Posted by: Bruce Allen | May 29, 2020

Trump’s Psychopathy Score–95%

© Bruce Allen

A healthy number of Americans, as well as numerous citizens of other countries around the globe, casually refer to the President of the United States, Donald Trump, as a psychopath. Since he became president in 2017 he has said and done innumerable things to reinforce this opinion. But the label itself is vague, often misused, and not generally held up to any kind of examination. It is mostly an expression of outrage for a miserable excuse of a man whose execrable, inappropriate behaviors elicit shock and anger among sentient human beings around the world.

A smidgen of research reveals a scientific screen useful in determining whether someone who happens to be the leader of the most powerful nation on Earth is, indeed, a psychopath or just an ignorant, poorly-briefed asshole. It does not answer the exasperating question of how such a defective damaged individual could ever become a city councilman, much less president. Enter the Hare Psychopathy Checklist.

“The Hare Psychopathy Checklist-Revised (PCL-R) is a diagnostic tool used to rate a person’s psychopathic or antisocial tendencies. It was developed in the 1970’s by Dr. Robert Hare, a Canadian professor and researcher renowned in criminal psychology, who has spent three decades studying the concept known as the psychopath and based partly on Hare’s work with prison inmates in Vancouver.”–from the Doc Zone blog on the Canadian Broadcasting website, by Ann-Marie McDonald.

Screenshot (435)Cutting and pasting from a lovely article by Meagan Drillinger appearing on the Thrillist website in January of 2016, here is the 20-item list, along with the Ms. Drillinger’s take on the meaning of each. I have inserted my own Trump-specific observations in red:

Glib and superficial charm: The tendency to be smooth, engaging, charming, slick, and verbally facile. Psychopathic charm is not in the least shy, self-conscious, or afraid to say anything. A psychopath never gets tongue-tied. They have freed themselves from the social conventions about taking turns in talking, for example. Trump exhibits this trait as well as anyone with an 800 word vocabulary can.

Grandiose self-worth: A grossly inflated view of one’s abilities and self-worth, self-assured, opinionated, cocky, a braggart. Psychopaths are arrogant people who believe they are superior human beings. No explanation necessary.

Need for stimulation or proneness to boredom: An excessive need for novel, thrilling, and exciting stimulation; taking chances and doing things that are risky. Psychopaths often have low self-discipline in carrying tasks through to completion because they get bored easily. They fail to work at the same job for any length of time, for example, or to finish tasks that they consider dull or routine. Ditto.

Pathological lying: Can be moderate or high; in moderate form, they will be shrewd, crafty, cunning, sly, and clever; in extreme form, they will be deceptive, deceitful, underhanded, unscrupulous, manipulative, and dishonest. His most definitive characteristic. An inability to tell the truth. A compulsion to lie even when it’s not necessary, even when video exposing the lie is readily available.

Conning and manipulativeness: The use of deceit and deception to cheat, con, or defraud others for personal gain; distinguished from Item four in the degree to which exploitation and callous ruthlessness is present, as reflected in a lack of concern for the feelings and suffering of one’s victims. Ask Michael Cohen or any of the numerous others he has casually thrown under buses during his time on Earth. On deck: Mike Pence.

Lack of remorse or guilt: A lack of feelings or concern for the losses, pain, and suffering of victims; a tendency to be unconcerned, dispassionate, cold-hearted, and non-empathic. This item is usually demonstrated by a disdain for one’s victims. On vivid display every day.

Shallow affect: Emotional poverty or a limited range or depth of feelings; interpersonal coldness in spite of signs of open gregariousness. Ditto.

Callousness and lack of empathy: A lack of feelings toward people in general; cold, contemptuous, inconsiderate, and tactless. His response to 100,000 pandemic-related deaths is Exhibit A.

Parasitic lifestyle: An intentional, manipulative, selfish, and exploitative financial dependence on others as reflected in a lack of motivation, low self-discipline, and inability to begin or complete responsibilities. Spending over $133 million of taxpayer money on his golf outings since becoming President is but one example.

Poor behavioral controls: Expressions of irritability, annoyance, impatience, threats, aggression, and verbal abuse; inadequate control of anger and temper; acting hastily. This item constitutes a good example of Trump’s character in microcosm.

Promiscuous sexual behavior: A variety of brief, superficial relations, numerous affairs, and an indiscriminate selection of sexual partners; the maintenance of several relationships at the same time; a history of attempts to sexually coerce others into sexual activity or taking great pride at discussing sexual exploits or conquests. Evidenced by the 20 or 30 women who have come forward claiming he has sexually assaulted them.

Early behavior problems: A variety of behaviors prior to age 13, including lying, theft, cheating, vandalism, bullying, sexual activity, fire-setting, glue-sniffing, alcohol use, and running away from home. Described in some detail in the book Trump Revealed: The Definitive Biography of the 45th President, by Michael Kranish and Marc Fisher. He was sent off to a military boarding school for misfits at age 13.

Lack of realistic, long-term goals: An inability or persistent failure to develop and execute long-term plans and goals; a nomadic existence, aimless, lacking direction in life. Bored with real estate and television, he decided to run for president as a lark, with no real hope of actually winning.

Impulsivity: The occurrence of behaviors that are unpremeditated and lack reflection or planning; inability to resist temptation, frustrations, and urges; a lack of deliberation without considering the consequences; foolhardy, rash, unpredictable, erratic, and reckless. He has been criticized, by me and others, as not having policy positions, but instead having policy moods, which change from day to day.

Irresponsibility: Repeated failure to fulfill or honor obligations and commitments; such as not paying bills, defaulting on loans, performing sloppy work, being absent or late to work, failing to honor contractual agreements. His record of not paying bills, suing and screwing contractors and suppliers, etc. is legendary. He still owes the District of Columbia government $7.3 million for costs associated with his inauguration festivities in 2017.

Failure to accept responsibility for own actions: A failure to accept responsibility for one’s actions reflected in low conscientiousness, an absence of dutifulness, antagonistic manipulation, denial of responsibility, and an effort to manipulate others through this denial. Most recently, he announced on TV that he takes no responsibility for the pandemic and the 100,000 deaths it has caused in the U.S.

Many short-term marital relationships: A lack of commitment to a long-term relationship reflected in inconsistent, undependable, and unreliable commitments in life, including marital. Ivana, Marla, Melania…

Juvenile delinquency: Behavior problems between the ages of 13-18; mostly behaviors that are crimes or clearly involve aspects of antagonism, exploitation, aggression, manipulation, or a callous, ruthless tough-mindedness. Op cit, Kranish and Fisher.

Revocation of conditional release: A revocation of probation or other conditional releases due to technical violations, such as carelessness, low deliberation, or failing to appear. No parole violations of which I’m aware, due to his ability to buy his way out of trouble. This is the only item on the list on which he fails to secure a perfect score.

Criminal versatility: A diversity of types of criminal offenses, regardless if the person has been arrested or convicted for them; taking great pride at getting away with crimes. Trump Foundation, Trump University, payoffs to porn stars and centerfolds, boasting about his ability to get away with shooting someone in the middle of Fifth Avenue, etc.

Fortunately for Donald Trump, roughly a third of Americans share at least a few of his pathologies and approve of his behaviors. These people, exhibiting group psychosis, are referred to as The Trump Base. They are generally white, under-educated (high school diploma or less), gun-toting alcoholic racists. I say, if one is going in for sweeping, slanderous generalizations, one might as well go all in.

For the few poor souls reading this, you can now refer to President Trump as a psychopath comfortable with the knowledge that, at least in a clinical sense, you are right on. Americans planning to vote for Trump in November should keep in mind the old adage, “Fool me once, shame on you.” You can say that in 2016 you were unaware that he is mentally and morally deficient. In 2020, those characteristics are on full display.


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