Yale psychiatrist reveals how to tell which side is telling the truth on impeachment
Composite image of Fox News personalities Jeanine Pirro, Sean Hannity and Tucker Carlson (screengrabs)

The new year is expected to feature a Senate impeachment trial and the 2020 presidential election with both sides aggressively pushing their messages to voters.

But what are voters to do if one side simply lies?

That question was addressed on Monday by Dr. Bandy Lee, a forensic psychiatrist at Yale.

"It does not take a professional to notice anymore that almost everything Donald Trump or his supporters say are projections (displacing unbearable thoughts and characteristics of their own onto others in order to disown them)," Lee wrote on Twitter. "They even project projection."

"Hence, when both sides are accusing each other of the same, how do you distinguish which side is right? How do you ground yourself in reality? Giving 'both sides' equal airing does not work but rather privileges the false side, which is motivated to 'win' at all cost," she explained.

Lee went on to list a number of tells that can help voters decide which side should be believed.

"You first look for tolerance of ambiguity: no stance is ever perfect or completely knowable, and, oddly, the side that cannot question one’s stance is giving away falsehood. 'Doubling down,' an inability to apologize or to have remorse is a typical characteristic," she explained.

"In line with an intolerance of ambiguity, you look for a lack of flexibility: the side that is programmed with falsehoods will lack deviation from a restricted, or 'acceptable', range of thought. You may note repetitions of slogans, talking points, and knee-jerk responses," she continued.

"You match against facts: while the false side may not literally be psychotic (a state of detachment from reality), it may be partially so. Personality-disordered people, and even normal people, can temporarily detach from and deny facts with extreme stress," she explained.

"You look for defensive reactions: a 'normal', rational and logical, discussion does not often work with the side that is pathologically avoiding the truth. More facts and evidence will only make things worse," Lee wrote. "You rather look for the cause and fix that cause."

Lee edited the 2017 book The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump, a collection of essays on Trump's mental fitness for office written by mental health professionals.