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Trump a textbook case for psychological disorders

Hillary Clinton’s original health issues have never been real issues. Reporters chased down the reports and found rumors and innuendos which had been hammered in into stories nothing like the original reports. Sean Hannity and some other political talking heads have been found “trumping” up what is not really there.

In evidence of her good health, Clinton recently underwent a CT scan and made the results public showing no lingering effects from a mild stroke years ago or from her recent respite from pneumonia. She was quick to release these private medical test records; she appears the picture of health. I wonder how many of her peers would be back on the campaign trail after only a week’s rest from pneumonia. I’ve been told men are such babies about such things we’d never match Hillary’s recovery on this one.

The political “sleight of hand” has us watching in the wrong direction too frequently in political races. While people trumpeted Hillary Clinton’s health rumors so many have not been noticing the big, fat gorilla wandering about in the hospital blues he stole.

Franklin Roosevelt was America’s commander-in-chief leading from a wheelchair during World War II. He would be slandered out of running for office by the political temperament today. If only there were a CT scan seeing deeper into the brain. It wasn’t FDR’s ability to stand or run which led the Allies to victory in WW II; it was a sharp mind, leadership, and character. It was his mental health.

Former GOP New Hampshire Sen. Gordon Humphrey saw the gorilla; the blues don’t fool him. The blues didn’t reveal a surgeon or even an orderly. He couldn’t mend anything. Humphrey told NBC News that Donald Trump was a “sociopath.” He was “confident Trump has major psychological issues” and that the prospect of him becoming commander-in-chief was “frightening.” “I am evermore confirmed in my belief that Trump is a sociopath, without a conscience or feelings of guilt, shame or remorse. And he is pathologically insecure, recklessly attacking anyone who does not confirm him as the best there is,” he said.

That’s an ugly gorilla all right. I have been researching sociopathy over the last few years. Sociopath/psychopath is to most psychologists the same thing. Some professionals use both words in the same paragraph to make this point. Despite what Hollywood says, we are not talking mass murderers here. According to Harvard psychologist Martha Stout we are talking one in every 25 people with a serious anti-social mental disorder. We all know at least one sociopath, probably more. They can be the most charming people in the world, and often are. They can be the pastor in our church or our professor at college. Often sociopaths like to have a group of followers which requires some charm and leadership at the right times.

It is hard for most people to comprehend the world of no feelings of conscience, guilt, shame or remorse, but that is the world of the sociopath. Wouldn’t each of us know to not criticize an American POW for “getting caught?” Sen. John McCain spent five and half years in a bamboo cage in Hanoi during the Vietnam War only to face such scorn from Trump because Trump perceived some criticism from McCain. Trump didn’t comprehend the impropriety of his words. Nor did he understand when he attacked the parents of a soldier who was killed in action — because they criticized him. He was incapable of empathy for them, only of hearing the criticism they had of him. For a sociopath, criticism is a declaration of war.

Ted Cruz stared into the world of the sociopath when he said of Trump: “This man is a pathological liar. He doesn’t know the difference between truth and lies. He lies practically every word that comes out of his mouth.” The independent organization Politifact which double checks the validity of statements from the candidates would solidly agree with Cruz’s assessment of Trump’s allergy to the truth. But outlandish, often spur-of-the-moment lying, is another hallmark of the sociopath. They lie to the point where truth and fiction become muddled. A sociopath doesn’t care.

For Trump it didn’t matter that he was on video supporting the war in Iraq. He knew it, but he swore he opposed the war at the time anyway. It doesn’t matter that he contradicts statements in his own books. Lying is so smooth and easy and frequent, sociopaths often pass lie detector tests. The sociopath I knew lied even when it was completely unnecessary, sometimes telling outrageous falsehoods. And if caught, it was of complete unconcern. So Cruz never did get an apology from Trump for the accusation that Cruz’s father had something to do with the assassination of President John F. Kennedy? Was he expecting one?

Cruz and his wife were both taken back when Trump (who is married to a model) made disparaging remarks about Cruz’s wife’s looks. Have we ever seen this in a political campaign before? Not necessarily a national issue, but no forethought to what those words might mean? No guilt, shame or remorse, afterwards? No apology? What kind of person says such things? Someone without empathy.

Sexual promiscuity is another character flaw of the sociopath. Once again Cruz weighs in, “Donald Trump is a serial philanderer and he boasts about it. This is not a secret, he boasts about being a philanderer.” “Utterly amoral.”

We have come this far and not talked about the young man in ancient Greece who fell in love with his own reflection in the pool of water so much, he could not keep from just staring and staring at it. Narcissus lent his name to the condition people have when they have an overly inflated image of themselves.

From Harvard, across the country, clinical psychologists repeat, “Narcissist.” “Textbook narcissistic personality disorder.” Ben Michaels chimed, “He’s so classic that I’m archiving video clips of him to use in workshops because there’s no better example of his characteristics. Otherwise I would have had to hire actors and write vignettes. He’s like a dream come true.” There is no one who has seen two minutes of Trump on camera who does not know what these psychologists are talking about.

Sociopathy and narcissism often walk hand in hand.

Former Republican Congressman and conservative voice of MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” Joe Scarborough, recently considered Donald Trump. Finally he asked his roundtable “Am I voting for a sociopath? And I know you’ve heard it. And all my Republican friends have heard it.”

It’s not a CT scan or those nonsense rumors of nonexistent invisible Clinton health problems. The big, fat gorilla should be a beacon to mental health issues this election season. With eyes wide open, he’s hard to miss.

Tom Scholl is a resident of Macon

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