The documentary film isn’t about partisan politics.
It’s not about Democrats versus Republicans. It’s not about the left versus the right. It’s not about Donald Trump versus Joe Biden.
It’s about a much more fundamental question that many have very seriously pondered beginning on January 20, 2017: Whether Donald Trump is fit to serve as the Commander in Chief.
Right about now, I’m guessing that roughly half of you, according to current statistics, are bailing out of this review, dismissing #Unfit: The Psychology of Donald Trump as hysterical, far left, Democrat, liberal propaganda. That is to say, pure nonsense.
I get it.
For those of you who are still reading, your worst fears about Donald Trump might well be spelled out in what is described as “an eye-opening analysis of Trump by leading U.S. mental health professionals and nonpartisan political strategists—on the record, for the record, out of a Duty to Warn.”
Questioning a public figure's mental health and stability is a touchy subject.
It can be traced back to the presidency of Abraham Lincoln, whose melancholy might have actually helped him deal with the tremendous pressures of the Civil War.
In the 1960s, Barry Goldwater came under attack by mental health professionals who felt that he was mentally unfit to be the president.
Those critics were harshly rebuked because they had not seen him in person.
As such, their opinions were dismissed as pure speculation. It became known as The Goldwater Rule.
But current experts and professionals are forging ahead and going public with their assessment of the current president and his fitness to lead the nation and the world.
They reject The Goldwater Rule and the suggestion that an individual needs to be seen in person in order for their behavior to be analyzed.
They even go so far as to say that an interview is actually the least reliable tool in making a psychological diagnosis since the person can lie to you.
Instead, they make a case for taking into account the person’s statements and behavior which are all part of the public record.
It’s not someone’s account of someone else’s psychological profile; it’s what that person actually said and did.
In the case of Donald Trump, the evidence points to something called “malignant narcissism” a term coined by the famous psychoanalyst Eric Fromm.
It has four components:
Anti-Social Personality Disorder
The film, methodically investigates each of the four components, offering up Trump’s own words and actions as evidence.
Anyone who has watched the news has seen and heard them before.
Trump exhibited narcissistic behavior prior to being elected president.
His well-documented remarks after taking office reflect his belief that he is somehow more knowledgeable than his top military, intelligence, science or medical experts.
His paranoia is reflected in his familiar accusations of things being “rigged,” a claim he ironically floated in the days just before his election victory in 2016.
It seemed to be an excuse that he could use to challenge the outcome if he had lost.
On the subject of his anti-social personality disorder, one of the interviewees asserts that “he is the most documented liar in human history.”
The claim is supported by the 19,127 false and misleading claims that he had made since his inauguration.
It is a number that is presumably even higher now.
On the subject of sadism, the last of the four components, the film points, in part, to the endless flood of angry tweets and vicious attacks that have flowed from the Oval Office over the past four years.
And this leads to the most serious concern expressed about Donald Trump.
His inability to accept criticism and his abrupt dismissal of anyone who disagrees with him or stands in his way.
In television interviews with Charlie Rose and David Letterman, he freely admits that he relishes revenge and adheres to the philosophy of “an eye for an eye”.
All this raises serious concern regarding the person with the access to the launch code that could unleash World War III.
We all know that he has threatened North Korea with “fire and fury unlike anything the world has never seen.”
I won’t get into the details of Trumps cheating on the golf course (for many, a revealing indication of one’s honesty and integrity).
I won’t get into the fascinating reference to the ape sequence in 2001: A Space Odyssey that illustrates the primitive roots of our social, political thinking that are being exploited in the 2020 election.
I will not get into the comparisons of Trump’s politics of hated and divisiveness with the reprehensible tactics of historical figures like Hitler or Mussolini, except to say that it’s pretty unsettling.
The film makes a convincing case.
And it’s a lot to consider. To be sure.
#Unfit is a movie that doesn’t hold back.
It sheds light on some of the tools and strategies being used to bend minds and shift attitudes.
Gaslighting is a prime example, a powerful social pressure so strong that it can make a person question what they know and believe to be true.
Film of a well-known psychological experiment illustrates the effectiveness.
Be prepared for some shockingly frank discussion.
Former White House Communications director, Anthony Scaramucci (who famously held the office for only 11 days) when asked whether Trump was a racist, answers, “He’s an asshole. That’s different than being a racist.”
The gloves are off.
And the sparks fly, in #Unfit: The Psychology of Donald Trump.
At this juncture of American history, it should be required viewing regardless of which lever you pull, or which ballot you mark on election day.
It leaves you wondering why no one vets the person seeking the highest office in the land.
#Unfit: The Psychology of Donald Trump is On Demand starting September 1.