Dr. Internet Can’t Diagnose Pelosi Gaffes
Dr. Internet Can’t Diagnose Pelosi Gaffes
Nancy Pelosi sure seems to have trouble with speaking off script. She fumbles with words, rephrases her statements, and oftentimes presents facial tics that seem a bit off. And when that happens, web surfers love to call on the expertise of Dr. Internet, who is more than happy to diagnose Pelosi with dementia or other health issues.
For example, here’s a headline recently posted at a conservative website:
“Pelosi botches words, suffers face spasms, confuses Dems, GOP while vowing no border wall funding.”
“What’s wrong with Nancy Pelosi?”
“The House Speaker spoke to reporters today for only about 21 minutes, but there were plenty of strange moments as she botched words, suffered face spasms and brain freezes . . .”
To demonstrate, the website posted this video:
That’s less than three minutes from a 20-minute presentation. Hasn’t Covington taught us anything about using edited clips?
Now that particular website is not alone, either. Joe For America asked if Nancy Pelosi had ‘dementia’ since she fumbled President Trump’s name with President Bush. Another site, News Punch, claimed “Nancy Pelosi has Stage 6 Dementia” because “six doctors” say so — even though the author doesn’t name the doctors.
However, Joe for America published its piece almost two years ago, and News Punch published their “diagnosis” last year. One thing we know about Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia is that they’re progressive illnesses, and I’m sure not much has changed about the way Pelosi fumbles verbally.
But let’s look at the other side, shall we?
Two years ago, the liberal HuffPost asked this question:
“Is Trump Suffering From Dementia?”
It cites a blogger who calls himself “The Neurocritic,” who “uses discourse analysis to assess cognitive decline.” The Neurocritic took a critical look at Trump’s word-salad style of speech, and came up with this conclusion:
“Am I going to diagnose him with anything? Of course not. That’s unethical! But I will say that since Mr. Trump has been a public figure for nearly 40 years, we can objectively analyze his spontaneous speech and quantify any changes over time. . . . We don’t know what’s normal age-related decline and what’s pathological.”
Sounds like that would confirm what the HuffPost crowd already believed. Dr. Internet made his diagnosis, and you know they can’t put anything on the Internet that isn’t true.
And then there’s The Inquisitr with its hair-on-fire question:
“Does Donald Trump Have Alzheimer’s? Questions About GOP Frontrunner’s Mental Fitness Arise”
The author, whom I noticed does not have an MD or PhD after her name, insisted that Trump take a mental fitness test and release results.
Once again, this is an old article — from nearly three years ago. Has President Trump’s alleged “Alzheimer’s” progressed?
Can we just stop relying on Dr. Internet to corroborate our confirmation biases?
Neither Trump nor Pelosi speak well off-script, which is a problem a lot of people have. Our pastor, for example, has a brilliant mind — he was a geologist before he entered the seminary. His sermons are often scholarly, and he delivers them well. But his impromptu remarks after the service are a whole other country. Every other word is “um” when he’s simply trying to tell the congregation that Compassion-in-Action is having a bake sale after church.
As for Pelosi’s “face spasms” — is there a dental bridge that’s giving her trouble? Or dental implants? Or even a piece of romaine stuck behind her front teeth?
How would any of us fare if we were famous and Dr. Internet spotted us using our tongue to dislodge a popcorn hull from our back molars?
However, there’s one thing that could help with aging congress critters: term limits. Nancy Pelosi is now 78 years old, and has represented her San Francisco district for over 30 years. This should be the time Pelosi realizes that her shelf life is up, but “she isn’t going anywhere,” according to TIME. Nor does she care what anyone thinks of her. That’s no longer ‘service’ to your nation and constituency, and I think we should be more concerned with Pelosi’s attitude than her gaffes.
But until term limits becomes reality — let’s stop using Dr. Internet to diagnose politicians we don’t like with cognitive and mental illness. The diagnoses are usually wrong, and they also work both ways, don’t they?
Featured image: Brand X Studio.