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Opinion: BarrTalk

Rather than a populist showman, Trump is a dangerous sociopath who threatens all of us

One of the most worrying reports to emerge on Donald Trump was printed in the ‘New Yorker’ magazine last week.

In the tell-all report, Trump’s former biographer Tony Schwartz, who had ghostwritten the wildly successful ‘Art of the Deal’ in 1987, describes the controversial Republican candidate as a pathological liar, incapable of normal human empathy.

The ‘Art of the Deal’, which sold more than a million copies, presented the businessman as a charmer with an unfailing knack for a deal – but the reality is very different.

I’m paraphrasing here but Schwartz, who spent eighteen months shadowing Trump in the mid-eighties, effectively conceded that he had fabricated the entire book, presenting a likeable and savvy businessman when the truth was something entirely different.

When asked by the New Yorker what he would call the book today, Schwartz replied: “The Sociopath.”

The biographer, who knew Trump better than anyone on the planet for a year-and-a-half, recalls a dangerously impulsive man, someone with no attention span.

Trump, he says, would only talk about himself, and even then, only in two or three-minute segments; like a spoilt child, he would quickly lose interest.

The writer says he has decided to come forward now [prepared for the inevitable Trump backlash] in a bid to finally unmask the real Trump – before it’s too late. It is a sign of Trump’s growing momentum that he felt the need to do so.

It has been written a million different times, in a million different ways, that Trump is an inflammatory, self-aggrandizing half-wit with a long history of racism – but Schwartz’s testimony would appear to elevate him to a status as by far the most dangerous presidential candidate ever.

Schwartz presents a picture of a man who is explicitly unhinged, rather than the populist showman that many think him to be. He presents a man who – quite literally – has difficulty distinguishing his own lies from the truth.

Little wonder then that he makes so many outrageous promises that he has no hope of delivering – a wall to keep out Mexicans and a ban on Muslims.

Schwartz says Trump claims to have written ‘The Art of the Deal’ bestseller himself so many times now that he actually BELIEVES that he did write it.

Schwartz told the New Yorker he believes that Trump’s short attention span has left him with “a stunning level of superficial knowledge and plain ignorance.”

He added, “I seriously doubt that Trump has ever read a book straight through in his adult life.” During the eighteen months that he observed Trump, Schwartz said, he never saw a book on Trump’s desk, or elsewhere in his office, or in his apartment.

He regards Trump’s inability to concentrate as alarming in a Presidential candidate. “If he had to be briefed on a crisis in the Situation Room, it’s impossible to imagine him paying attention over a long period of time,” he said.

Can you imagine such a man having access to the nuclear codes?

A Derry coffee shop is this week offering ten per cent discount to all American visitors who promise to ‘Dump Trump’.

That city and its inhabitants know more than most the damage wreaked by dangerous demigods.

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Donna Roddy