Allen Frances, a psychiatrist, somehow eluded a gaggle of men with butterfly nets long enough to sit for a segment on CNN. Brian Stelter, CNN’s answer to the banana slicer, had Frances on his humorously-named show “Reliable Sources.” What resulted was a soundbite more asinine, more inaccurate, and crazier than Chris Cuomo sitting alone at a table by himself. Allen Frances actually posited the idea that Donald Trump, tycoon, reality TV star and man with terrible hair-sense, is responsible for more deaths (maybe) than historical dictators whose death tolls are marked in the millions. Behold: this is your brain on Trump Derangement Syndrome.
.@AllenFrancesMD, a psychiatrist, tells @Brianstelter: Trump "may be responsible for many more million deaths" than Adolf Hitler, Joseph Stalin, and Mao Zedong.https://t.co/cBUZVQjhNU pic.twitter.com/RVARyeVnVh
— Julio Rosas (@Julio_Rosas11) August 25, 2019
For the record, accusing someone else of being crazy doesn’t mean you’re not crazy. In fact, I’m going to just come out and say it: Allen Frances is crazy. How would a sane person even equate Donald Trump to Hitler, Stalin and Mao?
The second issue is that calling Trump crazy hides the fact that we’re crazy for having elected him and even crazier for allowing his crazy policies to persist. Trump is as destructive a person in this century as Hitler, Stalin, and Mao were in the last century. He may be responsible for many more million deaths than they were. He needs to be contained but he needs to be contained by attacking his policies, not his person.
It’s crazy for us to be destroying the climate our children will live in. It’s crazy to be giving tax cuts to the rich that will add trillions of dollars to the debt our children will have to pay. It’s crazy to be destroying our democracy by claiming that the press and the courts of the enemy of the people. We have to face these policies not Trump’s person.
When asked why Frances was allowed to spew forth so much word-vomit, Stelter said:
I agree that I should have interrupted after that line. I wish I had heard him say it, but I was distracted by tech difficulties (that's why the show open didn't look the way it normally does, I had two computers at the table, etc). Not hearing the comment is my fault.
— Brian Stelter (@brianstelter) August 25, 2019
Guys, it was totally technical difficulties.
Being the responsible person I am, I decided to crunch some numbers. Here’s what I found: Trump has killed zero people.
Sometimes it may feel like Trump is killing people when he misspells words on Twitter. Sometimes it feels like Trump’s Twitter burns are the same as gassing thousands of people for their religious faith and economical acumen. Sometimes when Trump calls media figures like Jim Acosta idiots, it feels like he’s sending people to death camps never to speak to their families again. But in reality, not quite the same.
Further, Trump saying mean things about the media isn’t ruining democracy. Trump enforcing, or maybe even not enforcing but saying he’s trying to enforce border laws isn’t quite the same as murdering political enemies via firing squad. Trump flipping figurative middle fingers to silly climate change virtue signaling agreements and/or summits isn’t quite the same as murdering farmers and burning their farms and livestock, burying people, cows and horses in mass graves. As much as it may feel the same. As much as certain people in academia want it to be the same. ‘Tis not the same.
The only way Trump has come close to Hitler, Stalin or Mao is if he pointed at their portraits in some museum on a class field trip. Just picture it. Trump sits on a tufted leather bench, sipping from a juice box, taking bites from his Lunchables. Melania takes Baron to the gift shop, offering Trump a packet of gummy bears before she goes.
Also, a reminder: Hitler Loved Gun Control and Actually Hillary Clinton is More Like Hitler than Donald Trump.