For decades, scientists have tried to come up with an explanation for what makes Americans tick politically. Why are some people conservative while others liberal/progressive? Why do some identify as Republican and others Democrat?
In a landmark study, scientists have finally unlocked the mystery to this age-old riddle. In a biological trial involving 538 Americans, researchers have found the answer lies within our DNA. The deciding factor is a gene being called the “empathy gene.” Those that had the gene all identified as Democrat, while those lacking the gene all labeled themselves Republican.
“This is truly a giant breakthrough in our understanding of the human mind,” said the study’s director, Dr. Robert Schwartz, “Perhaps now each side of the political spectrum will stop sniping at one another. People simply are who they are. They cannot be shamed or cajoled into adopting the other’s point of view. It’s as simple as that.”
“For those individuals carrying the ‘empathy gene,’ the ability to understand or feel what another person is experiencing, especially one less fortunate, is hardwired. He or she has the capacity to place oneself in another’s shoes,“ said Schwartz. “For those lacking the gene, everything is viewed from a more personal perspective. How will this affect me? What’s in it for me? It is basically every man for himself.”
The study found the lack or presence of the “empathy gene” cut across ethnic, racial and socioeconomic lines. This helps to explain how a Wall Street billionaire and a coal miner in West Virginia can both describe themselves as conservative.
Surprisingly, most in the study group who identified as Christian lacked the “empathy gene.”
Already the study is causing an uproar, with profound implications. If we are programmed to either care or not care about others, especially the poor among us, what hope is there for a more egalitarian, humane and just society? Is there longer any reason to argue with Uncle Henry at family dinners about the virtue of free school lunches for the underprivileged?
The hope among scientists is that the new research will help make us more tolerant, not less, of political differences.
But already some right-wing pundits have started to disparagingly call the newly discovered gene the “GAS” gene, as in who “Gives A Shit.”
Photo | frank.jou.ufl.edu
Caution – this article may be fake news!