Study: Many Democrats Claiming Mental Distress After Trump Election Were Faking It

Anne Devlin, from Plano, Texas, cries in the gallery of the House of Representatives after the Electoral College voted at the state Capitol in Austin, Texas, Monday, Dec. 19, 2016. The ballots of three dozen Texas presidential electors Monday put Donald Trump over the 270 electoral votes needed to formally win the White House. (AP Photo/Tamir Kalifa)

In the wake of the 2016 election, liberals nationwide were claiming significant mental/emotional distress. Last month so-called comedian Chelsea Handler claimed Trump’s election drove her to drugs and to seek psychiatrist help for anxiety relief, yada, yada, yada.


But, according to a new study published in SAGE Open (an open-access, peer-reviewed, academic journal), many registered Democrats were embellishing their mental anguish “as a means to back their party.”

“Our research suggests that for many Democrats, expressing mental distress after the election was a form of partisan cheerleading,” write researchers Masha Krupenkin, David Rothschild, Shawndra Hill and Elad Yom-Tov in their findings. “Clearly, many Democrats were, and are, upset about the Republican victory in 2016; these findings do not invalidate those feelings but put their depth and related actions into perspective.”

This so-called “reverse” cheerleading occurs when a person misreports or exaggerates a condition publicly in order to show support for their affiliated group, or in this case, their political party. The authors say that a person’s actions in private reveal their true condition, however, and for the study, that can be determined by evaluating private search terms. In other words, a person who might describe suffering psychological distress on social media or to their friends, but doesn’t search for any type of help or relief, is more likely showing a form of reverse cheerleading.


“We find that while Democrats expressed serious mental distress about the election result on surveys, on average, the Democrats in our sample did not show an increase in mental health-related searches after the election,” the researchers wrote.

To assess the validity of “Trump Stress Disorder” the researcher analysis over a million searches by Bing user before and after the 2016 election to “examine the changes in mental-health-related searches among Democrats and Republicans.” These changes were then compared “to shifts in searches among Spanish-speaking Latinos in the United States,” whom the researchers claimed were “directly targeted by President Trump,” because of his opposition to Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA).

While Spanish speakers both reported significant stress after Donald Trump’s election, and showed an increase in searches for mental-health-related terms, the same was not true for Democrats: Democrats showed no statistically significant change in searches. Democrats were no more likely to search for stress relief, nor mental illness, nor treatment for mental illness before or after the election. This suggests that some Democrats reported mental health declines after Trump’s election as a form of reverse cheerleading, where partisans report evaluations that are more negative than their true beliefs to reflect badly on a president of the opposing party.


Liberals were obviously upset at the results of the 2016 election, just as Republicans were upset at the results of the 2008 and 2012 elections. That Democrats feel the need to embellish their anguish to prove their liberal bona fides tell us just what pathetic snowflakes they are.


Matt Margolis is the author of The Scandalous Presidency of Barack Obama and the bestselling The Worst President in History: The Legacy of Barack Obama. His new book, Trumping Obama: How President Trump Saved Us From Barack Obama’s Legacy, will be published in July 2019. You can follow Matt on Twitter @MattMargolis


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