An article in The Atlantic poses the question “Is There Something Neurologically Wrong With Donald Trump?” The article plays it a bit coy and throws in the usual qualifiers, but the answer is obvious in this excerpt:
“Though it is not possible to diagnose a person with dementia based on speech patterns alone, these are the sorts of changes that appear in early stages of Alzheimer’s. Trump has likened himself to Ronald Reagan, and the changes in Trump’s speech evoke those seen in the late president.”
It is a fact that Trump’s father Fred suffered from Alzheimer’s disease, and it is well-understood that there is a genetic link associated with that terrible disease. Indeed, a study stated genetic factors play an estimated role in over 80% of Alzheimer’s cases.
The article goes on to cite examples that strongly suggest Trump’s diminished mental capacity manifests itself physically as well:
“Viewers of Trump’s recent speeches have begun noticing minor abnormalities in his movements. In November, he used his free hand to steady a small Fiji bottle as he brought it to his mouth. Onlookers described the movement as “awkward” and made jokes about hand size.”
“Then, in December, speaking about his national-security plan in Washington, D.C., Trump reached under his podium and grabbed a glass with both hands. This time he kept them on the glass the entire time he drank, and as he put down the glass. This drew even more attention. The gesture was like that of an extremely cold person cradling a mug of cocoa. Some viewers likened Trump to a child just learning to handle a cup.”
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Another article in Vox, analyzes Trump’s odd – one might say weird – speech patterns:
“Geoffrey Pullum, a linguist at University of Edinburgh, argues that there’s more going on than just a conversational, I’ll-let-you-fill-in-the-gaps-style. Trump’s unorganized sentences and short snippets might suggest something about how his mind works. “His speech suggests a man with scattered thoughts, a short span of attention, and a lack of intellectual discipline and analytical skills,” Pullum says.”
“More sophisticated thinkers and speakers (including many past presidents), Pullum argues, are able to use “hypotaxis — that is, embedding of clauses within clauses.” Trump can’t seem to do that … You get no such organized thoughts from Trump. It’s bursts of noun phrases, self-interruptions, sudden departures from the theme, flashes of memory, odd side remarks. … It’s the disordered language of a person with a concentration problem.”
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None of this should come as a surprise. In addition to being genetically predisposed to Alzheimer’s, Trump’s unhealthy diet and dissipated lifestyle are also predictors of mental and physical deterioration. His public stance is that of a tee-totaller; and while that may be true of alcohol, that doesn’t mean he hasn’t used and abused cocaine or other uppers to maintain his dissipated lifestyle.
There are many glaring examples of Trump’s mental incapacitation. For instance, when Hillary Clinton rightly accused him of being Putin’s puppet, he responded “I’m not the puppet; you’re the puppet.” That’s the response of a five year-old, not a self-described stable genius. Indeed, the fact that Trump feels it necessary to identify himself that way is a tell that he himself has concerns about his mental instability.
Then there’s the episode in which he was unable to pronounce the word ‘origins’. Instead, he repeatedly said ‘oranges’. Another glaring example of his childish behavior is his recent attempt to rewrite a weather report with a sharpie.
So – is Trump nuts? Given the evidence, a medical diagnosis isn’t necessary, and the obvious answer is ‘yes’. In the words of that great American philosopher Bob Dylan, “you don’t need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows”. And it is all too painfully obvious that there’s a very ill-wind blowing from this White House.
©2019 Tom Cordle