Republican genetic factor found
Date: Sun, 24 Apr 94 01:58:26 PDT
Subject: Republican genetic factor found
Forwarded-by: elshaw@MIT.EDU (Libby Shaw)
Forwarded-by: jrmartin@MIT.EDU (John R. Martin)
Dr. Miriam Golomb
Division of Biological Sciences
407 Tucker Hall
University of Missouri
Columbia, MO 65211
Phone (314) 882-4440
FAX (314) 882-0123
Republicans Can Be Cured!
Daniel Mendelson NYT 7/29/93
The startling discovery that affiliation with the Republican party is
genetically determined, announced by scientists in the current issue of the
journal Nurture, threatens to overshadow the announcement by Government
scientists that there might be a gene for homosexuality in men. Reports of
the gene that codes for political conservatism, discovered after a long study
of quintuplets in Orange County, has sent shock wavesthrough the medical,
political, and golfing communities.
Psychologists and psychoanalysts have long believed that Republicans'
unnatural and frequently unconstitutional tendencies result from an unhealthy
family life- a remarkably high percentage of Republicans had authoritarian,
domineering fathers and emotionally distant mothers who didn't teach them how
to be kind and gentle. But biologists have long suspected that conservatism
is inherited. "After all", said one author of the Nurture article, it's quite
common for a Republican to have a brother or sister who is a Republican."
This finding has been greeted with relief by parents and friends of
Republicans, who have tended to blame themselves for the political views of
otherwise lovable people-their children, friends, and unindicted
co-conspirators. One mother, a longtime Democrat, clasped her hands in
ecstasy on hearing of the findings. "I just knew it was genetics, she said,
seated by her two sons, both avowed Republicans. "I just knew nobody would
actually choose that life style!" When asked what the Republican life style
was, she said, "Well you can just tell from watching TV, like at the
convention in Houston: the loud outfits, the flaming xenophobia, the
flamboyant demagogy-you know."
Both sons said they had suspected their Republicanism from an early age
but did not confirm it until they were in college, when they became convinced
it wasn't just a stage they were going through.
Despite the near-certainty of the medical community about
Republicanism's genetic origins, troubling issues remain. The Nurture
article offered no response to the suggestion that the startlingly high
incidence of Republicanism among siblings could result from the fact that
they shared not only genes but also psychological and emotional attitudes,
being the products of the same parents and family dynamics.
And it remains to be explained why so many avowed Democrats are known to
vote Republican occasionally-or at least to fantasize about it. Polls show
that three out of four adult Democrats admit to having had a Republican
experience. In well-adjusted people, however, this experience rarely outlasts
Surprisingly, some Republican activists hail the findings as a step
forward rather that as an invitation to more conservatophobia. They argue
that since Republicans didn't "choose" their unwholesome life style any more
than someone "chooses" to have a ski-jump nose, they shouldn't be denied
civil rights to which normal people are entitled.
Other Republicans, recalling 19th century scientific studies that
"proved" the mental inferiority of blacks, find the frenzied search for the
biological cause of Republicanism pointless, if not downright sinister. But
for most real Americans, the discovery opens a window on a brighter tomorrow.
In a few years, gene therapy could eradicate Republicanism altogether.
If conservatism is not the result of sheer orneriness (as many
suspect) but is something Republicans can't help and probably don't even
like, there's no reason why we shouldn't tolerate Republicans in the military
or even high elected office-provided they don't flaunt their political
© 1994 Peter Langston