Michael Gerson, a Washington Post columnist and former speechwriter for George W. Bush, has a simple message when it comes to President Donald Trump’s mental state: It’s time to panic.
In his Friday column, Gerson slams Republicans — starting with House Speaker Paul Ryan — for keeping their heads in the sand when it comes to openly talking about Trump’s mental stability and fitness for the office of the presidency.
“It is no longer possible to safely ignore the leaked cries for help coming from within the administration,” he writes. “They reveal a president raging against enemies, obsessed by slights, deeply uninformed and incurious, unable to focus, and subject to destructive whims.”
Gerson goes through a long list of Trump’s character flaws, but he says that the president’s mental fitness for the office is the one trait that really keeps him worried at night. He then argues that Republicans cannot keep counting on advisers such as Chief of Staff John Kelly and Defense Secretary James Mattis to keep Trump in check forever.
“The time for panic and decision is upon us,” he writes. “The thin line of sane, responsible advisers at the White House — such as Chief of Staff John F. Kelly, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson — could break at any moment. Already, Trump’s protests of eternal love for Kelly are a bad sign for the general’s future. The American government now has a dangerous fragility at its very center.”
In his conclusion, he calls GOP silence over Trump’s fitness “deafening and damning,” while calling out for more of them to act like “vertebrates” by asking hard questions about the president’s mental stability.