Monday, January 23, 2006


Chapter 10:


Are our Presidents psychopathic? Presidents since World War II have committed atrocities in a myriad of ways.

It is difficult not to wonder how people responsible for these atrocities live out their lives without any apparent detrimental impact on their emotional and mental health. One possible explanation for the behaviour of presidents is that they have psychopathic tendencies.

To answer this question we turn to Dr. Robert D. Hare, one of the foremost specialists on psychopaths, who has designed the classic checklist of traits which characterize psychopaths. Not all of the traits need to be present for a positive diagnosis. The test consists of 20 questions to which the answer is either: does not apply (0); applies somewhat, mixed evidence (1); definitely applies, clear evidence (2). Using Dr. Hare’s test, we will assess the degree to which President G. W. Bush is a psychopath.

A score of 30 or higher is indicative of psychopathic tendencies.

Superficial charm is a common trait among psychopaths. President Bush has developed a strategy for winning over friends and opponents alike calling his strategy a “charm offensive” which is something he can turn off and on at will.

Give Bush two points.

A psychopath has an inflated view of his self-worth and is self-assured, arrogant and a braggart.

Michael Hersh, an Online Journal contributing writer claims that “Bush’s sense of unquestionable authority drives him out of control when anyone defies him…” and that “…Bush has embraced this notion of Biblical mission, and now operates with an absolute sense of supreme authority.” (September 12, 2002)

Score two for Bush.

An excessive need for novel, thrilling and exciting stimulation is a common trait of psychopaths. In a New York Times article written by Maureen Dowd, George W. reveals through the following quotes that he has a serious attention problem and is therefore prone to boredom and in need of constant stimulation:

i) “I find my mind wandering from tasks that are uninteresting or difficult;”

ii) “I make quick decisions without thinking enough about their possible bad results;”

iii) “I have trouble planning in what order to do a series of tasks or activities;”

iv) “In group activities it is hard for me to wait my turn;”

v) “I usually work on more than one project at a time, and I fail to finish many of them.”

Score two for Bush.

Psychopaths have no regard for the truth and according to Dr. Hare “Lying, deceiving, and manipulation are natural talents for psychopaths… When caught in a lie or challenged with the truth, they are seldom perplexed or embarrassed…they simply change their stories or attempt to rework the facts so that they appear to be consistent with the lie.”

When President Bush declared war against Iraq on March 19, 2003, he claimed that “Intelligence gathered by this and other governments leaves no doubt that the Iraq regime continues to possess and conceal some of the most lethal weapons ever devised.” On May 29, 2003, he claimed that weapons of mass destruction had been found. According to Bush “We found the weapons of mass destruction.”

Score two for Bush.

One of the characteristics of a psychopath is the ability to charm and seduce followers or in this case the public. They lie convincingly and are seldom perplexed or embarrassed when caught in their deceit smoothly changing their story. Lies are the main weapon in their arsenal for manipulating others.

One example of manipulation occurred when President Bush distorted the words of former President Jimmy Carter to win support for the invasion of Iraq. President Bush claimed that the former President offered support for the invasion of Iraq when, in fact, Carter concluded that “as has been emphasized vigorously by foreign allies and by responsible leaders of former administrations and incumbent officeholders, there is no current danger to the United States from Baghdad.” (Washington Post)

Score two for Bush

Dr. Hare explains that “…psychopaths show a stunning lack of concern for the devastating effects their actions have on others. Often they are completely forthright about the matter, calmly stating that they have no sense of guilt, are not sorry for the pain and destruction they have caused, and that there is no reason for them to be concerned.”
When George W. Bush was Governor of Texas, he executed at least 131 prisoners, more than any other state, and has denied appeals from all but one of these prisoners. He felt neither remorse nor guilt for the people he was sentencing to death.

Score two for Bush

A shallow emotional response refers to the psychopath’s limited range and depth of emotions. President Bush lacks the capacity to feel sadness for the loss of lives that are a direct result of his decisions.

Score two for Bush.

Psychopaths seem to completely lack the ability to empathize with others often resulting in very callous behaviour. Unable to empathize with the pain and suffering of others, they are able to exercise power without regard for the anguish of others and then rationalize their behaviour.

In a death row case, the sister of one African American man went to his office to ask Bush for mercy for his brother. Bush refused to shake her hand and treated her with contempt as she left his office in tears. He later signed the man’s death warrant.

Score two for Bush.

Due to their lack of motivation and low self-discipline, psychopaths frequently develop a financial dependence on others. Manipulation and exploitation are commonly employed to benefit from people who can provide them with financial assistance.

According to George W. in a rare yet accurate self-assessment, “… you know I could run for governor but I am basically a media creation. I’ve never done anything…I’ve worked for my dad. I worked in the oil business.”

Score two for Bush.

Psychopaths have very week control over their emotions and in particular annoyance and anger. They are prone to outbursts of irritability, impatience, threats, aggression, anger and verbal abuse. President Bush’s inability to control his feelings is legendary. Score two for Bush.

Psychopaths experience many superficial sexual relations, are indiscriminate about their sexual partners, and have a history to sexually coerce others into sexual relations. There is no substantiated evidence of the above behaviour.

Psychopaths usually have a history of behaviour and academic difficulties. As a child, they exhibited aberrant behaviors such as lying, stealing, cruelty to people or animals and vandalism. There were a number of behavioral mishaps during Bush’s childhood that were indicative of a troubled person.

Score two for Bush.

Failure to develop and execute long-term plans and goals is another trait of psychopaths. They are incapable of thinking through their objectives step by step and tend to act impulsively or in terms of immediate emotional needs. The clearest evidence that President Bush is not able to engage in long term planning is the invasion and subsequent occupation of Iraq. Score two for Bush.

Often psychopaths base decisions on frustrations, temptations, urges or on instincts rather than a careful, reflective planning process. They also fail to consider the consequences of their decisions. President Bush said that “I make quick decisions without thinking about their possible results.”

Score two for Bush.

Psychopaths repeatedly fail to honour commitments and obligations. They are also frequently absent from or late for work. Another way in which they are irresponsible is to be oblivious or indifferent to the harm that they inflict on others. Bush’ flagrant disregard of international law and withdrawal from treaties is evidence of his irresponsibility.

Score two for Bush.

The psychopath cannot accept responsibility for his self-destructive behaviour or for the harm he inflicts on others. He will usually deny categorically responsibility for his actions and will transfer the blame elsewhere.

President Bush has produced a procession of lies to justify the invasion of Iraq. As each justification was exposed as invalid, he introduced a new lie to prove the necessity of the invasion.

Score two for Bush.

Psychopaths tend to have many short-term relationships. There is no evidence of the above behaviour.

Score 0 for Bush.

After the age of 13, psychopaths experience behaviour problems involving aggression, manipulation, or exploitation. They also exhibit resentment towards authority.

When he was 26 years old, he crashed a car while drinking under the influence of alcohol. On arriving home, his father asked him to step into the den to which George W. replied, “You wanna go mano a mano right here” demonstrating resentment toward authority. (Robert Parry, Consortium News)

Score two for Bush.

A revocation of probation due to technical violations is characteristic of psychopaths. Score 0 for Bush.

A psychopath demonstrates a diversity of types of criminal offenses regardless of whether the person has been arrested or convicted. He takes pride in the crimes that he has committed. There is no evidence in the case of George Bush.

Score 0 for Bush.

George W’s total score is 32. According to Dr. Hare, any score above 30 indicates strong psychopathic tendencies.

Based on the above test results, President Bush qualifies as having psychopathic tendencies.

Book Link: Chapter 10:




Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bush was installed because he is a psycho.
I would give him 34 out of 36: you didn't
take into account that he does in fact
take great pride in his multiple world-historic
felonies. Great job though, thanks. And
may Bush soon rot in hell that lying psychopathic

9:50 AM, January 18, 2009  

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