WHILE many of us bandy about psychiatric terms as if we are clinical experts, the fact of the matter is that aside from qualified expertise, other intangible ingredients can lead rational folks to an approachable diagnosis. Moreover, when taking into account the collective actions (or lack thereof) of the POTUS, what becomes necessary is a modicum of intelligence, a keen eye, a grounding in American history, as well as an understanding of America’s historical place in the geo-political sphere. Little more is required.
Think about it. Let’s start with the actual clinical definition and its overall character traits, or lack thereof:
Most psychopaths aren’t Hannibal Lecters, but they can be almost as destructive. There might be one in your workplace; you might even be dating one. Know the warning signs.
What is a psychopath?
A psychopath is not simply a nasty person, and, although Hollywood portrayals have promoted this perception, not all psychopaths are criminals. The following definition is from internationally renowned psychopathy researcher Robert Hare:
“A social predator who often charms and manipulates his or her way through life. Psychopaths are completely lacking in conscience and in feelings for others; they take what they want and do as they please without the slightest sense of guilt or regret.”
Callous lack of empathy
Probably the most significant characteristic of all, lack of empathy means that psychopaths are unable to understand and identify with the feelings of others. There is a cold lack of interest in someone else’s pain or discomfort. This is one of the main reasons psychopaths are so potentially dangerous: they can be cruel and callous because they aren’t put off, as a normal person would be, by any sympathy for their victims’ suffering.
Lack of empathy allows a psychopathic murderer to kill cold-bloodedly; but it may also allow a non-violent psychopath to trick aged parents out of their savings without remorse, for example, or to not hesitate before crushing a business competitor.
As Hare has pointed out in his book Snakes in Suits, the modern capitalist world of business, which in many ways is geared towards rewarding ruthless behaviour, often allows functional psychopaths to rise in the ranks.
“We live in a ‘camouflage society’…in which some psychopathic traits – egocentricity, lack of concern for others, superficiality, style over substance, being ‘cool’, manipulativeness and so forth – increasingly are tolerated and even valued.”
Conning, manipulative, deceitful
Because psychopaths lack empathy, it’s easy for them to view other people as mere objects to use for their personal gratification, and they have no qualms about lying and manipulating to get what they want. Lying and conning comes easily to them too, because they don’t feel the shame and anxiety about getting caught out most of us would when being deceitful.
Some psychopaths are past masters at spinning elaborate tales about themselves; others are less sophisticated and lie clumsily. When they do get caught out in a lie, however, they’re most unlikely to own up to it, will brush it off and continue with new avenues of deception.
Psychopaths don’t only lack empathy – they lack normal emotional range and depth. They may feel some emotion, but only very superficially. Hare has described the emotions that psychopaths do feel as “proto-emotions: primitive responses to immediate needs”.
They may appear stony and cold emotionally, but they also often feign emotions by observing normal people’s responses, as part of the mask they show to the world. They learn how to imitate emotional reactions, although some are better at this than others, and they do slip up. For example, they may learn how to use stock phrases of condolence when someone dies, but on their lips these can sound oddly mechanical. Sometimes they misread situations and respond inappropriately, perhaps with a joke when a partner is trying to tell them something heartfelt.
Psychopaths may have sudden, brief emotional flare-ups, particularly of one emotion: rage. They can become explosively, violently angry if they don’t get their way or feel they have been insulted or not treated with the respect they invariably believe they deserve. These outbursts tend to be short-lived however, and, once over, the psychopath will not appreciate how much his behaviour might have upset those around him, and expects others to “get over it”.
Psychopaths can be highly charming and persuasive, and smooth talkers. Many come across as confident, dominant personalities, even leaders (history is littered with psychopathic dictators).
Their charm can be very effective in attracting people initially, and this includes romantic and sexual attraction. Most psychopaths are men, and those who become romantically involved with them, primarily women, frequently become their victims.
Grandiose sense of self-worth
Psychopaths tend to have very high opinions of themselves, and think themselves better than others. This further allows them to feel justified in using and manipulating people. Their inflated self-worth is coupled with a strong sense of entitlement to money, status symbols, or whatever they feel is owing to them.
Prone to boredom; thrill-seeking
Psychopaths have a low tolerance for boredom and an excessive need for excitement and stimulation, in part because they don’t feel emotions, including fear, intensely. This often leads to risk-taking and law-breaking; they may be drawn to take part in dangerous sports and activities, and have a high rate of drug abuse.
Impulsivity and irresponsibility
Psychopaths often act on the spur of the moment with little concern for the consequences of their actions. They often quit work with no alternative employment options, or suddenly end relationships, and tend to have histories of many job changes and multiple short romantic connections; they may have been married several times.
True psychopaths are rare, and would be likely to possess several of the characteristics mentioned here (although not necessarily all). Some people may have psychopathic tendencies, or could be placed somewhere on the scale between normal and psychopath.
Thus, as the economy falls off a cliff; as Americans become increasingly desperate about the future; as soldiers are killed on U.S. bases; as scandal after scandal erupts under the POTUS’s watch; as America’s standing falls to its lowest depths during any time in U.S. history; plus too many other failings to count, what exactly is Barack HUSSEIN Obama doing, other than going to fundraisers, golfing and enacting fiat after fiat, as if he is a God-like figure? What kind of normal person, let alone leader of the free world, behaves this way?
You guessed it…a psychopath!!
It is safe to say that most politicians these days could be diagnosed with a range of mental conditions, and many would likely be labeled sociopaths or psychopaths.
David Freeman, in an Huffington Post science piece, quotes clinical psychologist Dr. Stout, who points out that though the psychopath may not feel “higher emotions” like love and guilt, they may not have actual consciences, but they study those of us who do – and “simply pretend.”
Psychologists say early signs of psychopathy include compulsive lying, blaming others for any failures or shortcomings and often torture of animals for curiosity sake. Psychopaths tend to do things to study consequences, without concern for long-term impact. I know, it sounds like most politicians today. And it probably is, not to mention any names.
As Mr. Freeman points out in his article, psychopaths make a great first impression. He points to other characteristics, too. He points to the initial popularity of Pol Pot, Hitler, Ceausescu and others, but the golden boy image quickly fades to one of a ruthless, inhumane manipulator with very dark intentions.
No one can make a mental diagnosis from afar, and I am certainly not qualified to make that diagnosis. But it is interesting to consider some characteristics when combined with actions of President Obama since he took office. He certainly had the initial charisma and likability. He had the perfect-looking family with the perfect-looking face at the perfect time for America to fall for him. No matter what his opponents pointed to, no one questioned him for fear of being labeled racists.
Psychopaths often act audaciously, without regard for those affected. They get away with actions that others in their positions haven’t, because of their ability to remain calm even when committing atrocities, and their ability to manipulate whole groups of people.
Obama has taken more luxury vacations than any other president, and he has done so as the American economy was in collapse for his policies. He has taken his entire family and spent tens of millions of dollars in exotic, luxe locations like Hawaii, Vail, Europe and Africa. His predecessors made Americans increasingly familiar with places like Camp David and Martha’s Vineyard or their own vacation homes such as the Bushes’ Kennebunkport, the Kennedys’ Cape Cod, the Reagans’ Rancho Del Cielo in California or George W’s exotic locale, Crawford, Texas. Other presidents were exceptionally sensitive to the state of the American people, foregoing vacations when the American people were mourning or hurting economically – not the Obamas. When the economy was at its worst, gas prices were at record highs, and Americans were going without vacations and other needs, Obama extended his wife and daughters’ vacation in Spain.
But luxe vacations are just the beginning. Obama has golfed more than any other president. On days when America has been under attack, on days when military heroes have died, on days when the nation is mourning – still Obama finds time for a game of hoops with a hip-hop star or a round of golf with a key contributor. His advisers had to pull him off the golf course to talk him into taking out Osama bin Laden.
When conservatives decry this point, the statist media scoff. Tone deafness and personal excesses are only relevant when Republicans are accused. Remember the ridicule over the fake issue over Bush 41′s apparent introduction to the grocery store scanner? Such media protection emboldens.
Nothing has changed.
After the second round of murders of government-guaranteed defenseless Fort Hood soldiers last week, Obama mustered a tear or two for cameras before slipping out the back door to head to a $32,000-per-plate party for himself.
This pattern of inauthenticity would be very difficult, even debilitating for someone with an intact conscience, in my opinion.
But audacity is a manifestation of psychopathy, and Obama is a master of audacity. He has exacted more items into law by the capricious act of executive order than any other president in such a short period of time. Traditionally, this is only done in very rare instances, because presidents know that the American people will not stand for that sort of tyranny. In Obama’s case, it is explained away, if mentioned by media at all, with whinings of “the other party’s obstructionist acts” or “someone else forced the president to act so cavalierly.”
That brings us to another habit of the psychopath – blaming others. First, Obama and his cronies blamed President Bush for just about everything. They blame the tea party for any bad press, the Koch brothers for any mishaps and Congress for Obama’s tyrannical executive orders and the removal of the filibuster as a means of defense against Obama’s imperial appointments.
The truly skilled psychopath can make his own biases look like they are the shortcoming of his opponent. When the New Black Panther thugs with clubs were intimidating voters during the 2008 election, those who voiced concern were called racist and alarmist for even bringing up the issue. Once elected, Obama had his attorney general, Eric Holder not only drop all charges but actually drop convictions! President Obama accuses others of racial bias, when it is he who is one of the worst.
One of the psychopath’s favorite tactics is the pity party. In a recent interview with New Yorker Magazine, the president continued to complain about those who hate him for his race. The psychopath will use those who call them out for their actions to gain sympathy and President Obama is adept at using anyone who criticizes him to get the public to feel sorry for him. As mentioned earlier, he is able to blame his tyrannical abuse of the executive order power on those terrible obstructionist Republicans who hate him because he is black.
Another common trait of the psychopath is a mysterious and shady past. We know very little about President Obama’s formative years and little about his college years. Records are sealed or withheld, and requests for them are dismissed as ridiculous requests from paranoid detractors.
The psychopath is great at connecting personally with people and convinces everyone that he is just like them. President Obama is just a normal guy who likes movies, basketball, golf and likes to play video games. Experts call it mirroring.
Perhaps the most frightening symptom of the psychopath is to kill while keeping their own hands clean. Obama takes full credit for killing Osama bin Laden to the point of both stealing the glory from our Navy SEALs and at the same time betraying the existence of SEAL Team Six and exposing them to unwarranted assassination risk – risk that resulted in the worst catastrophic loss of life in the history of the SEALs. Did Obama take responsibility for that? He certainly spent far less time mourning their loss or taking responsibility for their deaths than he did taking credit for being tough dealing with terror.
While he did take credit for bin Laden, he has not taken any responsibility for deaths resulting from Fast and Furious, the gun-running operation that has put guns in the hands of Mexican drug cartels that have most certainly cost American and other lives. He has not only never expressed any sense of responsibility for that, he has shown no remorse. And worse, he capitalizes on the situation by singing the praises of gun control.
Perhaps most flagrant act of this president, if we are looking at evidence of psychopathy, is the lack of any substantive remorse, or responsibility shown for what happened to two Navy SEALs, an American ambassador and an information management officer, at the hands of vicious terrorists in Benghazi. The American public has repeatedly expressed outrage and fury for the lies and manipulations that cost these precious American lives, but the administration has arrogantly dismissed, excused and ignored any culpability or held anyone to account.
No one knew that Pol Pot, Hitler or Ceausescu were psychopaths until they knew. Could America be more perceptive, more insightful, more predictive of a psychopath in leadership before it is too late?
NOW that we have a firm diagnosis to hang our analysis on, let’s also hear what a leading forensic psychiatrist has to say about America’s “dear” leader:Forensic Profiling Unmasks The Leader Of The Free World!
MORE than a national nightmare. Frighteningly global in scope!