US Senator John McCain was diagnosed with brain cancer soon after his speech patterns suggested something might be terribly wrong.
The cognitive impacts of a glioblastoma include changes in personality – speech difficulties and ‘changes in ability to think and learn’.
Yes John McCain’s questions were odd but they were still coherent.
Which brings us to the other half of this problem – Donald Trump.
This week President Donald Trump sat down for an interview with the New York Times – that newspaper he hates so much and yet still craves attention from.
Headlines from the encounter are focussed on Trump’s unusual attack on his own Attorney General – Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III for recusing himself from the FBI’s Trump-Russia investigation.
But the transcript reveals a wider nightmare; repeated bizarreness – jumbled thoughts – even incoherent speech.
His descriptions of World War II would not seem out of place on Drunk History.
It’s not a new problem.
To be blunt John McCain has brain cancer and still makes much more sense than President Trump.
This cancer is known to wreck cognitive havoc but McCain is still more coherent more reasonable and less volatile than the president.
The possibility has been discussed before but John McCain’s sad diagnosis brings it into sharp focus for me.
In the McCain case troubling speech was indicative of an awful, organic disease.
In the Trump case we can only guess and hope the global impacts are not too severe.
Earlier this year Stat News reported that a linguistic analysis of Donald Trump’s many media appearances through the decades show a sharp decline in his cognitive capacity.
One analysis has suggested he now speaks at a sixth grade level (age 11) though most 11-years-olds might disagree with that.