I was very pleased to have the opportunity to work with the organization Correct the Record providing some psychoanalytic insight into behavior that has troubled many in the 2016 political campaign. I have written in the past about the importance of psychiatrists and psychoanalysts avoiding wild speculation and inappropriate diagnosis of public figures. I support the so-called Goldwater Rule, an ethical principle in psychiatry that precludes us from offering these kinds of opinions about individuals we have not personally interviewed and examined.
Yet as an expert in human behavior and a citizen passionate about our country’s future, frightened by the rise in bigotry and intolerance, concerned about a trend that confuses fact with opinion, and rumor with truth, I wanted to make a contribution to the current campaign.
The folks at Correct the Record were extremely respectful of the ethical limits of psychoanalytic commentary. Yet they saw, as I do, that we psychoanalysts can offer much to explain the public behavior we see, the words we read and hear. In offering thoughts about Donald Trump’s behavior and language, I depended on his own words, self-descriptions and public events witnessed by us all. A diagnosis of a public figure is really not important. What is important is to look at their words, behavior and stated values and see how these intentionally and unintentionally effect the electorate, public discourse and American culture.
Bullying video: https://app.frame.io/v/QnTHXz4P
Bad Business in Atlantic City video: https://app.frame.io/v/SdQORe3B