Bush Jr. And The Credulity Era

There is a movement afoot among certain educated circles to discredit psychology as a professional practice by applying it to the 45th president of the United States.

In the New Yorker, Harvard professor Jeannie Suk Gersen, in an article entitled, “Will Trump Be the Death of the Goldwater Rule?” informs her readers that a professor Lee has sent a letter to every member of Congress, and will meet with an unnamed group of U.S. congressmen soon—to share what she knows, as a psychiatry professor at Yale, about Trump’s psychological unfitness to be president.

Using the 25th Amendment of the Constitution—if a president suffers a stroke, or is wounded in an assassination attempt, what happens?—to remove a president because his political opponents declare him “crazy,” while a wonderfully sneaky idea, will not work, and will be far more embarrassing to those who seriously try this, than to the president.

Hurricane Trump is destroying tricky, elite intellectualism with an efficiency never previously seen.

Political failure after political failure to slow down Trump has set loose the latest desperate gambit by the reeling Left: label Trump psychologically unfit by bypassing the Goldwater Rule—which forbids professional psychology from getting into politics—a wise rule, since any psychiatric assessments would, by their very nature, be an act of making unprofessional judgments, judgments removed from the psychiatrist’s couch. And how can such labeling not be politically suspect?

But if the president really is mad? Then, politics shouldn’t matter, right?

But politics does matter. Like never before.

The attempt by anti-Trump intellectuals to fly above Hurricane Trump in order to “objectively” stop the hurricane is not working because, as Edgar Poe once pointed out, the intellectual life of a nation is known to swing between incredulity and credulity, and the pendulum now has moved fully away from the old credulity—when journalists and various professionals were believed and followed with devotion and respect.

The Washington Post—or CBS—does not have the same authority it once had. It’s safe to say that it’s quite the opposite. Americans don’t trust centralized authority now. We never did trust dictators. And now in American minds, a centralized media is simply no longer trusted.

Psychiatry, walking into the middle of the political arena, with an air of self-appointed, Ivy League, authority, to take on Trump, in this juncture of American history, will only diminish psychiatry as a field and as a profession.

Walter Cronkite did journalism, and Americans have now figured out that you don’t need to be Walter Cronkite to do Walter Cronkite. And Americans also know that psychology mostly belongs to common sense, and everyone has a certain amount of psychological savvy.

As Ben Franklin said, “Write with the learned, pronounce with the vulgar.”

The “vulgar” believe in hurricanes—and not what tries to stop them, and Trump, heeding Franklin’s advice, was vulgar in his startlingly successful campaign, and he continues to be vulgar as president. Trump’s recent speech at his Phoenix rally may have seemed “unhinged,” but reading from one’s own words spoken previously is not the act of insanity—quite the contrary. Quaint, it may be, but not crazy. For Trump’s opponents to deem untrustworthy what was just more successful campaigning, only increases the strength of the hurricane.

The elitist attempt to label clinically and dangerously insane what is only vulgarity—from a successful Reality TV actor, sharp-tongued New Yawka, and populist politician (who eviscerated, with humor, political opponents, particularly one named Bush) will only bring more of the wrath of democracy upon the heads of professorial elites, such as the Yale Bushes, and those who write for the New Yorker.

The hurricane cannot be stopped. Not now, anyway.

A nation, once credulous, has now become incredulous. Few take warnings by the Times seriously these days. Few take humanities professors seriously these days. Today, the liberal arts professor is much more likely to listen to his or her students, than the other way around.

A successful politician labeled “mad” by his unsuccessful opponents?

In the current state of incredulity, this strategy has no chance at all.

Back in the days of credulity, before the internet spread opinions like wildfire and made everyone a pundit, a president, with a nickname “Tricky Dick,” could be ousted from office for a partially erased tape. Or a president nicknamed “Jimmy” could remain a sympathetic figure while quietly supporting Pol Pot and Khomeini.  Or a rape-accused president could be beloved of the feminist Left while dropping bombs to distract from adultery enjoyed with a teenager in the Oval Office. Or everyone in the U.S. could be told by Bush “Junior” to invade an entire country, without any evidence of that country’s wrongdoing. In the recent era of credulity, journalists were trusted to paint a true picture of the world.

The world has always been unhinged. The world has always been mad. The only difference is that the professionals—journalists and professors who interpret that madness for the rest of us—are now considered one and the same with the world’s madness.

Democracy, for better or for worse, is currently this country’s guide.

Scary? To all of you university professionals out there? Well, sure.

But remember the two world wars? The Kennedy assassination? 9/11? Etc.?

There has been too much credulity.

So here we are.

All of us mad. All of us suspect.

And it will be this way for awhile.

But one more important point needs to be made.

And here’s the final irony which has completely frustrated the Left and its elitist adherents.

The Democrats are not only losing the vulgar battle, they are losing the battle concerned with Law. The one advantage the Democrats have is many friends among Republicans—elected to office in the bygone age of credulity.  This is why Congress needs to act fast, now, to get rid of Trump, and why, in their desperate and careless hurry, they will fail.

Trump may have democracy and vulgarity currently on his side, but he also has the upper hand when it comes to law. It is strange to find the educated opponents of Trump losing not only in the vulgar realm, but also in the realm of rules and law. This is quite a remarkable historic period we are living in. The Founders did not create the United States of America during an era of credulity. This helps Trump. The 45th president has a friend in democracy, vulgarity, but also in U.S. law. Rules.

The First Amendment. The Second Amendment. Immigration Laws. Libel laws.

And, oh yes. The Goldwater Rule.




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