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Who's Afraid of the Campaign Trail?

Updated on October 2, 2008
Mighty Mom profile image

Mighty Mom is a keen observer of life. She shares her personal experiences and opinions in helpful and often amusing ways.

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Forget Issues, Who's Got Phobias!


It's amazing how ideas shape themselves into hubs. This topic was inspired by a recent hub by Pam Grundy on passive racism. One of the comments states that racism doesn't exist, that there are not separate races of human beings, just different ethnicities. Well, this made me search my brain for the term that means "fear of people different from you." (It's xenophobia.) Along the way, I discovered there are phobias from A to X, and thought it would be interesting to assign some of the funniest ones to our candidates. Vote for your favorites at the end!

And so, without further adieu... my lighthearted look at some of the irrational fears that may (or may not) be lurking in our candidates' hearts.

We'll start with John McCain:

Cainophobia - Fear of newness, novelty (CAINophobia. I am not making this up!)

Melanophobia - Fear of the color black

Scotophobia - Fear of darkness

Sinistrophobia - Fear of things to the left

Xenophobia - Fear of strangers or foreigners

Anthropophobia - Fear of people of society (read: with Harvard degrees)

Carcinophobia - Fear of cancer

Centophobia - Fear of new things or ideas

Cyberphobia - Fear of computers or working on a computer

Gerascophobia - Fear of growing old

Phalacrophobia - Fear of becoming bald

Clithrophobia - Fear of being enclosed

Merinthophobia - Fear of being bound or tied up

Mnemophobia - Fear of memories

Chronophobia - Fear of time

Tropophobia - Fear of moving or making changes.

Tyrannophobia - Fear of tyrants (Change the prefix to terrori- and you have fear of terrorists).

Hippopotomonstrosesquippedaliophobia - Fear of long words

Heresyphobia - Fear of challenges to official doctrine or radical deviation

Hobophobia - Fear of bums or beggars (or middle class even)

Optophobia - Fear of opening one's eyes

A few phobias that John clearly does NOT suffer from:

Cholerophobia - Fear of anger

Domatophobia - Fear of houses (notice it says houses, plural)

Orthophobia - Fear of property

Caligynephobia - Fear of beautiful women

Chrematophobia - Fear of money

Ballistophobia - Fear of missiles or bullets

Nucleomituphobia - Fear of nuclear weapons

Here are the things Barack Obama worries about:

Chaetophobia - Fear of hair (seriously, I worry why he keeps his so damned short)

Mechanophobia - Fear of machines (Diebold voting machines specifically)

Harpaxophobia - Fear of being robbed (related to the one above)

Blennophobia - Fear of slime

Erythrophobia - Fear of red

Homilophobia - Fear of sermons (although I think he's recovered from Jeremiah Wright's damage)

Kyphophobia - Fear of stooping

And a brief list for Joe Biden (he's really pretty realistic about this whole vice presidential gig)

Harpaxophobia - Fear of being robbed

Erythrophobia - Fear of red

Odynophobia - Fear of pain (actually, I think for him it's fear of "Palin")

Verbophobia - Fear of words (not being able to shut them off)

Surprisingly (or not), Sarah Palin has a longer list of phobias she does NOT have than phobias she does (or might) have.

Things Sarah Palin is NOT afraid of:

Arrhenophobia - Fear of men

Carnophobia - Fear of meat

Zoophobia - Fear of animals

Doraphobia - Fear of fur or skins of animals

Parthenophobia - Fear of virgins or young girls

Parturiphobia - Fear of childbirth

Catoptrophobia - Fear of mirrors

Nelophobia - Fear of glass(es)

Hoplophobia - Fear of firearms

Atomosophobia - Fear of atomic explosions

Ballistophobia - Fear of missiles or bullets

Now some things SP appears to genuinely fear (or at least actively avoid)

Bathophobia - Fear of depth

Bibliophobia - Fear of books

Epistemphobia - Fear of knowledge

Hippopotomonstrosesquippedaliophobia - Fear of long words

Bolshephobia - Fear of Bulsheviks (fancy term for Russian - although she does wave to them from her house!)

Anthropophobia - Fear of people of society (read: non Joe sixpack)

Phronemophobia - Fear of thinking

Ideophobia - Fear of ideas

Several phobias are shared by all four candidates (but not necessarily for the same reasons)

Politicophobia - Fear or abnormal dislike of politicians (except themselves, of course)

Mythophobia - Fear of myths or stories or false statements

Arithmophobia - Fear of numbers (polls, popular vote, electoral college)

Atelophobia - Fear of imperfection

Atephobia - Fear of ruin or ruins

Athazagoraphobia - Fear of being forgotten or ignored

Atychiphobia - Fear of failure

Catagelophobia - Fear of being ridiculed

Social Phobia - Fear of being evaluated negatively in social situations

Autodysomophobia - Fear that one has a vile odor

Automysophobia - Fear of being dirty

Autophobia - Fear of being alone with oneself

Onomatophobia - Fear of hearing a certain word or names

Nostophobia - Fear of returning home

And last, but certainly not least, phobias afflicting NONE of our 2008 candidates:

Topophobia - Fear of certain places or situations,such as stage fright

Demophobia - Fear of crowds

Opthalmophobia - Fear of being stared at

Hodophobia - Fear of road travel

Photoaugliaphobia - Fear of glaring lights

Eleutherophobia - Fear of freedom

Hypengyophobia - Fear of responsibility

Rhabdophobia - Fear of being severely punished or beaten by a rod, or of being severely criticized

And just for fun, two more that might just be the most accurate of all:

Automatonophobia - Fear of ventriloquist's dummies, animatronic creatures, wax statues-anything that falsely represents a sentient being

Zemmiphobia - Fear of the great mole rat

Who Wins the Phobia Contest?

Which candidate do you think has the most "real" phobias?

See results


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    • nicomp profile image

      nicomp really 6 years ago from Ohio, USA

      Sarah was even afraid to remain governor. How she could possibly mount a national campaign is beyond me.