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Post Our Former Sociopath-in-Chief
Created by John Eipper on 12/15/21 3:19 AM

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Our Former Sociopath-in-Chief (Leo Goldberger, USA, 12/15/21 3:19 am)

Mark Meadows and most others in high places--not to mention the ordinary public throughout our country--seem not to have taken seriously that Donald Trump was (and is) a sick person, suffering from the mental disorder called "sociopathy" in the official American Psychiatric Association's Diagnostic Manual.

I still recall my own first encounter with such a patient. It was truly an unbelievable experience, as this particular was presented to us at a mental hospital when I was a graduate student of psychology. There was absolutely no way that one might have detected any "symptoms" in his demeanor. He was a charming, seemingly outgoing, "normal" person--despite his hospital case record of multiple and extensive crimes, financial as well as sexual. In this way he was no different from that of a Donald Trump, who with the aid of another (the eventually disbarred lawyer Roy Cohen), somehow has until now evaded incarceration.

It is an amazing fact that sociopaths like Trump, despite his obvious disregard of law--be it his "humorous" shooting of someone on Fifth Ave (and getting away with it) or his blatant attempt to overturn the current election--have succeeded to the degree they have so far. While I realize full well that we have yet to discover a therapeutic remedy for the sociopathic disease (we simply confine them in jail-like institutions once they are caught as a protection against their further crimes), this is really what ought to be seriously considered in the case of Donald Trump. It is truly impossible to think of anyone who has created more damage to our beloved country than he.

JE comments:  There's no ambiguity in Dr Goldberger's assessment!  Leo, you point out the Trump abettors/"enablers" who have kept him out of trouble (at least so far).  Is this a common trait among sociopaths--namely, to surround themselves with people who make excuses and defend them from the consequences of their actions?

It would seem that politics are a particularly attractive field for those of the sociopathic mindset.  Where else could you find such adoration, power, even impunity?  See below.  Other professions include the clergy, law enforcement, and CEOs of all stripes.

10 Professions That Attract the Most Sociopaths (mic.com)

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  • Does Trump Remain a Threat to US Democracy? (Tor Guimaraes, USA 12/16/21 3:43 AM)
    Once again I feel grateful to Leo Goldberger for sharing his wisdom and expertise and supporting my view of the ex-President and his followers. It should be a scary thought that after all the unquestionable evidence available after years of Trump doing "his thing," a significant part of the US population still follows him blindly, including most members of the Republican Party. (I do not endorse the Democratic Party either.)

    As I said often before, most Americans have no inkling of how close we have come to not having another free election in this country. Furthermore, for now John Eipper is correct in stating that "concentration camps under a theoretical second Trump term are a bit over the top," but please remember that Adolf was a very nice guy circa the Berlin Olympic games. No one would have dreamed the many Holocaust concentration camps were possible either.

    As Leo stated about a sociopathic patient he encountered long ago, "There was absolutely no way that one might have detected any 'symptoms' in his demeanor. He was a charming, seemingly outgoing, 'normal' person--despite his hospital case record of multiple and extensive crimes, financial as well as sexual."

    Most starry-eyed Trump supporters are justifiably upset at the corrupt American political system, expecting dramatic political change, ignoring the likely results from Trump's wild behavior and willing to make change regardless of morals, traditions, or results.

    John Eipper stated, "I've gone on record that Trump had one admirable achievement: he didn't start any new wars."

    That is correct when it comes to Putin's Russia, which apparently can do no wrong in Trump's eyes. It is also correct in the case of his dear new friend leading North Korea. However, let's not forget about Trump going back to strangling Cuba, killing Iran's top general while on a "peace" mission, or trying to overthrow/murder Maduro a few times. Honestly the Iranians made me very worried when they did not retaliate for Suleimani's murder. They were smart to restrain themselves, but are not going to forget this.

    JE comments:   I pondered overnight on how to title this post from Tor Guimaraes, but I've boiled it down to the central question:  does Trump remain a threat to US democracy?  Can we discuss this finer point?  Even his supporters must (grudgingly) admit that he did his darnedest to reverse the 2020 election, with stunts like a phone call to Georgia's Republican governor, whom he is now actively seeking to remove from office.

    Our distinguished psychologist-in-residence Leo Goldberger sent a further comment on sociopathy.  Leo's post is next.

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  • What Attracts People to Sociopaths? (Leo Goldberger, USA 12/16/21 4:11 AM)
    Sociopathy (previously termed psychopathy) and its closely allied diagnosis of narcissism has really not been the subject of much significant research. It might be due to the fact that sociopaths only rarely seek psychiatric help on their own volition--and over the years most therapists have felt they were beyond the reach of psychotherapy.

    While there was a brief period, initiated by a Chicago psychoanalyst by the name of Ernst Kohut, in which he gave us some hope in their treatment by initially playing up to their grandiosity in order to establish some sort of positive "relationship" with the analyst, it is my sense that this strategy never really caught on. As far as I know, most of us simply stayed away from getting involved with them--and they from us.

    Among the people who seem to be attracted to narcissists (especially) are the many less than successful narcisists--such as those among the list you sent in your reply to me. These I'd term "hungry narcissists," who--like fans of celebrities--form some sort of unconscious identification with the successful, and often much celebrated and well-known narcissists, like a Trump. Their attempt at "identification" with such a person somehow rubs off on them and makes them feel more "important" than they otherwise might feel about themselves. It is quite likely that a Mark Meadows and the several second-rate members of Congress fit this bill--aside from the totally hapless ordinary folks out there. They are typical of many celebrity fans, be they actors or sports stars.

    However, please note that my comments are simply based on my own speculation, as there is little, if any, systematic research on this sort of topic. I convey it to you for what it's worth as a further subject for potential discussion.

    All the best in the New Year to you and yours!

    JE comments: Likewise, Leo! The year 2021 somehow wound down for me without any meaningful travel, yet the New Year brings new hope. Mine is to stop by and meet you in Western Massachusetts. (No worries, I don't own a bowstring.)

    Returning to the topic at hand, it's safe to say that all politicians have a narcissistic bent.  But what exactly makes some of them full-blown sociopaths?  My layperson understanding of sociopathy is the subject's absolute disregard for any person other than him or herself.  It's unfortunate that politics attracts such folks.  Remember the idealist's definition of a public servant--to serve?

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