Donald Trump says outrageous things. Far from being a controversial assertion, the practice is something he admits to. Take two examples. First, Trump’s unrelenting Obama “birther” claim that helped launch his presidential bid and which, after it had done its damage, he admitted was untrue. For the second example take Trump’s claim, famously captured on audio, that he grabs women “by the pussy” and kisses them — aggression they purportedly accept because he’s a “star.” Those are Trump’s actual words, which he later said weren’t true. Considering more than just these two examples, one of Trump’s rivals for the presidency, the vanquished Bernie Sanders, says Trump is a “pathological liar.” That “pathological” is chosen purposefully and suggests Trump suffers from mental disease.
[LEFT: The Conservative Soul by Andrew Sullivan — delivered from a first person plural perspective, demonstrates his conservative credentials]
The idea of Trump’s mental health potentially being endangered, triggered by what’s seen as his tenuous and abnormal relationships to facts, remains a big subject. As Trump’s tumultuous first month as president draws to a close, both Sen. Al Franken and conservative columnist Andrew Sullivan are overtly questioning Trump’s mental health. Asked directly about Trump’s mental health, Franken told CNN that even a few of his Republican colleagues were “concerned about it,” saying that Trump’s behavior is “not the norm for a president of the United States, or actually for a human being.” Sullivan’s concern is particularly troubling, given his conservative credentials — he is the author of The Conservative Soul and in many ways embodies it. Indeed, the book is delivered from a first person plural perspective and subtitled: How We Lost It, How to Get It Back.
Writing in New York, Sullivan addressed Trump’s mental health, warning that to ignore it could be perilous:
“Then there is the obvious question of the president’s mental and psychological health. I know we’re not supposed to bring this up — but it is staring us brutally in the face. I keep asking myself this simple question: If you came across someone in your everyday life who repeatedly said fantastically and demonstrably untrue things, what would you think of him?”