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Karen Celestino-Horseman: Donald Trump—presidential psychopath?

April 27, 2018

Celestino-Horseman
By way of full disclosure, I have absolutely no training in psychology, psychiatry or any other science involving the mind. But when I learned about the Hare Psychopathy Checklist, a test to identify a psychopath, I became fascinated.

The checklist consists of 20 characteristics for which the individual is scored 0, 1 or 2. A score of 30 means he or she is a psychopath. Most of us think of psychopaths as those who have committed hideous crimes, but not all psychopaths travel through the criminal justice system. It is estimated that 21 percent of CEOs are psychopaths.

I decided to apply the test to President Trump and here are the unfortunate results.

◗ Glib and superficial charm. (Trump was a successful reality TV star and commercial personality.)

◗ Grandiose estimation of self. (He tweeted after he backed off sanctioning Russia: “Russia will tell you, there’s been nobody tougher than Donald Trump.”)

◗ Need for stimulation. (Twitter war!)

◗ Pathological lying. (Largest inauguration attendance ever? Not! Even fashion magazine Vogue tackles the lies in a story headlined, “The 25 Worst Lies From Donald Trump’s First 200 Days.”)

◗ Cunning and manipulativeness. (As in media manipulator. If it is a story he does not like, it is fake news. Or if it is an individual for which he does not care or with whom he disagrees, he or she is discredited: e.g., Ted Cruz’s father was involved in the assassination of John F. Kennedy.)

◗ Lack of remorse or guilt. (Despite his repeated lies and his insults to women and others, have you ever heard him apologize?)

◗ Shallow affect—superficial emotional responsiveness. (Remember his throwing “beautiful, soft” paper towels to the hurricane survivors in Puerto Rico?)

◗ Callousness and lack of empathy. (Who can forget that Trump had to be provided a note that reminded him to say, “I hear you,” while attending a listening session following the Parkland High School shooting?)

◗ Parasitic lifestyle. (He is using the presidency to promote the Trump brand and to make money: e.g., membership increase in Mar-A-Lago, and conducting meetings with world leaders at Trump hotels, etc. There is also Trump University, which helped underwrite his lifestyle, along with the immigrants he hires to work at his hotels.)

◗ Poor behavioral controls. (Twitter, again.)

◗ Sexual promiscuity. (Do I really need to provide examples? OK. Stormy Daniels.)

◗ Early behavior problems. (In school, Trump “misbehaved so often that his initials became his friends’ shorthand for detention,” reported The Washington Post in a story headlined, “Confident. Incorrigible. Bully: Little Donny was a lot like candidate Donald Trump.”)

◗ Lack of realistic long-term goals. (Who really thinks Mexico is going to pay for the multibillion-dollar wall?)

◗ Impulsivity. (Twitter, again.)

◗ Irresponsibility. (Consider his bankruptcies and his refusal to pay his contractors and suppliers, which have led to enough litigation to keep any law firm afloat.)

◗ Failure to accept responsibility for own actions. (It is never his fault.)

◗ Many short-term marital relationships. (Trump is only on spouse no. 3, so maybe he does not deserve two points for this.)

◗ Juvenile delinquency. (If your father is a multimillionaire when you have early behavior problems, it is no surprise that you were never sucked into the juvenile justice system.)

◗ Revocation of conditional release, as in parole. (He doesn’t qualify to my knowledge, but who knows what the future might hold?)

◗ Criminal versatility. (His versatility appears to be in using the Trump brand to make money: e.g., Trump University.)

So, I came up with more than 30 points. What do you think?•

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Celestino-Horseman is an attorney and represents the Indiana Latino Democratic Caucus on the Democratic State Central Committee. Send comments to ibjedit@ibj.com.

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