MSNBC national affairs analyst John Heilemann said Wednesday on “Deadline” that President Donald Trump was exhibiting signs of dementia.
Heilemann said, “If you ran into a guy behaving the way Trump behaves at a backyard barbecue in your neighborhood, back when you were still allowed to have backyard barbecues in your neighbor, and you met that guy, you would be expressing sympathy to your relatives saying, ‘Yeah, I’ve had someone in my family who have had issues with dementia.’ But we hesitate to go there because none of us on this show right now are doctors. None of us are qualified to do diagnosis. I’m not qualified to do a diagnosis. I’m not going to pretend like I am. But probably all of us have gone through, I have seen friends and family members in their advanced years have dementia and have cognitive issues. And there are familiar things we have seen in our lives. And there are three things that I have seen in others who have gotten into stages of advanced dementia; one of them is delusional tendencies, another is paranoia, intense paranoia, and the third is—unfortunately, and again, many people, good people, upstanding people have had this problem where you see someone in your family or in a family close to you where someone in an advanced stage of dementia starts to exhibit racist tendencies. They start to say— their submerged racism comes to the surface. You see the 80-year-old, 90-year-old man, often men, who have become paranoid, delusional, and more racist than maybe they exhibited in their first signs of racism or what they low level of racism was exacerbated on that age.”
He continued, “In that Ingraham interview, all of that is on display; comparing the shooting of Jacob Blake to the choking on a three-foot putt, the stuff when he talked about the low-income housing in the suburbs, those were just naked —nakedly racist in the case of the housing claim. The three-foot putt thing has shown such disregard for black lives that it is also clearly racist. And this crazy Antifa plane story. I know some people want to say, well, he’s playing for the Qanon vote, but that is the sounds of a man who is drifting off into the nether world of paranoid, delusional conspiracy theories that unfortunately are a hallmark of dementia.”
He added, “I can’t diagnose the guy, maybe he doesn’t have any dementia at all, but if he doesn’t have dementia, he’s exhibiting signs of a lot of people who do have dementia. I think everyone in this panel is right, and anyone in America who watches this behavior and is terrified by it for the reasons that Plouffe referred to before, nuclear football, they should be terrified. It’s terrifying.”
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