Remember Missouri’s would be Tea Party “glamour couple,” former State Senator John Loudon and his wife, Dr. Gina Loudon? After John was term-limited out of the state legislature, the couple moved to San Diego where Dr. Gina continued to opine on right-wing radio and occasionally opines on national cable news. Apart from a surprising turn on TV’s sleazy “Wife-Swap,” where the ostensibly evangelical Loudons’ “swapped” spouses with a free-living “polyamorous” family, the couple have been relatively quiet.
Quiet, that is, if you ignore the 2,000 word essay Dr. Gina published, analyzing her responses to her adolescent daughter’s relationship with a 57 year old D-list celebrity. There’s been just a little local right-wing rabble-rousing also, which, cognizant of the themes that are most popular with Trumpies, have emphasized immigrant-baiting and sanctuary city slamming in their new home town.
But it would have been too much to expect that a chancer like Dr. Gina would not try to cash in on the Trump phenomena sooner or later. Armed with nothing more than an online Ph.D. in something called human and organization systems, and without any training or certifications in clinical psychology, she has published a book in which she devotes an entire chapter to claims that Trump might be the “‘most sound-minded’ president in history.” To give you a taste of her methodology in assessing Trump’s mental soundness, consider the following assertion:
Citing “anecdotal research,” Loudon writes that one key to Trump’s mental fitness is the fact that he is the fourth of five children. “Birth order seems to be the foundation for all other factors that create and define the psychology of the person” she writes, citing the book Life’s Fingerprint by Robert V. V. Hurst—a trained dentist who studied his dental patients.
In case, you’re wondering, it’s not so, according to a meta-analysis of sibling and birth order studies published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
But junk-science theories applied with a total unawareness of nuance is only one of Loudon’s tools. She also filled out the Meyer-Briggs Personality Inventory selecting those answers that she thinks best describe Trump (who is not a close personal friend, but who is an an acquaintance), and concludes that he must have “mad presidential skills!” since the test-by-proxy identifies Trump as “ENTJ,” dubbed “the commander” on Personalities.com. Personalities.com yet!
Loudon doesn’t confine her analytical insights to Donald Trump, however. She also asserts, in her role as Dr. Gina, Ph.D, that the recent anonymously-authored New York Times Op-ed showed clear signs of “Trump derangement syndrome.” Stop and think. It’s one thing for a toady to produce a lick-spittle assessment of Trump from afar – and still yet another to go on national TV, as the unqualified Loudon did while hawking her book, and pretend to diagnose a completely unknown individual.
To give Loudon credit, she admits that she lacks the requisite training to substantiate her pronouncements; instead she contends that her ” gut instincts, which have nothing to do with my professional training, are pretty solid.” Remind you of someone else who relies on his (substantial) gut to conduct foreign policy? And indeed, while attempting to refute the commonly held belief that Trump suffers from narcissistic personality disorder – in terms that show she does not actually understand the behavioral characteristics of the condition – she reveals that testing has put her on the “narcissism spectrum.” Quelle surprise.
The book is titled Mad Politics: Keeping Your Sanity in a World Gone Crazy, and it looks like it might be a laugh a minute. Of course, I’m not recommending that anyone buy it, no need to enrich Loudon for producing a book described by one authority on psychological testing as “frankly idiotic” – but libraries were made for books like this. Or, if it’s too embarrassing to check it out, just skim it over the proverbial liberal latte at your local bookstore cum coffee shop.