The New Republic, the hollowed-out husk of a high-brow liberal rag that was once the flagship magazine of white liberal America, has reduced itself to speculating that President Donald Trump has syphilis.
The once-great journal published the theory by Steven Beutler, a doctor specializing in infectious diseases, late last week.
Beutler, who practices medicine in California, diagnoses that Trump’s “bizarre, volatile behavior” is the result of neurosyphilis, a sexually transmitted disease which can spread to the nervous system as well as the brain.
“We know Trump was potentially exposed to syphilis based on his own statements that he was sexually promiscuous in the 1980s, a period when syphilis cases were rapidly increasing in the U.S.,” Beutler explains.
The veteran doctor quotes Trump’s famous 1997 declaration to Howard Stern about his sexual experience.
“It is a dangerous world out there — it’s scary, like Vietnam,” Trump, who obtained several student deferments to avoid serving in Vietnam, told Stern. “It is my personal Vietnam. I feel like a great and very brave solider.”
Beutler notes that part of his medical training is “to ask the right questions to get a sense of what the problem might be and make a list of possible diagnoses that could explain the problem.” The goal is to ask lots of questions and perform lots of tests to “narrow down the list” of potential health problems, “usually to one unifying diagnosis.”
Beutler says Trump exhibits a host of symptoms of neurosyphilis: “irritability, loss of ability to concentrate, delusional thinking, and grandiosity” — as well as impaired judgment and insomnia. “Visual problems may develop, including the inability of pupils to react to the light. This, along other ocular pathology, can result in photophobia, dimming of vision, and squinting. All of these things have been observed in Trump. Dementia, headaches, gait disturbances. and patchy hair loss can also be seen in later stages of syphilis.”
“Two simple blood tests” — and maybe a spinal tap — can establish whether Trump has neurosyphilis, the doctor says.
The sexually transmitted disease is treatable. “Without treatment, however, the disease is progressive: It can make for a rather ugly end to one’s life.”
Al Capone and Franz Schubert had neurosyphilis. The scuttlebutt is that Adolf Hitler, Benito Mussolini, Ivan the Terrible also contracted the disease, Beutler notes.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, garden-variety syphilis causes sores “on or around the genitals, around the anus or in the rectum, or in or around the mouth.”
Neurosyphilis causes severe headaches, “difficulty coordinating muscle movements,” paralysis and dementia.
Trump released an incomplete set of medical records in September.
The golden age of The New Republic was roughly from 1950 to 1995.
In 2012, twentysomething Facebook billionaire Chris Hughes bought the once-venerated liberal outlet and announced that he, as editor-in-chief, would transform it into a “vertically integrated digital media company.” This move proved utterly disastrous. Most of the good writers and editors absconded.
In January 2016, Hughes announced he was selling The New Republic to a lefty political activist.