Assessment of Trump mind: psychopathic

Like many Americans, I have been struggling for years to understand the make-up of Donald Trump. A good number of my friends, including some mental health professionals, have advised me not to label him as “insane,” because it’s not a medical term. And it lacks precision, just meaning someone with severe mental illnesses.

If that word doesn’t work, although some use it to describe this most complicated man, then what terminology does?

Trump at hush-money trial.

The more I read about his unstable mental condition and try to match it up with his performance as a president and as a candidate for the presidency, the more I find myself agreeing with psychologists and psychiatrists who assess him as having a psychopathic personality disorder, aka PPD.

That came clear in a 2022 white paper by Dr. Vince Greenwood, an expert in cognitive therapy and founder of “Duty To Inform,” an organization to educate about Trump’s state of mind. Among his many credentials, Greenwood has done more than 1700 psychological evaluations.

In his paper, he reminds us that 60,000 mental health professionals signed a 2017 petition that called for Trump to be removed from office as unfit to serve. They assessed Trump’s behaviors that are well documented. Trump’s persona could be called data rich, even over-exposed.

Let Dr. Greenwood describe some of the characteristics of a psychopath and see if you see what he sees from the mountains of exposures of Trump’s behaviors:

  • Impulsivity
  • Remorselessness
  • Drive to dominate
  • Lack of empathy
  • No compassion
  • No shame or guilt
  • Low frustration tolerance
  • Unfocused
  • Easily bored
  • Undisciplined

Greenwood uses a car analogy to help people understand how dangerous a psychopath can be. The PPD car has no brakes (remorselessness, lack of shame or guilt), no steering wheel (impulsivity), and only one gear (drive to dominate). Crackups are inevitable.

“He is like a man behind the wheel of a car that has no brakes or steering,” he says, “and takes great satisfaction in battering whomever crosses his path next.”

Greenwood adds that psychopaths “often have a keen, opportunistic intelligence that enables them to get ahead and slither their way up the social hierarchy.” They hide their true natures.

Many people see Trump as an extreme narcissist. Greenwood begs to differ. Narcissists care what other people think of them; Trump cares not. “Do not think of him as some preening peacock, although it is tempting to do so. Recognize he is a cold-blooded snake (however colorful) who can’t help but strike with venom.”

He sees Trump as beyond paranoid or delusional, though some of that may be present.

  1. You may want to dismiss all the above as social science mumbo jumbo. Let’s consider some other perspectives from people who know Trump close-up.

Jennifer Rubin, a veteran, common sensical national journalist, points out that four of President Trump’s closest former advisors – picked by him – Attorney General William Barr, Chief of Staff John Kelly, Defense Secretary William Esper and Vice President Mike Pence have conspicuously refused to endorse their former boss.

In my humble opinion, they have a duty to go further. Beyond just warning us, they could band together and endorse Biden for a second term. Like Trump, he is too old. And he has his drawbacks. But he is not PPD mad.

Two more viewpoints on Trump’s unfitness for office bear attention. His ghost writer for the book that made him famous, “The Art of the Deal,” lived with him for 18 months. Tony Schwartz, who later regretted writing that work of fiction, now says, “Trump stands for many of the things I abhor: his willingness to run over people, the gaudy, tacky, gigantic obsessions, the absolute lack of interest in anything beyond power and money.” (Schwartz has donated his share of the royalties from his book to charity.)

Trump’s niece, Mary Trump, a PhD clinical psychologist, knew him close up and personal. She wrote a book in 2020 that told about the mess that was the Trump family. She debunked his business prowess, outlining the multi-millions he inherited from his father. He was born on home plate.

She did not do a diagnosis of her uncle, but she sub-titled her book: “How My Family Created The World’s Most Dangerous Man.”

And in one short summation, she wrote: “Donald today is much as he was at three years old: incapable of growing, learning, or evolving, unable to regulate his emotions, moderate his responses, or take in or synthesize information.”

I think she would agree with Dr. Greenwood’s deep assessment that the man who wants to be president again, and thinks he never lost the Oval Office, is a PPD basket case.

One final note: a psychopathic personality disorder is deemed incurable.

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