A collective “I told you so” will ripple through the world of Bush-bashers once news of Christopher Lohse’s study gets out.
Lohse, a social work master’s student at Southern Connecticut State University, says he has proven what many progressives have probably suspected for years: a direct link between mental illness and support for President Bush.
Lohse says his study is no joke. The thesis draws on a survey of 69 psychiatric outpatients in three Connecticut locations during the 2004 presidential election. Lohse’s study, backed by SCSU Psychology professor Jaak Rakfeldt and statistician Misty Ginacola, found a correlation between the severity of a person’s psychosis and their preferences for president: The more psychotic the voter, the more likely they were to vote for Bush.
But before you go thinking all your conservative friends are psychotic, listen to Lohse’s explanation.
“Our study shows that psychotic patients prefer an authoritative leader,” Lohse says. “If your world is very mixed up, there’s something very comforting about someone telling you, ‘This is how it’s going to be.’”
“Bush supporters had significantly less knowledge about current issues, government and politics than those who supported Kerry,” the study says.
Lohse says the trend isn’t unique to Bush: A 1977 study by Frumkin & Ibrahim found psychiatric patients preferred Nixon over McGovern in the 1972 election.
So psychotic, ill-informed, and mixed up voters choose Bush... great.
Of course, these sorts of studies aren't new. I've also heard of some recent efforts to track personality types and voting tendencies. These usually break down along similar lines: those who prefer authoritarian, conservative candidates, and those who are more embracing of change. That's why they call us "progressives," I suppose. I find it hilarious when Fox news uses the term "progressive" as if it were derogatory.