End of rationality:

The politics of mental pathology


Dr. Bandy X Lee

Forensic psychiatrist

In conversation with:

Jonathan Lemire

Journalist, MSNBC “Way Too Early” host
White House Bureau Chief for Politico

In the new era of politics, the psychological manipulation of voters is seen as more expedient than offering and driving solutions for citizens' core issues. In Social Media's stupor, the truth seems to be freely opposed, devalued, or at best ignored. To win public office today, performance politics and tugging on constituents' emotional strings are increasingly more powerful tools than offering field expertise and policy solutions. This unmooring from reality is contagious, numbing, and self-sustaining; it is the biggest threat to our democracy.

In a wide-ranging and timely conversation with Jonathan Lemire, world-renowned forensic psychiatrist Dr. Bandy Lee will share insights on the importance of mental fitness in candidates and also the collective mental health of their core supporters. Dr. Lee points out the ineffectiveness of traditional methods of fighting misinformation and emphasizes the crucial role politically unaffiliated, neutral mental health professionals could play in explaining the mass psychosis and mitigating its growth. She also offers guidance on how we can all contribute to restoring faith in democratic institutions and in truth.

Time will be allocated for Q&A.

Cosponsored by Harvard and Princeton Clubs of Washington DC

Bandy X. Lee, M.D., M.Div., is a forensic psychiatrist and violence expert who taught at Yale School of Medicine and Yale Law School for 17 years, was a fellow of the National Institute of Mental Health, and a consultant to the World Health Organization (WHO).  In addition to her clinical work in correctional and public-sector settings, she was director of research for the Center for the Study of Violence, director of Yale’s Violence and Health Study Group, president of the World Mental Health Coalition, and now cofounder of the Violence Prevention Institute as well as faculty member of the Harvard Program in Psychiatry and the Law.  She consulted with governments on violence prevention programming internationally and within the U.S., as well as helped with prison reform, including New York City’s notorious Rikers Island.  She wrote the textbook, Violence: An Interdisciplinary Approach to Causes, Consequences, and Cures (Wiley-Blackwell, 2019); authored more than 100 peer-reviewed articles and chapters, edited 17 scholarly books and journal special issues, and penned almost 300 op-eds in outlets such as The GuardianThe New York TimesThe Boston GlobeThe Independent, and Politico.  She became known to the public for organizing her colleagues and editing the New York Times bestseller, The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump: 37 Psychiatrists and Mental Health Experts Assess a President (Macmillan, 2017 and 2019). 


Jonathan Lemire is the host of “Way Too Early” on MSNBC and a political analyst for MSNBC and NBC News. He is also the White House Bureau Chief for Politico. His first book, “THE BIG LIE: Election Chaos, Political Opportunism, and the State of American Politics after 2020," was released in July 2022 and was an instant New York Times bestseller. Prior to joining Politico in October 2021, Jonathan was a White House reporter for The Associated Press where he covered two presidential administrations, first Donald Trump and then Joe Biden. He also covered the 2016 and 2020 presidential campaigns as well as both domestic politics and foreign policy. In addition to his hosting duties, Lemire is a daily presence on "Morning Joe" as well as a frequent guest on other MSNBC programs. Before joining the AP in 2013, he spent more than a decade at the New York Daily News, covering the 2012 presidential election, City Hall and the September 11th terrorist attacks. He graduated from Columbia University, grew up in Massachusetts and thinks entirely too much about the Boston Red Sox.

March 13, 2024 at 6:30pm - 8pm


Washington, DC
United States

Miyako Yerick


Will you come?