President Trump is in perfect mental health, according to an exam he requested from the White House doctor. This doesn’t bode well for the country.
The Washington Examiner reported Tuesday that Trump himself requested that White House physician Dr. Ronny Jackson perform a neurological exam as a means of dispelling critics saying the unpredictable 71-year-old president was mentally unfit to hold office. The exam is known as the Montreal Cognitive Exam, and is used to determine whether or not a patient has “mild cognitive dysfunction.” Trump scored a perfect 30/30 on the exam.
Dr. Jackson’s assessment of Trump’s mental acuity is likely true and accurate, given his credentials and past experience performing annual physicals on former President Barack Obama. This means that President Trump’s erratic and reckless public statements, like tweeting that he has a “bigger and more powerful” nuclear missile launch button earlier this month, aren’t the ravings of a sundowning septuagenarian, but of someone who is perfectly conscious of what they’re doing and just doesn’t care about the potential ramifications of their actions.
North Korean Leader Kim Jong Un just stated that the “Nuclear Button is on his desk at all times.” Will someone from his depleted and food starved regime please inform him that I too have a Nuclear Button, but it is a much bigger & more powerful one than his, and my Button works!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 3, 2018
Last November, alternative medicine expert Deepak Chopra opined to TMZ that President Trump’s tweet complaining that he wasn’t properly thanked for LiAngelo Ball’s release from Chinese authorities — even saying he should have left the three college-age American athletes in jail — is proof that Trump should step down from the presidency “for his health, and the health of his family, and health of the country, and the health of the world.”
Now that the three basketball players are out of China and saved from years in jail, LaVar Ball, the father of LiAngelo, is unaccepting of what I did for his son and that shoplifting is no big deal. I should have left them in jail!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 19, 2017
All of this means that whenever Trump says anything unhinged — like calling predominantly black countries like Haiti “shitholes” or blaming Barack Obama for his own decision to not visit London or inventing the word covfefe in a late-night tweet or calling the American news media “the enemy of the American people” — he does so with a sound mind.
When Trump said there were “very fine people” in the neo-Nazi movement, or doubled down on his assertion that President Obama wasn’t born in the United States, or endorsed accused pedophile Roy Moore even after he said America was “great” during chattel slavery, or proudly boasted about sexually assaulting women, it wasn’t poor mental health talking, but a man who was perfectly aware of what he was doing.
The national discussion about whether or not Trump is mentally unfit to hold office is over. But the conversation Americans should be having is about Trump’s moral fitness to be President of the United States. If a man who tells 2,000 lies during the course of a year gets a perfect score on a mental health exam, it isn’t because he’s senile — it’s because he has no regard for the truth. And that should worry all of us much more than the vagaries of old age.
Michael Boone is a freelance journalist and columnist writing about politics, government, race, and media. He graduated from Texas Southern University’s School of Communication, and lives in Houston’s Third Ward.