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The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump

Ralph spends the whole hour with Dr. Bandy X. Lee, psychiatrist from the Yale School of Medicine and editor of “The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump: 27 Psychiatrists and Mental Health Experts Assess a President.

Dr. Bandy Lee is a forensic psychiatrist on the faculty of Yale School of Medicine, who is an expert on violence.  Dr. Lee has served as Director of Research for the Center for the Study of Violence and has consulted with governments to set up violence prevention programs both in the U.S. and internationally. She has also been teaching students studying to be public defenders and to become asylum attorneys at Yale Law School since 2003.  Today, we’re going to talk to her about the recent book she edited The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump: 27 Psychiatrists and Mental Health Experts Assess a President.

“I think the first remedy we have to do urgently is to remove him from the presidency.  It is a very pathology inducing, disease spreading situation, apart from the dangers of a nuclear holocaust or devastating wars, which are actually very real possibilities – by the way – for someone who is so divorced from reality and so attracted to violence as a solution for the way he feels inside.” – Dr. Bandy Lee

13 Comments

  1. David Faubion says:

    Thank you Dr. Lee, via Ralph, David and Steve.
    You explained the causal link between the heightened personal and social anxiety with the crisis that is our chief executive.

    It is at once touching and ironic to hear you give DJT empathy by quoting his coauthor’s remark about Trump as lonely and insecure.

  2. Paul Haber says:

    This is one of the most important interviews you all have done, and one of the most alarming. it is also one of the most confirming, in the sense that it really ratifies what I have been experiencing. It is the culmination of a turn this country took when Carter’s progressive bones were crowded out by his less progressive bones and the economy was in trouble and the neoliberals won the White House in 1980. Things were of course not perfect in the Keynesian world but it was a better framework in which to live and work and demonstrably possible to make progressive changes within. The steady reign of neoliberalism has now culminated with Trump and the ascendancy of a rabid Republican Party aided by a largely impudent Democratic Party. I teach at a large public university where I am president of the faculty union. My university suffers from a Republican controlled legislature and a moderate Democratic governor who focuses on keeping even worse things from happening but is some combination of unwilling and unable to put forward a clear progressive vision. However, my university also suffers from a lack of capable leadership able to effectively confront this neoliberalism. We the faculty are also undermined by our own inability and unwillingness to creatively respond with a better alternative.

    The most harrowing part of Dr. Lee’s analysis is that yes Trump is a dangerous menace who needs to be removed from office but that the problem is much deeper. Not only is Trump sick but the fact of the matter is that we are collectively ill. Our challenge, individually and collectively, is no less than to set our sights in healthy and move forward.

  3. Donald Klepack says:

    I agree with The Citizens Commission on Human Rights (CCHR)a non-profit, non-political, non-religious mental health industry watchdog whose mission is to eradicate abuses committed under the guise of mental health. “‘Mental illness’ is terribly misleading because the ‘mental disorders’ we diagnose are no more than descriptions of what clinicians observe people do or say, not at all well established diseases — Statement of Allen Frances, Psychiatrist and former DSM-IV Task Force Chairman, 2015 . Dr Branda Lee is wrong saying that psychiatrist diagnose mental disease better than a Doctor diagnose a physical disease

  4. Viviana Celeste Trouchot says:

    I have aked for his impeachment since before he was a president. I totally agree with Dr. Bandy Lee.

  5. Gilbert Lay says:

    The book by Bandy X. Lee “The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump.” It is run regularly on France 24 News and I find it very offensive as should you. And here’s why- 1st of all we don’t need a book to remind us that “Psychiatry” is still in today’s modern world considered as an “Opinionated” science. The best example: For over 100 years we listened to Sigmund Freuds “Born Bisexual Theory” It put thousands of gay and lesbians in mental institutions for a century. Only in the 1970’s when gays threatened to sue many Psychiatrists did the APA reverse it’s opinion on homosexuality. Now we have some Chinese Psychiatrist that doesn’t even have a Facebook or Twitter account,and is obviously not American in “Spirit” and “Predilection.” If so then she would have a social media to promote her book and allow comments. “A little power can go to the head” or “Give them an inch and they take a mile” And now Psychiatrists want to “Certify” our combined political candidates? I think not! Sure local governments have “Indulged” Psychiatry to reinforce criminal cases that already have some direction, but that’s hardly to be compared to the APA regulating our government. As much as some dislike Trump he is still a good family man, with a proven success rate. No evidence of violence or insanity. And the economy is improving! We are doing just fine without the APA choosing our candidates!

    • hagbard says:

      What does “having as Facebook or Twitter account” have anything to do with the contents of the doctor’s thesis?
      Do you really find Donald Trump to be sound of mind? Shouldn’t people be worried with the possibility that the highest elected official in your country, if not the world, is mentally unstable?
      You seem to be living in a sheltered world if you think the economy is improving. Improving for whom exactly?

  6. Knew this before he got elected,. I am in the field. I call him the hedonist destroyer. He thinks vulnerability is a weekness…he must win at all costs. His dynamic is to have power and control over vulnerability. Those who are vulnerable are seen as defective. They become his targets: handicapped, immigrants, minorities, women to name just a few. He is very, very dangerous with poor impulse control.

  7. Great interview. Should be forwarded to every member of the U.S. Congress and then everyone in the world.

    I am sending it to Congressperson Jackie Speier, Sen. Diane Feinstein and Kamala Harris.

  8. Thank-you! I know that Dr. Brandy Lee is so right on! Nurse are, the largest group of healthcare workers in the USA and we do understand the terms. As a retired RN I worked in a mental Hospitals here and there were many times we needed staff to stick together and remind on another to be safe. Some very dangerous patients are charming and tricky. This duty to warn is so great! Love this show! Thanks!

  9. Arlee Starr says:

    The fact that every Republican Congressperson backs #TrumpTheFascistBigot makes them as insane as he is.

  10. Wortmanberg says:

    Ralph asked a hugely important question about Trump’s use of nicknames to which I did not think Dr. Lee provided a satisfactory answer. The pejorative nicknaming of someone is effective when it has truth to it, especially when it is funny (whatever else you want to say about “Little Marco”, it’s funny). That’s why Trump’s nicknames have worked (enough). They called something annoying or negative out about those he named that was true, even if they were uncivil (god forbid!), or the observations they contained were not necessarily right on the money. This is good theater, and it is absolutely necessary (even if it is not sufficient) in politics, which is of course about power and the struggle for it, mostly not a pretty enterprise. Surely Dr. Lee could not have been saying that good theater should be ignored on the left, e.g. talking back in a like manner to one’s political opponents to counter their effective delivery of insults, because it would feed the negative moral and cultural influences that Trump is said to be bringing to bear, e.g. a decrease in the general store of empathy.

    If she were saying this, then I disagree with her completely. Apparently similar verbal styles (here the exchanging of apt monikers in a derisory mode – if the Democrats had only done it) does not the same political or moral substance make even though they may be superficially alike. Trump had alluded during the campaign, for example, to his trepidation at possibly having to face Bernie Sanders in the general election instead of Hillary Clinton. This was undoubtedly because, in part, he was afraid of Sanders’ capacity for the stage. Sanders might have exchanged worthy barbs with Big Cheeto at the other podium and thereby linked the emotionally satisfying effect of vindicating the justifiable anger that the public feels to socialist politics rather than to Trumpism. Perhaps it were a tall order, but Sanders’ conceivably could have worked this tactic to devastating effect entirely in the service of empathy and in defense of the democratic values that Trump was able to trample all the more successfully because no one was there to prove his theatrical equal (or better). This line of thinking is obvious to any fan of stand-up comedy (Al Franken sparring with Bill O’Reilly comes to mind), but something has happened to liberal Americans over the last 25 years that they can’t imagine witty exchanges of meritorious insults having a wholesome, tonic effect. Ralph, in any case, was totally on the right track with this question.

  11. AmyInNH says:

    How do we get to this point, mass psychosis? Hasn’t the public been acclimated to sociopathic narcissism, with the federal legal combo of corporation-is-a-“person” paired with “fiduciary obligation to best interest of [activist] shareholders? Where was the “duty to warn”, when this happened? Or did I miss it?

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