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The Hare Psychopathy Checklist is a 20 item-symptom rating scale that compares a subject’s degree of psychopathy with a typical psychopath. It’s scored zero, one or two depending on how well a characteristic applies to the subject being tested.
Donald J. Trump has been President of the United States for six months. Many hoped he’d become more presidential, thoughtful and strategic once he assumed the office. But what we saw during the campaign has continued during his presidency. And Trump is not going to change.
So how does Donald J. Trump rate on the Hare Psychopathy Checklist?
- Glib and superficial charm: His Twitter feed is awash with random statements about policy and people. He’s charmed his way into the hearts and heads of many Americans with the glib promise to “Make America great again.” — 2 points
- Grandiose self worth: “People love me. And you know what, I’ve been very successful . . . my IQ is one of the highest and you all know it!” — 2 points
- Seek stimulation, prone to boredom: A classified memo told intelligence analysts to keep Trump’s daily briefing short and easy on nuance. It confirmed speculation that he has a short attention span and is prone to boredom. He’s also prone to making allegations to stimulate a reaction. “An extremely credible source has called my office and told me Barack Obama’s birth certificate is a fraud.” — 2 points
- Pathological lying: Where to start? The Pulitzer Prize winning website PolitiFact maintains 69 per cent of his campaign and presidential statements thus far are mostly false. — 2 points
- Conning and manipulative: Trump University is a classic example. Calling himself, “The most celebrated entrepreneur on Earth” he lured thousands of unsuspecting people into taking bogus real estate courses. In a recent class action, some 3,700 former Trump University students were awarded $25 million in fraud claims. — 2 points
- Lack of remorse, guilt: Following the shooting at a LGBTQ night club in Orlando that left 49 dead and 53 wounded, the shooter claimed allegiance to the Islamic State. Rather than showing remorse and empathy for those killed or wounded, he tweeted. “…appreciate the congrats for being right on Islamic terrorism; I don’t want congrats, I want toughness and vigilance . . . I said this was going to happen.” — 2 points
- Shallow affect: In 1999, on NBC News he said, “I’m very, very proud to say I’m pro-choice.” More recently he told CPAC, “I’m pro-life.” No one disagrees more with Donald Trump than Donald Trump. — 2 points
- Callousness: He sees the five million frightened Syrians fleeing a horrific civil war as potential terrorists and has made every effort to “keep radical Islamic terrorists out of the United States.” — 2 points
- Parasitic lifestyle: Trump has a long history of exploiting others by bankrupting his companies in order to avoid paying contractors and suppliers. After profiting extensively from the Taj Mahal Hotel and Casino he left the trades holding the bag while avoiding personal bankruptcy. — 2 points
- Poor behavioural controls: Justin Frank, professor of psychiatry at George Washington University, speculates that Trump may have a form of ADHD. He has a pressing need to be heard and an inability to contain anxiety for very long. This could explain Trump’s early morning tweets. — 2 points
- Promiscuous sexual behaviour: At least twelve women claim they were sexually harassed by Trump. He claims he’s the “victim.” — 2 points
- Early behavioural problems: Trump admits to delinquent behaviour in his book The Art of the Deal, “As an adolescent, I was mostly interested in creating mischief.” At 13 he was sent to the New York Military Academy to try and modify his behaviour. — 1 point
- Lack of realistic goals: He won the presidency by advancing questionable values and a host of unrealistic promises: Building a wall that Mexico will pay for; Stopping Muslims from entering the country; Paying off the National Debt while increasing military spending and cutting taxes. — 2 points
- Failure to accept ownership of one’s actions: Trump’s response to the Syrian gas attack was to blame Obama. He called the Russian “hack” a hoax and then blamed Obama the same day. — 2 points
- Impulsivity: The late Wayne Barrett, a distinguished American journalist, wrote a 1992 book about Trump. In it he said, “Donald just has no interest in information. He has no genuine interest in policy. He operates by impulse.” — 2 points
- Irresponsibility: Early in the presidential campaign, USA Today journalist Steve Reilly published a five chapter exclusive under the headline, Hundreds allege Donald Trump doesn’t pay his bills. The series revealed Trump has faced more than 3,500 lawsuits stemming from refusal to pay people and firms for services rendered. — 2 points
- Short-term marital relationships: Trump has been married three times. While using his fake spokesperson name “John Miller” he’s been known to boast about cheating on his wives. — 2 points
The remaining items on the checklist apply to criminals: juvenile delinquency, revocation of conditional release, and criminal versatility.
By my reckoning Trump already scores 34 out of 40. The Hare Psychopathy Checklist states anyone scoring over 30 has the presence of psychopathy. I’m not a qualified examiner so you have every right to question my conclusion that President Trump is a psychopath.
However, there are more than 25,000 signatures on a U.S .petition which says, “We the undersigned health professionals believe in our professional judgement that Donald Trump manifests serious mental illness that renders him psychologically incapable of competently discharging his duties as President of the United States.” It goes on to ask he be removed from office.
It seems I’m not alone.
R. Michael Warren is a former corporate director, Ontario deputy minister, TTC chief general manage and Canada Post CEO. email@example.com
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