unbalanced, or both?

In a Jan. 15 column in The New York Times, Dr. Jeffery A. Lieberman, past president of the American Psychiatric Association, raises the possibility that President Donald Trump may not be mentally unbalanced but is instead merely a jerk. Despite the 24-hour news cycle, Dr. Lieberman, who has stated flatly that Trump is a full-blown narcissist, is, nevertheless, against at-a-distance, armchair diagnoses. Trump should, he writes hopefully, submit to a thorough psychiatric examination, and only then might Trump be declared unbalanced. In the absence of such an examination, Lieberman argues that we are left with two choices: 1. Trump is mentally unbalanced and this is the underlying cause for his erratic behavior; or, 2. Trump is not unbalanced but is simply a monumental jerk.

I suggest a third possibility: 3. The president is unbalanced and he is also, quite independently, a natural jerk. How this might work out synergistically I leave to the professionals.

Jon Oplinger


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