Trump’s Incompetence as Political Maneuvering 2

Donald Trump flickr photo by cornstalker shared under a Creative Commons (BY) license

Donald Trump’s mental fitness for office has been a lingering, vocal question since even before his inauguration. He has railed against perceptions of his incompetence for as long as the question has been alive.

Yesterday, details of Trump’s mental and physical status were released, with a medical professional standing on a podium to give it credence.

While it would seem counterproductive to stoke public opinion about your cognitive impairment, and even though I don’t think Trump deliberately perpetuates the narrative of incompetence, considering he requested a cognitive exam, he stands to benefit from it, IMHO. Or, at least, the past claims of the news media have been used to their greatest extend to provide a narrative of victimhood that Trump’s base appreciates and identifies with.

The liberal media unwittingly plays into this pattern, by constantly calling into question his intelligence and competence. The conservative media, on the other hand, has long supported the ideology of white grievance politics, which portrays them as downtrodden and the victims of a liberal controlled economy and social structure. It’s my view that questions surrounding Trump’s mental fitness, whether behaviorally or cognitively, feed into that narrative.

What an easy job the conservative outlets have. Whenever criticism about the president appears, spin those criticisms as unjustified attacks by liberal journalism. Trump, in their minds, then becomes a martyr for the anti-immigrant, pro-economy, vaguely ideological framework which provides them with a sense of security.

Trump’s intentions hardly matter in this context, because White House aides and the conservative media combine to make a formidable task force. What the buffoon thinks is inconsequential as long as that behavior, or the criticisms of it can be spun to make Trump out to be the victim. It’s worth noting that when Trump is attacked, many of his voters probably feel the same.

So, Donald took a light cognitive exam, his supporters use that as vindication of the president’s cognitive abilities, but also keep in mind how the liberal media continuously attacks him on this front.

But two things to keep in mind.

  • The test isn’t flawless.
  • It doesn’t screen for psychiatric disorders, or an extreme behavioral unfitness for office.

Is the test designed to look for a pathological problem with impulse control? Other psychiatric disorders aren’t necessarily covered by the test, but the administration wishes to pass this off as a “blanket mental assessment,” and to Trump’s supporters, it’s most likely enough. Clinical assessments are easily dismissed when it doesn’t serve the cause of a conservative puppet head, but are just as easily held up as convenient authorities when the situation arises.


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