The discovery that affiliation with the Republican Party is genetically
determined was announced by scientists in the current issue of the
journal NURTURE, causing uproar among traditionalists who believe it is
a chosen lifestyle.
Reports of the gene coding for political conservatism, discovered after
a decades-long study of quintuplets in Orange County, CA, has sent shock
waves through the medical, political, and golfing communities.
Psychologists and psychoanalysts have long believed that Republicans'
unnatural disregard for the poor and frequently constitutional
tendencies resulted from dysfunctional family dynamics -- a remarkably
high percentage of Republicans do have authoritarian domineering fathers
and emotionally distant mothers who didn't teach them how to be kind and
gentle. 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." The
finding has been greeted with relief by Parents and Friends of
Republicans (PFREP), who sometimes blame themselves for the political
views of otherwise lovable children, family, and unindicted
One mother, a longtime Democrat, wept and clapped her hands in ecstasy
on hearing of the findings. "I just knew it was genetic," she said,
seated with her two sons, both avowed Republicans. "My boys would never
freely choose that lifestyle!" When asked what the Republican lifestyle
was, she said, "You can just tell watching their conventions in Houston
and San Diego on TV: the flaming xenophobia, flamboyant demagogy,
disdain for anyone not rich, you know."
Both sons 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 phase they were going through.
The NURTURE article offered no response to the suggestion that the high
incidence of Republicanism among siblings could result from their
sharing not only genes but also psychological and emotional attitude as
products of the same parents and family dynamics.
A remaining mystery is why many Democrats admit to having voted
Republican at least once -- or often dream or fantasize about doing so.
Polls show that three out of five adult Democrats have had a Republican
experience, although most outgrow teenage experimentation with
Some Republicans hail the findings as a step toward eliminating
conservophobia. They argue that since Republicans didn't "choose" their
lifestyle any more than someone "chooses" to have a ski-jump nose, they
shouldn't be denied civil rights which other minorities enjoy.
If conservatism is not the result of stinginess or orneriness (typical
stereotypes attributed to Republicans) but is something Republicans
can't help, there's no reason why society shouldn't tolerate Republicans
in the military or even high elected office -- provided they don't
flaunt their political beliefs. For many Americans, the discovery opens
a window on a different future. In a few years, gene therapy might
eradicate Republicanism altogether.
But should they be allowed to marry?