It’s amazing, but well into the second month after the Nov. 2 balloting, some voters for Democratic presidential candidate John F. Kerry are still undergoing therapy to handle their cognitive dissonance over President George W. Bush’s reelection. Even the dismal Dem-ographics of the Ohio recount haven’t quelled their fears that Dubya somehow stole the vote. We posted earlier on psychotherapy sessions in Boca Raton, Fla., where some are still mentally reeling from those butterfly ballots of 2000 that caused many folks to wonder whether they hadn’t mistakenly poked the hole for Pat Buchanan when they meant Al Gore. (See More Dem-entia, Nov. 22.)
Incredibly, as of earlier this month, the therapy was still going on. Here’s a report from the Boca Raton News’s Steve Salai:
“Fifteen John Kerry supporters met Thursday for a second group therapy session in South Florida, ranting at President Bush as they vented their self-described ’emotional helplessness’ to mental health counselors. Participants in the American Health Association-sponsored support session, designed to treat what psychotherapists call Post Election Selection Trauma (PEST), allowed the general press to cover them for the first time on condition of anonymity.
“‘I haven’t been able to sleep since the election,’ Sharon, a retiree from Delray Beach, told the group. ‘There is no sense of fairness. There is hypocrisy and a feeling of impotence. I feel hopeless, powerless.’
“‘I feel like I live in a dictatorship,’ added an elderly woman from West Palm Beach, making gagging sounds as she described the reasons people voted for Bush. ‘The election was rigged and it was rigged in a lot of ways. It’s scary.’
“‘Bush is a moron!’ shouted a gray-haired man from Boca during one of several lengthy verbal melees.”
Although most of the participants were retirees over age 50, Salai reports, they displayed the energy of a gang of Moveon.org barricade-busters as facilitator Rob Gordon led them through their venting paces:
“‘Do you feel Bush was elected?’ Gordon asked, prompting a collective shout of ‘No!’ followed by conspiracy theories.
“‘What happened to compassionate conservatism?’ Gordon asked.
“‘It’s a lie!’ said one participant. Another said, ‘It’s an oxymoron!’
“‘Oh, my goodness!’ added a third, gasping for breath.
“Participants also ranted against what they called the ‘corporate right-wing takeover’ of the news media.
“‘Howard Dean made that shout and look what the press did to him,’ said one woman from Boynton Beach. ‘They made him look like he was crazy.’
“‘People are being brainwashed,’ said another. ‘We get better information from the European press than from our own newspapers.’
“‘This war is ridiculous,’ said a man named Bernie. ‘It should never happen. There’s certainly going to be a draft and the media won’t even report how many people have been killed.’
“‘I’m scared for our young people,’ said Alfred, a retired professor who called the Nov. 2 presidential election a ‘triumph of Madison Avenue advertising’ during one of several red-faced rants….
“Gordon, who coined PEST, said he thought the group was getting closer to accepting the reality of losing the election.
“’I guide and lead, but I don’t cure,’ Gordon said. ’They cure themselves. They’re bonding through the therapeutic process and they’re making the psychodynamic relationships that will guide them to a cure.'”
Gosh, I sure hope so–it’s getting late in the day. How ’bout the rest of us raising a cup of holiday cheer for the speedy recovery of the Dems of Boca Raton?