Letter: Fitness for duty

Published: 11/5/2019 10:54:13 AM


To the editor:

As the chaos mounts there is growing concerns about the unfolding negative behaviors of the current occupant of the White House. Is he fit for duty as the leader of the free world? is on many people’s minds.

One of the most challenging parts of my former counseling work was doing fitness for duty assessment. I was very interested in helping the client and protecting his/her confidentially, yet I also had to seriously consider the basic safety concerns of the workplace and the general public. I’d often have limited information, a time crunch, and a very reluctant client to work with.

The stakes are high with commercial truckers driving Haz-Mat 18 wheelers, airline pilots, workers with high government security clearances, doctors and nurses. Doing evaluations is an art, not a science, where many variables come into play with complex human dynamics. I’d have to write a report with specific recommendations, sign my name... then pray a lot.

Before I received a typical referral I’d ask lots of specific questions about the troubled employee’s observable day-to-day work-related performance and behaviors. Usually by the time trouble shows up at work the underlying issues are very serious.

With Trump, who lives in a public fishbowl, and loves attention, an observer of his job performance certainly does not have to be a trained therapist with 37 years in the trenches experiences to see a deeply troubled human being. His lying and his extra-marital affairs are legendary. His go-it-alone impulsive choices are unpresidential. As the Commander and Chief he would have been court-martialed for his public humiliation of Jeff Session if he were any other officer in the military. And as a self-assessed military genius his throwing the Kurds under the Turkish bus is a disaster for America’s future trust, to say nothing of the release of jailed ISIS fighters.

While many adults remain blinded by Trump, the little first graders can see the king is nude when they ask “Mommy, why does the President say mean things about my school friend, Maria?”...a Latino. To me the mounting evidence is clear on POTUS. Seeing what I’ve observed to date, I’d never sign a report stating he is fit for duty.

Mike Beebe



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