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Does Donald Trump have a learning disability?

Does Donald Trump have a learning disability? I have been considering this as a blog post ever since Trump entered the White House. I am not the first to ask this question. Even his own staff have questioned Trump’s reading ability as described in this article in the Independent.

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/us-politics/donald-trump-mental-health-michael-wolff-learning-disabilities-dementia-adhd-read-semi-literate-fire-a8146176.html

I have been reluctant to write this post due to the stigma around learning disabilities. I know that stigma, having two daughters with diagnosed learning disabilities. I have wondered if I have an undiagnosed learning disability myself. Although I have come to enjoy reading, I struggled with reading and writing in school. After being held back in second grade, a summer school course in phonics helped a lot. I am still a slow reader, but I have gotten better. I am best with newspapers, magazines, and books with simple vocabulary, generally at an 8th grade level. Computers have helped me to write and organize my thoughts. I know that dyslexia and learning disabilities are different from intelligence. People still confuse the two. Trump has even responded to such concerns as an attack on his intelligence, tweeting he is “like, really smart.”

In addition to learning about his lack of interest in books, we learn more about Trump’s writing in his tweets. There are he misspellings and strange grammar. Most recently, he tweeted this: “James Comey illegally leaked classified documents to the press in order of generate a Special Council?” He uses the same spelling for counsel in the second half of the tweet.

Special Council

That led Yashar Ali of New York Magazine to tweet “Not a big fan of making fun of someone’s spelling issues or using it to determine how smart they are. All of my dyslexic friends and family members have a really hard time with spelling but also happen to be the smartest/most creative people I know. I’d say…focus on the content”. In response, John Aravosis of AMERICAblog wrote, “Yes, but that’s because they’re dyslexic. Trump isn’t.” And in response to my questioning, Aravosis wrote, “I’m not sure he isn’t dying of syphillis. But I”m certainly not going to start showing him pity for things we’re all just making up out of thin air.”

Aravosis

I admit I do not know, anymore than anyone else, if Trump is learning disabled, and I am not using that as an excuse to pity him. I will only refer to a bumpersticker I once saw in my Berkeley neighborhood. (BTW Berkeley, CA is considered the birthplace of the disability rights movement, going back to when Ed Roberts studied at the University of California.) The bumpersticker read, “Attitudes are the real disabilities.” If that is the case, then Trump’s real disability is not his struggle with reading, but his refusal to deal with it.

The State of New York has had two governors that were unable to read. The most recent was David Paterson, who is unable to read due to physical disability. Before him Nelson Rockefeller was not only a governor, but a vice president and presidential candidate. Rockefeller was dyslexic. About his struggle with reading, Rockefeller gave this advice:

Accept the fact that you have a problem—don’t just try to hide it.

Refuse to feel sorry for yourself.

Realize that you don’t have an excuse—you have a challenge.

Face the challenge.

Work harder and learn mental discipline—the capacity for total concentration—and

Never Quit.

http://www.memphisdyslexia.org/articles/rockefeller.html 

Trump has a lot of issues that I have previously posted to this blog. They are all reasons why Trump is completely unfit to hold the office of president. If he does have a disability and is unwilling to accept it, this is an indication of a bigger issue with Trump and his self image. Remember that Trump the candidate ridiculed a reporter with a physical disability. I am sure that Trump considers disability a weakness, and he does not want to appear weak. It is entirely consistent with how he projects himself to the world. He builds himself up by knocking others down. He can’t take a joke at his own expense and is unable to laugh at himself. He never apologizes or admits he is wrong. He seems obsessed with his masculinity. Trump considers any attack that reveals him to be weak to be an attack his masculinity.

Trump may be intelligent, but he has shown himself to be mentally lazy. Not only does Trump not read, he doesn’t listen either. Worse still, he doesn’t care. He doesn’t know, and he has no interest in learning.

I don’t want to sound ageist, but it is true that, as we get older, we become less likely to change. Trump is 71. If he is disabled and his real disability is his attitude, I doubt that is going to change.

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April 22, 2018 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment