Rue 89, France

Left-handed U.S. presidents: Garfield, Hoover, Truman, Ford, Reagan,H.W. Bush,

Clinton. About 15 percent of the population are lefties; 30 percent of people in

mental hospitals are lefties. They are also more prone to migraines, insomnia,

allergies and schizophrenia. A higher proportion of mentally retarded people are

southpaws, and more people with IQs over 140 are left handed than right.



Rue 89, France

The White House: A Vast 'Left-Handed' Conspiracy


"When Obama or McCain move into the White House in January, four of the five last American presidents will have been left-handed. … Despite his movement to the center, the Democratic candidate has managed to mobilize a group of left-handed voter for Obama."


By Guillemette Faure


Translated By Kate Davis


July 24, 2008


France - Rue 89 - Original Article (French)

On November 4, Americans will elect the fourth left-handed president since Ronald Reagan. Coincidence?


Barack Obama or John McCain? On November 4, the United States will have a choice between left and left ... hand, that is. The two contenders for the White House are both left-handed. Coincidence? In 1992, the three candidates, Bush senior, Bill Clinton and Ross Perot, were all left-handed (and Clinton was elected left-handed person of the year by the international association of left-handed people that year). Ronald Reagan was also left-handed. In other words, when Obama or McCain moves into the White House in January, four of the five last American presidents will have been left-handed.


And if the Supreme Court hadn’t lent a hand to George W. Bush during the recount of votes in Florida in 2000, with the election of Al Gore the five last American presidents would have been left-handed. What's more, the last two right-handed presidents, Jimmy Carter and George W. Bush, quickly lost their hands, arriving at the end of their presidency with popularity ratings at their lowest.


To learn more, we reached out a hand to Pierre-Michel Bertrand, author of History of Left-Handed People [Histoire des gauchers and of the Dictionary for Left-Handed People [Dictionnaire des gauchers]. To his knowledge, France has never had a left-handed Head of State. But he's not unduly surprised at the succession of left-handers in the Oval Office, given that the United States has a much higher percentage of left-handed than France:


“The proportion of left-handed (per country) is directly proportional to the tolerance accorded left-handers. It was 3 percent in early 20th century France. It's now around 15 percent and in the United States, it's approaching 25 percent. It [the U.S.] is historically a more permissive country, more concerned with individual rights, which has lifted the stigma from left-handedness much earlier than in our Old Europe.


“In France, a left-hander was persona non grata in schools until the 1960s, and social pressure made it so that until the 1970s, there were students being “converted to right-handedness” or “de-lefted.” A left-hander who proclaims himself left-handed and functions as a left-handed person is a very recent phenomenon in France.”


Despite his movement to the center, the Democratic candidate has managed to mobilize a group of left-handed for Obama  whose logo you’ll appreciate [see left]. But surprise, the senator from Illinois eats his sandwiches with his right hand … Is this a legacy of the ashamed left-hander? “It's strange because he's so young…” (46) says Pierre-Michel Bertrand. In other words, too young to be part of the generation that was forced to use his right hand. It has been noted (after having been read in the Washington Post ) that the senator from Illinois might have been influenced by spending four years of his childhood in Indonesia.


This seems to hold up. “Muslim countries are vehemently opposed to left-handedness. In those countries, the rate of left-handedness is lower than 5 percent.” There, they seem to have forgotten that Osama bin Laden, according to the FBI , is himself left-handed - even if he hasn't been seen eating a sandwich.


In the United States, in 2008 as in 1992, explanations are sought for this over-representation of left-handers in the White House. The principal explanation?: The idea that the left-handed have always been obliged to approach the world differently. In this regard, Pierre-Michel Bertrand doesn't pull any punches:


“Even if he hasn’t suffered persecution, the left-hander has developed a very strong sense of differentness. He's bothered at the table, he has a different setting. That gives him a strong personality.” 



Other explanations would be welcomed.






Azzaman, Iraq

Obama or McCain: Awaiting

the Next American Southpaw






































[Posted by WORLDMEETS.US July 26, 2:36am]