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We welcome back Dr. Bandy X. Lee, editor of “The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump: 37 Psychiatrists and Mental Health Experts Assess a President,” to update us on her latest thinking about Trump’s hold on his followers and the conflicts within her own profession over their duty to warn. Plus, Ralph and Steve discuss the January 6th hearings.

Dr. Bandy Lee is a medical doctor, a forensic psychiatrist, and a world expert on violence who taught at Yale School of Medicine and Yale Law School for 17 years before transferring recently to Columbia and Harvard. She is currently president of the World Mental Health Coalition, an educational organization that assembles mental health experts to collaborate with other disciplines for the betterment of public mental health and public safety. She is the author of The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump: 37 Psychiatrists and Mental Health Experts Assess a President and Profile of a Nation: Trump’s Mind, America’s Soul.

 

 

I think this society has been greatly shaped by placing such a mentally unstable person in the position of President. As you stated, his happening onto the presidency in the first place was the most dangerous act. We had warned that not containing his psychological dangers would spread into social, cultural, geopolitical, and civic dangers. And that’s exactly what has happened. There’s almost no area he has left untouched as a President.

Dr. Bandy X Lee, author of The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump

 

I am again flooded with messages from members of the public, saying that we were vindicated and that we had been right all along. And, in a sense, that’s unfortunate. Because what we predicted was quite dire… And so, yes, you can say it’s a vindication. It’s not a happy vindication.

Dr. Bandy X Lee, editor of The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump

 

Diagnosis is about private assessment and treatment, so there’s no real reason to diagnose a public figure… But danger is not a diagnosis. And that’s actually not of concern to the individual. It’s of concern to society. [Mental health professionals] are always obligated to warn persons or society who might be in danger. That is one of our core public health functions: informing and educating the public about dangers it might be exposed to.

Dr. Bandy X Lee, author of The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump

 

If somebody was of [Donald Trump’s] characteristic in a workplace or in the neighborhood, people would not want to have anything to do with this person. They would call the police. They would take his menacing words at their dangerous value. But because he was selected by the Electoral College to be President, he seems to be getting a pass.

Ralph Nader

 

When there’s a concentration on [Donald Trump’s] bullying, his fabrications, his pathological lying, his delusions, it often detracts attention from his daily lawbreaking as President of the United States.

Ralph Nader

15 Comments

  1. John Puma says:

    It is unfortunate that the discussion of Trump, the predictable RESULT, heavily overshadowed the CAUSE of Trump — long pre-existing, profound societal “fail-ings.” There was a couple minutes (from about 34:30) of discussion of the real issue. There was passing mention of Dr. Lee’s new book “Profile of a Nation: Trumps Mind, America’s Soul” that seems it COULD (?) address the WHY of Trump. Too bad it was not discussed, because what we got was an unhelpful re-hash of her previous interview, and book, and, admittedly relevant, but tangential, revelation of precisely the societal rot in question (eg. Yale Univ and the APA treatment of Dr. Lee).

    In relation to the outcome of her lawsuit: if Yale is willing/able to take the case to the SCOTUS, she has no chance.

    Note, once again, Trump as president (and his “legacy” of 3 SCOTUS appoint-ments – one due to the incompetence of Obama) is directly traceable to the supreme idiocy of the DNC/Dems. At its 2016 presidential nominating convention it was know that Trump would be the opponent. To oppose him, US election history’s MOST UNpopular presidential nominee, the Dems chose US election history’s SECOND MOST UNpopular nominee … deftly passing over US election history’s MOST popular candidate.

    To expect that same party to favorably resolve the critical issue of Trump & Trumpism’s Jan6 outburst is a highly untenable position based on prior performance, in general and in TWO separate impeachments of Trump … one for doing essentially what his 2020 challenger, and current successor, had done.

    In correctly and accurately comparing Trump’s various political atrocities to presidential predecessors you forgot to include mention of that successor. Biden has not recommitted the US to the Paris Climate accords and has no inkling of recognition, much less proposal to address, the climate crisis. He IS, inadvertently, taking chillingly effective measures to relieve humankind from ever having to experience what would be a long and horrific climate disaster … by making significantly more likely the swift annihilation of the species by nuclear war.

    When can we expect a psychological analysis of Biden who seems to be reveling in his now top-billing, life-long, starring role/persona on the global stage as Dirty Harry redux … with irrepressible reckless bluster and the necessary “serious” verbiage supplied, on cue cards, by unelected staff on?

    I urge you to interview Stella Assange for a discussion of the long-developing internal danger of the US society … that Trump successfully exploits and has mightily increased by escalating the persecution of her husband.

  2. Don Klepack says:

    This is what I wrote about Dr. Bandy X Lee back in 2020 when she was on your show. As someone who believes in single payer, $15 minimum wage and strong unions and thinks Donald Trump is dividing this country, I strongly disagree with Dr. Brandy Lee. Her clinical attacks on Donald Trump is similar to the Soviet Union who used Psychiatry to put their rivals in mental hospitals. What she did to Donald Trump, she could of done to Hillary Clinton. She laughed at Ghaddafi being killed, wild eyes during celebration with balloons and loud noises, calls people who don’t support her deplorable and irredeemable.

    I still feel the same way today but I do like the way she as the courage to standup against Big Pharma. .Even though I used Hillary Clinton as an example why Dr. Bandy X Lee is biased, I don’t agree Hillary Clinton as a mental condition. However, in 2022 our current President is so mentally compromised it reinforces my argument that she is biased and glad the USA is not communist Russia and the voters decide whose going to be President.

  3. David Faubion says:

    Dr. Bandy Lee is flat-out an American hero and an international treasure. So thank you RNRH for your courage to buck the mainstream tide of ignorance.

    So the ironic bully that is the APA and the surreal, shocking, and surprising intellectual vacuity of Yale University have worked in tandem for a made-in-America horror story. Add to that Dr. Lee’s East Asian ethnicity as Trump vilified the Chinese during the pandemic, and even Orwell would be aghast. For the government, media, and academia to persecute and ostracize this brilliant academic working tirelessly to organize her colleagues to inform and warn the public of the clear and present danger that is Trump and his following–is a lasting shame on our nation. Nevertheless, via the media that heals, the steady march of time, and the truth and justice that eventually cleanse the lies and hatred, Dr. Bandy Lee will know a vindication that will serve to make her point: our medical community has to have our trust in their proactive mission to inform us of potential health hazards: pandemics in the making whether viral or contagions of mental illness.

    Reflection and critical thinking are becoming increasingly rare, especially for the criminal and corporate mind but also in the political competition of ideas and power.

  4. Gary O'Connor says:

    This was an excellent interview… I felt that even well before he was President, he was doing considerable damage to the world’s stability (others deciding to copy-cat him, among other deadly scenarios), and sadly this has proven to be the case.

  5. David Hutchinson says:

    Thanks, Radio Hour. “Narcissistic symbiosis” I’m conjecturing must exist at some level whenever a country’s trying to do empire. First, the head narcissists (models) are at the top; they must be, at that stage, both models and victims. But when it becomes a matter of the population having to be jerked around to accept more resources going to the MIC [empire maintenance]…in which case they’ll be more deprived…then you need a Svengali with more Svengali powers? No one thinks this through and goes around looking for one; it just happens “naturally”? [at first Pubs didn’t want DT for a candidate] And really, when you go past the “mild” empire stage, there are a whole menagerie of such figures in media? Convincing folks how “to be”? Like a whole spectrum of intensities?

    That word the Doc uses at the beginning is unclear, almost sounds like precarity. So, I’m looking for the icon to download transcript.

  6. Mujahidun Sumchai says:

    I was very happy to hear this show today. I am very concerned about my country.
    I remember seeing during the presidential campaign, when the flag was being saluted, everyone standing with their hands over their heart.
    Except for negative 45, His Hands were at his left and right Side.
    I knew then if he won the country would suffer.

  7. Neil Harris says:

    What happened to the “wrap up” segment? At the end of the regular episode Steve indicated there would be a wrap up but the show just ended after the closing music

  8. Back in 2000 when I was campaigning for Ralph, one of his highest priorities was to tear up or rewrite NAFTA, which Trump did. In fact, Trump stood up to the alphabet soup of WTO, WHO, OPEC, and a whole lot of other groups that Ralph opposed. Has Ralph ever acknowledged that?
    Come on Steve, if you can get Ozzy Osbourne to spend his 40th birthday with you, then you can definitely turn the heat up on Ralph Nader.

  9. Bryan Hughes says:

    Thanks to Ralph and crew. Unfortunately in this case, our professional legal system is not as effective when politics enters the arena. What seems to be a cut-and-dried case (any third grader should be able to identify Trump as a malicious, lying, manipulative tyrant) needs a burden of proof that seems almost unachievable in a modern, media-driven environment. Trump has harnessed the (minority) masses, and used them to influence the media, judiciary, and other tools that actually matter when clinging to power. I’m hoping that Garland will understand the gravity of the historical moment, rather than hiding behind legal details and self-preservation tactics. Thoughtful aggression must counter brute aggression in this case.

  10. Martin says:

    This was a great interview – Ms. Lee was extremely well-spoken, an absolute natural at extemporaneous speaking about these weighty matters.
    In view of all that talent for thinking and talking that she represents, why would she want to go back to the very institution that undertook the corrupt criminality of firing her? This particular action, in removing one of the view voices of conscience in the Ivy establishment, cannot be undone, so why pretend it was all a harmless little error?

  11. Robert says:

    The book ‘Political Ponerology’ by Andrzej Lobabczewski contains a psychological description of how societies descend into totalitarianism. The starting point is the low-conscience behavior of the privileged classes, which gradually leads to national ‘hysteria’ characterized by growing egotism, emotionalism and faulty thinking. In such an environment individuals who are biologically egotistical, who are biologically extremely emotional or who are able to fake being extremely emotional, and who have biologically faulty thinking seem perfectly normal (e.g. narcissists, psychopaths, individuals with certain types of brain tissue damage). Such individuals then have little difficulty rising to power.

    National ‘hysteria’ happens in every nation over a roughly 200 year cycle. Each nation is at its own unique point in its own cycle.

    These national cycles of ‘hysteria’ are echoed in Dr. Peter Turchin’s ‘secular cycles’ of the same length. Using massive data sets and over a hundred professional contributors (most of whom have doctorates) he’s analyzed large amounts of historical data. His conclusion is that America is at a critical tipping point. He also blames the privileged classes for causing the problem, stating that the privileged classes are the top 20% of society. His web article, ‘Welcome To The ‘Turbulent Twenties’’, is an excellent starting point for an exploration of some of his ideas. He also has his own website and has published several books.

    In short, Trump’s rise to power has been entirely predictable. There are scientific explanations for it. The national psychology that led to him being elected is reasonably well understood thanks to Lobabczewski (Hannah Arendt in ‘The origins of totalitarianism’ also has a lot to offer). Escaping from the far from inevitable slide into totalitarianism (a process that is explained in ‘Political Ponerology’) is understood by both Turchin and Lobabczewski, each of whom offer their own solutions. Dr. Kazimierz Dabrowski also has a huge amount to offer with his concept of ‘disintegration’, or a nation looking honestly in the mirror, seeing its dark side and readjusting its view of itself.