Psychologists have more than a right, a duty in fact, to share their professional expertise in evaluating whether our current U.S. president is fit for office, writes Jeannie Suk Gersen of The New Yorker. Trump’s behavior being scrutinized closely by psychologists could uncover crucial realizations about his mental health. If it is proven that the president is unfit for office, the 25th Amendment requires that he be replaced. In the past, psychologists have abstained from commenting on public figures, but it is necessary now. Doing so with Trump, a possibly unsteady leader, would be a public service to the country.
Psychoanalysis of a public figure through their public actions is a very poor way of determining whether they are mentally unhealthy, argues Christie Aschwanden of Five Thirty Eight. Trump’s behavior in office is in no way guaranteed to reflect his behavior in private. Statements about the president being unfit for office are motivated by political and not scientific reasons. His actions may be worth criticizing, but psychological arguments are being made for the sole sake of undermining him. Any form of criticism against Trump being popular among certain circles does not make assertions about his mental health valid.