Toward the latter part of the Soviet Union’s existence, one of its tools for suppressing dissent was to declare people to be insane and lock them up in a mental hospital for political statements or activity — instead of jailing them. As with the Third Reich, unprincipled and opportunistic doctors could be found to collaborate in this travesty; sometimes, those doctors who refused ended up on the receiving end of this repressive tactic themselves. Religious persons were also subjected to this treatment, and even people who wrote the wrong kind of poetry, histories or novels. (Two excellent books on the subject are A Question of Madness, and Psychiatric Terror.)
In the United States, leftists have tried the same tactic but, because they lack absolute power, this tactic is diluted. Nonetheless, it shows their mentality and how similar they are to Communist totalitarians.
In 1964, there was the infamous case of Republican presidential candidate Barry Goldwater. Because of Goldwater’s unapologetic and very vocal anti-Communist stance, leftist psychiatrists “diagnosed” him with practically every diagnostic label. They declared him to be schizophrenic, megalomaniac, paranoid, divorced from reality, aggressive, narcissistic, with poor hostility control, rigid, immature and, of course, they brought up Hitler and the Nazis a lot. (Leftists always compare their opponents to Nazis and Hitler; it’s a kneejerk reaction). Ronald Reagan and Richard Nixon were likewise “diagnosed” by leftists, also for being anti-Communist. And, of course, this past year we saw an avalanche of numerous bogus diagnoses on Donald Trump, accompanied with demands that he be removed from office once it became obvious that screaming at the skies had no effect on his presidency. At least one former resident of the Soviet Union saw the parallel. Both Communist China and North Korea have also referred to Trump as insane. To my knowledge this tactic has never been employed by a conservative towards a Democratic president; only leftists have done so.
It gets better. Joy Behar, who is Jewish, compared Vice President Mike Pence’s Christian faith to mental illness. In this, she also borrowed a page from the Soviet Union when religious persons were also declared to have mental illness because of their faith.
Declaring political opponents insane by American liberals has extended to other persons besides politicians. Michael Rectenwald of New York University was accused of being insane because he has been fighting against the politically correct culture of the university.
When Dinesh D’Souza was found guilty of illegal campaign contributions, U.S. District Judge Richard M. Berman ordered a psychological evaluation. Two independent psychologists found no mental issues present with the S’Souza. Another psychologist called D’Souza “arrogant” and “intolerant of others’ feelings.” However, these traits, whether actually present in D’Souza or not, are not indicative of mental illness.
And if you thought all that was absurd, climate change also comes into play. According to some, denial of global warming is a sign of mental illness. (Yes, you read that right.) Although most of those who made the claim were not mental health workers, one therapist did weigh in, listing the signs indicative of this debilitating disease. So far, that has not made it to the American Psychiatric Association. Perhaps with time.
At any rate, being a psychologist, I look forward to the day that leftists take over the country. I could use the extra work.
Armando Simón, a retired psychologist, is looking forward to working with our future overlords. Until then, he will continue to write more books like Fables from the Americas, The Only Red Star I Liked was a Starfish and A Cuban from Kansas.
The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not reflect the official position of The Daily Caller.