The current presidential election will be a historic one. Besides the fact that Hillary Clinton is the first woman to be elected as a candidate for president by a major political party, the current election provides a major contrast among the candidates’ experience, philosophies, and temperament. Of major consideration to many families like mine is: Who would be the better candidate to support the rights of disabled individuals? In this regard I have to express a bias in favor of Hillary Clinton. Donald Trump crossed the line when in November of last year he mocked a disabled news reporter.
Serge Kovaleski is a Pulitzer Prize winning investigative reporter for the New York Times. Kovaleski suffers from arthrogryposis, a congenital contracture of the joints, that affects one of his arms. His condition makes him occasionally move his arm involuntarily. Over the years Kovaleski interviewed Trump on a dozen of occasions and was on a first name basis with him. Unfortunately Kovaleski incurred the wrath of Trump after questioning his remarks of having watched in New Jersey, N.J., as “thousands and thousands of people [primarily Muslims] were cheering” the collapse of the World Trade Center following the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks ( http://bit.ly/1Ymubjv ). Trump never apologized having mocked Mr. Kovaleski; rather, he denied the incident and in his usual ranting style went on to further insult Kovaleski saying that he should stop “using his disability” to “grandstand” (http://bit.ly/2aqpWmz ). Mr. Kovaleski took the higher road and did not conduct any interviews answering Mr. Trump behavior. (Note: The incident of Trump mocking Mr. Kovaleski can be seen at: http://www.cnn.com/videos/tv/2015/11/26/donald-trump-mocks-reporter-with-disability-berman-sot-ac.cnn )
Picture above: “You gotta see this guy…” said Trump as he mocked the disabled reporter.
The behavior exhibited by Trump is perturbing and has been consistently so. After recently disparaging a Gold Star Muslim family he went on to deny the whole incident and then sought help from Republican Congressmen to back him up in assailing the Khan family. He also explained to the media that he had made many sacrifices by being a successful businessperson- to which many reporters expressed that Trump does not even know the dictionary meaning of the word “sacrifice”. After his remarks were repudiated by the general population and even Republicans, Team Trump formulated a strategy of slandering the Kahn family by suggesting ties with terrorist organizations (http://thebea.st/2aEwT1c ). Although most of America saw right through the Republican smear campaign, there were many gullible individuals still creating reverberations with slanderous accusations in social media.
This is not the behavior of a champion of the people. He is certainly not the person I would like fighting for the rights of the disabled. Hillary Clinton has spent a significant portion of her lifetime fighting for the disabled. Indeed, Hillary’s first job out of law school was with the Children’s Defense Fund (http://hrc.io/1Ws36sX ). As a senator she was a cosponsor of the IDEA Full-Funding Act, the Campus Care and Counseling Act of 2004, the Garrett Lee Smith Memorial Act of 2004, the Mental Health Parity Act, and the ADA Amendments Act of 2008. Hillary developed and co-sponsored the legislation authorizing 1 billion dollars in research on autism. As Secretary of State she has worked on global human rights initiatives and supported the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (for more information regarding her work with disabled individuals see http://bit.ly/2aqsd0S ). Many advocates of disabled individuals support Hillary and during the Democratic Convention she showed her interest and passion in trying to help them. According to many, Hillary Clinton has released the most detailed policy document on autism in US presidential history (http://cnn.it/1OcXmQf ). The plan has been hailed by both scientists and autism advocates as being a step in the right direction ( http://bit.ly/1UM4JQu ) (Note: Personally I think the same is overambitious but this, if anything, is a good thing). In contrast, Donald Trump has argued that building ramps in his buildings is a sign of his generosity and compassion despite the fact that it is the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) that requires him to provide for such accommodations. “And as Think Progress notes, Trump was not even being completely truthful about his compliance with that law. People with disabilities have successfully sued a Trump property company and production firm in recent years for unfair treatment that violated the ADA”. Lastly, Trump’s idea for helping autism is to appoint Michael Savage, a radio host with no medical background, to head the National Institute of Health. “Savage has called autism “a fraud, a racket,” said PTSD and depression sufferers are “losers,” advised people not to get flu shots because you can’t trust the government, theorized liberals have been driven insane because of seltzer bubbles, claimed President Obama was intentionally trying “to infect the nation with Ebola,” and once told a caller he was a “sodomite” who should “get AIDS and die” (http://mm4a.org/1LchluN ). I am at a loss of words in trying to explain Trump’s way of thinking. If elected president he will certainly tear the fabric that holds American research as the gold-standard in the world.
Trump is a seriously deranged individual. Therapists have already weigh in on his narcissism. Howard Gardner a professor at Harvard Graduate School of education says that Trump is “remarkably narcissistic”, while clinical psychologist Ben Michaelis says he is a “Textbook narcissistic personality disorder…[to such an extent] that I am archiving video clips of him to use in workshops”. In an article written by Henry Alford it is stated, “That mental-health professionals are even willing to talk about Trump in the first place may attest to their deep concern about a Trump presidency” (http://bit.ly/1HCVVKV ).
Trump’s narcissism is best qualified as “malignant” in character, a condition closely tied with bigotry. Dr. George Simon, a leading expert in disturbed character/personality, has written about Malignant Narcissism at the core of psychopathy. According to Dr. Simon, “It’s one thing to think really highly – perhaps even too highly – of yourself and to be self-centered. But it’s quite another to view others with disdain or even contempt because, after all, they’re just not you. A pathological degree of grandiosity (i.e. malignant narcissism) is always at the root of bigotry” ( http://bit.ly/2aEeoL6 ). This helps explain Mr. Trump’s intolerance for other people’s ideas, religions, race or disabilities which by definition constitutes bigotry.
Picture above: Narcissus, for whom the word narcissistic is derived from, was a handsome young man in a Greek myth who fell in love with his own reflection. In eerily similar fashion Trump is unable to resist looking at a TV monitor when the same is broadcasting his image.
There are also many discussion as to whether Trump is a pathological liar. He seems to go from lie to lie even when he has been corrected and seems to know better. He is very authoritarian and does not care for the opinion of other people that have corrected him. A comprehensive fact checking from Politico reveals that Trump will lie on average once every five minutes ( http://bit.ly/2aDnxDD ). On the span of a week Donald Trump will state publicly many dozens of statements that are mischaracterizations, exaggerations or simply falsehoods.
Trumps personality disorder seems cemented when considering his lack of impulse control. The link between personality disorders and impulse control is clear ( http://bit.ly/1hYjnGZ ). In Trump’s case, he lacks the ability to think ahead and instead says whatever is in his head at any particular time. In many pathological cases, this is done because it makes the person feel good at that particular time an they thus disregard consequences. Lack of impulse control is also closely tied to impulse spending, a characteristic that may help explain Trump’s multiple bankruptcies. Unfortunately lack of impulse control is also tied to reckless risk taking, a catastrophic trait for any presidential candidate.
It is of major interest to this particular blog the suggestion that Donald Trump himself may be seriously mentally handicapped. When Trump is talking he uses simple words consisting primarily of one or two syllables. Rarely will he use words that have 4 syllables and then uses the same ones repeatedly (e.g., tremendous). Linguistic analysis reveals that his word usage and sentence construction are at a third grade level (see https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_aFo_BV-UzI ). His lack of vocabulary skills (usually correlated to intelligence) may be due to his lack of reading as most of his education apparently derives from watching TV. Reporters have jokingly speculated that Trump has not read a book since the sixth grade (http://bit.ly/2aCjAeS ). His lack of education makes him clueless in regards to national and international affairs. Reporters call him devoid of any ideas regarding policies and his multiple mental impairments make him incoherent when talking (Note: Please listen to the following extraordinary interview: http://bit.ly/1RuM8G5 ) Not surprisingly Trump has denied access to his college transcripts -as well as his tax records.
Many people have described Trump as having the attention span of a gnat. He will repeatedly change his focus of attention during sit down interviews (http://bit.ly/2aUgSEi ) and can’t speak with a baby crying in the audience (http://cnn.it/2aj21kC ). Tony Schwartz the ghost writer, meaning the person who actually wrote “The Art of the Deal”, gives an interesting insight to Trump claiming the book should have been entitled “The Sociopath”. During a recent interview Schwartz said, “…that it’s impossible to keep him focused on any topic, other than his own self-aggrandizement, for more than a few minutes” ( http://bit.ly/2adRZD5 ). (Note: you can make a checklist regarding the symptoms of a sociopath and see for yourself whether Trump complies with diagnostic criteria http://m.wikihow.com/Spot-a-Sociopath ).
It is difficult to see where Trump lies in regards to personality disorders and mental handicaps, especially if someone has not examined him personally. However, he seems to have traits that would put him in a mix of disorders, not one, but many. What is really apparent; however, is that he is a seriously disturbed individual who will not have the best interest of disabled individuals (or Americans in general) at heart.
Trump has said that he has the most loyal people because, “I could stand in the middle of 5th Avenue and shoot somebody and I wouldn’t lose voters” (http://cnn.it/1PqUJOv ). This is not loyalty but rather the support of either gullible individuals or bigots just like him. It is time to think about making our world better and showing Trump our utter disgust with his narcissistic and sociopathic viewpoints.