John Gorman, JNS, April 13, 2015
The two surest signs of sociopathy are serial killing, and pathological lying.
Barack Obama obviously has no personal taste for killing. (Yes, over 300 children have been killed in drone attacks he’s ordered; but every wartime President has the blood of collateral victims on his hands, and it’s not really a reflection of their personalities.)
But Obama does have that other dead giveaway of sociopathy: constant dishonesty.
If you point this out to Democrats, they will almost always respond by saying that Bush lied too. When you ask what Bush lied about, they’ll always give the same answer: those weapons of mass destruction.
But that was a mistake, not a lie. The CIA, and every Senator at the time believed that Iraq had obtained enriched yellow cake uranium, and also that it had biological weapons. Those fears, of course, turned out to be unfounded.
But — and this is the more salient point here — the fact that Democrats always point to this same “lie” when asked about Bush’s dishonesty is actually indication that Bush was, by and large, relatively honest.
When talking about Obama’s lies, it’s hard to know where to begin. The logical place is probably his first Presidential campaign. Think back to a couple of his more well known claims.
Obama said that his would be the most transparent administration in history. It has of course turned out to be the opposite. The way he got Obamacare passed was through back room machinations, with the Louisiana Purchase, the Cornhusker Kickback, the buying off of the AMA and AARP and big pharma. It was also an exercise in obfuscation, as Jonathan Gruber has famously pointed out.
And at the same time Obama was promising transparency in his administration, he made sure that none of his own school records would ever be released.
Obama also said during that campaign that there would be no more business as usual — meaning, no more earmarks — during his administration. But as soon he got into office he pushed for the stimulus bill, a 787 billion dollar spending package that was basically noting but earmarks desired by Democratic congressmen.
This brings us to another lie of the 2008 campaign. Obama portrayed himself as someone willing to reach across the aisle. But when Republicans were completely excluded from the crafting of the stimulus bill — which was unheard of for a bill of that size — they complained to Obama. He dismissed them with the words, “I won.”
In 2008, when Obama’s connection to Jeremiah Wright first surfaced, and the videos of Wright thundering “Goddamn America” emerged, Obama, who had attended his church for 17 years, and who had been married by Wright, disingenuously said, “This isn’t the Jeremiah Wright that I know.” But Wright, a black nationalist, had not suddenly changed his stripes.
In 2008, Obama also gave that famous speech about race, where he talked about “the greatness and goodness of our nation,” and in which he said that the “Reverend Wright’s words were not only wrong but divisive, divisive at a time when we need unity.” But once in office, Obama — and his minion Eric Holder — fanned the flames of all sorts of racial flareups. Obama instinctively sided with Professor Henry Gates against the Cambridge police officer, and with Trayvon Martin against George Zimmerman. (Remember, “If I had a son, he would look like Trayvon?”)
Of course, there are many politicians who make campaign promises that they are unable to keep. But usually it’s because they can’t get their bills passed, or they meet up with other unforeseen circumstances. But in Obama’s case, it’s a little different: he has run an administration which is the polar opposite of what he promised back in ’08.
Even worse, Obama also lies freely about past events, saying things he knows to be false.
Obama claimed that Fast and Furious was a “field-initiated program begun under the previous administration.” That was simply not true. It began in the fall of 2009.
Obama’s most famous lie is probably, “If you like your health care plan, you can keep it.” Obama knew from the start that his plan would force some to change doctors.
Obama lied, on multiple occasions, about Benghazi.
When Obama was asked about the IRS scandal, before the investigation was even complete, he said that there was “not even a smidgen of corruption” there. It’s hard not to hear echoes of OJ Simpson pleading, “Absolutely, 100% not guilty” to his ex-wife’s murder. Or of Bill Clinton wagging his finger and angrily declaring, “I did not have sex with that woman!”
It is a uniquely sociopathic trait to be so emphatic when lying.
In 2012, it emerged that an Obama operative offered Jeremiah Wright $150,000 simply to remain silent for the rest of the campaign season. Wright refused. Subsequently, Obama personally showed up to ask Wright to be quiet. Wright refused again, and later told the following revealing anecdote about their meeting:
Barack said, ‘I’m sorry you don’t see it the way I do. Do you know what your problem is?’ And I said, ‘No, what’s my problem?’ And he said, ‘You have to tell the truth.’ I said, ‘That’s a good problem to have. That’s a good problem for all preachers to have.
It is in keeping with Obama’s character that he would see honesty as a “problem.”
So far, this post has read like a political screed: all of the lies listed were political in nature, i.e., made for the sake of furthering Obama’s political agenda, either directly or indirectly. And all politicians are spin artists, though most are not as blatantly dishonest as Obama. (For a more comprehensive list of Obama’s lies, look here or here.)
Even Obama’s accent is phony.
Listen carefully to Barack Obama, and what you’ll hear is a faint southern (whitish) accent, located roughly midway between a northern white (non)accent and a black accent. It’s not quite black enough to scare the white electorate, though it does have a tendency to turn several shades darker when he’s speaking to an all black audience. But it’s not white enough to make him sound like a Tom or an effete Ivy Leaguer, either.
So the question becomes, just where did he acquire this quasi-Southern accent? Did he get it from his Kenyan father, who disappeared from his life when he was two? From his Kansan mother? From his Kansan grandparents, who raised him whenever his mother went gallivanting around the world? From his schoolchums in Indonesia? Or is that the way they speak at Punahou, the exclusive Hawaiian prep school he attended?
One can’t help but suspect that his accent, like everything else about him, was carefully constructed for maximal electoral value.
Listen to this compilation of Obama’s empty campaign promises on Youtube, you’ll see that he has that other identifying characteristic of sociopaths: he lies with full throated assurance. Most liars give themselves away by a certain hesitance, or shame-facedness. Not Obama: he delivers his lies with the bold conviction that only a sociopath can.
Part of every sociopath’s makeup is a healthy dose of narcissism. At Harvard Law School, the other students coined a new word, the Obamamometer, to measure how transparently a student had curried favor with a professor. Think about that: in a school where huge egos and outsize ambition are the norm, Obama’s were so egregiously so that even the other students were repulsed.
Obama’s self-regard is such that he once told an aide, “I think I’m a better speechwriter than my speechwriters. I know more about policies on any particular issue than my policy directors. And I’ll tell you right now that I’m a better political director than my political director.”
Generally, when someone advertises his conscience, it’s a fairly sure sign that he doesn’t have one. For those of us who aren’t sociopaths, we’re not really aware of our consciences, certainly not as a separate entity. They’re just part of us, built into our wiring, and we’re no more conscious of them than we are of the way our nerve endings are connected within our brains.
Sociopaths don’t feel shame, and therefore don’t have the same kinds of brakes on their personalities that most of us do. As a result, they often feel compelled to advertise their innate “goodness.” They’ve heard of consciences, but don’t really have any instinctive feel for how they work, and are thus more likely to refer to them as a distinct part of their personalities.
With that in mind, listen to this quote from Obama’s second book, The Audacity of Hope:
I find comfort in the fact that the longer I’m in politics the less nourishing popularity becomes, that a striving for power and rank and fame seems to betray a poverty of ambition, and that I am answerable mainly to the steady gaze of my own conscience.
Not only does Obama talk about his conscience, he attributes a steady gaze to it.
In 2013, Obama said, “Kindness covers all of my political beliefs. Empathy, the idea that we have a stake in each other’s success, is what gets me up every single day.”
In other words, “I do what I do because I’m a kind and empathetic person.”
(The same rule that applies to prison pen pal advertisements applies to politicians: people who actually have those qualities don’t feel obliged to advertise them.)
George Will himself said in 2012, “Obama’s intellectual sociopathy — his breezy and somewhat loutish indifference to truth — should no longer startle.”
(Question: how can one be an “intellectual sociopath” without being a sociopath?)
Another sociopathic trait is disregard for rules. There has certainly never been a President who has abused executive orders that Obama has. (It’s never before been invoked for such an issue as sweeping as immigration reform.) Obama has also used executive privilege to prevent Congress from forcing Eric Holder to produce documents related to Fast and Furious, a purpose for which that function was not designed.
Yet another sociopathic trait is lack of shame. One would think that Obama would feel at least a little embarrassed about taking as many lavish vacations as he has, and playing golf as often as he has, and throwing as many celebrity-studded parties as he has. But, embarrassment doesn’t seem to be part of Obama’s emotional repertoire.
A classic example [of Obama’s phoniness] was his speech to a predominantly black audience at Hampton University on June 5, 2007. That date is important, as we shall see.
In his speech — delivered in a ghetto-style accent that Obama doesn’t use anywhere except when he is addressing a black audience — he charged the federal government with not showing the same concern for the people of New Orleans after hurricane Katrina hit as they had shown for the people of New York after the 9/11 attacks, or the people of Florida after hurricane Andrew hit.
Departing from his prepared remarks, he mentioned the Stafford Act, which requires communities receiving federal disaster relief to contribute 10 percent as much as the federal government does.
Senator Obama, as he was then, pointed out that this requirement was waived in the case of New York and Florida because the people there were considered to be “part of the American family.” But the people in New Orleans— predominantly black — “they don’t care about as much,” according to Barack Obama . . .
Why is the date of this speech important? Because, less than two weeks earlier, on May 24, 2007, the United States Senate had in fact voted 80-14 to waive the Stafford Act requirement for New Orleans, as it had waived that requirement for New York and Florida. . .
The Congressional Record for May 24, 2007 shows Senator Barack Obama present that day and voting on the bill that waived the Stafford Act requirement. Moreover, he was one of just 14 Senators who voted against — repeat, AGAINST — the legislation which included the waiver.
For Obama to rile up his black audience that way by telling them that Congress discriminated against them when in fact it didn’t — and he himself was one of the few who actually voted against them — demonstrates a level of perfidy that only a sociopath could reach. It was dishonest, disloyal, impulsive (in departing from his prepared remarks), contemptuous (of his audiences intelligence), divisive, and utterly shameless. Sociopaths delight in spreading discord, and as Sowell points out, that was a large part of Obama’s function as a community organizer.
The most interesting question about a sociopath is always, how did he get to be that way? The usual explanation for most is that nobody loved them when they were children. Obama never really knew Barack Obama Sr., who married his mother bigamously, telling her that he was divorced when he wasn’t. He disappeared from Obama’s life when Obama was two. (Obama only saw his father once after that, briefly, at age ten.)
Obama’s mother, Stanley Ann Dunham, willingly gave him up for extended periods twice before he was sixteen. (He was left in the care of his grandparents.) This would seem to demonstrate a lack of maternal instinct. Obama himself has described her as “difficult,” which in this case seems to be code for “overly self-involved and unloving.” By his own admission Obama kept contact with her to a minimum from the time he was 20 until he was 30 (she died when he was 32).
A person who grows up never knowing his father, and not loving his mother, tends to end up “loving” himself. But it’s a strange, twisted sort of love that makes him feel he’s not answerable to other people, and doesn’t need to speak to them honestly. It allows him to think he’s fooling them even when he’s not. And because he senses that he doesn’t have the same internal moral compass as others, he’ll talk about his “conscience” and his “empathy” in an effort to convince them that he does.
Many of those sociopaths end up in jail. Some end up as CEO’s. A few have even ended up in the White House.