Sports and political commentator Keith Olbermann attempted to understand Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump this week through the lens of clinical psychology and determined that the candidate could not pass one of the most widely used “sanity” assessments used to predict criminal and antisocial behavior.
In a column for Vanity Fair that was published on Thursday, Olbermann noted that Trump had repeatedly questioned the sanity of his rivals, including Glenn Beck, Ben Carson, Barack Obama, Ted Cruz and Megyn Kelly.
To evaluate Trump, Olbermann chose a test developed by Canadian criminal psychologist Robert D. Hare. “The Hare Psychopathy Checklist,” Olbermann explained, “serves as a kind of triage device to separate the injured from the tripping from the psychopathic.”
The test awards points for 20 different personality traits. With a maximum score of 40, the test sets the threshold for clinical psychopathy at 30 points.
The Hare checklist considers traits like grandiose sense of self-worth, pathological lying, shallow affect, lack of empathy, parasitic lifestyle, promiscuous sexual behavior, early behavior problems, irresponsibility and failure to accept responsibility for one’s own actions.
And out of 40 possible points, Trump scored 32 — putting him over the 30 point threshold for a diagnosis of clinical psychopathy.
“The implications are clear,” Olbermann wrote. “Our Trumperor’s New Clothes media rightly sees the latest Trump ‘event’—whatever it is this time—as one of the most unbelievable developments in American political history. But the simple mechanics of following, reporting, and writing the proverbial ‘new high in low’ every single day means that they could be missing one overriding truth about the health of the most remarkable presidential candidate since at least 1864.”
“In short, our amateurs’ exercise with the very professional Hare Psychopathy Checklist suggests that if you were betting on it, you’d probably want to bet that Donald Trump couldn’t pass a sanity test—open book,” Olbermann concluded.