Wokeness — or Madness?
A new study says that white progressive women suffer most from mental illness.
In 2005, former radio talk-show host Michael Savage wrote a book titled Liberalism is a Mental Disorder. Fifteen years later, a 2020 Pew Research study has apparently validated that assertion, especially as it affects white women.
“The study, which examined white liberals, moderates, and conservatives, both male and female, found that conservatives were far less likely to be diagnosed with mental health issues than those who identified as either liberal or even ‘very liberal,’” columnist Elizabeth Condra reveals. “What’s more, white women suffered the worst of all. White women, ages 18-29, who identified as liberal were given a mental health diagnosis from medical professionals at a rate of 56.3%, as compared to 28.4% in moderates and 27.3% in conservatives.”
To be clear, questions correlating mental health conditions, political affiliation, and race weren’t originally asked in the Pew Research Panel, Wave 64, that interviewed a representative sample of 11,537 American adults between March 19 and March 24. The data was analyzed by Zach Goldberg, whose Twitter profile states he is a “PhD student/Wokeness Studies scholar researching the ‘Great Awokening.’” Goldberg took the data and categorized it according to political affiliation.
Two “interesting findings” arose from his analysis, he explains. “First, white (and especially ‘very’) liberals are far more likely than all other ideological-racial subgroups to report being diagnosed with a mental health condition.” Second? “Somewhat surprisingly, this difference further grows when we add standard controls.”
Goldberg organized his findings, replete with a set of graphics, and posted them to a Twitter thread with the following clarification: “I didn’t write this thread to mock white liberals or their apparently disproportionate rates of mental illness (and you shouldn’t either). Rather, this is a question that’s underexplored and which may shed light on attitudinal differences towards various social policies.”
Dr. Lyle Rossiter, who published the book, The Liberal Mind: The Psychological Causes of Political Madness, offers a searingly astute assessment of individuals consumed by a series of agendas that inevitably become too burdensome to bear:
What the liberal mind is passionate about is a world filled with pity, sorrow, neediness, misfortune, poverty, suspicion, mistrust, anger, exploitation, discrimination, victimization, alienation and injustice. Those who occupy this world are “workers,” “minorities,” “the little guy,” “women,” and the “unemployed.” They are poor, weak, sick, wronged, cheated, oppressed, disenfranchised, exploited and victimized. They bear no responsibility for their problems. None of their agonies are attributable to faults or failings of their own: not to poor choices, bad habits, faulty judgment, wishful thinking, lack of ambition, low frustration tolerance, mental illness or defects in character. None of the victims’ plight is caused by failure to plan for the future or learn from experience. Instead, the “root causes” of all this pain lie in faulty social conditions: poverty, disease, war, ignorance, unemployment, racial prejudice, ethnic and gender discrimination, modern technology, capitalism, globalization and imperialism. In the radical liberal mind, this suffering is inflicted on the innocent by various predators and persecutors: “Big Business,” “Big Corporations,” “greedy capitalists,” “U.S. Imperialists,” “the oppressors,” “the rich,” “the wealthy,” “the powerful” and “the selfish.”
The liberal cure for this endless malaise is a very large authoritarian government that regulates and manages society through a cradle to grave agenda of redistributive caretaking.
In other words, liberalism — more accurately described as progressivism today — is thoroughly exhausting. To realize the socialist utopia to which most progressives aspire requires the constant monitoring and ultimate reorganization of virtually every human being and institution on the planet, lest someone, somewhere “falls through the cracks.”
Yet placing such a burden on oneself requires something else as well: An unprecedented level of narcissism. Note that the pity, sorrow, anger. etc. required to fix society is always about fixing someone else, as in those who lack acuity, insight, and, most especially, the “superior” sense of morality and wisdom most progressives automatically confer upon themselves.
Such is the basis of a national divide whereby conservatives think progressives are misguided, but progressives think conservatives are evil, and thus wholly dismissible in terms of debate or even consideration.
Thus, generalizations like “deplorable,” “irredeemable,” and “bitter clingers” are applied to anyone who dares to challenge the progressive dogma du jour, whether it be having only X number of years to “save the planet,” or the idea that a man can be a women simply by saying so, along with everything in between. And because one is automatically beneath contempt, contrarian assertions, no matter how well-reasoned or rational, can be dismissed as racist, xenophobic, transphobic, misogynistic, etc.
Yet even as progressives demonstrate such overarching surety, they are consumed by fear. It wasn’t conservatives who invented “safe spaces,” “trigger warnings,” or “micro-aggressions.” These are the constructions of those whose arrogance is exceeded only by a fragility so all-encompassing that it required the creation of a Cancel Culture. One aimed at destroying “The Other,” no matter how far back in someone’s past one has to go to find an “intemperate” remark or action that will permanently “disqualify” the “guilty” from a job, a career, or the entirety of legitimate social intercourse.
Columnist Andrea Widburg offers some insight as to why women are more adversely affected than men. “The root problem is that these women are receiving mixed messages that would make even the strongest person go crazy,” she writes. “Beginning in high school, or even earlier, they’re told endlessly that they’re both victim and oppressor.” This is especially true for white straight women who are at once “evil oppressors who have benefited unfairly from white privilege,” and yet still women, “which means men have victimized them from time immemorial to the present.”
Obviously, that’s untenable. “It’s possible that the disparities in self-reported diagnosis are simply or partly a function of white liberals being more likely to seek mental health evaluations,” Goldberg surmises. “I don’t have the data to answer this question. But given that they also tend to score higher on neuroticism (and, not to mention, score lower on life satisfaction/happiness), I think at least some of this difference is genuine.”
Ironically, one could also surmise that the ability to access mental health evaluations is a form of privilege that most progressives ostensibly despise. “Access to care often varies based on race, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, age, sex, disability status, sexual orientation, gender identity, and residential location,” states the Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion.
Could access itself elicit guilt that requires psychological intervention? If so, that’s quite a vicious cycle — one that might also explain the discrepancy.
Regardless, most of the dysfunction accrues to Democrat Party interests. Moreover, as Patriot Post publisher Mark Alexander asserts, it’s not a new phenomenon. “According to Democrat Party strategists, female voters are emotionally incontinent dupes, too irrational to discern and reject emotive political bait. They have proven the most dependable and easily-swayed of the collective constituencies Demos rally ahead of general elections,” he wrote — in 2014.
As Dr. Rossiter further notes, radical liberalism is akin to a “Marxist morality play,” acted out “in various theaters of human relatedness, most often on the world’s economic, social and political stages. But the play repeatedly folds.”
The bet here is this time will be no different.
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