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I'm Sick Of People Saying Trump Might Be Unwell

It's a poor excuse for the decision Americans made in November, and an even worse excuse for the man himself.

08/24/2017 14:24 EDT | Updated 08/24/2017 14:57 EDT

President Trump lacks experience, restraint, a moral compass of any kind, and the temperament of a reasonably behaved three-year-old. One thing he does not lack is some measure of predictability.

When he delivers a speech reined in by the almighty teleprompter — such as his speech Monday on Afghanistan — it is a sure bet the next one will be a terror-sweat-inducing nightmare.

His rally speech in Phoenix to a half-full room of halfwit supporters was just such. He told blatant lies, condemned the media with the sort of malice that most decent people use to condemn white supremacists, and generally reinforced the idea that he is the most unfit person to ever hold the office of the president.

One thing he wasn't that night was mentally ill. At least not according to anyone medically qualified to say so.

Joshua Roberts / Reuters
U.S. President Donald Trump speaks at a campaign rally in Phoenix, Ariz., Aug. 22, 2017.

It is past time that the legions of people without such medical qualifications stop suggesting that Trump is medically unwell. That goes for the general population of Twitter, the political punditry, and medical professionals who have not personally examined Trump.

Trump is unqualified for the presidency in every way imaginable. He has no government or political experience, and has demonstrated a lack of compassion for others that is required to serve the American people. His much-touted business record is spotty where it isn't marked by failure. Above all, he has time and again proved himself to be a lying, racist, misogynist, and generally terrible excuse for a human being.

None of which means he is mentally ill. In fact, his past behaviour strongly suggests that Trump has always been exactly who he is now.

Trump was sued for racial discrimination by the U.S. Department of Justice because of discriminatory practices towards potential tenants who were visible minorities. Was that a sign of mental illness due to his age? I hope not, because that was in 1973 when Trump was 27 years old — 13 years younger than I am now.

The simplest explanation for why Trump says and does terrible things is probably the correct one — he's a terrible person.

What about the times he allegedly walked into the changerooms of teenage pageant contestants? That was 20 years ago, in 1997 when Trump was 51. Exactly how long are we suggesting that his mental health has been an issue?

In 1989, Trump famously called for the death penalty in the case of the "Central Park 5," with a full-page newspaper ad. They were minors at the time, who would eventually be exonerated of all charges against them. When New York City settled with the men — after DNA evidence cleared them entirely — for the 40 collective years they spent in prison, Trump again took the newspapers to decry the settlement.

All five men were also African-American or Hispanic. I don't recall now President Trump asking for the death penalty for the white supremacist who killed Heather Heyer in Charlottesville.

It may be comforting for Americans to believe that they have elected someone with a mental illness rather than accepting that the man they voted into office simply has no sense of morality. This is a poor excuse for the decision they made in November, and an even worse excuse for Trump himself.

Spencer Platt/Getty Images
A doorman stands in front of Trump Tower along Fifth Avenue on Aug. 14, 2017 in New York City.

It does a damaging disservice to the millions struggling with any number of mental health issues, their families, and the medical professionals and organizations working tirelessly to support them. These people manage to go through their lives without defending white nationalist protesters, calling for police brutality, or placing all of us 140 characters away from nuclear annihilation. It is simply wrong to equate their struggles with Trump's failings.

Should a doctor who has examined President Trump refuse to give him a clean bill of mental health and the 25th Amendment is invoked, we can talk about his mental state. We can look back at the outrageous statements he's made and, with better information at our disposal, decide if these were warning signs.

Until then, it might be best to prescribe a dose of Occam's Razor to Trump's deplorable behaviour. The simplest explanation for why Trump says and does terrible things is probably the correct one — he's a terrible person.

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