THE SYSTEM IS BLINKING RED — FOR MAYHEM AND UNCONSCIONABLE BEHAVIOR FROM THE PRESIDENT

What We Can Expect From A Clinical Psychopath by Vince Greenwood, Ph.D. founder of DutyToInform.Org

The President has undergone a rigorous evaluation (that does not require an interview or his consent) and has been diagnosed as a clinical psychopath. While there is no treatment for this condition, it can be instructive and perhaps helpful to see him for what he is and what his personality disorder augers.

Unfortunately, because of the nature of his disorder, we are likely in greater danger than we realize and are at a disadvantage in dealing with him. Dangerous because the psychopath inevitably wreaks damage upon all those in his orbit. Dangerous because the psychopath has no limiting concern for others or the consequences of his actions. He can and will do anything at all to meet his needs. Of course, he has already inflicted grievous damage to our public health and body politic. Still, he is hard-wired to go for the knockout punch.

We are at a disadvantage because we (99%) have a conscience and just can’t fathom someone who doesn’t. We are wired (for the most part) to default to the assumption that others “deep down” must have a conscience and are typically truthful. Thus, we are at a disadvantage in dealing with someone who lies with impunity and who can act with breathtaking callousness without a shred of guilt or shame.

But, with understanding of his condition, perhaps we can use our intellect to brace for and respond more effectively to what may unfold in the election aftermath.

Here is what we know about Psychopathic Personality Disorder. It is a well-researched, strongly validated psychological condition. The main feature of this disorder is a constellation of personality traits which inevitably result in significant harm to others from the person who has the disorder. The disorder has been carefully delineated and rests on a firm empirical foundation. There is a high bar to meet diagnostic criteria for this condition (approximately 1% of the population does so). But if you do, there is a great deal we can say about you, and we can say it with a great deal of authority.

The set of personality traits that make up the condition break down into three core clusters as follows:

1. Drive to dominate. This cluster of traits includes an arrogant interpersonal style, hostility, grandiosity, a sense of invulnerability, deceitfulness and antagonism.

2. Remorselessness. There are two facets to this cluster: the inability to bond with or have empathy for others, which leads to callousness; and the inability to experience shame, guilt or anxiety, which leads to consciencelessness.

3. Impulsivity.Traits here include restlessness, dereliction, greater than normal need for stimulation, inability to plan, deficits in perseverance, inability to defer gratification, recklessness, and unreliability.

These three clusters of traits are unrelenting, immutable and pervasive across time and situations. Any pour soul who suffers this condition is at the mercy of it. And we are at the mercy of him.

Sitting here on November 2 it is impossible to predict all the various scenarios that may unfold over the next month. And, a clearcut Biden victory could, practically speaking, constrain the actions Trump could take. Nevertheless, we can, today, outline the basic parameters of how he is very likely to behave. We can do this with a meaningful degree of certainty because of the extensive research and accompanying insights that go along with his diagnosis. We can say how he is likely to behave, and, more authoritatively, what he is capable of doing and what he is incapable of feeling.

We can accomplish this by zeroing in on the three core traits of Psychopathic Personality Disorder.

Because of the psychopath’s drive to dominate and arrogant, deceitful mode, he can’t help but:

1. Lie with impunity.

2. Consider himself immune to norms and rules.

3. Engage in frantic efforts to avoid loss of status.

4. Focus on “winning” at all costs. Win for the sake of winning.

5. Be ruled by egocentric concerns

6. Foment divisiveness

Because of his remorselessness, he can’t help but:

1. Blithely ignore norms, the tragedy of lost lives, or appeals from anyone to rein in his heinous behavior.

2. Have no limits on his behavior since he has no limiting sense of concern for the well-

being of others.

3. Deflect all blame for any damage he may inflict.

4. Have no feeling of discomfort to the suffering by others.

5. Have disregard and disdain for others.

Because of his impulsivity, he can’t help but:

1. Act quickly without considering the consequences.

2. Take huge risks since he craves sensation-seeking.

3. Be driven by what captures his immediate self-interest.

4. Continue to display no aptitude for governance.

The traits outlined above are features, not bugs of Psychopathic Personality Disorder. They will continue to dictate his choices and behavior.

This trifecta of destructive traits helps explain or anticipate:

- His intention of not accepting the election results

- His (along with the GOP establishment) multi-million dollar effort to disenfranchise voters.

- His bogus claims of voter fraud.

- His effort to whip up the base for chaos and crisis.

- His signal to right-wing extremist groups to “stand by.”

- His encouragement of thuggery by Trump caravans.

What’s next? Seize ballots? Interfere with the tabulation of ballots? Declare victory prematurely in an attempt to subvert election results? Dispatch armed personnel to dispel “riots” in Democratic cities? More explicitly incite violence from armed militias? Send law enforcement forces under Barr’s command to polling places? Hold rallies immediately after the election to sow discord and disinformation?

Stay tuned.

Vince Greenwood, Ph.D., is a clinical psychologist who lives and works in Washington D.C. He founded DutyToInform.org.