Trump’s Health

One aspect of President Trump’s Iran message that I have yet to comment on concerns the words he stumbled on during its delivery.  While Trump came across for the most part more or less normally, he mispronounced several words in a very odd way, completely bungling the words “tolerated,” “accomplishments,” and “shape.”  He was huffing and sniffing as he talked, and his breathing and speech were labored, as though he had dry mouth and his nose was plugged.  It seemed like something more than a cold.

The president’s noticeable impairment comes after an unscheduled and unexplained weekend visit he made to Walter Reed Medical Hospital outside Washington less than two months ago.

Changes in the president, coupled with the administration’s unexpected and destabilizing military action against General Suleimani of Iran, have stimulated new concerns about the president’s state of health and fitness to govern.  Trump guards facts about his health carefully, a secrecy that only heightens alarm and fuels speculation.

Some observers on Twitter, including Tom Joseph of Chicago and others writing under the handle @Duty2Warn, tweet regularly about the President’s apparent medical and psychological condition.  In the absence of direct information, they attempt to assess the President’s health by scrutinizing video footage of his public appearances: his speech, affect, and gait.  They look at what he says and how he says it for signs of undisclosed illnesses such as dementia, stroke, or personality disorder.

In a related development, a group of psychiatrists and other mental health professionals sent a letter to Congress this week, urging that Trump undergo a psychological evaluation to ascertain that he remains fit to exercise the powers of commander-in-chief.  According to the Independent, the letter warns that the stress of impeachment could drive an already tempestuous president to act in ways that are unwise and detrimental to the nation’s security.


 

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The First of Two Thoughts on The Day (No War with Iran)

I went to sleep last night worried that we would all be waking up to a war with Iran.  I am so grateful that the administration interpreted Iran’s attack on our bases as a retaliatory gesture that was pointed but at the same time perfunctory. Actually, I don’t have a problem with the president’s formally expressed hard line on Iran, or with the two aims he expressed today: deterring Iran’s expansive militarism and deterring it from acquiring a nuclear weapon.

I want to see Donald Trump out of the presidency, but, when I hear him speak about Iran, I agree completely. His remarks today took into account the really desperate internal condition of that country, and he articulated the ultimate and ideal goal of seeing Iran reach a state of peace and prosperity.

The people of Iran have suffered terribly under years of international sanctions and government repression. They want a functioning economy and normal lives. This is why Iran has lately been witnessing widespread popular demonstrations, which the government has had trouble putting down. Internally, Iran is in a terrible position to go to war with any nation, let alone the United States.  The people of Iran want to get rid of the ayatollah and the fundamentalist strictures that the clerics have imposed on the country for decades.

At the same time, I liked Trump’s emphasis on our energy independence, and how that gives us more latitude when it comes to getting out of the Middle East. Interestingly, the desirability of withdrawing US troops from Iraq in some fashion but as soon as is feasible is a point on which Trump and Bernie Sanders agree.