Psychopaths, those who used to be known as the "morally insane", are the same as sociopaths. Since psychopaths are typically associated with violent, cold blooded killers, perhaps sociopath is a better choice of label. But psychopath is still, I believe, more descriptive since the problem lies in the psyche, not society. In any case, psychopaths are not that uncommon in society. An estimated one out of 25 people is a psychopath.
But is Barack Obama a psychopath? According to a generic psychiatric profile, the “psychopathic personality” exhibits certain traits. Not all of these traits need be expressed and the depth to which a psychopathic personality is displayed varies. Some people exhibit one or more of the behaviors listed below without being psychopaths and it's the constellation of traits that is used in diagnosis, not any one in particular.
How people become psychopaths probably differs. Some may be born with neurological deficiencies. Some may become psychopaths due to physical or psychological abuse in childhood. And others develop the traits due to parental rejection, emotional deprivation, sense of abandonment or other environmental factors.
The question of whether Barack Obama is a psychopath has been answered in the affirmative by some observers, sometimes citing Narcissistic Personality Disorder. But it's important to note that unless you're a trained mental health professional who has the opportunity to personally evaluate a subject, all you can do is speculate. Nevertheless, by examining the traits common to psychopaths and comparing them to Obama's behavior, a compelling case can be made that the man is, indeed, a psychopath. Given his upbringing, this should not only be unsurprising, it should be expected. Obama has a familial history of abandonment and one of his main influences as a boy was his virtual father, the malignant Frank Marshall Davis. In a poem about Davis called "Pop", Obama writes about dual amber stains on his and "Pop's" shorts, suggesting that Davis, who was a self-described bi-sexual who molested young girls, also, perhaps, molested young Obama.
There's also a matter of Obama's heavy drug use as a teenager. As a member of the "Choom Gang", he spent much of his time smoking marijuana and doing other drugs well into his college years. Studies show that drugs have a deleterious effect on adolescent brains, which are still developing. Lower intelligence, memory impairment and susceptibility to mental illness have all been linked to heavy adolescent drug use.
So, what evidence is there to believe Obama is a psychopath? It's worth noting that there are different categories of psychopaths, and not all of these traits can be attributed to every category. Obama seems to be in the Narcissist or Charismatic Psychopath category, that is, someone who is irresistible, charming, believes their own lies, extremely persuasive, talented and has the ability to manipulate people. So, not every psychopath is violent or a murderer. Most are lying, remorseless manipulators of other people.
These are the traits that could be attributed to Obama:
1. GLIB and SUPERFICIAL CHARM: One reason Obama came to the attention of the public is his "coolness", noted by observers who were also impressed by his oratorical abilities. Obama is often described as charismatic, self-confident, unflappable, glib and with a bit of a swagger. He's the type that charms a room and has an answer for everything. However, when unhooked from his teleprompter, his eloquence suffers, suggesting his glibness is mostly superficial. A case has also been made that his superbly eloquent writings and speeches were not his own creations.
2. GRANDIOSE SELF-WORTH: Obama may be the only president who suggested he could heal the planet and stop the oceans from rising. He may be the only president who said he knows more about the policy issues than his own advisers. And then there's his promise to "fundamentally transform America." His autobiography contains numerous exaggerations of his accomplishments. Even as a child, he said he would be president some day. His arrogance has been commented on in many quarters. Psychopaths typically do not negotiate. They insist on having their way and are very rigid, which is typical of Obama.
3. NEED FOR STIMULATION or PRONENESS TO BOREDOM: According to one source, Obama is not an industrious president. In fact, even many of his supporters have noted his boredom with the job, although they chalk it up to his intellect, as if being president is too easy. Those who knew him while at the University of Chicago describe him simply as lazy. His record during all of his endeavors suggests he accomplished virtually nothing. But he did move through the political ranks rapidly, going from state senator to U.S. senator to president. But Obama loves to play sports, whether basketball or golf, and can tell you who is likely to win the NCAA "March Madness" basketball championship. Apparently, sports provides the stimulation he needs. His boredom with policy issues may explain his hands off approach to congress, allowing Democrats such as Pelosi and Reid to provide leadership and legislative content.
4. PATHOLOGICAL LYING: If there's anything Obama is noted for, it's lying. While all politicians engage in such deception, Obama not only lies, when confronted with his lies, he denies ever having said them. In fact, there are websites devoted to listing his lies. Obama is prone to exaggeration, constructing false realities, and contradicting himself. Basically, he says whatever comes to mind, it seems, and counts on the press to repeat it without contradiction. He doesn't seem to even know he lies or he just doesn't care. One of his favorite tactics is to accuse the opposition of doing the very thing he's being criticized for doing.
5. CONNING AND MANIPULATIVENESS: Every political campaign is a con job and manipulation. It's how politicians get elected. However, virtually every plank in the platform Obama ran on in 2008 was ignored when he became president. There's less transparency than ever. Wars did not end. Virtually all of the national security measures enacted by Bush, such as torture, Guantanamo, the Patriot Act, and so forth, were continued and expanded. It appears that Obama conned the public into electing him. What's more, in 2012, he conned the public into believing his failures were still Bush's fault. Psychopaths frequently put up false fronts, appearing as a savior of society or a humanitarian, creating charitable organizations. Like Obama, they appear concerned, friendly, thoughtful, kind and tolerant. Once in a position of power, however, they may create catastrophes or try to rearrange the world just for their own enjoyment of power.
6. LACK OF REMORSE OR GUILT: One source claims that Obama takes a personal interest in drone strikes and gets excited to see videos of people being blown to bits. When Benghazi was under attack, Obama went to bed rather than express any interest over the fate of personnel there, much less send help to them. When his friends or colleagues become political liabilities, he throws them under the bus. While in Chicago, Obama worked with corrupt and sleazy politicians and business people apparently without disturbing his conscience. Whether taking real estate deals from Tony Rezko or getting money to create public housing that was then so completely neglected it would fall into ruin, Obama never seemed to disassociate himself with the crooks.
7. SHALLOW AFFECT OR EMOTIONAL POVERTY: His sense of dispassionate observation, rather than emotional involvement, has been remarked upon by several sources, although his supporters admire it as being cool. One of his spokesmen said that while he seems detached on the outside, he's burning for America on the inside. In one speech before the 2012 election, however, Obama was alleged to fake crying, as if trying to convince people that he can display emotions. In family relationships, Obama has promised help to his impoverished family members and then failed to deliver.
8. PARASITIC LIFESTYLE: Obama seems to regard the presidency as an opportunity to be a celebrity and to bask in public adoration and importance. His sense of entitlement is manifested in a record-setting number of expensive vacations and golf outings, despite the dire condition of the economy. Obama has had countless White House parties and seems to continually seek the company of celebrities.
9. POOR BEHAVIORAL CONTROLS: From slyly giving opponents the middle finger, to temper tantrums when criticized, Obama is noted for being thin skinned. He manages to insult congressional leaders and even phoned a journalist whose story he didn't like to scream at him and then not let him get a word in edgewise. When in the Illinois senate, he and another senator had a screaming match at each other and Obama had to be physically restrained.
10. FAILURE TO ACCEPT RESPONSIBILITY FOR OWN ACTIONS: This is classic Obama behavior. He never accepts responsibility. It's usually all Bush's fault, or the Republicans. Psychopaths are also vague about their past, which in Obama's case, is an understatement. All of his past-records are kept secret.
11. NEED FOR POWER AND TO DOMINATE OTHERS: Certainly, anyone who has single-mindedly pursued higher office most of his adult life and wanted to be president since he was a child may be not only trying to demonstrate his worth, but also to be in control of others so that they will value him. Obama's willingness to bypass the Constitution and to rule in some instances by fiat suggests he enjoys wielding power. A case can also be made that Obama is busy rearranging the Middle East for some unknown objective. Psychopaths typically target naive, ignorant, and unintelligent people. Those with a sense of being victims are especially vulnerable if the psychopath offers them relief or vengeance.
12. FAILURE TO LEARN BY EXPERIENCE: Obama's rigidity in policymaking, that is, repeating the same formulae that have not worked for him in the past, suggests he isn't learning from his failures and probably doesn't even acknowledge them.
So, is Obama a psychopath? And if he is, what does it mean for our country? Some have suggested that many politicians, corporate heads, movie stars and so forth, have psychopathic tendencies, which is why they've succeeded in their careers. That is, they're willing to do things that morally conscientious people would not. If Obama is a mild psychopath, he may not be worse than most politicians. If he's a hard core case, we may be in trouble.
How does Obama continue to maintain popularity despite his failures, blatant lying, manipulations and other psychopathic behavior? Primarily, it's a result of denial, a condition that manifests as:
- Bracketing, that is, simply failing to observe or take note of the psychopath's behavior. This is common among low-information Obama supporters who simply don't know what's going on or take the administration's word for it that something never happened.
- Rationalization, which means either minimalizing the importance of the bad behavior, attributing it to normal human failings, or irresistible outside influences. This can range from saying Obama isn't any worse than other presidents, or that Republicans are worse, to the notion we all make mistakes and perhaps more bizarrely, that Obama is under control of some cabal and his family is threatened unless he does what they want.
- Projecting the responsibility for the bad behavior on someone else, as if someone else must have done it. Obama supporters typically blame Bush, or Republicans as the real culprits for our problems.
Interestingly enough, many of the traits listed above also characterize the Democratic Party much more than the Republicans. That may explain why they're so much more successful than Republicans. It may be that the Democratic Party attracts psychopaths by its very philosophy of government dominance and its appeal to those with a sense of victimhood.