The Violence in Charlottesville / Debating ‘The Goldwater Rule’

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Donald Trump

President Donald Trump speaks to reporters at Trump National Golf Club, Thursday, Aug. 10, 2017, in Bedminster, N.J. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Guests: Peter Simi, John Gartner, Christine Aschwanden

We start this hour discussing the violence in Charlottesville over the weekend and the response from President Trump with PETER SIMI, a professor of sociology at Chapman University who studies extremist groups.  Then, Trump is known, and sometimes lauded, for his impulsive and unpredictable behavior. This has some psychological observers questioning the president’s mental health, thereby reigniting a decades old debate over the so-called “Goldwater Rule.” In 1964, Fact magazine published a headline that read “fact: 1,189 Psychiatrists Say Goldwater Is Psychologically Unfit To Be President!” Presidential candidate Barry Goldwater sued the magazine, and in response, the American Psychiatric Association officially discourages its members from diagnosing public figures from afar. But is there a so-called “duty to warn?” Today, we’ll talk about the appropriateness of diagnosing Donald Trump from afar with psychologist JOHN GARTNER, and FiveThirtyEight’s science writer, CHRISTINE ASCHWANDEN.

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