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Testing is not required for their commander in chief to be able to execute a protocol, much less testing to execute the sort of high-level decision that would set this process in motion. The lack of a system to evaluate presidential fitness only stands to become more consequential as the average age of leaders increases. The Constitution sets finite lower limits on age but gives no hint of an upper limit.

At the time of its writing, septuagenarians were relatively rare, and having survived so long was a sign of hardiness and cautiousness. Now it is the norm. In , the top three presidential candidates turned 69, 70, and By the time of the inauguration, a President Joe Biden would be After age 40, the brain decreases in volume by about 5 percent every decade. The most noticeable loss is in the frontal lobes. These control motor functioning of the sort that would direct a hand to a cup and a cup to the mouth in one fluid motion—in most cases, without even looking at the cup.

These lobes also control much more important processes, from language to judgment to impulsivity. Everyone experiences at least some degree of cognitive and motor decline over time, and some 8.


These are not part of a standard physical. Even if they were voluntarily undertaken, there would be no requirement to disclose the results. A president could be actively hallucinating, threatening to launch a nuclear attack based on intelligence he had just obtained from David Bowie, and the medical community could be relegated to speculation from afar. Instead of a traditional wheelchair, he used an inconspicuous dining chair with wheels attached. Roosevelt Physically Fit to Be President?

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The phrasing was so peculiar for a medical record that some suggested that Trump had written or dictated the letter himself. Trump was once a more articulate person who sometimes told stories that had beginnings, middles, and ends, whereas he now leaps from thought to thought. He has come to rely on a small stable of adjectives, often involving superlatives. In May of last year, the journalist Sharon Begley at Stat analyzed changes in his speech patterns during interviews over the years.

He also more frequently finished sentences and thoughts. Trump : Well, what we need is competence. We have a one-line artist. I think that probably George Bush has an advantage, in terms of the election. But I think Jesse Jackson has done himself very proud.

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I think Michael Dukakis has done a hell of a job. And George Bush has done a hell of a job. Compare that with the meandering, staccato bursts of today. From an interview with the Associated Press :. People want the border wall. Okay, the thing they want more than anything is the wall. My base, which is a big base; I think my base is 45 percent. The Democrats, they have a big advantage in the Electoral College. Big, big, big advantage The Electoral College is very difficult for a Republican to win, and I will tell you, the people want to see it.

They want to see the wall. The tax cut will be, the tax bill, prediction, will be far bigger than anyone imagines. Expensing will be perhaps the greatest of all provisions. Where you can do something, you can buy something … Piece of equipment … You can do lots of different things, and you can write it off and expense it in one year. That will be one of the great stimuli in history. You watch. But, Michael, I know the details of taxes better than anybody. Better than the greatest CPA.

I know the details of health care better than most, better than most. Millions of people. It could be as high as 50 percent of the people.

Is There Something Neurologically Wrong With Donald Trump? - The Atlantic

His grammar worsened, and his sentences were more often incomplete. Indeed, the amendment laid out a process for transferring power to the vice president in the event that the president is unable to carry out the duties of the office because of illness. But it generally assumed that the president would be willing to undergo diagnostic testing and be forthcoming about any limitations. This might not happen with a person who has come to be known for denying any hint of weakness or inability. Nor would it happen if a president had a psychiatric disorder that impaired judgment—especially if it was one defined by grandiosity, obsession with status, and intense aversion to being perceived as weak.

Nor would it happen if the only person to examine the president was someone like Harold Bornstein—whose sense of objective reality is one in which Donald Trump is healthier than the year-old Theodore Roosevelt who took office after commanding a volunteer cavalry division called the Rough Riders, and who invited people to the White House for sparring sessions, and who, after his presidency, would sometimes spend months traversing the Brazilian wilderness.

At many companies, even where no missiles are involved, entry-level jobs require a physical exam. A president, it would follow, should be more rigorously cleared. More than two decades later, that has not happened. The real-world application of one of these systems is complicated by the fact that the frontal lobes also control things like judgment, problem-solving, and impulse control. These metrics, which fall under the purview of psychiatrists and clinical psychologists, can be dismissed as opinion.

Some believe Trump should carry a label of narcissistic personality disorder, antisocial personality disorder, or both. Many other mental-health professionals are insistent that Trump not be diagnosed from afar by anyone, ever—that the goal of mental-health care is to help people who are suffering themselves from disabling and debilitating illnesses. This is consistent with the long-standing, widely misunderstood rule in the profession that no one should ever be diagnosed outside the confines of a one-on-one patient-doctor relationship.

The rule has protected psychiatrists both from lawsuits and from claims of subjectivity that threaten trust in the entire enterprise. A diagnosis like narcissistic personality disorder is too easily played off as a value judgment by an administration that is pushing the narrative that scientists are enemies of the state. Labeling is also counterproductive to the field in that it presents risks to all the people who deal with the stigma of psychiatric diagnoses.

Expertise is simply a guise to further a hidden political cause.

That sort of breathless indictment—followed by a reversal and condemnation of others for making the same statement—may not be rare among politicians, but it is a leap to assume that doctors and scientists would similarly lie and abandon their professional ethics out of allegiance to a political party. When judgment is compromised with bias, it tends to be more subtle, often unconscious. The idea that the president should not be diagnosed from afar only underscores the point that the president needs to be evaluated up close.

A presidential-fitness committee—of the sort that Carter and others propose, consisting of nonpartisan medical and psychological experts—could exist in a capacity similar to the Congressional Budget Office. Such a panel need not have the power to unseat a president, to undo a democratic election, no matter the severity of illness.

Even if every member deemed a president so impaired as to be unfit to execute the duties of the office, the role of the committee would end with the issuing of that statement. Acting on that information—or ignoring or disparaging it—would be up to the people and their elected officials. Of course, the calculations of the Congressional Budget Office can be politicized and ignored—and they recently have been.

If con is the opposite of pro, then is Congress the opposite of progress? Politicians and diapers have one thing in common: they should both be changed regularly… and for the same reason.

40 Hilarious Memes That Perfectly Sum Up Married Life

A: Order anything you like and the guy behind you has to pay for it. A little boy goes to his dad and asks, "What is politics? Your mother, she's the administrator of the money, so we'll call her the government. We're here to take care of your needs, so we'll call you the people. The nanny, we'll consider her the working class. And your baby brother, we'll call him the future. Now, think about that and see if that makes sense. Later that night, he hears his baby brother crying, so he gets up to check on him.

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He finds that the baby has soiled his diaper. The little boy goes to his parents' room and finds his mother sound asleep. Not wanting to wake her, he goes to the nanny's room. Finding the door locked, he peeks in the keyhole and sees his father in bed with the nanny. He gives up and goes back to bed. The next morning, the little boy says to his father, "Dad, I think I understand the concept of politics now. Three contractors are bidding to fix a broken fence at the White House. One is from Chicago, another is from Tennessee, and the third is from Minnesota. All three go with a White House official to examine the fence.

The Minnesota contractor takes out a tape measure and does some measuring, then works some figures with a pencil. How did you come up with such a high figure? And that, my friends, is how the new stimulus plan will work.