As if psychologists didn’t have enough avenues from which to reap fortunes off our loopiness and occasional gullibility, along comes a new malady found exclusively among Kerry supporters, called “Post Election Selection Trauma,” or PEST – which is sort of like shell shock for soldiers of Democrat misfortune. A cure is nowhere in sight because it would appear the Democrats are perfectly happy to treat the disease with more of the disease.

According to the Boca Raton News, one psychologist has treated 15 friends and family with “intense hypnotherapy.” After hypnosis, the patients will demand a recount whenever they see a voting booth, and subconsciously claim disenfranchisement whenever their candidate loses – just like before the hypnosis, only now they get to do it with a lighter wallet.

Deeper analysis of PEST is sorely needed.

What is the core of the problem? Well, anger that George W. Bush won the election, and perhaps even that John Kerry lost, all at a convincing level prohibitive to a recount.

What are the treatment options? To grandfather out the disease via a victory in the next election.

How can this treatment be implemented? By running a competent campaign embraced by mainstream voters in blue and red states.

What is the probable method of implementation? More concerts by vacuous musicians, a sequel to “Fahrenheit 911” by Cholesterol Level 911, and possibly nominating another liberal senator and hoping that he or she doesn’t suffer the same fate as McGovern, Mondale, Dukakis, Gore and Kerry. More groups such as the one headed by P.Diddy, “Vote or Die,” will be sure to pop up again as well, despite the fact that many people who didn’t vote woke up the morning after the election, still alive, despite the promise from P.Diddy.

Condescension to the red states is sure to continue as well, which is the only way the left knows how to try to win over voters. All this adds up to PEST continuing to be a problem for many years to come.

Karen Jacobs, of the Center for Group Counseling, said in the Boca Raton News story, “We’ll do what we can for anyone who shows up for our support group programs this week, but we haven’t implemented a specific program for Kerry-related trauma.” Not so fast, because Rob Gordon, the Boca-based executive director of the American Health Association, has one in the works. “We’re calling it ‘post-election selection trauma’ and we’re working to develop a counseling program for it.”

That should make for an interesting session. Chances are, validation of the patient’s problem will be the core treatment, and blame deflection to the political opposition will raise the esteem of even the most disappointed of Democrats.

Patients may be flown to, say, Germany, to the new “Dusseldorf PEST Institute” for intensive therapy under the guidance of Dr. Albrecht Spiegel (himself a sufferer of PEST ever since Helmut Kohl’s 1998 loss to Gerhard Shroder). Those sessions may go something like this:

Dr. Spiegel: “Zo, you’re havink zee post-election stress?”

PEST sufferer: “The Republican won again. Why, doctor? Why!?”

Dr. Spiegel: “Zees peoples vis zee red state aphasia are offen votink for zee wrong candidate due to lack un edukashun, racism, homophobia, und/or zee drinkink proplems.”

PEST sufferer: “So, it’s their fault, not ours, right?”

Dr. Spiegel: “Fraudulent votink und vat Freud vould have called zee ‘pollink anxiety’ are vy zay get more of zee voters.

PEST sufferer: “And now the outsourcing of American jobs will never be stopped!”

Dr. Spiegel: “Zis is why zees sessions are in Germany, and not zee states, yes?”

PEST sufferer: “See what I mean?”

The D?sseldorf PEST Institute may not materialize in the future, but something should be done, because the current treatment is sure to only intensify the problem.

According to Karen Jacobs, “We’re referring people with election-related stress to the Democratic National Committee.” Referring them to the DNC? This is a little like holding your Al-Anon meeting in the quality testing room at the Seagram’s factory. Under ordinary circumstances, this would rise to the level of actionable malpractice, but John Edwards probably won’t sue his own … until the money’s right.

Republicans, in the past, have probably suffered minor undocumented cases of PEST, especially after a couple of Clinton victories, but it never reaches any level of malignancy. The one thing the Republicans do differently is to apply a simple remedy that seems to escape the Democrats: Not making the same mistakes again and again and expecting a different result.

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