The things you read in the Times: In hard copy, this morning's New York Times op-ed page features a column, live and direct from London, written by Michael Goldfarb, a 67-year-old NPR alumnus.
There's no distinction so basic and obvious that New York Times editors are able to recognize it. Here's how Goldfarb starts:
GOLDFARB (1/19/18): Well, it’s official. He isn’t crazy. “I’ve found no reason whatsoever to think the president has any issues whatsoever with his thought processes,” Dr. Ronny L. Jackson, the rear admiral who conducted President Trump’s physical, said this week.Truly, that's amazing. The tests undergone by Donald J. Trump had nothing to do with the question of whether he's "crazy." Less colorfully, they had nothing to do with the types of diagnoses found in the DSM.
That comes as no surprise to me. Because if you observe him through the filter of class, rather than the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders frame, you can reach some very different—and I think more apposite—conclusions.
Does Goldfarb really not understand that? How about the editor who decided to publish this tripe?
Goldfarb goes on to spout and fume, in baldly unintelligent ways, about his own diagnosis of Trump. He diagnoses Trump as simply "a man of his class—the nouveau-riche, country-club class." Nailing down his diagnosis, Goldfarb offers two anecdotes about people he's met at country clubs. One anecdote comes from 1979, one from recent years.
This column is spectacularly stupid. Amazingly, it should come as no surprise that the New York Times didn't notice.
Is Donald J. Trump "a man of his class?" Yes, he almost certainly is, and that may explain some of his attitudes, beliefs and behaviors.
That said, it's possible for two different things to be true at one time. Trump could be "a man of his class," and he could have some sort of "mental illness" or psychiatric disorder.
Goldfarb seems too dumb to understand this. The New York Times didn't notice.
As Goldfarb ends this pitiful column, he makes an amazingly common plea. He begs us to please avoid discussing Trump's possible disorders. This is the way he ends:
GOLDFARB: As Year 2 of the Trump regime begins, it would probably be a good idea for everyone to stop looking for grand psychiatric theories about what makes Mr. Trump tick—it is insulting to people who suffer from real mental illness.Please stop discussing this possibility, Goldfarb dumbly says. He tells us that Trump doesn't "suffer from real mental illness," without attempting to tell us how he can possibly know that.
Those who want to resist Mr. Trump should accept that America is being governed by a country-club bore, backed up by other members of the club—a class that doesn’t worry that it will suffer if he makes a mistake.
Is Donald J. Trump "a country-club bore?" In part, we'd say he surely is.
Then again, it takes one to know one, several young analysts said. If we lived in a rational world, it would be stunning to think that the New York Times would publish such drivel as this.
We live in a deeply un-rational world. Our floundering species is deeply not sharp. As our culture continues to crash and burns, we strongly advise you to view the world through this award-winning lens.