Is the President a Sociopath? Are Most Politicians?

Here’s a quick test:

1. Do you often feel used by the person?

2. Have you often felt that he (or she) doesn’t care about you?

3. Does he lie and deceive you?

4. Does he tend to make contradictory statements?

5. Does he tend to take from you and not give back much?

6. Does he often appeal to pity? Does he seem to try to make you feel sorry for him?

7. Does he try to make you feel guilty?

8. Do you sometimes feel he is taking advantage of your good nature?

9. Does he seem easily bored and need constant stimulation?

10. Does he use a lot of flattery? Does he interact with you in a way that makes you feel flattered even if he says nothing overtly complimentary?

11. Does he make you feel worried? Does he do it obviously or more cleverly and sneakily?

12. Does he give you the impression you owe him?

13. Does he chronically fail to take responsibility for harming others? Does he blame everyone and everything but himself?

And does he do these things far more than the other people in your life? If you answered “yes” to many of these, you may be dealing with a sociopath. For sure you’re dealing with someone who isn’t good for you, whatever you want to call him.

The rest of the article is similarly illuminating. What do sociopaths want?

A sociopath’s goal is to win. And he (or she) is willing to do anything at all to win.

Sociopaths have nothing else to think about, so they can be very clever and conniving. Sociopaths are not busy being concerned with relationships or moral dilemmas or conflicting feelings, so they have much more time to think about clever ways to gain your trust and stab you in the back, and how do it without anyone knowing what’s happening.

One of the questions in the list above was about boredom. This is a real problem for sociopaths and they seem fanatically driven to prevent boredom. The reason it looms so large for them (and seems so strange to us) is that our relationships with peopleoccupy a good amount of our time and attention and interest us intensely. Take that away and all you have is “playing to win” which is rather shallow and empty in comparison. So boredom is a constant problem for sociopaths and they have an incessant urge to keep up a level of stimulation, even negative stimulation (drama, worry, upset, etc.).

It’s worth noting that Jonah Goldberg points out boredom as one of the chief characteristics of fascists and progressives. They look to politics for meaning because the don’t get meaning from anything else.

If your President, Senator, or Congressman is a sociopath, what do you do?

…there is only one solution for dealing with a sociopath: Get him or her completely out of your life for good.

8 thoughts on “Is the President a Sociopath? Are Most Politicians?

  1. Sociopaths also collect people who tend to be “groupies.” Politics is, in fact, a natural fit. The groupies project all kinds of stuff onto the pol as the person who is going to fulfill their needs, who will be not only the vehicle to power for the groupie, but who will also give the groupie himself meaning and value. That kind of neediness can be seen to a certain degree in the electorate, and it takes a really special pol to take advantage, as well as handlers who recruit.

    I don’t think that all pols are sociopaths, but to be successful as a politician, you have to be able to interact with all different kinds of people and “give them what they want” at the moment, which entails a fair degree of deception (some call it ‘charisma’): think about all the hundreds of times you heard this said about Bill Clinton, “When he looks at you, you feel like you’re the only one in the room.”

    Maybe this is all about golf- the only way BO could guarantee wins every time was to become president. Because golf isn’t boring, running a country is.

  2. Barbara, that’s a great point. I’ve seen it up close on some occasions, and I think the Obamania of 2008 (and continuing in some quarters, including the media) is a stunning example.

    You insinuate something that, now that you mention it, seems obvious: Obama finds the Presidency *boring*. I can’t think of another President of whom that’s true, and it’s a worrying sign. If a sociopath seeks power in part to relieve boredom, attains power, and then finds that boring too, what’s next? We may be dealing with a new level of sociopathy—new to the U.S., that is—the results of which may not be pretty.

  3. I’m hesitant to use the term “sociopath” because of it’s clinical meaning. I also don’t think that Barack Obama is a particularly charming man (OK, I’m biased. But I don’t like snobby whiners of any political stripe.) But his rhetoric during the campaign was a cocktail of flattery (“We are the ones we have been waiting for”) grandiose soterionism (“History will record that this is the day the earth began to heal, etc.”) on a base of national atonement.

    I believe that a large swath of the electorate saw Barack Obama as a two-fer: he was not a Republican, and he was the Redemptive Negro. Deep inside, most Americans want to be seen as fair-minded and they want their country to be seen as fair-minded. Michelle Obama’s indictments of America (downright mean) while unfair, still stung. How to show, on a national scale, that we aren’t racist? Elect a black president- how can the perception persist that we, as people, elect him as our leader?

    Finally, however, this presidency reveals the lie that affirmative action and the professional grievance-mongering industries truly are. While we are going down the tubes economically, we are learning a lesson that may prove more salutory for the soul of the country: that we aren’t racist and Barack Obama is resonating with an ever-smaller number of true believers every time he apologizes to the “Muslim World,” every time his state department does a “mea culpa” to China, every time he humbles himself to tin-pot dictators from Khazakstan. Barack Obama, far from being the trascendent figure, is really the final arbiter of judgment for past sins and he thinks that America, as a country, is guilty. He listened to Jeremiah Wright for 20 years, his best pals include domestic terrorists. He really, really wants us to be put in our proper place, as a country, while he takes his proper place as the great Equalizer.

    Sorry, Philo: I should have just posted this, but I’m in a hotel in Burlington, MA and I can’t figure out my password.

  4. You are obviously prejudiced. How dare you have a rational objective opinion of the Messiah! I’ll bet you beat your spouse/child/dog/cat (maybe not the cat).

    I have to agree with you here, though I try not to agree with anyone on principle (principally, I’m just ornery) How is he going to square reality with his warped view of reality after the November elections? And are we going to be subject to revenge based Executive decisions once he can no longer lie to himself and others about his “mandate”?

    We live in interesting times……..

    1. drywriter-Personally, I only beat those who disagree with me. My spouse, child and dog, (I would never own a rebellious cat), learned long ago that I am always correct.

  5. I guess I am a bit more cynical. I do think that nearly all politicians are borderline socipaths. It comes with the territory. In order to stay in power as a pol they must convince a majority of their constituents that they will bring certain benefits to said constituency. They do this, if new out of ignorance, or if an incumbant, more deliberately, the longer they stay in office.
    Government is always evil and therefore can only breed evil in it’s practitioners. It’s only purpose is to control and steal from those who are under it’s influence. The idea that, somehow, through the election of different individuals to government roles we can change it’s nature is like the idea that if one brings a viper into the home it will somehow change to a nice little pet that would never bite anyone.
    Just as one cannot tame the viper, government can never be anything than what it is, a poisonous creature that eventually kills anyone that thinks it can be tamed. I say starve the d**ned thing to death. If enough folks would open their eyes and realize that revolution, non violent in my opinion, is the only answer we may hope to see true freedom again.
    What form said revolution should take is a long disscussion, that must begin soon or we will lose all of those rights that are inalienable as a result government oppression and suppression.

  6. ephraiyim,

    I don’t think government is inherently evil. But I think the Founders worried deeply about how to limit government’s power because they saw that the political class was certainly no better than the people at large, and perhaps a good deal worse, and would inevitably try to increase its power at the expense of the common good. The Progressive assault on constitutional limits has opened the way for this expansion (the result the Progressives, then and now, intended). I hope you’re wrong that revolution is the only way to restore those limitations—but you may well be right.

  7. A good quote about government from Von Mises:
    It is important to remember that government interference always means either violent action or the threat of such action. The funds that a government spends for whatever purposes are levied by taxation. And taxes are paid because the taxpayers are afraid of offering resistance to the tax gatherers. They know that any disobedience or resistance is hopeless. As long as this is the state of affairs, the government is able to collect the money that it wants to spend. Government is in the last resort the employment of armed men, of policemen, gendarmes, soldiers, prison guards, and hangmen. The essential feature of government is the enforcement of its decrees by beating, killing, and imprisoning. Those who are asking for more government interference are asking ultimately for more compulsion and less freedom. Von Mises-Human Action

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