Donald Trump made a surprise visit to United States troops in Afghanistan on Thanksgiving Day. There, he delivered a speech to the troops that reportedly focused largely on his own claimed accomplishments. According to University of Texas Southwestern psychiatry professor John M. Talmadge, the speech was filled with “‘I am great’ stock phrases,” and in the psychiatrist’s view have grown “stale from overuse and inaccuracy.”
Taking to his Twitter account, Talmadge warned that Trump’s purported self-congratulatory speech in Afghanistan contained “vague claims of vapor-like achievement” that are “typical of dementia, lack of thinking, [and] lack of awareness.”
According to Talmadge, “every audience looks alike” to Trump. As a result, he is likely to deliver the same type of speech to troops in Afghanistan as to supportive audiences in the United States.
Talmadge has been a frequent critic of Trump, issuing repeated warnings regarding Trump’s mental fitness to hold office. The professor notes, however, that his opinions are his own and not necessarily reflective of the University of Texas Southwestern where he is employed.
Trump’s speech to the troops also contained jabs at prior administrations, telling the soldiers that they were fighting for a United States that is, he said, “doing well as opposed to something that was not doing well just a number of years ago,” according to a Slate account of the remarks.
Talmadge has warned in previous remarks that Trump suffers from mental and cognitive impairments that make it impossible for him to formulate a “vision” or “plan” due to his inability, as claimed by Talmadge, to engage in “abstract thinking.”
“Trumpian brain failure is hard for normal people to understand because for normal people, abstract thought is natural, baked in, largely unnoticed,” Talmadge said earlier, as quoted by Newsweek.
Talmadge went on to describe “normal” thought processes as the ability to perceive “consequences, assess risk, [and] make rational decisions.”
In October, according to the Newsweek account, another mental health professional — Harvard University psychologist Daniel Gilbert — said that Trump should be put on a “mental health hold” following a tweet about Turkey. In that tweet, Trump threatened to “totally destroy and obliterate the Economy of Turkey (I’ve done before!).” Trump also boasted in that tweet of his “great and unmatched wisdom.”
Gilbert, at the time pleaded, with politicians from both the right and the left wings of the ideological spectrum to “agree that there is a serious problem here.”
Last Friday, November 22, Trump phoned in to the Fox News program Fox and Friends to air a lengthy series of grievances in a 53-minute, largely one-sided interview. The call prompted another frequent critic of Trump’s mental state, Yale University psychiatrist Bandy X. Lee, to warn that the interview revealed evidence of Trump’s “declining cognitive functions.”
The interview showed “blatantly abnormal signs” that, Lee said, had “raised alarms” for mental health professionals as well as neurologists.