Psychiatric group okays public talk of Donald Trump's mental state

A national organization of psychiatrists has sent a note out to members, telling them that they don’t have to observe a 44-year-old rule forbidding comments on the mental state of politicians and other public figures – including the president. From Scientific American:

The statement, an email this month from the executive committee of the American Psychoanalytic Association to its 3,500 members, represents the first significant crack in the profession’s decades-old united front aimed at preventing experts from discussing the psychiatric aspects of politicians’ behavior. It will likely make many of its members feel more comfortable speaking openly about President Trump’s mental health.

The rule against discussion of the mental condition of public figures was adopted in 1973 by the larger American Psychiatric Association (a different group from the one above, but the same acronym).

The “Goldwater rule” was a reaction to a 1964 development in which several psychiatrists participated in a survey that asked whether Republican presidential nominee Barry Goldwater was mentally fit to serve.

Critics of the Goldwater rule have called it an abridgement of their First Amendment rights – an argument that’s not dissimilar from the one used by some conservative Christian pastors who have pressed President Donald Trump to dump an IRS rule that prohibits tax-exempt charities from endorsing specific political candidates.

The consensus view of two dozen psychiatrists and psychologists that Trump is dangerously mentally ill and that he presents a clear and present danger to the nation and our own mental health.


The morning news from the White House:


Turns out it’s not just the water wars or the Port of Savannah that unites all of Georgia’s politicians in Washington. Add Russia to that list.

All 10 Georgia Republicans in the House and the state’s four Democrats voted to enact tough new sanctions on the Kremlin, Iran and North Korea on Tuesday afternoon.

The bill would also challenge President Donald Trump by giving Congress the ability to block any White House effort to loosen those sanctions. As it turns out, lawmakers are entirely in favor of bipartisanship when it comes to protecting (or extending) their own power.

The legislation passed the House overwhelmingly: 419-3. It now moves to the Senate.



On his Facebook page, state Sen. Bruce Thompson, R-White, has announced that he’s decided against joining the race for state insurance commissioner. He listed his reasons:

1. Faith is entering her Senior year, and being a dad takes priority.


2. Making sure the cyber initiative I helped launched last year (50 million investment ) of tax payer dollars comes to fruition.


3. Fulfilling my commitment to others that ask for my assistance in their bid for elected office.


Count U.S. Rep. Jody Hice, R-Greensboro, among Republicans who have grown fond of “telephone” town hall meetings. He’ll have one at about 6:15 p.m. Thursday – it will be his fourth this year. He hasn't held an in-person meeting this year. Click here to sign up.


State Rep. Stacey Abrams, a Democratic candidate for governor, has received another union endorsement – this time from the International Union of Painters and Allied Trades, District Council 77. The union represents painters, drywall finishers and glazers across five states, including Georgia.

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About the Author

Tamar Hallerman
Tamar Hallerman
Tamar Hallerman is The Atlanta Journal-Constitution's Washington correspondent, covering Congress, federal agencies and other government activities that...