Why Do You Think the Way You Do Politically?
Why do we do the things we do? Think the way we think? Some people subscribe to the notion that it’s our internal genetic wiring.
While identical twins might both favor the same political party studies have shown the paternal twins might have differing views. I would have to say that I am about as different from my brother and sister as possible.
Is that because I inherited more mother than father or the other way around? Or is it due to the fact that I grew up 8 years later than my closest sibling and times had changed?
Marketing and Thinking
Do four or five hours of playing violent video games affect how kids think? Some people say "yes," others say "no."
I would offer that a 30-second TV commercial will get you out of your chair and down to a store to buy a set of tires. Is that power? Be hard to make a case that this form of thinking is genetic unless you compulsively buy tires all the time. “Don’t wanna run out!”
People are often Republicans, Democrats or Independents because that’s the message they heard around the dinner table each night. Could be books in the home, shows on TV, magazine subscriptions, etc.
But what drew your parents to those messages? I would have to go right back to marketing as opposed to anything genetic. Here’s why.
Features and Benefits
In marketing, features are what a product or candidate or political party has and a benefit is what that product or party will do directly for you. In other words one will make you feel better than the other. Feelings trump logic every time.
Some studies claim they have isolated the “vote” gene. If you have this gene you are more likely to vote. I would counter that it’s a feeling not a compulsion that causes the voter to step in the voting booth.
The Journal of Politics study claims that if you have a MAOA gene you were 1.3 times more likely to pull the lever than those with differing genes. If you have 5HTT and were a member of a religious group you were 60 percent more likely to vote than those in the religious group without that gene.
Yes, We Are Different
We all process information in our own way. To say that one group is inferior to another would not make scientific sense. As we saw in the information above having certain genes does not guarantee a prescribed course of action or way of thinking.
If genes were the answer to how we think and react then abortion, gun laws, hunting fishing, parenting, business would be marketed in an entirely different way.
You would be told from your brain wave scores at college that there is no way you will ever be a nuclear physicist and instead you might want to follow the janitor around for a day or two and see if that’s a good fit for you.
Some Final Thoughts
Who cares how we think as long as we don’t do harm to others? What does it matter how we process our information?
I will concede that genes might make someone more susceptible to certain stimulus messages or mental input. But I think I would rather be in charge of my brain rather than the other way around.
I do like Sci-Fi movies so maybe I have some R2D2 genes. Or maybe they’re just plain old Levis.