Famed Harvard Law professor Alan Dershowitz sat down with “Fox & Friends” to discuss speculation that President Donald Trump could be removed from office due to his mental stability being questioned from afar by some psychiatrists, leading Democrats to pursue impeachment by way of the 25th Amendment.
“How dare liberals … try to undo democracy by accusing a president of being mentally ill without any basis?” Dershowitz said in reference to Yale University Psychiatrist Dr. Bandy X. Lee and others who have brought the president’s mental health into question without ever having met him.
“There’s only one thing worse than trying to criminalize political differences and that’s trying to psychiatrize them,” Dershowitz said. “These psychiatrists who are trying to diagnose without having even met the man.”
As reported by Fox News Insider, Dershowitz, who is a Democrat, revealed that the 25th Amendment doesn’t apply in this instance.
“Everybody knew who Donald Trump was when they elected him,” Dershowitz said before reiterating that he didn’t vote for Trump. “I voted against him, people voted for him.”
“But he hasn’t changed in office and this idea of diagnosing him instead of opposing him politically poses an enormous danger to our democracy,” he added.
Fox & Friends host Pete Hegseth then referenced the multitude of Republicans throughout history who have had their mental stability questioned rather than their political tendencies.
“They did the same thing to Barry Goldwater, they did the same thing to Ronald Reagan,” Hegseth stated.
“Over a thousand psychiatrists diagnosed Barry Goldwater and said he was mentally ill,” Dershowitz responded. “They were then rebuked by the American Psychiatric Association and said ‘do not make diagnoses without seeing the patient.'”
Goldwater, a five-term U.S. senator from Arizona, had his mental health questioned while running for president in 1964 due to an article in “Good Housekeeping” that accused him of having multiple nervous breakdowns as a result of being overworked.
And as reported by Time Magazine, roughly one month before the 1964 election, an article from the now-defunct “Fact Magazine” had a headline that read “1,189 PSYCHIATRISTS SAY GOLDWATER IS PSYCHOLOGICALLY UNFIT TO BE PRESIDENT!”
The article was based off a survey administered to over 12,000 psychiatrists. In the poll, the magazine’s editor Ralph Ginzburg asked: “Do you believe Barry Goldwater is psychologically fit to serve as President of the United States?”
He reportedly only received 2,417 responses, with 657 saying he was to serve while 571 wouldn’t take a side.
Time Magazine quoted some answers from the survey which included descriptions such as: “’emotionally unstable,’ ‘immature,’ ‘cowardly,’ ‘grossly psychotic,’ “paranoid,” “mass murderer,’ ‘amoral and immoral,’ ‘chronic schizophrenic’ and ‘dangerous lunatic.’”
The American Psychiatric Association and American Medical Association quickly immediately denounced the poll and its results.
Goldwater, who went on to lose the election to Lyndon B. Johnson, reportedly sued the magazine for libel, where a judge awarded him $75,000 in damages.
In an attempt to avoid the irresponsible act of attempting to diagnose an individual without following extensive medial and psychiatric guidelines, the American Psychiatric Association implemented the “Goldwater Rule” in its 1973 edition of its Code of Ethics.
According to the APA, “The Goldwater Rule is an ethics principle that guides our physician members not to provide professional opinions in the media about the mental health of someone they have not personally examined and without patient consent or other legal authority.”
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