George Conway Suggests Trump Should Be Impeached Just For Being A Sociopath
The American people need not hold degrees in psychology to ascertain the unfitness of President Donald Trump for the office he holds, wrote the husband of White House counselor Kellyanne Conway on Thursday.
In his piece for The Atlantic, George Conway said merely observing the day-to-day musings and behaviors of the president are enough to determine that Trump is not normal — and he warned that this abnormality could lead the country into dangerous territory.
“No president in recent memory—and likely no president ever—has prompted more discussion about his mental stability and connection with reality” than Trump, Conway wrote.
Despite lacking training in psychology or psychiatry, it is possible for Americans to see that Trump falls neatly into at least two categories of psychological disorder, Conway said: narcissism and sociopathy.
He was careful to note that “the presence of a mental disorder or disturbance doesn’t necessarily translate to incapacity; to suggest otherwise would unfairly stigmatize tens of millions of Americans.”
But looking at Trump’s behavior and personality traits is all that is required to determine that he is simply not fit to execute the duties of his office.
Conway goes on to cite the criteria set forth in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, which is used by the mental health profession, as a kind of guideline for understanding what we see with Trump.
An individual who exhibits five of the following nine criteria would classify as having pathological narcissism:
*1. Has a grandiose sense of self-importance (e.g., exaggerates achievements and talents, expects to be recognized as superior without commensurate achievements).
Is preoccupied with fantasies of unlimited success, power, brilliance, beauty, or ideal love.
Believes that he or she is “special” and unique and can only be understood by, or should associate with, other special or high-status people (or institutions).
Requires excessive admiration.
Has a sense of entitlement (i.e., unreasonable expectations of especially favorable treatment or automatic compliance with his or her expectations).
Is interpersonally exploitative (i.e., takes advantage of others to achieve his or her own ends)
Lacks empathy: is unwilling to recognize or identify with the feelings or needs of others.
Is often envious of others or believes that others are envious of him or her.
Shows arrogant, haughty behaviors or attitudes.*
Conway then walks through each criterion, providing multiple examples of Trump’s behavior that fit the bill.
Moving on, he pointed to sociopathy as another disorder that appears to characterize Trump’s behavior — classified in the DSM-5 as antisocial personality disorder.
“Central to sociopathy is a complete lack of empathy—along with ‘an absence of guilt,’” Conway wrote, quoting Lance Dodes, a former assistant clinical professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School.
“Sociopaths engage in ‘intentional manipulation, and controlling or even sadistically harming others for personal power or gratification. People with sociopathic traits have a flaw in the basic nature of human beings … They are lacking an essential part of being human.’”
The DSM-5 further describes antisocial personality disorder as involving “deceitfulness, as indicated by repeated lying, use of aliases, or conning others”; “failure to conform to social norms with respect to lawful behaviors, as indicated by repeatedly performing acts that are grounds for arrest”; “impulsivity or failure to plan ahead”; and “lack of remorse, as indicated by being indifferent to or rationalizing having hurt, mistreated, or stolen from another.”
Again, the president appears to fit neatly into each category, as he does with the criteria for narcissism.
Whether or not Trump would attain a diagnosis in either of these disorders is not relevant to the American people, Conway said, because their job is to assess the president’s fitness for office.
Can he carry out the duties of the presidency as prescribed in the U.S. Constitution while exhibiting the characteristics of pathological narcissism and antisocial personality disorder?
Conway argued no, this is an impossibility.
“The question is whether he can possibly act as a public fiduciary for the nation’s highest public trust,” Conway wrote. “To borrow from the Harvard Law Review article, can he follow the ‘proscriptions against profit, bad faith, and self-dealing,’ manifest ‘a strong concern about avoiding ultra vires action’ (that is, action exceeding the president’s legal authority), and maintain ‘a duty of diligence and carefulness’?”
His conclusion: “Given that Trump displays the extreme behavioral characteristics of a pathological narcissist, a sociopath, or a malignant narcissist—take your pick—it’s clear that he can’t.”
The full piece is lengthy but a worthwhile read. Conway sets out a compelling argument, bolstered by countless examples of the president's behavior, as to why Trump should be impeached simply for being a sociopathic narcissist who is unable to function in office.