Ethics Alarms Retraction: Obama Did NOT A Flash Peace Sign In the Group Photo Of World Leaders

I’m retracting this post in record time, thanks in great part to commenter CB, who wrote,

Not an Obama fan here by any means BUT, you need to watch the video. He was NOT flashing the peace sign…he held up two fingers as he clearly said, ““We just have two more folks we’re waiting on.
There are so many serious things to be upset with Obama about….we don’t have to make stuff up.

I didn’t see the video, because I didn’t know there was one. The following sources are among those who intentionally misled its readers to take a cheap shot at the President: Instapundit, Drudge Report, Daily Mail, Times of Israel, NY Daily News, Biz Pac Review, and more conservative blogs and radio shows than I can count, largely because of Drudge and Instapundit.

I’m disgusted with all of them, and furious, in part at myself, that I was taken in. The “peace sign” was obviously a “two,” it lasted a second, and was not intended for the cameras.

As for me, I was taken in by my own confirmation bias, because bias makes us stupid. Obama is a narcissist, and this seemed like just a credible escalation of  behavior we already knew he was capable of engaging in, and if he did this in fact, I would not be surprised. It was obvious from the video, however, that he did NOT do it, and news media that reported otherwise were either malicious or incompetent.

I apologize to Ethics Alarms readers, and the President.

Now let’s see which sources set the record straight….

37 thoughts on “Ethics Alarms Retraction: Obama Did NOT A Flash Peace Sign In the Group Photo Of World Leaders

  1. No worries. Reading your posts has actually made me less biased and better able to see through talk radio and news media.

  2. Unfortunately, the damage has been already done. This picture will show up on every website with an ax to grind about Obama’s foolishness. Not that there’s enough already available, like his wave at the Cuban baseball game after the terrorists attacks on Brussels and his inept “Last Tango In Buenas Aires”. Now it’s the ax grinders time to look foolish.

  3. Just a thought, wouldn’t ANYONE who wanted the job of POTUS have to be a narcissist and/or megalomaniac? Think about the danger to person and family – for life. The lack of privacy and spontaneity. The fact that everything you say and do – or did – is under intense scrutiny and becomes public fodder for every Tom, Dick and Jack to judge. The intense and overwhelming stress especially in times of disaster or war. The constant travel and time away from family. Who the heck in their right mind would want that for themselves and their family aside from a narcissist or megalomaniac? Isn’t that why celebrities find the transition into politics so easy? If you look back at the more humble (relatively) of past presidents – Carter, Ford, Coolidge, Bush Senior, Cleveland, Filmore – other than Lincoln, most are not remembered as effective leaders. So is the disorder of narcissism a requirement for the office of President?

    • Narcissist? That’s an overstatement. Leaders of all kinds tend to feel special and apart from the crowd, but that doesn’t make them clinical narcissists. The have big egos, in general because they are used to being successful and having other admire them. That doesn’t make the narcissists. Some are sociopaths…

      • And some of them are just great leaders: For example Eisenhower and Harry Truman. I don’t think either would fit the description of narcissist. Think of Ike with the note is his pocket ready to release in case the Normandy landing failed taking full responsibility for the failure. Truman spend his remaining years in a small home in Independance, MO.

      • I was going to say essentially that; that there is a clear distinction between having narcissistic tendencies and clinical narcissism, and it’s really not an order of magnitude as much a qualitative distinction. Most effective leaders have narcissistic traits, and it functions as an asset to them, whereas clinical narcissism is very painful to the sufferer and those around him or, less often, her. They CAN be effective, for a time, but they’re always just this side of disaster.
        I believe Obama suffers from narcissistic personality disorder. He meets most of the DSM criteria.

  4. When I saw the title of this post, my first thought was that we had all been taken in by an April Fool’s “joke,” riffing on President Obama’s personality and its presumed flaws. We all forgot — trust no one, especially no one in the Media and especially anything on the internet.

    Thanks for the presidential narcissism study link. Love it. Very interesting.

  5. Jack, kudos to you for the quick-trigger response in pulling down your post. I would hope and expect nothing less from you. And good for you also for noting the confirmation bias, and calling a penalty stroke on yourself for it.

    At the same time – not so fast.

    You apologized “for having been misled.” But the sources you list who misled you include BizPac Review (which I notice still has not retracted), Instapundit, and Drudge. I can’t speak knowledgeably about the Daily News or the Times of Israel, but at least with the others it looks to me you’re practicing unprotected journalism, and got the predictable infection.

    Why did you not vet that story against a legitimate news organization? If you’re going to apologize for not being misled, how about a pledge to to a better job of fact-checking than those hack

    OK, never mind. Here’s the bigger issue. In that same article, you throw around phrases like

    “For almost eight years, observers have pointed out that Barack Obama exhibits the characteristics of a pathological narcissist. This stunt approached signature significance.”

    I call bullshit, and not just because something that didn’t happen can’t approach ‘signature significance.’

    I am baffled by your claim that Obama is a “pathological narcissist,” so I finally did what you should do. I googled “Obama narcissist.” I urge you to try it yourself.

    The entire first page consists of jerk-water right-wing nut-job conspiracy theorists like “The Gateway Pundit,” “The Independent Sentinel,” and “Dr. Hurd.” These are sources that make Instapundit and Drudge look Pulitzer-worthy – nothing more than hack bloggers. Most of them refer ultimately to the Israeli self-declared expert in narcissism Sam Vaknin, who says “Obama appears to be a narcissist,” but also cautions against diagnosing from afar.

    The one single exception you might hang your hat on is Charles Krauthammer. CK is a bloviating ideologue of the first order, but he does in fact have some genuine clinical credentials, being a grad of Harvard Med School and having practiced psychiatry for a couple of years.

    Is it Krauthammer and Vaknin who constitute the “observers” who’ve been calling him a narccixsist for eight years? Because honestly I’m not buying it, not one bit. That same guy Vaknin talks about how Stalin and Hitler were narcissists, and I honestly believe anyone who can’t tell the difference between those two and Barack Obama shouldn’t be listened to.

    There is, in fact, serious journalism out there on this issue. The Economist took Charles Krauthammer to task on this specific charge, and frankly tore him to pieces: read it yourself here:

    One sample quote:
    “…never mind the facts; the myth seems unkillable. Neither the analysis of a great scientific populariser (Mr Liberman) nor reach of Buzzfeed (130m monthly users) nor the sting of satire (of which Mr Colbert is a virtuoso) can defeat confirmation bias. Mr Krauthammer and a host of others “know” that Mr Obama is a narcissist. Every time he utters an “I” proves it to be so…But for fun facts to be facts (take note, Mr Krauthammer), they must be true.

    Let me close with your own first paragraph (which by the way, seriously, kudos to you for leaving the post up – I know you could have taken it down, and that would’ve been cowardly. So serious props for keeping it up).

    You wrote:
    “1. The photo is a bias test. If someone has decided that Obama is hopeless incompetent who habitually confuses grandstanding with leadership, and who long ago checked out emotionally and intellectually and is less concerned than ever about “optics” as well as all those other annoying component of being a competent President, this shot confirms it all.”

    If the shoe fits…

    • 1. I didn’t rely on any of those sources, except the usually left-leaning Daily News. Instapundit is hard right, but the professor does not typically link to fake stories. The photo looked like what was described. I wouldn’t be so smug about it, if I were you.

      2. Since the left-slanted mainstream media routinely ignores or buries actual stories with disturbing regularity, I won’t be chided for not checking with reliable left-wing media, since they aren’t trustworthy. I looked, I didn’t find any reference to the episode at all.

      3. Obama will go down as one of the top three narcissists we have ever had as President. He’s like a psychology course hypothetical. I’m relying on none of your sources, just res ipsa loquitur. He fits every feature of a pathological narcissist to the extreme. Only a stubborn Obama apologist could deny it. I don’t have to appeal to authority. Denying Obama is a narcissist is like denying Hillary is a liar. Why yes, sources that are invested in making excuses for Obama deny or ignore his obvious narcissism, and those who properly recognize his incompetence proclaim it. That’s the usual set up to allow partisans to deny the truth.

      I’ve studied presidential behavior since grade school. I knew Teddy, JFK, Wilson, FDR, Jackson, Nixon and LBJ were clinical narcissists before I knew what narcissism was. Of course, psychologists and historians agree on this now, as they will on Obama, who ranks up with the top three, and probably on top. I don’t see how anyone can ignore it, frankly, given the evidence: teh vanity, the boasting, the refusal to accept accountability or to admit mistakes, the propensity to make pronouncements beyond his expertise, his lack of compassion for others, his making everything about him…it’s damning that you would even try to deny it.

      4. Your quote, then, is irrelevant. I’m not relying on Krauthammer or any authority but my own expertise on leadership psychology. Maybe he relied on me.

      5. As for your last “gotcha,” the whole post was based on the photo described. As regards that photo, my position stands and is well-supported. The fact that the photo didn’t happen as described doesn’t change my conclusion of what it would have meant at all.

      • Oh…I notice that neither you nor any other mainstream source…that is, left-biased—takes issue with long-distance diagnoses of Trump’s narcissism, which is based on the same criteria as what marks Obama. Wonder why that is?

        • Not true. Read the Economist article, which ranks narcissists objectively according to Krauthammer’s suggested frequency of use of “I.”
          By that measure, Trump is extremely high–Obama extremely low.

          • But use of “I” is not the test and never has been. It’s not even one of the criteria I use to sniff out both Trump and Obama.

            Seriously? That was the sum of the Economist’s argument? How desperate and dishonest.

            • Jack, I don’t see anywhere where YOU have defined narcissism. All I see is you claiming it’s “obvious,” that it’s res ipsa loquitur, that you don’t need to cite any sources, that you yourself are the best source. But I never see you giving your definition, or evidence.

              Then you say the use of “I” is not the test and never has been. And you call it “desperate and dishonest.”

              Hold on there.

              I didn’t make that claim. Nor did the Economist.

              Charles Krauthammer made that claim.

              And remember Krauthammer is the only person mentioned in this debate who actually has some credentials to talk about narcissism.

              And Krauthammer’s definition has also been used by George Will. And by Fox News. And by Elliot Abrams at National Review. So there’s actually a pattern of real definitions being used by real people.

              So there’s an actual definition, and it wasn’t by me or by the Economist.

              However – the Economist totally debunked Krauthammer’s definition, showing that when you actually examine the use of the pronoun “I,” Obama ranks very low. When I say “debunked,” I mean they actually looked up comparative uses of the pronoun “I” by Obama and other presidents, and found out that the factual claim made by Krauthammer was in fact not true.

              So, when you say “The use of ‘I’ is not the test and never has been,” first of all you’re factually wrong, several people HAVE used it. Secondly, the guy who originally used it at least has some serious credentials for doing so.

              And thirdly and mainly – what is YOUR definition of it? I fail to see it, beyond your repeated claims that it’s “obvious.” It’s not obvious to me, in fact the contrary. And I’m not that much dumber than you are, Jack. So if it’s so obvious, make me understand how you’re defining it? Because I don’t get it.

              • Oh for God’s sake, Charles. Krauthammer was making a shorthand, layman’s, Cosmo-level test that you can’t find in any serious source.

                Here’s the Mayo clinic’s definition, which is one of many I’ve had on file for years:

                Narcissistic personality disorder is a mental disorder in which people have an inflated sense of their own importance, a deep need for admiration and a lack of empathy for others. But behind this mask of ultraconfidence lies a fragile self-esteem that’s vulnerable to the slightest criticism.

                A narcissistic personality disorder causes problems in many areas of life, such as relationships, work, school or financial affairs. You may be generally unhappy and disappointed when you’re not given the special favors or admiration you believe you deserve. Others may not enjoy being around you, and you may find your relationships unfulfilling.

                Narcissistic personality disorder is one of several types of personality disorders. Personality disorders are conditions in which people have traits that cause them to feel and behave in socially distressing ways, limiting their ability to function in relationships and other areas of their life, such as work or school.

                If you have narcissistic personality disorder, you may come across as conceited, boastful or pretentious. You often monopolize conversations. You may belittle or look down on people you perceive as inferior. You may feel a sense of entitlement — and when you don’t receive special treatment, you may become impatient or angry. You may insist on having “the best” of everything — for instance, the best car, athletic club or medical care.

                At the same time, you have trouble handling anything that may be perceived as criticism. You may have secret feelings of insecurity, shame, vulnerability and humiliation. To feel better, you may react with rage or contempt and try to belittle the other person to make yourself appear superior. Or you may feel depressed and moody because you fall short of perfection.

                Many experts use the criteria in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), published by the American Psychiatric Association, to diagnose mental conditions. This manual is also used by insurance companies to reimburse for treatment.

                DSM-5 criteria for narcissistic personality disorder include these features:

                Having an exaggerated sense of self-importance

                Expecting to be recognized as superior even without achievements that warrant

                Exaggerating your achievements and talents

                Being preoccupied with fantasies about success, power, brilliance, beauty or the perfect mate

                Believing that you are superior and can only be understood by or associate with equally special people

                Requiring constant admiration

                Having a sense of entitlement

                Expecting special favors and unquestioning compliance with your expectations

                Taking advantage of others to get what you want

                Having an inability or unwillingness to recognize the needs and feelings of others

                Being envious of others and believing others envy you

                Behaving in an arrogant or haughty manner

                Although some features of narcissistic personality disorder may seem like having confidence, it’s not the same. Narcissistic personality disorder crosses the border of healthy confidence into thinking so highly of yourself that you put yourself on a pedestal and value yourself more than you value others.

                How can anyone read that list (which does not contain”uses ‘I’ excessively, you will note) and not think of Obama, who has whined about not getting credit, repeatedly; who boasted of controlling the seas, who recently blamed his military advisors for the botched training of Syrian fighters policy, who accepted a Nobel Peace Prize for doing nothing, whose arrogance is palpable, who famously said in an early interview that he could probably do the job of any appointee or advisor better than they could—who EXCEPT a raging narcissist says this? Who, like Trump, CANNOT admit a mistake, even spinning his own lie about keeping one’s doctor and health plan, by saying that he said something else.

                Here’s a slightly more clinical source—not that it ALSO does not talk about use of “I”:

                1. An exaggerated sense of self-importance (e.g., exaggerates achievements and talents, expects to be recognized as superior without commensurate achievements)

                Translation: Grandiosity is the hallmark of narcissism. So what is grandiose?

                The simplest everyday way that narcissists show their exaggerated sense of self-importance is by talking about family, work, life in general as if there is nobody else in the picture. Whatever they may be doing, in their own view, they are the star, and they give the impression that they are bearing heroic responsibility for their family or department or company, that they have to take care of everything because their spouses or co-workers are undependable, uncooperative, or otherwise unfit. They ignore or denigrate the abilities and contributions of others and complain that they receive no help at all; they may inspire your sympathy or admiration for their stoicism in the face of hardship or unstinting self-sacrifice for the good of (undeserving) others. But this everyday grandiosity is an aspect of narcissism that you may never catch on to unless you visit the narcissist’s home or workplace and see for yourself that others are involved and are pulling their share of the load and, more often than not, are also pulling the narcissist’s share as well. An example is the older woman who told me with a sigh that she knew she hadn’t been a perfect mother but she just never had any help at all — and she said this despite knowing that I knew that she had worn out and discarded two devoted husbands and had lived in her parents’ pocket (and pocketbook) as long as they lived, quickly blowing her substantial inheritance on flaky business schemes. Another example is claiming unusual benefits or spectacular results from ordinary effort and investment, giving the impression that somehow the narcissist’s time and money are worth more than other people’s. [Here is an article about recognizing and coping with narcissism in the workplace; it is rather heavy on management jargon and psychobabble, but worth reading. “The Impact of Narcissism on Leadership and Sustainability” by Bruce Gregory, Ph.D. “When the narcissistic defense is operating in an interpersonal or group setting, the grandiose part does not show its face in public. In public it presents a front of patience, congeniality, and confident reasonableness.”]

                In popular usage, the terms narcissism, narcissist, and narcissistic denote absurd vanity and are applied to people whose ambitions and aspirations are much grander than their evident talents. Sometimes these terms are applied to people who are simply full of themselves — even when their real achievements are spectacular. Outstanding performers are not always modest, but they aren’t grandiose if their self-assessments are realistic; e.g., Muhammad Ali, then Cassius Clay, was notorious for boasting “I am the greatest!” and also pointing out that he was the prettiest, but he was the greatest and the prettiest for a number of years, so his self-assessments weren’t grandiose. Some narcissists are flamboyantly boastful and self-aggrandizing, but many are inconspicuous in public, saving their conceit and autocratic opinions for their nearest and dearest. Common conspicuous grandiose behaviors include expecting special treatment or admiration on the basis of claiming (a) to know important, powerful or famous people or (b) to be extraordinarily intelligent or talented. As a real-life example, I used to have a neighbor who told his wife that he was the youngest person since Sir Isaac Newton to take a doctorate at Oxford. The neighbor gave no evidence of a world-class education, so I looked up Newton and found out that Newton had completed his baccalaureate at the age of twenty-two (like most people) and spent his entire academic career at Cambridge. The grandiose claims of narcissists are superficially plausible fabrications, readily punctured by a little critical consideration. The test is performance: do they deliver the goods? (There’s also the special situation of a genius who’s also strongly narcissistic, as perhaps Frank Lloyd Wright. Just remind yourself that the odds are that you’ll meet at least 1000 narcissists for every genius you come across.) [More on grandiosity.]

                2. Preoccupation with fantasies of unlimited success, power, brilliance, beauty, or ideal love

                Translation: Narcissists cultivate solipsistic or “autistic” fantasies, which is to say that they live in their own little worlds (and react with affront when reality dares to intrude).

                3. Believes he is “special” and can only be understood by, or should associate with, other special or high-status people (or institutions)

                Translation: Narcissists think that everyone who is not special and superior is worthless. By definition, normal, ordinary, and average aren’t special and superior, and so, to narcissists, they are worthless.

                4. Requires excessive admiration

                Translation: Excessive in two ways: they want praise, compliments, deference, and expressions of envy all the time, and they want to be told that everything they do is better than what others can do. Sincerity is not an issue here; all that matter are frequency and volume.

                5. Has a sense of entitlement

                Translation: They expect automatic compliance with their wishes or especially favorable treatment, such as thinking that they should always be able to go first and that other people should stop whatever they’re doing to do what the narcissists want, and may react with hurt or rage when these expectations are frustrated.

                6. Selfishly takes advantage of others to achieve his own ends

                Translation: Narcissists use other people to get what they want without caring about the cost to the other people.

                7. Lacks empathy

                Translation: They are unwilling to recognize or sympathize with other people’s feelings and needs. They “tune out” when other people want to talk about their own problems.
                In clinical terms, empathy is the ability to recognize and interpret other people’s emotions. Lack of empathy may take two different directions: (a) accurate interpretation of others’ emotions with no concern for others’ distress, which is characteristic of psychopaths; and (b) the inability to recognize and accurately interpret other people’s emotions, which is the NPD style. This second form of defective empathy may (rarely) go so far as alexithymia, or no words for emotions, and is found with psychosomatic illnesses, i.e., medical conditions in which emotion is experienced somatically rather than psychically. People with personality disorders don’t have the normal body-ego identification and regard their bodies only instrumentally, i.e., as tools to use to get what they want, or, in bad states, as torture chambers that inflict on them meaningless suffering. Self-described narcissists who’ve written to me say that they are aware that their feelings are different from other people’s, mostly that they feel less, both in strength and variety (and which the narcissists interpret as evidence of their own superiority); some narcissists report “numbness” and the inability to perceive meaning in other people’s emotions.

                8. Is often envious of others or believes that others are envious of him

                Translation: No translation needed.

                9. Shows arrogant, haughty, patronizing, or contemptuous behaviors or attitudes

                Translation: They treat other people like dirt.

                [Some descriptions and explanations on this page are based on material from What is a personality disorder? by Paul J. Hannig, Ph.D., The Online Journal of Psychiatry, Narcissistic Personality Disorder, and (defunct) Internet Mental Health questionnaire for diagnosis of Narcissistic Personality Disorder. For a firsthand account of what it’s like to have NPD, see “Malignant Self-Love – Narcissism Re-visited” by Shmuel (Sam) Vaknin, Ph.D.]

                Now, I can spend the time and find specific incidents, many many of them, that place Obama is this description, but I don’t think it’s worth my time, because anyone who doesn’t shout “Obama!” reading those symptoms—for example, recall the examples of Obama showing apparent absence of empathy, like briefly noting the deaths of two NY cops and immediately returning to golf, or his similar brush-off of the plane shot down in the Ukraine? This is WHY he was criticized for not leaving the baseball game in Cuba after the Brussels attacks: people recognize the pattern.

                I’m going to throw it open to your colleagues here, Charles,who might enjoy pointing out to you the elephant in the room that you seem to be unable to see.

                Hey, readers! Can you attach a specific incident or quote or ten to all of those 9 symptoms?

                Here’s one to get you started, from yesterday, for #9:

                • That is an excellent list of definitions, thank you; that’s a service.

                  And I applaud the invitation to come up with “specific incidents or quotes” to back them up, because that’s the essence of the question. What you find “obvious” i find exactly the opposite, and the only resolution will come from looking at facts.

                  When I read those definitions, my mind, like yours, definitely goes to Donald Trump. My mind, unlike yours, does not go to Obama.

                  So let me kick it off.

                  Here are clips from 40 speeches of Obama talking about the importance of empathy.
                  (by contrast, try Googling Trump on the subject of empathy)

                  Here’s a piece talking about Obama and humility, suggesting his is in fact a quiet and genuine humility:

                  More on empathy: Here’s a headline quote the night after Obama beat Romney:
                  “Tuesday night, Barack Obama won reelection because of one big reason: empathy. More specifically, he and the Democratic Party were more successful at expressing empathy than Mitt Romney and the Republicans.”

                  Here’s Reuters’ headline on Obama’s trip to Cuba:
                  “Obama wins over Cubans with straight talk and humility.”

                  Here’s EJ Dionne on Obama’s Christian humility, and how right-wing critics of him are out of line on the subject:

                  Here’s a piece on how a speech to his campaign staff illustrated authenticity and humility:

                  Actually, as I list these examples, I’m starting to think examples are not going to help resolve the question after all. There are probably hundreds of examples on each side: you just see them differently than i do. I honestly am not sure how to resolve the question of whether or not he’s a narcissist. I just do not see it, and you do.

                  Which probably says something about the nature of psychiatric diagnoses – if they can’t be falsified or verified by any agreed-upon objective data, then they’re just inflammatory. I don’t know.

                  • I agree completely with your last observation, Charles. It is one reason psychology and psychiatry, which once showed so much promise, have been such disappointments, and look more like pseudo-science every day.

                    • Which is only to say that there is no objectively identified creature called a “narcissist.” A narcissist is someone that someone else believes is a narcissist based on the cluster of qualities and characteristics the psychiatric profession decided to call “narcissism,” and various someone elses will disagree, either because of differing standards, sensitivity, competence, bias, a fee, you name it. All saying that Obama is a narcissist really means is “he looks and acts like one to me.”

                      He looks and acts like one to me.

                    • Jack, that feels to me like a very fair and accurate way to describe the phenomenon too, I agree.

                    • “psychology and psychiatry, which once showed so much promise, have been such disappointments, and look more like pseudo-science every day.”

                      That’s a whole separate topic, but I wanted to say that I completely agree with you, and furthermore that it’s a very important and powerful observation.

          • “Extremely low”? I don’t think so. Here’s the Post’s Phillip Bump defending Obama, comparing his use of personal pronouns to Clinton and Bush…both high on the narcissism scale, and Obama tops both. As I would suspect.But that’s just one of many markers, and alone is not definitive.

            • The guy who lectures Netanyahu on things not being so bad for Israel and tells the U.S. citizenry not to sweat Islamic terrorism because more people die slipping in their bathtubs is not a narcissist? Come on, Charles. If that’s not narcissism speaking (loud and clear) for itself, what is?

              • How you get from “lecturing” to “narcissism” is not only unclear, it’s practically a non sequitur. Try actually defining the word, rather than just asserting some vague, undefined connection.

        • Rage? Of all the qualities one does NOT associate with Obama, that has to be top of the list.
          Note his nickname “no-drama Obama.” Note all the critiques of him being not too emotional, but rather not emotional enough.
          I fail to see how Obama can fairly be described as rageful.

  6. The following sources are among those who intentionally misled its readers …

    It’s not proven, or even IMHO probable, that some of the sources deliberately misled. You yourself are an example, you did not intentionally mislead.

    The test is – how many had both the dilligence and integrity to retract (as you did so promptly)? Those continue to deserve trust. The rest, well, we now know they put out lies, not just inadvertant falsehoods.

    People of integrity who don’t share my views are my most valued friends. They fact-check me. I too am human, subject to confirmation bias, so rely on them to straighten me out when I go astray. Something I try really hard not to do, but it happens sometimes anyway.

    Apology accepted of course. Not to do so would be both churlish and hypocritical on my part. Far worse than the original offense.

  7. Narcissism in general and especially grandiose narcissism is getting more prevalent in modern presidents. Certainly the further back you go the less prevalent they are. Don’t you think that is because the job has become increasingly untenable? It was a different world a hundred years ago. It was a lot easier to be the president before TV, computers, the internet, digital recordkeeping, social media, DNA evidence, modern forensics and jet travel. Every aspect of their past and their spouse and children’s pasts are now easily scrutinized. You (and your spouse and kids) don’t get the passes everyone else gets for “youthful indiscretions”, all of a sudden you are judged by some stupid thing you may have said or done 20, 30, 40 or more years ago….

    Just imagine how life-altering it would be for your personal freedom, your wife and children’s personal freedom. Not just for four or eight years, but for life. Would your family agree? Would they support it?

    So anyone in the modern age who is sane, balanced and enjoys a somewhat free and enjoyable life with their family would refuse to run.

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