NY Post Piece on Identifying a Child Psychopath Perfectly Describes America’s Adult Psychopath


At Mediaite, we pride ourselves in being able to connect the dots. So when the New York Post released a report detailing the various disturbing traits to look out for if you suspect your child struggles with psychopathy, we couldn’t help but tie them to America’s most famous adult psychopath.

In the article, titled “How to tell if your child is a future psychopath,” Post writer Jane Ridley speaks to Lillyth Quillan — a mother who helps other parents deal with troubled children, as her own son “Kevin” (not his real name) deals with such issues.

“After years of cruel and violent behavior plus multiple suspensions and expulsions from school, psychiatrists finally diagnosed the then-14-year-old Kevin with ‘conduct disorder,’ which, in its most extreme form, can be a precursor to psychopathy,” writes Ridley.

While the reporter notes that psychopathy tends to only impact one percent of people during their adult lives, just a brief look at President Donald Trump’s character traits reveals the leader of the free world might just land in the one percent category.

“Key attributes that sociopaths and psychopaths have in common include a disregard for laws, social mores and the rights of others, ” notes Ridley. “Characteristics to look for… include lack of empathy, lack of guilt and regret, pathological lying, grandiose self-worth and failure to accept responsibility for actions such as fighting and bullying.”

Nearly all of those traits conjure up images of Trump’s off-the-cuff campaign stops, flirtations with law-bending, refusals to acknowledge mistakes, record-shattering lying, exaggerations of his wealth, and unhinged tweet-storms — but a “lack of empathy” stands out glaringly, thanks to recent incidents.

Following the Parkland, Florida shooting in which 17 people died on Valentine’s Day, the president met with individuals and families who have been hurt by gun violence. The meeting acted as a fairly mundane media spectacle and was really the bare minimum of what one might expect from a president gathering with grieving Americans, but one part was remarkable.

In Trump’s hands, he clutched an easily legible note-card that included the words “I hear you” in a large font — as if that isn’t a phrase the president would normally consider when meeting with humans who have personally watched other humans be gunned-down en masse.

The president also allegedly referred to some developing countries as “shithole nations” earlier this year, but failed to acknowledge — or care to understand, it seems — that places like Haiti are in a struggling state because of U.S. and Western foreign policy. It was yet another example of his non-existent empathy for those who have dealt with traumatic experiences.

As for “lack of regret,” despite Trump capturing the hearts and minds and — most importantly — the votes of evangelical America, he famously boasted about never seeking forgiveness, despite claiming to be a Christian. “I don’t bring God into that picture,” said the then-candidate in 2015 when pressed by a pastor on repentance.

Of course, the phrases “pathological lying” and “grandiose self-worth” are so Trump-ian that it’s hard to read those words without thinking of the man who often pretended to be his own publicist in order to spread rumors about himself and his sex life to New York’s tabloids.

And finally, the “failure to accept responsibility for actions such as fighting and bullying” is yet another obvious parallel, and the president doubling-down after attacking Gold Star parents of a deceased Muslim-American soldier because of their faith perfectly captures his affinity for punching down.

But let’s get back to Quillan and the issue of child psychopathy. While her personal situation with her son has improved, she explains to the Post that there’s actually not much anyone can do to deal with psychopathy since “there is no real treatment for conduct disorder.”

“All you can do is wait for your child to be arrested and enter the juvenile system and hope they get better,” says Quillan — which is a message that Americans should find troubling, considering the large adult version of 14-year-old Kevin is currently running the country.

[image via screengrab]

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This is an opinion piece. The views expressed in this article are those of just the author.

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Caleb Ecarma was a reporter at Mediaite. Email him here: caleb@mediaite.com Follow him on Twitter here: @calebecarma