I’m going to hold silent on the Manafort and Cohen guilty verdicts for the time being. Although I will say that Cohen flipping, with his lawyer stating that he’s ready to “tell everything about Trump that he knows”, really makes things serious for camp Trump. Trump’s presidency, having had the strings of his campaign pulled by Nixon-loving Roger Stone, is likely to end in the same way as Tricky Dicky’s.
America will stand for a lot of things, but it won’t stand for treason.
I’ve been on a bit of a Jon Ronson kick lately, having just finished reading his 2011 book, The Psychopath Test. In this book Ronson follows a lead (from Scientologists no less) to Broadmoor Psychiatric Hospital, where he’s been told of a man named “Tony” who pretended to be insane in order to avoid jail time.
As Ronson researches what it means to be a psychopath, and follows multiple leads to various aspects of life where psychopaths can be found, he comes across the Hare Psychopath Test, a list of twenty questions developed by Dr Robert D. Hare.
The test is called into question throughout the book, with the main criticism being that it’s an over-simplification of a particularly serious diagnosis. However, in the past it has been used to identify known psychopaths. So my conclusions were that the test could never be used to diagnose anyone who is borderline, only someone who scores 35+ out of the potential 40 — A definite psychopath.
I took the test myself, naturally, out of fear of secretly being a psychopath. Ronson and I both have anxiety disorders, and I’d also read that high levels of anxiety lead to high levels of empathy — which surely wouldn’t make me a psychopath.
I scored 6 out of 40. A normal and harmless score. I am no danger to society, according to Hare.
One of the suspected psychopaths whom Ronson visits is Al Dunlap, a corporate executive who specialises in turning business around for its shareholders, due to the intense pleasure he gets from firing employees — a practice he finds to be easy and enjoyable.
Dunlap, who lives in gold-adorned rooms containing lots of pictures of himself, brags about being friends with many world leaders. He also mentions his closeness to Donald Trump, a man who at the time was simply a failed businessman and reality-show star, but one who bragged and projected the image of success.
And so we come to Trump. I’ve always wondered to what level this man is a sociopath, and upon reading the conversation between Dunlap and Ronson I can’t help but wonder if Trump is actually a psychopath.
So below I’ll put the list of twenty questions, of which you must score a 1 for partial application and 2 for perfect match, and we can together decide if the President of the United States is a psychopath (according to one, very overly-simplified checklist).
1) 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.
2) 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.
3) 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 a 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.
4) 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.
5) Conning and Manipulativeness — The use of deceit and deception to cheat, con, or defraud others for personal gain; distinguished from Item #4 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.
6) 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, coldhearted, and unempathic. This item is usually demonstrated by a disdain for one’s victims.
7) Shallow Affect — Emotional poverty or a limited range or depth of feelings; interpersonal coldness in spite of signs of open gregariousness.
8) Callousness and Lack of Empathy — A lack of feelings toward people in general; cold, contemptuous, inconsiderate, and tactless.
9) 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.
10) Poor Behavioural Controls — Expressions of irritability, annoyance, impatience, threats, aggression, and verbal abuse; inadequate control of anger and temper; acting hastily.
11) Promiscuous Sexual Behaviour — 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.
12) Early Behaviour Problems — A variety of behaviours prior to age 13, including lying, theft, cheating, vandalism, bullying, sexual activity, fire-setting, glue-sniffing, alcohol use, and running away from home.
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.
14) Impulsivity — The occurrence of behaviours 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.
15) Irresponsibility — Repeated failure to fulfil or honour obligations and commitments; such as not paying bills, defaulting on loans, performing sloppy work, being absent or late to work, failing to honour contractual agreements.
16) 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.
17) 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.
18) Juvenile Delinquency — Behaviour problems between the ages of 13-18; mostly behaviours that are crimes or clearly involve aspects of antagonism, exploitation, aggression, manipulation, or a callous, ruthless tough-mindedness.
19) Revocation of Condition Release — A revocation of probation or other conditional release due to technical violations, such as carelessness, low deliberation, or failing to appear.
20) Criminal Versatility — A diversity of types of criminal offences, regardless if the person has been arrested or convicted for them; taking great pride at getting away with crimes.
Personally, I scored Trump at a 33/40, which would put him two points away from ‘definite psychopath’ and within the murky waters of ‘possibly a psychopath’. I was fair on a couple of the questions and scored a 1 where others would score a 2, just because we don’t know some aspects of his life for absolute certain.
Did you take the test for Trump or for yourself? I’d love to know if I have a genuine psychopath reading my blog, although I highly doubt it. You guys must be fairly empathetic to read the words of someone writing about absolutely nothing every morning. Let me know of your scores in the comments section, I’d love to know.
Today is Wednesday, August 22nd and my cat’s favourite toy is a drinking straw.
Tip My Jar?
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