Stop Calling Donald Trump Neurodivergent

Content/trigger warning: slurs (censored), discussion of ableism

Stop trying to diagnose Trump. Stop trying to diagnose Trump. Stop trying to diagnose Trump.

It is ableist, full stop. Specifically, it is saneist, unless you’re diagnosing him with a neurodevelopmental disability (or just calling him the r-slur) instead of a mental illness, in which case it is neurotypicalist. In any case, it is an act of bigotry. Donald Trump is currently one of the most famous ableists alive after his public ridicule of Pulizter-winning journalist Serge Kovaleski (except most people tokenize him as simply “that disabled reporter”, seeing him as a prop to use to insult Trump as opposed to an actual human being). So congratulations, you have put yourself on Trump’s level. Are you happy now?

Oh, and don’t just stop with the diagnoses; stop the ableist language, too. I’ve listened to Rachel Maddow call Trump “cr*zy”. I have heard interviewees on  criticizing Trump’s policies and beliefs call him a “l*natic”. I have seen articles written by mental health professionals pontificating on what symptoms Trump displays. And I am so fucking fucking tired of mental illness being shat on by so-called liberals and progressives in the name of social justice. Armchair diagnoses of Trump—yes, even those made by psych professionals—are rooted in the idea that such a morally reprehensible person must be mentally ill, thereby conflating evil and bigotry with mental illness. I don’t care if he is mentally ill. He may be; I’m not his shrink (although frankly, I don’t think he is; I think he’s just what you get when you have that level of privilege). Conflating evil and bigotry with mental illness is an act of bigotry that is morally wrong.

Every time I see an armchair diagnosis or hear Trump referred to by a neurotypicalist slur, I think, “this person hates me because of my brain” or “this person thinks I’m less than human”. And they don’t just think this of me, either. Under the bus with me are my best friend, an ADHDer with PTSD from a car accident; my found sibling, who has anxiety; a close friend from college, who has trypanophobia and bipolar 2; and my younger sister, who is recovering from an eating disorder. When anyone besides a mental health professional who is counseling Donald Trump—you know, people who aren’t actually qualified to diagnose him—calls Trump a “l*natic”, “cr*zy”, “ins*ane”, “s****path”, “p****path”, or even just “mentally ill”, they are actively harming the mentally ill community. “But Mara, what if I didn’t use that kind of language, or just referred to his entourage as mentally ill?” Then you’re still guilty. Referring to his campaign as “schizophrenic” or his supporters as “delusional” or “psychotic” are other examples of saneist bullshit.

Carrie Fisher hated Trump. She once Tweeted that if Trump were to become president, it would no longer be the highest office in the land. She, like me, chose to reclaim “cr*zy”. When you call Trump “cr*zy” or slap him with an armchair diagnosis of NPD or ASPD or what have you—and if you refer to his tendency to change his mind about policy as “bipolar”, I will hunt you down and beat you with my copy of Wishful Drinking—you are disrespecting the memory of a mentally ill icon. If you don’t care about some random blogger chick feeling dehumanized, fine. But I’m sure that if Carrie were alive, she’d not appreciate the demonization of mentally ill people in order to critique a repugnant, evil person. And she wouldn’t take that shit. Neither will I.

So what do you do instead? Call him what he is, accurately: a morally bankrupt asshole. A liar. Willfully ignorant of reality. Incredibly far up his own ass. A racist, ableist, homophobic, sexist bastard. See? There are ways to describe Trump’s execrable behavior without resorting to bigotry.

I’m too pissed off to keep going with this. Just stop engaging in bigotry in order to criticize a bigot. No quote today either because fuck everything.



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