“Donald Trump is a thoroughly inadequate human being,” Berglas insists  Why isn’t honesty important to voters?” And that is one of the many criticisms that psychiatrist Allen Frances levels at the “well-meaning but misguided effort” to declare Donald Trump mentally ill. “Donald Trump is evil—bad not mad—and incompetent. He is a threat to democracy.” His fitness for office should be addressed politically, not psychologically, Frances says.
Evan El-Amin/Shutterstock
Source: Evan El-Amin/Shutterstock

“I wrote the criteria for personality disorders,” says Frances,
professor emeritus at Duke. The public diagnoses being
bandied about are inaccurate and “miss the point,” he argues.
They ignore the criterion that symptoms must be causing
distress and impairment. “Donald Trump causes
distress to others, not to himself.
He is rewarded for his behaviors.”
There is sickness, Frances contends, but he believes
it is in society in general. “We are ignoring real existential
threats—of overpopulation, of climate, of inequality.
” The cure for this illness, he believes is political activism
and electing officials who can be trusted to face “the real problems.”
Those most in a position to diagnose are, with the exception
of the petitioners and those on the media circuit,
 sitting out the question of the year.—Hara Estroff Marano