Bland wrote:Empathy is a qualification for being a decent human being. People who lack it are called psychopaths. Shouldn't not being a psychopath be on your short-list of what to look for in a candidate?
Maybe so. But by your definition, I'm not sure there are any non-psychopaths running.
I think it's reasonable to look at past Presidents, especially those that, outside the context of this discussion, many people would hold in high esteem. I think there is a reasonable argument that many or most of them would qualify as psychopaths. It might even be a (regrettably) necessary condition to execute the job as it is currently defined.
Well, some may consider them psychopaths, but not because of lack of empathy.How timely
The study, which was based on presidential performance ratings and personality assessments by hundreds of historians and biographers in several different surveys, found that one psychopathic characteristic in particular was linked to success in presidency: fearless dominance.
It's not to say that American presidents are full-blown psychopaths — they didn't rate high in all categories of psychopathic traits.
Overall, the study found, presidents tended to be more like psychopaths than the general population in their level of fearless dominance, but they didn't show a psychopathic excess of impulsive antisocial behavior.
Moreover, bold leadership isn't just a quality found in psychopaths — or presidents. Everyone falls somewhere along the scale, from timid to bold, from follower to leader. And psychopathic traits like fearless dominance — or others like impulsivity, callousness and dishonesty — also appear in varying degrees in the general population.