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Hillary Clinton for President

Hillary Clinton has proved herself over a long career in public service to be greedy, unethical, and willing to say what works for her regardless of truth if she thinks she can get away with it. Donald Trump has proved himself over a long business career to be greedy, to be a bold and persistent liar, and as a man who puts himself first, foremost and exclusively, with no regard for others’ interests unless there is a direct benefit to the Donald. One big and decisive difference between the two is that Donald Trump, in the writer’s opinion, is a sociopath, and Hillary Clinton, again in the writer’s opinion, is not a sociopath. So while both candidates have strong sleaze factors, there is more danger, for instance, of Trump’s starting a nuclear war than is the case with Clinton.

First, what do I mean by “sociopath.” A sociopath is a person who has NO conscience, who has NO empathy for other people, and who says and does whatever is in his or her interests, without regard to truth, ethics, or harm to other people. About one in twenty-five Americans are sociopaths, literally without a conscience, according to experts, including Martha Stout, a Ph.D. psychologist who served on the faculty of the Harvard Medical School for twenty-five years. Her 2005 book, “The Sociopath Next Door,” outlined clearly for me the unexpected commonness of sociopaths in our society. She explained and gave examples from her years of counseling people of the HUGE advantages that being able to act without the emotional burden of conscience can have in business and in other arenas of life.

In my opinion, Donald Trump fits the description of sociopath perfectly. He lies without qualm, He makes fun of and hurts people without remorse or apology, he does what he finds would most effectively advance Donald Trump’s interests without regard to the collateral damage which he does to others, and of course he lies whenever convenient. That said, in my opinion, being a sociopath can be very effective in a political leader at least in the short term. I believe that many dictators – Hitler, Mussolini, Stalin, among others from recent history – were sociopaths, effective sociopaths who lied, killed and shaped their societies for a time and who have successors in today’s world.

I don’t think Americans really want a sociopath as their President, at least I hope so. On this blog’s consumption and environmental issues, Clinton acknowledges that man-caused climate change is a big problem. Trump said, I believe, that it was all made up by the Chinese to hurt American industry by generating industry-hampering laws and regulations. But neither Clinton, Congress nor the American people is willing to act on the measures that would make a real difference, like a high carbon tax to discourage emission of greenhouse gasses, and so we will continue at high speed towards a warmer, less-hospitable world.

I console myself with the thought that Hillary Clinton is probably less sleazy than her husband, who I believe was an effective, sometimes visionary President in 1993-2001. She would be less dangerous as President than Donald Trump, and we can earnestly hope that the reality of power will diminish her need to act on her worst instincts.


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