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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.
The terms psychopath and sociopath are often used interchangeably, even by mental health professionals. The symptoms are somewhat consistent between the two: lack of conscience, no moral compass, manipulative, low range of emotions, interpersonally insensitive. The psychopath is deadly. He is well spoken, charismatic, fearless, controlling, socially potent, a habitual liar, calm to a disturbing degree in the face of chaos and cold hearted. He is a master at blaming others.
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?