EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

June 23, 2013

Column: 'Lefty' presidents and their hand in our biases

Truman Taylor
The Eagle-Tribune

---- — More than a few of us believe that the only people who really know how to run this country can’t, or won’t, because they’re too busy earning a living driving taxis or tending bar.

This could be the reason why so many Ivy Leaguers keep getting into the Oval Office.

Since the elder George Bush was elected in 1988, every president has been a graduate of either Yale or Harvard.

It could be that most voters think: If you’re smart enough to get into an Ivy League school, you should be smart enough to run a country. If that is true, why does the country seem to be in so much trouble all of the time?

Perhaps instead of simply assuming someone is smart enough to run the country, we should make him or her take an IQ test. This is what many corporations do when they hire someone for an important job.

Or maybe we should see if they can solve a Sudoku puzzle before we let them try for the Oval Office.

Even this may not be enough. That’s because we now have some new research to worry about.

Four out of five of our most recent presidents have been left-handed. Only George W. Bush was a true right hander. Barack Obama, Bill Clinton and the elder George Bush were all left-handed. Ronald Reagan was left-hand dominant -- more on that later.

The authoritative periodical Neuropsychologia says left-handed people have more mental problems than those of us who are right-handed.

They point out that 20 percent of schizophrenics are left-handed even though only 10 percent of people are lefties.

If you’re a lefty, it isn’t your fault. Doctors say they think stress in the womb may be a leading cause. Others believe that because the world is made for right-handers, left-handers are under constant mental stress.

You may say you remember seeing pictures of Reagan signing papers with his right hand. But he always said his school teachers forced him to switch to writing with his right hand when he was a kid. Take a look at his old movies, when he played a cowboy; Reagan always wore his gun on his left hip. You can’t ask for more proof than that.

Let’s put him in the ambidextrous column along with President James Garfield (also not an Ivy Leaguer), who we’re told could write Latin with his right hand and Greek with his left -- simultaneously.

Keep a sharp eye out for taxi drivers, left-handers, Ivy Leaguers and bartenders.

For the presidential election year of 2016, this is your first warning.

Contact Truman Taylor at TrumanBTaylor@Comcast.net.