Psychopathy is a psychological condition based on well-established diagnostic criteria, which include lack of remorse and empathy, a sense of grandiosity, superficial charm, conning and manipulative behavior, and refusal to take responsibility for one's actions, among others. Psychopaths are not all the same; particular aspects may predominate in different people. And, although some psychopaths are violent men (and women) with long criminal histories, not all are. It's important to understand that psychopathic behavior and affect exist on a continuum; there are those who fall into the grey area between "normal" people and true psychopaths.The Startling Accuracy of Referring to Politicians as 'Psychopaths'
The question, then, is whether it is reasonable to believe that people with serious abnormalities in the way they interact with the world can be found running for (and winning) office. However unsettling as this may be, the answer seems to be yes. It's possible for psychopaths to be found anywhere -- including city hall or Washington, D.C. Remember, psychopaths are not delusional or psychotic; in fact, two of the hallmarks of psychopathy are a calculating mind and a seemingly easy charm.