Psychopathy in the White House

It’s clear that Barack Obama is a narcissist, so I wasn’t surprised when he paraded around the White House making faces to his selfie stick then stopping to admire his gaunt profile in the mirror the way an insecure teenager might.  Selfie obsession, however, can be a symptom of something more sinister – the Dark Triad of personality traits

The Dark Triad consists of narcissism, Machiavellianism and psychopathy, and it turns out Obama is riddled with all three, especially the darkest category -- psychopathy.  Narcissists generally cause themselves harm, and one could easily argue that to become president one must be a bit self-absorbed, if not cocky.  But psychopathy is particularly pernicious as the perpetrator appears normal, and often quite charming, which even Obama’s detractors admit he occasionally exudes.

Personality psychologists have constructed a “Dirty Dozen” scale to identify the Dark Triad.  Let’s take a look, focusing especially on the behaviors associated with psychopathy, behaviors that Obama exhibits in abundance.

M = Machiavellianism, N = Narcissism, P = Psychopathy.

  1. I tend to manipulate others to get my way.  (M)
  2. I tend to lack remorse. (P)
  3. I tend to want others to admire me. (N)
  4. I tend to be unconcerned with the morality of my actions. (P)
  5. I have used deceit or lied to get my way. (M)
  6. I tend to be callous or insensitive. (P)
  7. I have used flattery to get my way. (M)
  8. I tend to seek prestige or status. (N)
  9. I tend to be cynical. (P)
  10. I tend to exploit others toward my own end. (M)
  11. I tend to expect special favors from others. (N)
  12. I want others to pay attention to me. (N) (…continued below)

Obama would score highly in each measure. For example, for number 5, the Washington Post awarded him the Lie of the Year “award” for “If you like your health-care plan, you can keep it."    Similarly, his real-time obsession with his legacy supersedes most presidents’ conceit -- who heretofore mostly focused on policy first then later massaged it for posterity.

But it is Obama’s proclivity for P which is particularly disconcerting; whereas most politicians have N, and a more devious minority exhibit some M, far fewer wallow in P.  Furthermore, whereas N infects the victim with self-destructive, perhaps supercilious visions of grandeur, P envelops those under his influence in the dark side.

Consider number 2 in the scale:  “I tend to lack remorse.”  Well, politicians at various points along the ideological spectrum may disagree wholeheartedly, but still have remorse should something untoward befall an opponent.

But there is evidence that Obama is remorseless.  Charles Woods, father of a Navy SEAL killed in the attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, was only looking for some emotional support from the Commander in Chief.  Instead, here’s how he described his meeting with Obama at Andrews Air Force base:  “His face was pointed towards me but he would not look me in the eye," Woods says of meeting Obama. "I could tell he was not sorry. He had no remorse." 

Want more recent evidence of Obama’s lack of remorse?   On 21 July, 2015, he had the impudence to deny that there was anything wrong with the IRS targeting conservative groups.    His lack of remorse that the IRS caused turmoil to American citizens’ lives is pathological because when it seemed politically expedient he condemned the IRS abuses and found the inspector general’s findings “inexcusable.”

Now consider number 4 on the scale:  “I tend to be unconcerned with the morality of my actions.” 

That pretty well captures Obama’s un-American grounding in morality.  Perhaps his umbrage at American exceptionalism was instilled while he was a child in Indonesia, or from lurking on the periphery of American society in Hawaii or in Chicago’s Saul Alinsky-inspired radical community organizations.  Something definitely warped his confused soul to apply this bizarre moral equivalence:  Obama compares medieval Christian actions to present-day Islamic barbarism.

Obama’s actions, or lack thereof, in deploying resources to combat radical Islamic jihadists are ultimately immoral.   Another AT author did an exemplary job of exposing his immorality.

Number 6 on the scale is the next measure of psychopathy:  “I tend to be callous or insensitive”

It was truly unbecoming as well as insensitive when Obama, during his 2010 State of the Union address, criticized SCOTUS for their Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission decision.  The justices were sitting ducks in this unprecedented presidential petulance that sullied an event in which members from all three branches of government are under one roof.  Magnanimity is clearly not in his makeup.

Obama seems to relish the callous and insensitive tactic of attacking others who are constrained from immediate rebuttal.  He also invited Paul Ryan to a budget speech (though Obama later lied about that) then proceeded to criticize his budget plans severely, knowing Ryan couldn’t respond.  At least not until after, when Ryan said this:

“I’m very disappointed in the president. I was excited when we got invited to attend his speech today. I thought the president’s invitation… was an olive branch. Instead what we got was a speech that was excessively partisan, dramatically inaccurate and hopelessly inadequate in addressing our country’s fiscal challenges… Rather than building bridges, he’s poisoning wells.”

Obama also demonstrated a callous indifference to the family of Kate Steinle who was shot dead by an illegal immigrant given sanctuary in San Francisco.  Ironically, unlike other personal tragedies where he promptly intruded for political gain, this one actually had some federal policy overtones.

Number 9 on the scale is another measure of psychopathy: “I tend to be cynical.”  Unlike the first three, where Obama occupies rarified territory, this is a bit more common amongst politicians.  Nevertheless, he out-cynics most. 

This headline says it all:  President Obama lied about gay marriage, Axelrod says. This is why we’re cynical

Delaying action on immigration executive actions until after 2014 mid-term elections is the height of cynicism -- if it was a good idea after the elections then why wasn’t it a good idea before?  This was also immoral given the squalid conditions in which illegal women and children -- that he encouraged to come with illegitimate promises of aid -- were held.

Our Cynic-in-Chief slipped into the dark abyss even as the Charleston community rallied for forgiveness and redemption following the tragic church shooting.  He exploited the situation to haughtily call for gun control laws that would absolutely not have prevented this abhorrent, evil crime. 

Obama is in the Dark Triad stratosphere. Many politicians exhibit narcissism and Machiavellianism, but, at least in America, are generally free of psychopathy.  Obama is not only in the stratosphere on the first two, but he’s also immersed in psychopathy.  For each example above you could probably insert many more.

His recent epiphany that he could’ve easily ended up in prison is quite revealing; indeed, that’s where many psychopaths often end up.   Instead, his Dark Triad of personality traits is infusing our White House not with a smidgen but a culture of corruption.

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