Hail to the Lefties
October 8, 2008 Leave a comment
Our organization cares intensely about the forgotten minorities…gingers and lefties.
That’s why we were shocked and pleased to learn of the following news item:
When Sens. Barack Obama and John McCain take the stage for the presidential debates, attentive viewers may notice both candidates scribbling notes with their left hands. Political junkies will remember that such a curiosity has occurred before: In 1992, all three contenders — George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton and Ross Perot — were southpaws.
In the race for the White House, lefties seem to have the upper hand. No matter who wins in November, six of the 12 chief executives since the end of World War II will have been left-handed: Harry Truman, Gerald Ford, Ronald Reagan, the elder Bush, Clinton and either Obama or McCain. That’s a disproportionate number, considering that only one in 10 people in the general population is left-handed.
For years, left-handedness was not treated as a point of pride, much less a qualification for high office. Remnants of anti-leftiness are everywhere: A right-hand man is indispensable, but who wants a dancing partner with two left feet? The words “adroitness” and “dexterity” derive from the French and Latin words for “right,” while “gauche” and “sinister” derive from the words for “left.” In the New Testament, the souls of sinners who fail to meet with the Savior’s approval are sent to his left — and to eternal damnation. No wonder that, well into the 20th century, children who showed signs of left-handedness when writing were forced to switch hands.
Or as we like to call it, lefty genocide…
In his book Right-Hand, Left-Hand, Chris McManus of University College London argues that the proportion of left-handers is rising and left-handed people as a group have historically produced an above-average quota of high achievers. He says that left-handers’ brains are structured differently in a way that widens their range of abilities, and the genes that determine left-handedness also govern development of the language centers of the brain.
McManus also says that the increase in the 20th century of people identifying as left-handed could produce a corresponding intellectual advance and a leap in the number of mathematical, sporting, or artistic geniuses.
In 2006, researchers at Lafayette College and Johns Hopkins University in a study found that left-handed men are 15 percent richer than right-handed men for those who attended college, and 26 percent richer if they graduated. The wage difference is still unexplainable and does not appear to apply to women.
Anyway, back to the election and the certainty that after 8 long years of right handed mismanagement, we’ll soon have another cool left hand on the tiller.