The Real Threat to Democracy: Donald Trump's Culture of Sociopathy

Although the election is less than two weeks away, based on the current poll numbers, it's looking like America (and the world for that matter) will evade a streaking asteroid the size of Jupiter colliding into our planet.

According to the Mayo Clinic, "Antisocial personality disorder, also called 'sociopathy,' is a mental condition in which a person consistently shows no regard for right and wrong and ignores the rights and feelings of others. People with antisocial personality disorder tend to antagonize, manipulate or treat others harshly or with callous indifference. They show no guilt or remorse for their behavior."

Since my article here back in February, many other experts have diagnosed Donald Trump with narcissistic personality disorder. Since then it has also become clearer that he has sociopathic tendencies as well. His claim that the election is "rigged" and that he may not accept Hilliary Clinton's probable victory is a prime example. Trump does not give a flying hoot about bringing down our time-tested, democratic process. He would rather create more polarity and heated divisiveness because he's a sore loser and is not getting what he wants.

Trump doesn't care that statements like his could incite violence and civil unrest after the votes are legitimately counted and he loses the election. He is content to encourage an incendiary uprising despite the fact that people could get hurt or even killed. He doesn't care that his outlandish declarations and reckless barbs fan the flames of irate passion and perpetuate a culture of sociopathy--a culture that says it's OK to hate and discriminate against select groups of Americans. Is this the way he intends to "Make America Great Again?"

Trump's odyssey of hate and bigotry has already regressed us decades in our evolution as a civilized society that honors equal rights and fairness to all. It will take years to rebuild it again regardless of the election's outcome. But if he becomes President, it would initiate the end of democracy as we know it. I do believe that at the hands of a Trump Presidency, the human race would be literally at stake and we could very well have World War III within a few years or sooner.

Recently, The Atlantic magazine's James Hamblin quoted Tony Schwartz co-author of Donald Trump's best-selling autobiography, The Art of the Deal. Schwartz said "If Trump wins and gets the nuclear codes, there is an excellent possibility it will lead to the end of civilization." Hamblin wrote "Schwartz feels deep remorse at having put 'lipstick on a pig.' That seemed to be something of a contradiction to the charge of sociopathy, as pigs have been found to show signs of empathy."

Since the dawn of his campaign Trump has displayed a chilling lack of sensitivity and empathy. His brand of misanthropy toward others can only be described as sociopathy. He doesn't care about anyone or anything unless it serves his platform and more significantly, his ego.

Sociopaths are malignant personalities with over-sized egos who suffer from a chronic and permanent condition. The illness twists the way they think and perceive the world. Most significantly, it negatively affects how they relate to people. They usually have minimal concern for the welfare of others. In a sense, they are dead from the neck down.

Even scarier to consider, Dr. Scott A. Bonn's Psychology Today article, How to tell a Sociopath from a Psychopath, describes the great similarities in both diagnoses. "Psychopaths often have disarming or even charming personalities. They are very manipulative and can easily gain people's trust. Psychopaths are often well educated and hold steady jobs. Some are so good at manipulation and mimicry that they have families and other long-term relationships without those around them ever suspecting their true nature."

Does this sound like someone we know?

However, a big misnomer about sociopaths and psychopaths is that they are all dangerous, misguided criminals who eventually resort to physical violence. Or they are edgy, "loose-cannon" types that live on the fringes of society.

The truth is sociopaths and psychopaths come from all walks of life and look like normal people on the outside. Some never resort to violence. Sometimes they are difficult to identify especially in the beginning. They are CEOs, athletes, chefs, politicians, artists, engineers, etc. They inflict pain on others through imperceptible intimidation minus the overt hostility. Sociopaths and psychopaths are also habitual liars and expert smooth talkers. They can charm their way through anything to get want they want.

So you see, Mr. Trump has the trifecta. He's a narcissist with both sociopathic and psychopathic tendencies. Couple that with having no clue about how to run a government and we have a serious threat to our democracy and our nation. Putting Trump in the White House would be akin to asking someone to fly a 747 without a pilot's license high on crack cocaine.

In the unlikely event that there is little or no unrest after the election (we should prepare for several days of rioting and violence), the damage that Trump has caused this country is immeasurable and unforgivable. But not irreparable. Though it may take time, America will revert back from this temporary aberration.

I'm afraid that after Trump is defeated on November 8, he will not go quietly into that good night. He will kick, scream and tantrum for the next few years as he grapples with the shame of losing. Because after all, along with his clinical trifecta, he's also a big baby.