“If you consider the 7 traits that define Antisocial Personality Disorder in the DSM-5, he meets every one of them.”
This week, President Donald Trump’s former lawyer, Michael Cohen, testified before the House Oversight Committee about his role in facilitating Trump’s potential crimes and misbehaviors.
At the same time, Trump met with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un. The summit failed to secure a de-nuclearization deal and Trump drew criticism when he said that he believed Jong Un’s claim that he hadn’t been aware of Otto Warmbier, the American student imprisoned in North Korea, who died soon after his release to the US.
Raw Story spoke with Dr. Lance Dodes, a Training and Supervising Analyst Emeritus with the Boston Psychoanalytic Society and Institute. He recently retired as an assistant clinical professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School.
Dodes is a contributor to The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump: 27 Psychiatrists and Mental Health Experts Assess a President. His chapter makes the case that Trump suffers from a dangerous sociopathic disorder.
Tana Ganeva: Following what was largely seen as a failed summit with Kim Jong Un, Donald Trump said he believed the dictator when he said he hadn’t known about Otto Warmbier. Do you see strains of Trump’s sociopathy in this?
Lance Dodes: Mr. Trump is a sociopath, in that he meets every diagnostic criterion for the official diagnostic term “Antisocial Personality Disorder.” The fact that this is a personality disorder, rather than simply a single symptom such as anxiety or depression, means that all his actions are signs of this severe, continuous, mental disturbance.
To understand his actions, it is essential to keep in mind that sociopaths have only one goal: to enhance themselves, and that in pursuing their self-interest, they lack both normal human empathy for others and a normal human conscience. Cheating, conning, lying, stealing, threatening are all done with no remorse.
When stressed with facts that would require them to admit failure, or even that others know more or are more capable than them, sociopaths lose track of reality, becoming delusional with insistence on the truth of what they psychologically need to maintain their superior view of themselves. Indeed, nobody matters except to the degree they can serve the sociopath’s personal needs.
That’s why loyalty is demanded, but as soon as an associate disagrees, the sociopath turns on them with a fury; there was never a real relationship to begin with.
Mr. Trump’s denial of the facts about Mr. Warmbier is consistent with his sociopathy. He ignores reality, is unremorseful about lying and does not hesitate to sacrifice the feelings of others such as Mr. Warmbier’s family. We don’t know exactly why he lied in this case, but one possibility is that Mr. Trump has heavily promoted his relationship with Kim as evidence of his superior ability to manage world tensions and thinks that confronting Kim would interfere with that, hence personally diminishing Mr. Trump. In any case, Mr. Trump’s absence of feelings for Mr. Warmbier or his family is the same as his absence of feelings for the disabled reporter he mocked, for religious and racial minorities, for children separated from their parents at the border and on and on.
Tana Ganeva: What made you first consider that Donald Trump is a sociopath?
Lance Dodes: Mr. Trump has a long history that proves his diagnosis. If you consider the 7 traits that define Antisocial Personality Disorder in the DSM-5, he meets every one of them:
1. Failure to conform to social norms with respect to lawful behaviors.
2. Deceitfulness, as indicated by repeated lying … or conning others for personal profit or pleasure
3. Impulsivity or failure to plan ahead
4. Irritability and aggressiveness
5. Reckless disregard for safety of self or others.
6. Consistent irresponsibility, as indicated by repeated failure to sustain consistent work behavior or honor financial obligations
7. Lack of remorse, as indicated by being indifferent to or rationalizing having hurt, mistreated, or stolen from another.
Tana Ganeva: What’s the danger of having a sociopath in charge of the US?
Lance Dodes: Sociopathy is the most serious mental disability possible for the President. Other conditions do not lead to continual disregard for the welfare of others, lying, cheating, and repeated loss of reality under stress.
The bogus argument made by some that Abraham Lincoln is known to have suffered with depression, so Mr. Trump is not different, fails on this point. Lincoln’s depression did not make him cruel or indifferent to the feelings of others, cheat, lie, lose track of reality when stressed, or have a need to be an absolute ruler over everyone.
There are two major risks from Mr. Trump.
First, there is a serious risk that he will start a war to distract the country from his multiple failures and his attempts to become a one-man ruler. This is most likely to occur as he is stressed by challenges to his position as President. Other tyrants have plunged their nations into war, sometimes by creating an international incident as an excuse, to avoid internal disputes and solidify power.
Second, there is a serious risk of his destroying democracy in this country. He has already eroded it by attacking the principle of balance of powers, attacking the judicial system and the Congress, attempting to gather all power to himself. He has tried to destroy our free press by claiming that its criticisms of him are “fake news” and that a free press is the enemy of the people. These are well-known tactics of would-be tyrants, and are signs of sociopathy with his single-minded concern for himself and absence of conscience or concern for the feelings or lives of anyone else.
Image by U.S. State Dept. via Flickr
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Cops Called After COVID-Positive Palin’s Dinner Partner Allegedly Accosts Photographer
Sarah Palin, who is unvaccinated and recently tested positive for COVID-19 three times, was caught dining out in New York City Wednesday evening. A credentialed news photographer was reportedly accosted after he asked her dining companions if they were “concerned” the Republican former governor “tested positive for COVID.”
One man stood up, walked over to the photographer, and according to the website Upper East Site, “roughed up a news photographer filming them dining outdoors.”
Palin, who is in NYC for her defamation case against The New York Times, waved at the photographer, but one of her dinner companions got up and repeatedly asked the journalist, “Are you looking for trouble?” as the video below shows.
“Are you going to hurt –?” the photographer replied, but then the camera shakes as if it had been knocked down, and the video ends.
“The unidentified, large man dining with Palin grabbed the victim’s fingers with both hands, wrenching and twisting them down, slamming the camera to the concrete, the photographer told Upper East Site.”
Police were called and an assault report was filed, Upper East Site reports.
Looks like Sarah Palin’s dinner date wasn’t happy about being filmed. pic.twitter.com/sM8JSBSIZJ
— Ron Filipkowski (@RonFilipkowski) January 28, 2022
Read the entire story here.
Image by Gage Skidmore via Flickr and a CC license
Josh Hawley’s ‘Losing Fight’ Against Biden’s Supreme Court Nominee Mocked by Conservative Strategist
Republicans will be making a political mistake if they seek to go all-in against President Joe Biden’s nomination to replace Stephen Breyer on the U.S. Supreme Court, a top GOP strategist explained on Friday.
Former George W. Bush White House speechwriter Marc Thiessen wrote in The Washington Post that “while Biden now gets to pick a justice, he is powerless to change the court’s ideological makeup.”
“The truth is, while every Supreme Court appointment is consequential, this will be the least consequential appointment in decades. So, Republicans should be gracious in victory, and let Democrats have their day,” he counseled.
His advice runs contrary to the approach of one GOP senator.
“Already, Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) is warning that if Biden “chooses to nominate a left wing activist who will bless his campaign against parents, his abuse of the FBI, his refusal to enforce our immigration laws, and his lawless vaccine mandates, expect a major battle in the Senate.” Here’s a better idea: Unless Biden appoints someone obviously unqualified, don’t pick a losing fight,” he wrote. “After all, the confirmation of Biden’s nominee is virtually assured. Sens. Joe Manchin III (D-W.Va) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) have supported all of Biden’s judicial nominees, and it is difficult to imagine that they will treat this one differently.”
He urged Republican senators to treat the nominee “graciously.”
Read the full column.
Palm Beach Lawmaker Sues Local Paper Over Attempt to Access Jeffrey Epstein Records
The Palm Beach Post is reporting that the local County Clerk of the Courts is asking the courts to make the paper pay the legal fees he incurred while blocking attempts to access grand jury records related to a 2006 Jeffrey Epstein investigation.
Getting right to the point, the Post’s Jane Musgrave wrote, “Despite insisting he wants the public to know why serial molester Jeffrey Epstein escaped serious punishment 15 years ago, Palm Beach County Clerk of Courts Joe Abruzzo wants to punish The Palm Beach Post for trying to open secret records that could do just that.”
As the report notes, Abruzzo employed the Tampa law firm belonging to Shane Vogt to fight the request at a cost of $32,794 and, in a motion before Circuit Judge Donald Hafele, seeks double that plus additional costs.
At issue are the grand jury transcripts that the Florida lawmaker successfully kept away from the paper.
Explaining the Post’s case, Musgrave wrote, “The newspaper went to court after records showed only one teen was called to testify to the grand jury even though dozens told police Epstein sexually abused them at his Palm Beach mansion.”
“Further, sources familiar with the grand jury proceedings said the 14-year-old girl was vilified by state prosecutors,” she added. “Rather than focus on her claims of abuse, lieutenants for then-State Attorney Barry Krischer quizzed her about her online social media posts where she talked about drinking and boys, they said.”
The report continued, “In court papers, The Post’s attorneys argued that releasing the records would reveal what happened and whether Krischer bowed to pressure from Epstein’s high-octane defense team.”
You can read more here.
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