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 CA, has sent shock waves through medical, political
and golfing communities.
Psychologists and psychoanalysts have long believed that Republicans' unnatural and
frequently unconstitutional tendencies result from 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
The 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 genetic," she said, seated beside her two sons, both avowed
Republicans. "I just knew nobody would actually CHOOSE that lifestyle!" When asked what
the Republicans' lifestyle 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
Both sons said they had suspected their Republicanism from an early age but did not
confirm it until in college, when they became convinced it wasn't just a phase they were
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 share 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 known to fantasize about doing so. Polls show that
at three out of five Democrats admit to having had a Republican experience. In
well-adjusted people, however, this experimentation rarely outlasts adolescence.
Surprisingly, some Republican activists hail the findings as a step forward rather
than as an invitation to more conservophobia. 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 beliefs.