It is only when a person takes a long and careful look at the full-blown psychopath - a sort of exaggerated Narcissist - that they are able to see the caricature of the traits that then make it easier for them to identify the "garden variety" psychopath - and/or the Narcissist. _The Mask of the PsychopathThe brief excerpt immediately below is taken from a web article "Psychopaths rule the world." It suggests that psychopaths can be distinguished from non-psychopaths medically, and that they often secretly work their way into high positions of leadership.
...science is now able to predict by brain scan and DNA tests if person is a psychopath. If this person has a happy childhood the chances that they will kill decrease, but if they aren’t happy they are at a very high risk of violent behaviour. But how does this applies to politicians and corporate leaders?This "psychopathic brain type" is estimated to comprise as many as 4 million persons within the US population.
...“Part of the problem is that the very things we’re looking for in our leaders, the psychopath can easily mimic.[..]Their natural tendency is to be charming. Take that charm and couch it in the right business language and it sounds like charismatic leadership”. __ Leaders as Psychopaths
The high incidence of sociopathy in human society has a profound effect on the rest of us who must live on this planet, too, even those of us who have not been clinically traumatized. The individuals who constitute this 4 percent drain our relationships, our bank accounts, our accomplishments, our self-esteem, our very peace on earth.More at the link above.
..."Likeable," "Charming," "Intelligent," "Alert," "Impressive," "Confidence-inspiring," and "A great success with the ladies": These are the sorts of descriptions repeatedly used by Cleckley in his famous case-studies of psychopaths. They are also, of course, "irresponsible," "self-destructive," and the like. These descriptions highlight the great frustrations and puzzles that surround the study of psychopathy.
Psychopaths seem to have in abundance the very traits most desired by normal persons. The untroubled self-confidence of the psychopath seems almost like an impossible dream and is generally what "normal" people seek to acquire when they attend assertiveness training classes. In many instances, the magnetic attraction of the psychopath for members of the opposite sex seems almost supernatural.
...read Cleckley's speculations on what was "really wrong" with these people. He comes very close to suggesting that they are human in every respect - but that they lack a soul. This lack of "soul quality" makes them very efficient "machines." They can be brilliant, write scholarly works, imitate the words of emotion, but over time, it becomes clear that their words do not match their actions. They are the type of person who can claim that they are devastated by grief who then attend a party "to forget." The problem is: they really DO forget.
Being very efficient machines, like a computer, they are able to execute very complex routines designed to elicit from others support for what they want. In this way, many psychopaths are able to reach very high positions in life. It is only over time that their associates become aware of the fact that their climb up the ladder of success is predicated on violating the rights of others."Even when they are indifferent to the rights of their associates, they are often able to inspire feelings of trust and confidence." _Psychopath
What would separate a charming and irresponsible rogue such as President Bill Clinton, from a psychopathic president such as -- perhaps -- Barack Obama? Both have the ability to charm, and to lie with a straight face.
Perhaps the difference between a quasi-psychopathic rogue and a true psychopath, would be that the rogue simply doesn't care about the bad results of his actions, whereas the psychopath takes pleasure in the misery that he causes.
It is unlikely that US President Obama will submit to the necessary tests which might determine whether he falls within the psychopathic mind type. I would not be surprised if he would score very close to the mean of that category, were he to be tested. But it is certain his zombied followers will never consider the idea, and that the US skankstream news and entertainment media will avoid the very idea as far as possible.
What is important is that intelligent persons of independent minds consider the possibility that high functioning psychopaths might easily work their ways into positions of power, and to develop contingency plans based upon the various risks that such individuals may pose.