Former President Donald Trump is "desperately" trying to convince himself that he is not declining into dementia and has the mental acuity to take on President Joe Biden in 2024 – and he is terrified of how he looks to others, wrote Heather Digby Parton for Salon on Monday.
This is made apparent by one of his weekend rants on Truth Social, she argued, in which he proclaimed, "In a phony and probably rigged Wall Street Journal poll, coming out of nowhere to softened the mental incompetence blow that is so obvious with Crooked Joe Biden, they ask about my age and mentality. Where did that come from? A few years ago I was the only one to agree to a mental acuity test, & ACED IT."
"Despite the fact that he's 77 years old and would be 78 when he re-assumes the presidency should he win in 2024, he seems to think that's off limits because he 'aced' the Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA) test given to him some years ago by his favorite White House doctor Ronny Jackson," wrote Parton, referencing the infamous test in which Trump boasted he could repeat back the phrase "Person, woman, man camera, TV."
This sort of test is not something to be proud you "aced," she noted — it exists solely to flag signs of mental decline. And moreover, he actually admitted it was hard for him, she said.
It is "pathetic" that Trump obsesses over his performance over this test, wrote Parton. "And it's very telling. It's one thing to just assert that you are a very stable genius, as preposterous as that is, but it's quite another to brag about passing a very rudimentary memory test over and over and over again."
All of this comes as Biden, aged 80, similarly faces hand-wringing from both punditry and some supporters over his age and health — although he appeared to impress even a Fox News correspondent with his nonstop work into the night during an Asian policy summit over the weekend.
It also comes as Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), another longtime party leader, has had mounting questions over his health after fall scares and multiple instances where he seemed to freeze up while talking.
But even if Trump is far from the only politician getting pressured by his age, argued Parton, he is the one most visibly bothered by it.
"It's quite obvious that Trump is clinging to that test as a way to reassure himself that he's not impaired. But, of course, he is, and on some level he knows it," wrote Parton, quoting his niece Mary Trump who pointed out, "His talking about the dementia test the way he's talking about it is failing the dementia test." Trump, she concluded, ultimately fails the test "every time he talks about it. He just can't seem to stop himself."