Is Trump mentally ill? Aside from the fact that I’m not qualified to make that determination and no one who hasn’t examined him is, Josh Marshall makes a good point.
It’s really only the behavior that matters to us as citizens. A diagnosis would only be helpful to learn about behavior we don’t know about or predict future endangering behavior. Since we know about the behavior we’re talking about, none of that matters or applies. In common sense, every day rather than clinical language Trump is clearly unstable, erratic, impulsive. In a word, he’s nuts and not well. As citizens, we are entirely able and entitled to make these determinations. They are ordinary English language descriptors that the psychiatric profession doesn’t control and shouldn’t want to control. The entire debate over whether Trump is “mentally ill” is simply a diversion, premised on the idea that we need either permission or dictation to say he is not able to safely or competently fulfill the job of President. We don’t. The observed behavior is really all that is necessary and all that matters. It’s very clear.
To put it in terms that I can relate to, it’s like driving your car down the highway and suddenly seeing clouds of white smoke trailing out the back. At that point you don’t spend a lot of time wondering about what caused it; you pull over, find the source, and put out the fire before anything worse happens.