reagan is often seen as the tip of the spear of this movement, his “idea” that citizens of a free nation owe nothing to each other but personal success is the lasting legacy of his time in office.  Many believe that his movie star head should be carved into Mount Rushmore (I guess you take Teddy Roosevelt out of there, why should he be there over Reagan?)   Reagan famously broke the strike by Air Traffic Controllers (the only union that supported his presidential run — they went on strike for safer working conditions, not a raise– he fired them all) ushering in decades of anti-union action.  

Reagan wittily told Americans (as president) that the nine scariest words in the English language are “we’re from the government and we’re here to help.”   The “Great Communicator” also said “the right to life ends at birth” — we protect the fetus vigilantly but once the kid is born he’d better quickly pull himself up by his own diaper straps.   This is America, y’all.   Reagan was the often incoherent moral forerunner of this sick fuck we have now, standing at podiums babbling angrily and incoherently.  In Reagan’s defense, he suffered from documented dementia while serving as the president.

I found a yellowing International Herald Tribune (published with the New York Times and Washington Post) dated “Zurich, Friday, December 18, 1981.   It contained this front-page article about the end of the first session of the 97th Congress that beautifully summed up Reagan’s core beliefs, beliefs that have animated the Republican party’s wild forty year swing to the lunatic right:  

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The “crusade” identified in the first paragraph:  cut taxes, strengthen the military and reverse a half-century of growth in social welfare programs has been steady and ongoing as the corporate persons and hereditarily entitled “philanthropist” motherfuckers who put Reagan into office have remained increasingly dead set on paying little or no tax, spending trillions on the military (good for the old stock portfolio) and slashing the New Deal and LBJ’s Great Society programs — popular safety net programs that benefit only “takers” at the expense of the “makers”.

According to these liberty loving extremists, who revere ballsy guys like Reagan, we don’t need a social safety net.  We don’t need public health policies, or pubic hospitals or public agencies to deal specifically with uniquely challenging things like pandemics.  Those are the hallmarks of an unfree society, a coercive “nanny state” that robs us of liberty while purporting to take care of those too weak to survive on what they inherited from their parents.  

If you drink, or dispense, this toxic kool-aid, you deserve to die from it.

Unfortunately, many others, who do not benefit at all from this toxic swindle, will die too.  Speaking of beneficiaries of a toxic swindle, it turns out it was the great patriot John Bolton who ordered the dismantling of Obama’s agency to deal with pandemics.  The bullying ass-licker did this back in 2018 when he was still in the insane, unqualified president’s good graces.  Oopsie daisy!

As for the fitness of this particular ignorant, opinionated, lying, braying jackass to be the president, I think this short video lays out an excellent case, with some bracing details about the recent “tightening” of the old Goldwater Rule [1] that psychiatrists can’t venture a diagnosis of a public figure unless they’ve examined him and he agrees to the disclosure of his psychiatric diagnosis.  Right after Trump took office the American Psychiatric Association made the rule much more restrictive, in effect a gag order.  Take a look.

There is also a transcription of the entire presentation below the video (click the “more” tab).  It’s a quick read, here’s a pertinent section:

The rule was changed to cover not just diagnosis, but any aspect that anyone can observe from the outside, such as speech, affect and behavior. None of that could be commented on as a professional. That was a change that was made in March 2017.

It reinterpreted the rule into something that an ethical rule never has been before.

The timing of this change by the American Psychiatric Association shortly after Donald Trump’s inauguration, as well as the APA’s dependance on federal funding and pharmaceutical industry support, require consideration.

Now, news programs regularly give the Goldwater rule as a reason for not covering both mental health experts and non experts. This way, professional opinion is made the same as any opinion, the way facts are made the same as alternative facts.

Many psychiatrists call the new rule a gag order, and many distinguished APA members, including officers, resigned as result, according to an informal poll. A large majority of psychiatrists disagree with the rule and believe it should be changed.

Why is this important with a new silencing of professionals? The public may have been deprived of critical information at a critical time to be able to protect itself, since knowledge is power. Suppressing knowledge is a form of control and an essential ingredient to tyranny.

We can see this from the general silencing of whistleblowers and journalists.

Given that Mr. Trump’s probable mental incapacity and dangerousness were a near consensus among mental health professionals, it might have been important for the public to know about.

This behavior is not random and dangerous behavior is often recurrent.

Above all, the public seemed to need to hear that mental impairment is real and not just a fabrication or an insult for those who already saw the signs.

 

[1] “… 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.”

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