Comments for: Are political leanings in our genes?

Posted Dec. 03, 2012, at 1:08 p.m.

After spending six years in the Maine State Legislature as a state Representative, it would be almost impossible not to come up with some interesting observations, notice some general trends and reach some interesting conclusions. I have listened to the many speeches on the various bills that come to the …

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  • Anonymous

    I recall readiing a comment here going back pre-election. The commentor told of how he/she was one of 11 children all taught to be democracts. It went on to say how all 11 childresn had grownup and started families teaching their children that they too must be democrats.Now proudly boasting of the 3rd generation being brought into the world to be taught that they will alll become democracts.
    I found this comment quite different from my upbringing. Whenever I would engage my parents in a conversation of “what should I be?” Their answer was the same. “Do your own research, think for yourself, and YOU have to decide that one for yourself”.

    • Anonymous

      I could see the same thing happening in traditional Republican families. I especially see it in families where conservative religion trumps just about anything else, including the findings of science and research. Before you shoot me down on this, I’m not equating political and religious conservatism (however, there is a significant correlation).

      • Anonymous

        Yes, have seen that a lot also.

    • Anonymous

      I’m one of five siblings, well into adulthood. Here’s how we turned out:
      Firstborn — conservative Republican; evangelical Christian.
      Second — independent who leans toward the Democrats; mainline Christian.
      Third — liberal Democrat; liberal Christian.
      Fourth — moderate to conservative Republican; evangelical Christian.
      Fifth — liberal Democrat; liberal Christian who leans toward agnosticism.
      All five of us were raised by the same two parents. No amount of “reasoning” is likely to change our opinions, which have been consistent over the decades. What each of us sees as “reasonable” differs from sibling to sibling.

  • Anonymous

    I think it’s more an effect of culture, specifically the influence of family and peers. I’ve seen recent findings that most are not influenced by information contrary to firmly held opinions and values. However, personality preferences as measured by Myers-Briggs tests probably have a genetic component. Bottom line: probably a combination of nature and nurture.

  • Anonymous

    Pretty simple. People lean left if they want feel like they can modify human behavior along their ideas of what is the right pathway for humanity through government legislation, programs or policies. Incredibly, some think they are truly trying to help this way. Or they lean left because they want to, have to, or have grown to expect to rely on government for help. People lean right if they want to live their life their own way without government influence or interference. They see government as a framework to protect their individual liberties but then get out of their way to live their lives. Sadly as shown in the last election, more and more people expect government to be there to give them stuff, take care of them and tell them what to do. And a lot of people seem ok with that, which is very disappointing.

    • Anonymous

      Bingo!!

      • Anonymous

        Wrong. You got dealt a bad card. Try again.

        • Anonymous

          I got dealt the ability to think for myself. That ability makes a world of difference.

    • Anonymous

      Wow. Hyperactive stereotyping. How do you really feel about that?

      • Anonymous

        Kouch hit it out of the park. You just can’t handle the truth.

        • Anonymous

          Kouch stereotyped and misunderstood the left — and the left tends to do the same to the right. What I find reasonable and what you find reasonable may not be the same thing. See my longer reply to Kouch.

    • Anonymous

      The right tends to stereotype and misunderstand the left (as you just did), and the left tends to do the same thing to the right.

      I think the author of this opinion column makes a good point saying that we may be predisposed to lean left or right, regardless of what “reason” seems to dictate. Left and right find different things to be “reasonable.”
      In my own family the firstborn and fourth turned out to be conservatives, the third and fifth turned out to be liberals, and the second sibling a moderate/centrist. All raised by the same two parents.

      We try to reason with one other on this page (when we’re not engaged in one-upmanship) but we almost never change anyone’s mind. Reason is a difficult thing — what I find reasonable and what you find reasonable may not be the same thing.

  • Anonymous

    Genetics? Absolutely not.

    I was born into a firmly Democrat family. I was the first in a long line of Democrats to buck the trend and sign up as an Independent. It was after several years in the military that I moved to the Republican Party. You see, while in uniform, I had a chance to see both sides of the government coin, especially while being assigned overseas.

    In addition, when I was growing up, the Democratic Party was completely different than it is today. Back then, the Democrats cared about each other. No longer. Back then, the Democrats believed in the greatness of America. No longer. Back then, the Democrats believed in a days pay for a days work. No longer. Today’s Democratic Party has been overrun by Socialist and Marxists, and anti-Capitalists. They are Progressives that have one goal in mind…….. to bring down America by creating a nation of dependents. So far, they’re doing a great job.

    • Anonymous

      Wrong again. The Ds may have changed but the Rs have changed much more. For the worse.

      • Anonymous

        From time to time you show signs of intelligence, but not on this subject. Just think about what you’re saying, then think about your D leaders, like Schummer, Pelosi, Reid, Wasserman-Schultz, Hillary Clinton, and the president. They ALL talk like they own their voting base. They ALL dictate, demean, and deceive. The ALL laugh at those of us that want freedom from the controls of government. They are ALL Socialists at heart.

        You’re right that both parties have changed. But the Ds have gone over the cliff, and are dragging America behind them. The Ds are enslaving more and more every day. The Ds are conducting a war on women, a war on the wealthy, and a war on the faithful. Meanwhile, the Rs are split between one camp that is standing firm on their promises and principles, and the other camp that has cowered and will give in the the Ds’ bullying and taunting.

        And the president, instead of doing his job and meeting with Congress to fix what is broken, is still campaigning, because that’s all he knows how to do.

        • Anonymous

          You certainly see the world differently than the way I see it. To me, nothing you just said makes sense.

    • Anonymous

      EJ, what you just said is an example of what I am saying when I say that your idea of “reasonable” and mine are different.

      I grew up a Young Republican and shifted, over the years, toward the Democratic Party. When I was growing up, President Eisenhower was a liberal Republican. Eisenhower sent troops into Little Rock to help integrate the schools there. But over time the Republicans became the party of the Southern Strategy, the party that attracted the old Dixiecrats, the party waved the Confederate flag over Southern state capitols, and the party that opposed the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday.

      Ike didn’t want to do away with Social Security or the New Deal, he just said he would do a better job of administering the programs. Over the years the Republicans became the party that wanted to do away with as many New Deal programs they could, and do away with Social Security by privatizing it.

      Standing on the right side of history, the Democrats under LBJ passed the Civil Rights Act and the Voting Rights Act (with help from liberal Republicans). Democrats, allied with liberal Republicans, gave us Medicare.

      Over the years, the liberal Republicans were driven out of their party by conservative purists, and the old racist Dixiecrats found a new home with the Republicans.

      The Democratic Party is the party that believes we are all in this together, and that we can accomplish more as a community than we can as individuals. The Republicans became the party of “I’ve got mine, the heck with you!”

      Bill Clinton struck a new balance for the Democrats — he cut the size of government, balanced the budget, and ended welfare as a life-long “entitlement.”

      Barack Obama reduced taxes, showed compassion for those Jesus called “the least of these” (such as immigrants and gays and lesbians), and passed a free-enterprise Republican-inspired health plan, while saving GM, Chrysler, and the U.S. economy.

      In the meantime the Republicans became the party of unnecessary war, the party of borrow-and-spend, the party of “No,” the party of old white men that opposes compassion for immigrants, the party that opposes fairness for gays and lesbians, the party that is obsessed what what people do in the privacy of their own bedrooms.

      The Republican Party, which has moved farther and farther to the right, has one economic plan — tax cuts for the rich, more tax cuts for the rich, annual tax cuts for the rich, and never raising taxes on the rich.

      I’m a Democrat because I love this country and believe we can accomplish more together than we can separately. The atheist Ayn Rand gospel of individual greed, which is the mantra of the GOP, doesn’t appeal to me.

      I’m a Democrat because I believe in “feed the hungry, give drink to the thirsty, clothe the naked, visit those in prison, comfort the afflicted, welcome the stranger” (see Matthew 25).

      What you find reasonable and what I find reasonable appear to be two different things. That was the point of this op-ed piece.

      • Anonymous

        – Privatizing Social Security is the right thing to do (and it’s only a partial pritivatization), but it loosens government control, and the Dems will have nothing to do with less control.
        – LBJ could not have passed either of these acts without strong Republican support, because there were many in his party that opposed both.
        – Clinton was forced to balance the budget by a Republican controlled Congress. He was also forced to do welfare reform after vetoing it twice, because he was up for re-election. By the way, the reforms that Obama put back in place has returned the program to a life-long status for many.
        – Obama has NOT reduced taxes. He reduced the payroll tax, which is the major source of revenue for Social Security. In January of 2013, thanks to his massive spending in Obamacare and other spending bills, all of our taxes are going to go way up, even if the Bush tax cuts are extended.
        – GM and Chrysler would have fared better without the bailouts. Ford is doing great, and they didn’t take a cent of government money.
        – Obama has increased the welfare roles, pandered to the gays and illegals, and decreased the American spirit to the lowest point in history.
        – The “unnecessary wars” were approved overwhelmingly by the Democrats. The information that led to the wars was the same intelligence that Clinton and the rest were provided. Tell 24 million free Iraqis that the war was unnecessary.
        – The party of NO is the Democratic Party. Senator Reid has blocked over 30 House bills that would help the economy, the poor, the middle class, and small businesses. But, since he’s a true partisan, just like his boss, there’s no way he wants to make the Republicans look like they care about anything. Reid is a hack.

        – The Republican have offered up several economic plans that would work. But the Dems are hell bent on raising taxes and continuing their war on the wealthy, while spending like there is no end to the money. Spending is the only way they can retain their power by continuing their enslavement of the people.
        – If you love this country, then you can’t be a Democrat, because the Democrats only love power and control. That’s not what this nation is all about.

        I believe in God, American Exceptionalism, family, and morals. I spent 20 years of my life defending all of the above. I’ve seen what socialism can do to a nation, and it’s not good. But, that’s exactly what the Dems are trying to do to this nation. Not on my watch. I will stand for and defend freedom and liberty until I take my last breath.

        • Anonymous

          EJ, I could answer you point by point — As usual you are wrong on nearly everything, except when you agree with things I already said (such as the fact that LBJ got civil rights bills passed with the help of liberal Republicans, folks you would call RINOS) — but the whole point of the article we are discussing is that you and I aren’t likely to ever convince each other.

          You are inclined to be a conservative and I am inclined to be liberal. We see things differently. What I find reasonable and what you find reasonable are not the same. I don’t know whether it is a genetic predisposition or what — but debates in the Maine legislature and U.S. Congress don’t convince anyone in those chambers. We’ve already decided that our point of views are correct.

          • Anonymous

            You cannot say that I’m wrong when every one of my points is true. You can only say that you feel I’m wrong because my points don’t agree with your left wing perspective. As usual, there are two sides to every coin, and more than one way to look at issues. I realize that most of what you posted is true, but you failed to include the whole truth, so I provided more facts. It’s as simple as that.

          • Anonymous

            Do you have any principles or consistency between the things you post? You constantly screech about you being one of the few who know the “truth” and now you’re singing a different tune?

  • Anonymous

    Up through the 1920s, blacks were mostly Republicans and southern whites were mostly Democrats, a situation now completely reversed. Hard to make a genetic argument out of that.

    • Anonymous

      Up through the 1920s the Republicans were the party of Lincoln, and the Democrats the party of the Old South. When their positions more-or-less reversed, most blacks switched to the Democrats, and the Dixiecrats switched over to the Republicans.
      But I think Ayotte is right in saying that, regardless of the political positions of parents, their children have their own leanings. That’s true in my family.

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