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Sunday, July 19, 2015

Donald Trump not a sociopath

On Saturday, the nation let out a collective gasp -- or chortle, depending on political affiliation -- when Donald Trump declared that John McCain is not a war hero. (“He’s not a war hero….He’s a war hero because he was captured. I like people who weren’t captured.”)

Virtually everybody was shocked and appalled that Trump would denigrate McCain's service this way. Whatever you think of McCain as a Senator, as a Presidential candidate, or as a human being, the one thing about him that is absolutely undeniable is his heroism in Viet Nam. McCain turned down the opportunity to be released from captivity early because he felt it wouldn't have been right to leave his fellow American captives behind.

This happened while Donald Trump was getting five separate deferments.

In a roundabout way, Trump's repulsive statement is actually proof that he's not a sociopath. If he were a sociopath, he'd be a lot slyer with his smears, a lot better at fooling people, and a lot better at seducing -- rather than repelling -- an electorate.

Yes, Trump is a narcissistic personality. In fact, far more narcissistic than most narcissists. He's just a walking, talking, bloated ego, always full of bombast, always full of hot air, and always full of himself. He is unable to open his mouth without boasting.

Yet there's something naive, almost innocent, about the way he brags. He seems to have no idea how off-putting he is, and what kind of impression he is making. He comes across a little like a five-year-old when he boasts, a five-year-old who has no idea the kind of impression he's making.

And that's why nobody took him seriously as a candidate.

(Honestly, in a weird sort of way, I almost find Trump's boasting cute. Funny, even.)

In any case, sociopaths aren't like that. They're far better at hiding their true natures, at paying lip service to the proper ideals, at putting up a false front of humility, and at reading people and telling them what they want to hear.

Trump is just a big fat kid with a lot of money -- who likes to boast about that money. And evidently his money makes him think he can kick El Chapo's ass, or convincingly criticize McCain's war record. Trump even sees his money as qualification enough to be President.

That's the nature of narcissism.

But not of sociopathy. (A sociopath might think those things, but he'd be too sly to actually say them.)

59 comments:

Mark Caplan said...

Rolling Stone magazine's long 2008 profile "John McCain: The Make-Believe Maverick" debunked the story that McCain heroically rejected early release from prison:

What McCain glosses over is that accepting early release would have required him to make disloyal statements that would have violated the military's Code of Conduct. If he had done so, he could have risked court-martial and an ignominious end to his military career. "Many of us were given this offer," according to [Phil] Butler, McCain's classmate who was also taken prisoner. "It meant speaking out against your country and lying about your treatment to the press. You had to 'admit' that the U.S. was criminal and that our treatment was 'lenient and humane.' So I, like numerous others, refused the offer."

John Craig said...

Mark --
Interesting, thank you. I hadn't heard that (or, if I had, I'd forgotten). I'd say turning down the offer was still heroic, even if less so, given the conditions of the Hanoi HIlton. And, frankly, anyone who voluntarily went over to Viet Nam in the first place was, in some form of fashion, heroic. I realize the draft compelled a lot of people to go over who didn't want to, but the service academy guys were all essentially volunteers.

Personally, I can't stand McCain. I agree with Steve Sailer's assessment of his invade-the-world-invite-the-world policies. He was a horrible husband, dropping his first wife because she had been in an auto accident and gotten fat during his time in Viet Nam, and pretty obviously marrying the second for her money. But, he was tortured during his captivity because of his resistance to his captors, and I think his heroism is still undeniable.

Anonymous said...

Steve Sailer has an interesting write-up on McCain being America's "Tokyo Rose." The evidence that he was tortured has been questioned. And considering his father and his grandfather were both 4-stars, I'd say that military service was a safe bet for success for him.

High Arka said...

If "heroic" really is relative, then what McCain (theoretically) did would've been heroic.

Absent that, though, what would've been (actually) heroic would have been to say whatever, be released, and then attack the camp single-handedly. Or to do something more practical, like remember the camp's location and be able to guide future missions to it to liberate the other soldiers.

More broadly, on the notion of the "heroism" of volunteering to kill people in another bankers' war, who is a hero? The soldier of Rothschild France who thinks he's fighting for Napoleon, or the soldier of Rothschild Britain who thinks he's fighting against Napoleon?

Similarly, in the context of the Seventh Federal Reserve War (being conservative--1914 invasion of Tampico, WW1, 1917 invasion of Russia, WW2, Korean War, 1953 invasion of Iran, Vietnam War), who is a hero: the soldier of Zion-America who thinks he's fighting for freedom in Vietnam, or the soldier of the UZSR who thinks he's fighting for freedom in Vietnam?

John Craig said...

Anon --
McCain's policies have been horrible for America, no question. And yes, with a father and grandfather who were both admirals, McCain's path in life did seem a little foreordained. I hadn't heard that his torture had been questioned. Still, even so, I'm going to stick with the notion that anybody who voluntarily put himself in harm's way is heroic.

John Craig said...

High Arka --
I doubt that McCain, if released, would have had the opportunity to attack the prison camp single-handedly, Rambo-style. And even remembering the camp's location might have been difficult.

Yes, many of the wars we've fought have been unjustified. In fact, most wars that have been fought anywhere are hard to justify. However, it's not the cause of the war that determines individual bravery at the front lines. Many of these soldiers, rightly or wrongly, felt they were fighting for their country. And yes, they were volunteering to kill others; but they were also putting themselves in danger while doing so, and it's that that determines their heroism.

The Iraq War is now widely viewed as unjustified. But does that take away from the heroism of a soldier who throws himself on a hand grenade to save his buddies? Of course not. Does it take away from the heroism of a more typical soldier who knows there's a chance re may well be killed if he gets into a firefight? Of course not. You can't expect these 18- or 22-year old kids to determine whether, in the global scheme of things, this war is justifiable or not. All they know is that they're fighting "for their country."

Mark Caplan said...

Here is what is going on under the surface when we lavish praise on our servicemen as "heroes" and "warriors." We are manipulating them to willingly sacrifice themselves for our selfish benefit. It's highly cynical, driven by the conviction that the "hero" service personnel aren't too bright and will be readily taken in by our psychological deception.

I say this having been taken in myself by the writings of Steven Pinker ("The False Allure of Group Selection") and Jonathan Haidt (The Righteous Mind).

As Pinker wrote:

"What could evolve, instead, is a tendency to manipulate others to become suicide attackers [or volunteer soldiers], and more generally, to promulgate norms of morality and self-sacrifice that one intends to apply in full force to everyone in the group but oneself. If one is the unlucky victim of such manipulation or coercion by others, there's no need to call it altruism [or heroism]...."

(If anything falls under the heading of "Just Not Said," this would be it.)

John Craig said...

Mark --
I'm sure that is going on, no question. The foot soldiers in any war are (noble) sheep, while the string-pullers are selfish and Machiavellian. And it's probably been that way since humans first became human.

I've often thought that the suicide bombers themselves aren't necessarily evil people, whereas those who manipulate them into becoming suicide bombers are.

I remember when Bill Maher said after 9/11 that those bombers, whatever else they were, certainly weren't cowardly, and he had all sorts of opprobrium heaped on his head, and he had to apologize afterwards, and lost his show "Politically Incorrect" as a result. (That was probably the only politically incorrect thing he ever said, too.) But, he was right. Those suicide bombers, however evil and destructive their act, were not cowards.

mark said...

I kind of like Trump too and his lack of self awareness. He doesn't seem to realize how big of a blowhard he actually is. Both McCain and Trump went into the family business. When McCain called 12,000(a Trump number so it might be high) people crazy I suspect he thinks that those 12,000 people are actually pretty stupid. Why, because they disagree with John McCain! I suspect the average IQ of those 12,000 is slightly higher then the national average but it wouldn't surprise me if their were very few extremely intelligent people suffering in the crowd listening to Trump. I would hope not. That is how it works, disparage 12,000 anonymous yokels and that is less of an offense then disparaging one US senator. Cause we know John and we really don't give a damn about the faces in the crowd.

John Craig said...

Mark --
I'm not quite with you on actually LIKING Trump, his ego is too bloated for that, but I do find his off the cuff candor refreshing. It's certainly a huge change from oat of the candidates, and it's the exact diametric opposite of Hillary.

You make a great point, McCain insulted a huge crowd of people and nobody but Trump called him on it. And you're right, extremely intelligent people tend not to hang out in huge crowds like that. But McCain did start the fight; I just wish Trump had chosen one of the many very good reasons to insult/criticize him for and not the one thing that he ought not to be insulted for.

mark said...

Trump fights back too much. Not a fan of Rosie but Trump really was tough with her. McCain isn't even running for office so Donald should save his ammo for his actual competition.. On the other hand, I do find Trump funny and that goes a long in this field. McCain and to greater degree Romney lost to Obama because they weren't tough enough. Romney criticized Obama's tax rates while the Democrats criticized Romney's ethics. What is the more damaging charge? Trump would be tough enough but probably too crazy to become commander in chief.

Anonymous said...

http://www.unz.com/runz/american-pravda-when-tokyo-rose-ran-for-president/

Shaun F said...

John - As i'm am advocate for anything that entertains me, I enjoy what Trump brings to the table. As far as his arrogance is concerned - there is this (anonymous) comment which I found that best describes my sentiment - "Sure, Trump may be clownish, arrogant, and self-aggrandizing, but it’s an honest arrogance. The entire system holds you in contempt and wants to destroy your culture; every wanna-be chekist, SJW, bureaucrat, and politician is arrogant enough to think they should be able to dictate what you think, what you say, what you eat, what guns you can own, what you buy, what you drive, etc. Compared to that contempt, that insufferable, smug, all-consuming arrogance hidden under a thin veil of ‘the greater good’, a bit of honest old-fashioned arrogance is a breath of fresh air. As for clownishness, nothing Trump has done or could do could possibly compare to ‘a thrill up my leg’ and the outright worship everybody bestowed upon Obama 8 years ago." With Trump, When you're that big....it's gonna get to your head somehow. Remember Ross Perot? "Ross is the Boss" or somthething to that effect?

Mark Caplan said...

Trump's actual words were McCain was a war hero, which Trump repeats over and over! Here's the 55-second clip taken at the Family Leadership Council, where even the clip's title on YouTube states the opposite of what you'll see and hear:

"Donald Trump Attacks John McCain's Vietnam War Service"

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PlCIzW-i28E

Lucian Lafayette said...

Trump is not a sociopath, he simply lacks a "filter" in many of his verbal expressions. I have run into a number of people like this and as best as I can tell they are not even borderline sociopaths. They often appear to feel genuine embarrassment if a social faux pas is pointed out to them. I wonder if this is some sort of recognized condition?

Shaun F said...


John - I just finished reading this, and I think it's fair comment concerning Trump. It doesn't need to be posted, but I was going to email it to you, but I don't have your email. this is by Mark Steyn who is generally fairly switched on:


But here's the funny and consequential thing. Trump is supposed to be the narcissist blowhard celebrity candidate: He's a guy famous for erecting aesthetically revolting buildings with his "brand" plastered all over them, for arm-candy brides, for beauty contests and reality shows. The other fellows are sober, serious senators and governors.

And yet Trump is the only one who's introduced an issue into this otherwise torpid campaign - and the most important issue of all, I would argue, in that ultimately it's one of national survival. And so the same media that dismiss Trump as an empty reality-show vanity candidate are now denouncing him for bringing up the only real policy question in the race so far.

What he said may or may not be offensive, but it happens to be true: America has more Mexicans than anybody needs, and then some. It certainly has more unskilled Mexicans than any country needs, including countries whose names begin with "Mex-" and end in "-ico". And it has far more criminal Mexicans than anybody needs, which is why they make up 71 per cent of the foreign inmates in federal jails. Just to underline that last point, a young American woman was murdered for kicks in a supposed "sanctuary city" on the eve of the holiday weekend by an illegal immigrant from Mexico. He had flouted US immigration law for years - or, to be more precise about it, local, state and federal officials had colluded with him in the flouting of US immigration law, to the point where San Francisco's sheriff actively demanded the return of this criminal to his "sanctuary city", thereby facilitating the homicide of an actual citizen, taxpayer and net contributor to American society.

This would be quite an interesting topic to air in a US election campaign, don't you think? Certainly, a segment of voters seems to be interested in it. But bigshot media like NBC and Univision and craphole emporia like Macy's are telling Trump and everybody else: you can't even bring this up; this is beyond discussion. The "acceptable" Republican candidates are now obliged to denounce the guy who mentioned the unmentionable: "Will you distance yourself from Trump's controversial remarks? Do you agree such views have no place in your party?" Needless to say, Reince Preibus and the other jelly-spined squishes of the GOP establishment are eagerly stampeding to do the Macy's-Univision-industrial complex's work for them.

The Donald is not really a conservative, nor much of a Republican. He's given more or less evenhandedly to both parties over the decades, because, at Trump's level, that's just the price of doing business in a sclerotic and corrupt republic. The Clintons attended one of his weddings, because, for New York operators, that's like the King of Spain attending the Prince of Wales' wedding: it's just A-list power-schmoozing. Whether the Chinese Politburo would respond positively to a President Trump whose opening conversational gambit is "Now listen, you muthaf**kers" is doubtful.

Yet Trump, like other philosophically erratic politicians from Denmark to Greece, has tapped into a very basic strain of cultural conservatism: the question of how far First World peoples are willing to go in order to extinguish their futures on the altar of "diversity".

Quartermain said...

Whatever Trump's faults are, I still find him a better candidate than Jeb or Hillary.

John Craig said...

Mark (from 4:55PM) --
Trump is unquestionably a narcissistic personality, so he doesn't take insults well. He can't laugh and roll with the punch, but must punch back, as viciously as he can, hence the attacks on McCain and O'Donnell. Personally, I can't stand O'Donnell, so sort of enjoyed his attacks on her.

Agreed, both McCain and Romney weren't attacking Obama the way they should, they were probably inhibited by the possibility of accusations of racism to say anything too hard-hitting, so they played softball while Obama attacked both of them without inhibition and with impunity.

John Craig said...

Anon (from 5:00PM) --
Wow. I read that entire article, and it was quite persuasive. The author, Unz, exuded common sense and good judgment while proposing a theory that most would think of as paranoid and only believable by the conspiracy-minded. I wonder if it's true. He didn't present any hard proof, only the word of several (mostly unnamed) people who were theoretically in the know. But he is persuasive. And I know from reading him in the past that Unz is brilliant.

John Craig said...

Shaun F (regarding your 5:17 comment) --
"As i'm am advocate for anything that entertains me, I enjoy what Trump brings to the table" -- I like that.

And yes, "honest arrogance" is a good way to describe Trump and it has a lot to do with why people are resounding to him. That, and the fact that he's been the only candidate of either party to talk honestly about unlimited immigration from the south and what it means for this country.

John Craig said...

Mark Caplan --
I saw the complete clip and while he does say that McCain is a war hero, he also says that he is not, contradicting himself. I don't think he was misquoted.

John Craig said...

Luke --
I'd classify Trump as an uninhibited narcissist. His narcissism is apparent from the fact that he cannot open his mouth without uttering some sort of boast (whether he's running for President or not). And he obviously doesn't have a lot of inhibitions. So….

John Craig said...

Shaun --
I had seen that Steyn piece and yes, it is great. Sums up the whole Trump situation perfectly.

John Craig said...

Allan -
Amen.

mark said...

I think Trump's arrogance is on display when he calls so many people stupid. He does really think he is much starter then most people. Trump without a filter. I wonder how much his age has something to do with this. McCain doesn't have much a filter either and then you have Bill "gotta pay the bills" Clinton. All of these guys are close to 70 or 80 and they might be suffering or enjoying elderly tourette's syndrome. I hope Trump sticks around for at least, a couple of debates.

John Craig said...

Mark --
With some of these guys, if they had a normal filter they wouldn't have gotten as far as they did. Clinton is unquestionably a sociopath, for all I know McCain may be one too. Back in '00, I thought that of the four leading contenders at the time (him, Bush, Gore, and Bradley), he was the most sociopathic, as evidenced by his crashing of four airplanes yet his continued willingness to be a pilot, his wildness in his youth, his uncontrollable temper, his flouting of the rules at Annapolis and elsewhere, and his treatment of his wives. But if he hadn't been who he was, he never would have ended up a US Senator. And if Clinton had had the normal set of inhibitions, he would never have ended up as President.

My brother once said that the difference between the guys who make it bi gin business and those who don't is that the guys who do well think they can do it, whether or not they can. And somehow, they fake it till they make it. It's probably the same with the three you just mentioned.

mark said...

Totally disagree with you. Clinton was reckless but he kept things hidden. I don't think you will find many instances when he said the wrong thing or made a vulgar joke(Although McCain made a vulgar joke about the Clintons). Clinton ran as a centrist. All the small ball policies were good enough to keep the opposition at bay without spending too much money.
Not that I blame them, but aside from McCain none of these fellows said lets go to front line in Nam, have a wild time and pad my resume for future political office. I am not a Clinton fan but even though he may not have lived family values, he wanted people to believe he did and aside from a blue dress many people would have believed it. McCain doesn't really care what people think about his family values but McCain lost. Today, McCain and Clinton(Does he really want Hillary to win?) might be more loose but Clinton especially, wasn't that way in the 90's.

John Craig said...

Mark --
You're right about Clinton being far more judicious with his words, but when i said he didn't have a filter, I meant he didn't have a filter on his personality, not his words. (You're using language more accurately than I am, when most people say "filter" they're referring to the one that keeps people from saying dumb things; I'm probably using the word wrong to mean "inhibitions," what keeps people from doing th wrong thing.) I wrote about Clinton's sociopathy here:

http://justnotsaid.blogspot.com/2010/08/sociopath-alert-bill-clinton.html

Everything you say about the way Clinton governed is true, but I was referring to his personal life as a liar, rapist, and compulsive womanizer 00 and the same lack of inhibitions that caused him to be that way in his personal life also allowed him to uninhibitedly corrupt and dishonest in his political life, and that's why he got as far as he did. He said whatever he had to whenever he had to, currying favor with various power brokers on his way up (Stephens and Tyson in Arkansas, and various others when he ran for national office). Most of the electorate couldn't see through him, so he flourished.

With McCain, the same lack of inhibition that he displayed in his personal life allowed him to marry for money so that his wife's family could finance his first campaigns for office, and say whatever was necessary to succeed nationally. He didn't quite go all the way the same way Clinton did, but he came close.

You're right though, neither clinton nor McCain would say the first thing that came into their minds the way Trump does.

Mark Caplan said...

Initially Trump says McCain wasn't a war hero, meaning he wasn't a hero for waging war, killing the enemy, degrading its forces. He immediately explains that McCain was a war hero for getting captured. He repeats that for emphasis: McCain was a war hero.

Trump never contradicted himself, although it might look that way when you read and not hear his words. Certainly the Mainstream Media wants to take down Trump, so twisting his words and his message is fair game for them.

Quartermain said...

I am sick of Juan McCane. Here are some links on him:

http://www.unz.com/article/mccain-and-the-pow-cover-up/#comments

http://gotnews.com/busted-yes-john-mccain-is-a-traitor-heres-the-proof/

http://rockcreekfreepress.tumblr.com/post/35321150/navy-releases-mccains-records

And Pastor Manning weighs in on Trump telling him to keep going on the illegal alien issue:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1bcCn0bFWPs

mark said...

Thank you for your replies. I am not a fan of Bill or Hillary Clinton. I guess I saw an honest approach to politics by Bill Clinton when I read the Brock article in the mid nineties. Basically, he had to get 40 or 45 percent of the white vote to win. Now I hated that strategy, but I could see where he could chose to be fairly honest and not pander too much to win. I'm not from Arkansas so I don't know how much he pandered to win there. Now Tsongas, called him pander bear in 1992 which I thought was funny. But Tsongas had his own serious health problems so how honest he was 1992 could be debated. I assume the young Clinton was a kiss up to get the Democratic nomination and once he got that all he had to do was rely on the Blacks to keep him in office if he ran respectably with whites. Obama took this strategy nationwide. When it gets right down to it, Clinton fans annoy me much more then Clinton does. If he really is as bright as they think he is, being Governor or even President seems like such a waste. Think what he could have done in the sciences without bickering with politicians.

John Craig said...

Allan --
Thank you for all those, I'll get to them later.

John Craig said...

Mark --
Thank you for your comments.

Clinton was awfully slippery. Don't know if you read that post I linked, but he basically lied about practically everything when it came to his personal life and himself. I actually thought that as big a sociopath as he was, he WAS quite smart, far more so than Obama. He was good on his feet, and very slick. But when you're in a goldfish bowl like the White House, being slick won't hide your true personality for too long. I'm annoyed by Clinton fans too, the same way I am by Obama fans: they give their guy too many free passes, and will not admit the most obvious, glaring personality faults of either.

John Craig said...

Allan --
Just finished reading your links. Very convincing. I'm not 100% about the POW's, but the USS Forrestal disaster should have gotten more publicity than it did, and I hadn't know that his father was one of the ones actively involved in the coverup of what really happened to the USS Liberty. Plus the conflicting accounts of how he injured his arm does raise some serous questions.

Quartermain said...

OT:

Speaking of Navy Admirals, Rear Admiral George Stephen Morrison of Gulf Tonkin fame was the father of Jim Morrison of the Doors.

Has nothing to do with the post but I thought it interesting.

John Craig said...

Allan --
That IS interesting, thanks. I knew Morrison's father was an admiral, but hadn't known about the Gulf of Tonkin connection.

What great music they made, and what a voice he had.

High Arka said...

A lot of people have great voices. But as we all know, the western economies are meritocratic, and it's completely coincidence that Jim Morrison, Al Gore, and George W. Bush all became famous, powerful people.

John Craig said...

High Arka --
I'm with you two-thirds of the Way. Al Gore and George W. Bush were both obvious cases of nepotism. But Morrison was genuinely talented. (And I doubt that Admiral Morrison had much sway in the LA music scene.)

High Arka said...

Oh, certainly. I'm not saying that Morrison wasn't talented; the more important issue is, how many other guitarists didn't get those opportunities?

Look at Bill Clinton--he is an extremely talented liar and salesman. If anyone "deserves" to be the puppet executive of a tax factory, it's him. But I don't think that he got there by merit alone. I bet there are used car salesmen out there who have more natural talent and gumption than Bill, and that it was Bill's talent combined with unfair opportunity that got him where he was.

(The issue is about the opportunity cost to society more than it's about any individual case of unfairness.)

John Craig said...

High Arka --
Circumstance and luck are always involved in anyone's rise.

I suppose it also depends what you mean by merit. I agree with you about Clinton's talent as a liar and salesman. But I suppose it depends on what you mean by "merit." Morally speaking, he's a sociopath, the lowest of the low. But it was that sociopathy which allowed him to be dishonest, corrupt, shameless and slick enough to rise to the very top even without family connections.

Pavonine99 said...

I'd have to say I disagree that Trump is only a narcissist. There's a certain kind of sociopath that is very blunt, but is just as good at deception as more obviously slick characters (I'm thinking of people like Stalin, Saddam, and Gingrich). As far as I can tell, it seems to be a common type among sociopaths who got by on strength or wealth during their formative years and therefore never really had to work on creating a facade.

Lisa Grenn said...

John, while I totally concur with you about sociopaths being more sly and conniving, in Trump's case there is certainly an aspect of his narcissistic disorder that rises to the level of malignant narcissist. He uses people without apology. My opinion is that he's somewhere on the narcissist-sociopath spectrum but not with enough sociopathy to cleverly hide his ulterior motives real well...just my opinion!

John Craig said...

Lisa Grenn --
To me, "Malignant narcissism" is often used when "sociopathy" would do better. I've never been clear exactly where on the spectrum it falls; According to Wikipedia, it's "an extreme mix of narcissism, antisocial personality disorder, aggression and sadism" -- i.e., sociopathy. I don't see Trump as a sadist. Yes, his grandiosity is extreme, but the feuds he gets into seem to be a function of his easily wounded vanity more than anything else. I'm going to stick with "narcissist."

MarieCurie said...

I don't think Donald Trump is a sociopath (but don't think President Obama is one either, sorry!)

I do think the pity play that sociopaths supposedly use is HUGE.

"Poor me - help me, give me what I want NOW.. Poor me - help me, give me what I want NOW..Poor me.." until you feel so bad for them, you do whatever they ask, get embroiled in their life before you know what's happening, after which things start going downhill FAST.

I don't think they are necessarily clever however, and they may not even be aware that they are different from other folks. But when the chips fall they will be the ones who are sitting pretty (with ZERO remorse, ever) whilst you are wondering what the H_ll just happened.

Martha Stout says (something to the effect): Even though MANY people will not understand why you need to clear of a suspected sociopath (because they are good at hiding their true nature and turning up the charm, ALWAYS listen to your instinct and AVOID, AVOID, AVOID!!!

MarieCurie said...

Do you have a posting /ranking of professions by order of sociopathy?

There are the obvious ones that allow the use of raw power: CEO, politician, but any profession could have its share of the remorseless ones.

http://www.therapyabuse.org/

Blech.

John Craig said...

MarieCurie --
I think the extent of Obama's deceptions will become clearer once he leaves office, once the media no longer feels obliged to protect him.

It's not that sociopaths are more "clever" in the sense of being better at solving things, like crossword puzzles, or clever with puns, or clever with jokes or with math. It's that subterfuge is second nature to them, since they're by nature so dishonest, and that's a skill that develops with practice.

You're right that they have zero remorse, and that you should avoid them at all costs.

John Craig said...

Marie Curie (in response to your 2:04 comment) --
No, I don't have a listing of professions by order of how many sociopaths are in their ranks, but the two you mention -- CEO and politician -- certainly have more than their share of sociopaths. I've seen at least one of those lists, however, and don't necessarily agree with it. Basically, you're looking for positions that allow for the exercise of raw power, as you put it, and also where people can manipulate and cajole and lie to their benefit. I've said in the past that though the vast majority of cops are good guys, there are a certain number of them who join the force in order to kick ass. I've seen a fair number of DA's who strike me as sociopathic. Wall Street attracts more than its share. The military probably has more than its share, especially in special operations. Lawyers and agents of various sorts are probably overrepresented. You sent a link to a therapy abuse site, but I don't think medical professionals as a rule are overrepresented, though there have certainly been exceptions.

High Arka said...

ehh, the media has the same interest in protecting "Obama the ex-teleprompter guy" as it does in protecting "Obama the current teleprompter guy." The media has been kissing Bill Clinton's ass for the past 15 years. What makes you think they would start being any more reasonable about Obama after he leaves "office"?

John Craig said...

High Arka --
You're right, I overstated that. It's not that they'll have NO interest in protecting their guy, it's that they'll have less, once he's out of power. And once he is out of power, those who have been inhibited about attacking him will be less so. Plus, once Presidents leave the White House, the truth has a way of slipping out, often from disgruntled former employees. These days Secret Service agents have to sign nondisclosure agreements, but I have the feeling that word will eventually slip out about Obama's many boyfriends, etc. And biographers will have access to many of these disgruntled ex-employees as well.

High Arka said...

Tempting thought, but likely a bit outdated. A few decades ago, there was an element of tradition still, inside the great administrative careers (president etc.), and the idea of "whistleblowing" was less in social favor. Look at, e.g., the positive public reaction to Oliver North in the 1980s.

Now, though, elites and proles are all aware of the potential for secrets to slip out. Correspondingly, elites have learned to be "on camera" even in private. Michelle Obama probably believes a lot more in Baraq's public personality than Jackie Kennedy believed in JFK's public personality. We're now all on stage, even in private. As a result, there's less for people to "come out" about.

Consider Hollywood celebrities as examples. There has always been scrutiny directed at their lives, but as political correctness has taken over, Hollywooders have learned to be PC even when they're whispering to their lovers in the private of gated, guarded mansions. They've learned that there are no more "safe spaces," because any maid could plant a webcam and then sell it to E! We're so internalizing our social mores now that, soon, there will be nothing left to divulge.

John Craig said...

High Arka --
I agree that Michelle Obama believes in Barack's politics more than Jackie believed in JFK's politics: Michelle basically shares the same black nationalist viewpoint as her husband, whereas Jackie was not a political animal at all. But I still suspect that eventually, there will be stuff coming out about Obama that will change the public perception of him.

Actually, the wonderful thing about revelations about people is that they HAVEN'T internalized their PC beliefs. for instance, Bill Clinton was a women's rights supporter, but in his private life, the fact is, he was a rapist 9as reported by at least two women. Or Teddy Kennedy was a liberal on all fronts except on his personal life. he was all for higher taxes, including higher estate taxes, but then at the very end he transferred his entire estate to Tortola, so as to make it exempt from US inheritance taxes. He was a big proponent of solar and wind power, except when they tried to build some turbines within sight of his Hyannisport estate -- because it would have ruined his view. He was all for forced busing in Boston, but sent his own sons to Groton and Andover. he was all for women's rights -- except for that woman his nephew William Kennedy Smith raped, and Mary Jo Kopechne's right to live. Etc. Anyway, didn't mean to get off on quite such a tangent about Teddy; I guess we'll just have to wait and see about Obama.

High Arka said...

Hey, don't apologize; I'd love it if you'd put together a big post on Teddy Kennedy with all of those things cited. You know--something that I could link people to whenever Teddy comes up in a discussion.

John Craig said...

High Arka --
Your wish has been granted. I wrote about Kennedy's hypocrisy here:

http://justnotsaid.blogspot.com/2009/08/dissenting-opinion.html

(Looks like I was wrong about one thing: Teddy sent his sons to Andover and St. Albans, not Andover and Groton.)

Anonymous said...

I watched a little bit of the debates last night with my oldest son (a UVA college student who's very much interested in politics). Donald Trump was good. His wife, Melania (a woman who went through the legal route to become an American citizen, setting a good example to illegal immigrants, btw), his daugher, Ivanka, and his son, Eric, were in the audience. I wasn't impressed by the politicians, not trusting any of them (they can say they're in support of one position, then flip flop after they're elected). I don't normally watch debates, but I had just woken up from a nap and decided to join my son in watching the debates.

-birdie

John Craig said...

Birdie --
Hi, yes, I watch d a little of the debates too, but then fell asleep. I'm rooting for Trump even though I don't like him personally. Cruz does seem to switch directions a little too fluidly.

Anonymous said...

I sometimes frequent this blog and noticed this post, though I am late in replying to it. I often agree with your ability to detect sociopaths and disagree with your politics - which I believe is okay. But I am a little disheartened and also surprised that you don't believe Trump to be a sociopath. It seems you think he is almost like a child who can't censor his words, and it is that type of honesty that you find refreshing.

I see a much different picture. There are accounts that Trump eyed the presidency as early as 1990. He has calculated very precisely his running for president and is rather adept at concealing it as a spontaneous thing with his off-the-cuff comments. I do not like Trump one bit, but I really believe he knows what he is doing and is akin to a conman. Simply conning people who he himself would think are losers.

John Craig said...

Anon --
First, thank you for reading the blog, and secondly, for the compliment about recognizing sociopaths. As far as our political differences, thanks for your open-mindedness. I know I lose some readers who are interested in sociopathy because I speak honestly about race, too. But both positions are basically coming from the same place, a hatred of hypocrisy and dishonesty, and there's no subject more rife with lies and hypocrisy these days than race. (I wrote about that somewhere but can't find the post now.)

As far as Trump goes, you make some good points. Yes, he is adept at capturing people's frustration with a lot of issues, like illegal immigration and trade agreements that result in jobs being sent overseas and the fact that we tend to fight wars with one hand tied behind our backs, and with political correctness in general. All that is well thought out, but I also think that his stances on those issues reflect the way he feels as well. I don't see any of his statements as having been arrived at through polling or focus groups; he pretty much says what's on his mind, and how he feels about things.

Which of the positions he's espoused do you think is just a pose? People like Hillary -- or Ted Cruz --go whichever way they think will help them get elected, I honestly don't think Trump does that.

I also think his off-the-cuff comments would be a lot slicker if he are a conman. Think of the various gaffes he's made. Saying Megyn Kelly was "bleeding from her wherever" was just plain stupid, not something his advisers would have allowed him to say, and something he wouldn't have said on further reflection. The McCain statement I analyzed above: it was dumb, as well as hypocritical, and there was nothing calculated about it. A slick conman would have done better with both of those. Calling Carly Fiorina ugly was in itself ugly, and any slick conman would have known better than to do that. Comparing his wife's looks toMrs. Cruz's looks was also dumb, and un-Presidential, and again, any master manipulator would have known better than to do that. He manipulated no one with that comparison, and he manipulates no one with his many boasts about his success in business. This is the type of noise that emanates from an easily-wounded narcissistic personality, not the kind of subterfuge you get from a sociopath who dons various false emotional poses in an effort to seem nobler than he is.

I agree that a lot of the people Trump's attracted are people he would consider "losers." But at least his policies, the ones he's espoused so far, would help them.

Anonymous said...

Trump is not a boring man (which I like). His wife gave a speech at the Republican National Convention, held in Cleveland, OH. I feel badly for the brouhaha that the media is doing regarding Melania's speech, accusing her of plagiarizing Michelle Obama's speech. As far as I'm concerned, who cares. Melania gave a good speech and her husband can be proud of her. Give the poor woman a break. She and her husband should be enjoying this time of their lives, hopefully in time, becoming the next First Lady of the USA. God bless the Trumps.

-birdie

John Craig said...

Birdie --
No, he's not a boring man. I do find it a little embarrassing that her speech cleaved (is that a word?) so closely to Michelle Obama's speed. I'm sure what happened was that Melania watched that speech whenever it happened, and it stuck in the back of her mind as the type of thing a First Lady should say. then, without realizing it, when it came time for her speech, she unwittingly plagiarized it. Oh well. Not a big deal in the course of the campaign, just a little embarrassing.