Friday, October 29, 2010

The Liberal Gene

Ever wonder why it's so hard to talk sense to your left-of-center friends -- why they seem so resistant to seeing the light, no matter what facts, arguments or logic you muster in support of your case? Well, try not to lose patience with them, because it might not be their fault. Scientists have now found an explanation for Hopeless Liberal Syndrome in a dopamine receptor gene called DRD4, which they think can predispose a carrier to embrace left-wing ideas, depending on cultural influences.

"It is the crucial interaction of two factors -- the genetic predisposition and the environmental condition of having many friends in adolescence -- that is associated with being more liberal,” according to the study.

"These findings suggest that political affiliation is not based solely on the kind of social environment people experience,” said Fowler, who is a professor of political science and medical genetics. The researchers also said their findings held true no matter what the ethnicity, culture, sex or age of the subjects were."

That means it's genetic. They may have been born this way. They can't help it. So look on them not as hopelessly-naive and misguided, or dense, but as otherwise normal individuals afflicted with a genetic predisposition to be led astray. You can save yourself the trouble of lending them copies of National Review or Atlas Shrugged or The Weekly Standard. They may lack the natural capacity to embrace better ideas than those they were born with.

This helps explain a lot, if you think about it. And it may have many conservatives rethinking their opposition to certain kinds of genetic engineering. Now that we know this is a medical condition, we can begin applying all our science and technology to finding a fix, which will help liberate millions of Americans from the stigma of Hopeless Liberal Syndrome. And who knows: once a fix is found, it could also help bring down the budget deficit.

We must not rest until we find a cure for this terrible affliction.

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