Should the president be required to pass a mental health exam? | The Tylt

Should the president be required to pass a mental health exam?

Should we require presidents to have their mental health verified? Some, recalling Ronald Reagan's deterioration in office, are asking whether Donald Trump can handle the world's hardest job. After incidents of seeming paranoia, angry outbursts, forgetfulness and incoherence, Ryan Cooper argues "it's time to start talking about President Trump's mental health." But others say that armchair diagnoses of our political leaders are irresponsible at best, slanderous at worst. What do you think?

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Jimmy Carter wanted a panel of physicians who would routinely evaluate the Commander-In-Chief's psychological health, and many say checking the mental capacity of the person who controls our nuclear arsenal is just common sense. 

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The American Psychiatric Association's ethics rules forbid commenting on a public figure's mental health "unless he or she has conducted an examination." But two distinguished professors of psychiatry wrote a letter to the New York Times, warning that "the alarming symptoms of mental instability he had shown during his campaign" had only increased since Trump took office.

"We are struck by his repeated failure to distinguish between reality and fantasy, and his outbursts of rage when his fantasies are contradicted. The military powers entrusted to him endanger us all. We urge our elected representatives to take the necessary steps to protect us from this dangerous president."
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But some argue offering public comment on the president's health without ever having examined him is a violation of ethics, and any medical professional who would do so cannot be trusted.

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Others say these accusations are just more partisan smears from the left, designed to damage the president, whose mental and physical health is obviously fine. Could mental health evaluations be used for political attacks?

When a man acquires billions of dollars through complex real estate transactions, invests in many countries, goes on to phenomenal success in television and turns his name into a worldwide brand, it is very unlikely that he is mentally unstable.
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Some call the accusations around Trump's mental health just more fake news.

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The Daily Kos compiled a list of strange moments from Trump's recent public appearances.

Trump has repeatedly wandered away from press conferences and bill signings, leaving a string of awkward moments in his wake. Trump's increasingly erratic behavior suggests that his mental capabilities are deteriorating before our very eyes.
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Some two dozen House Democrats have now signed on to a bill proposed by Rep. Jamie Raskin. The Maryland Democrat wants to create an 11-member commission made up of mostly physicians and psychiatrists, entitled the "Oversight Commission on Presidential Capacity." The panel would carry out a medical examination and determine whether any president—not just the current one—is physically or mentally able to do the job.

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Carl Bernstein, the legendary Watergate journalist, told CNN‘s Brian Stelter there are many in Washington who've expressed concern about Trump's mental health: 

“We have many reporters, myself included, who have talked to numerous people, Republicans on Capitol Hill, who in private will tell you they doubt the stability of this president. It’s part of the story and it’s very hard to cover.

Some of our greatest leaders struggled with mental health issues. Abraham Lincoln was famously depressive—would he have been disqualified by a mental health exam? 

A recent study at Duke concluded that several past presidents had signs of bipolar disorder—Lyndon Johnson and Theodore Roosevelt among them. Nearly 8 percent of past presidents exhibited evidence of alcohol abuse or dependence.

Psychology Today cites one author who argues some mental illnesses could actually equip leaders to perform well in times of crisis, as they may be more able to cope with upheaval and uncertainty. Would psychological testing deprive us of a worthy president?

FINAL RESULTS
Politics
Should the president be required to pass a mental health exam?
A festive crown for the winner
#EvaluateThePrez
#DontTestThePrez