It often appears that there is no medical or legal theory that is too unhinged to trigger criticism in the media so long as it is targeting President Donald Trump or his supporters. I have previously criticized Dr. Bandy X. Lee who has called for such nonexistent actions as Speaker Nancy Pelosi “putting a medical hold” on Trump. Lee also was prominent among a group of mental health professionals soon after the election to declare Trump mentally ill. Such views are reported without the type of scrutiny that they would normally warrant. Now Lee is again using her credentials in the law and psychology to say that Trump is using subconscious techniques to send “armed troops in the streets,” a technique she explains is used with “child soldiers.” She warns that Trump will not leave office and is pushing the country toward a “massacre.”
I have previously criticized professors and legal experts who regularly distort existing case law to argue that Trump can be charged with over a dozen different crimes connected to an assortment of scandals. Lee, who also writes for Huffington Post, has become the same type of perpetual motion machine of psychiatric theories against Trump. Her most recent expert analysis is that Trump is using standard subconscious technique to enlist the “child soldiers” seen in his supporters opposing the pandemic restrictions:
“Subconsciously, it is a loyalty test for the people. In Africa, where I did some ethnographic work, child soldiers would be recruited and made to kill a family member to demonstrate their allegiance to the government and not to the family. Similarly, in urban gangs in America, one may be challenged to kill a police officer to prove one’s willingness to uphold gang rules over societal rules . . . When Donald Trump suggests that the virus be taken as a ‘hoax’, that people gather in churches or that people protest for their own sacrifice, he is actually testing people’s loyalty to the ‘laws’ of his mind over the laws of nature, or even impulse for survival. The more he abuses them, the greater their devotion grows, since the psychological cost of admitting their mistake is ever higher — and so it becomes easier to dig a well of unreality than to see the obvious truth.”
She adds that this is all supported by her training: “We are now entering my specialty: public health approaches to violence prevention, and how to stop epidemics of violence before they happen.”
Again, MSNBC and CNN and various media outlets regularly (and often correctly) call out conservative experts who make outlandish comments. Yet, Salon and others will report these type of legal and psychiatric theories without a modicum of skepticism, let alone scrutiny. The Salon interview is a case in point. At no point is Lee questioned on whether the suggestions of a massacre and child soldiers might be a tad hyperbolic, or put in the context of her prior assertions.