There is certainly no shortage of Harvard academics these days expressing alarum over President Donald Trump’s, uh, “unmatched wisdom,” but the latest one to speak out is a psychologist. Edgar Pierce Professor of Psychology Daniel Gilbert saw fit on Monday to respond to Trump’s threat to Turkey by urging bipartisan condemnation of the president.
While some lampooned the president’s tweet (as you can see below), others–Gilbert among them–expressed urgent concern.
Trump just tweeted about his “great and unmatched wisdom.” In related news, here is a picture of him staring and pointing at an eclipse. pic.twitter.com/3FqQrSVYNO
— Joseph Scrimshaw (@JosephScrimshaw) October 7, 2019
In Gilbert’s view, the Trump tweet — which was sent as hawkish Republicans were criticizing the president’s decision to withdraw U.S. troops from Syria, making way for a planned Turkish invasion of the region and leaving Kurdish allies to die — should be seen as a “serious problem,” regardless of political allegiances.
Trump, while touting his “great and unmatched wisdom,” threatened to “totally destroy and obliterate the Economy of Turkey” if it does anything he considers to be “off limits.”
“Am I the only psychologist who finds this claim and this threat truly alarming? Wouldn’t these normally trigger a mental health hold? Right and Left must set aside politics and agree that there is a serious problem here,” Gilbert said.
Am I the only psychologist who finds this claim and this threat truly alarming? Wouldn’t these normally trigger a mental health hold? Right and Left must set aside politics and agree that there is a serious problem here. https://t.co/1JJvznG1oU
— Daniel Gilbert (@DanTGilbert) October 7, 2019
Others were quick to jump in and say they’ve been “ringing alarm bells” for years.
No, you are not. We have been ringing alarm bells for over three years. Always too soon, apparently. https://t.co/Op3UfTF4gy
— Aunt Emma (@yourauntemma) October 7, 2019
Even Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), not an individual who normally criticizes President Trump, said the decision to remove troops from Syria “would only benefit Russia, Iran, and the Assad regime” — all of them powers hostile to American interests.
“While the physical caliphate has been removed, ISIS and al Qaeda remain dangerous forces in Syria and the ongoing Syrian civil war poses significant security and humanitarian risks,” McConnell said. “I urge the President to exercise American leadership to keep together our multinational coalition to defeat ISIS and prevent significant conflict between our NATO ally Turkey and our local Syrian counterterrorism partners.”
“Major new conflict between Turkey and our partners in Syria would seriously risk damaging Turkey’s ties to the United States and causing greater isolation for Turkey on the world stage,” McConnell continued. “As we learned the hard way during the Obama Administration, American interests are best served by American leadership, not by retreat or withdrawal.”
[Image via Mark Wilson/Getty Images]