A.J. DiCintio
Crime, punishment, and the liberal gene
By A.J. DiCintio
December 4, 2010

This past October, researchers from UC San Diego and Harvard announced the discovery of a "liberal gene."

Specifically, the scientists found that persons who carry a variant of the gene which controls the production of the brain neurotransmitter DRD4 and who had "many friends in adolescence" are disposed to identify with "novel" ideas, people, and lifestyles. Thus, according to UC Professor James Fowler, they are inclined to be "more liberal."

Now, I've long believed the source of liberalism has mostly to do with hubris (in liberals who love to rule) and self-abasement (in liberals who love to be ruled).

However, I'm completely open to the notion that DNA plays a role in disposing a person to behave like a wacko infatuated with ideas, people, and lifestyles that include the following:

. . . collectivism, centralized government, "free" love.

. . . despicable humans the likes of Marx, Mao, and Che.

. . . patently stupid "lifestyles" that preach the inestimable value of turning on, tuning in, and dropping out.

Therefore, I hope biologists continue investigating the genetic basis of the liberal mind, including the part genes play in producing the incorrigible arrogance and ceaselessly gnawing neurotic guilt that shape liberal attitudes about crime and punishment.

After all, even if DNA turns out to be just 20 or 30% the culprit, we'll have a better understanding of why, during a discussion of crime and punishment, the "rational" liberal face becomes so profoundly disfigured by pain and sourness that formerly it was believed such a look could be caused only by a person's guzzling a supersized cup of highly concentrated hydrochloric acid.

Moreover, we'll learn more about why we can always safely bet the ranch that at some point during such a conversation, a liberal, oblivious of the excruciating wounds he is inflicting upon victims of the most horrible of crimes, will plead with the panel to turn to "what's really important."

And regarding that plea, we'll increase our knowledge about the sickening megalomania evident in the supremely unfunny joke that says a liberal coming upon the bloodiest of crimes will inevitably exclaim, "We absolutely must find the person who did this! He needs our help!"

Excellent additions to human knowledge, all — and there are more.

The research will give us a deeper insight into the source of the astounding hubris and neurosis that, in June of '08, compelled four hardcore Supreme Court liberals to join with occasional liberal Anthony Kennedy to declare the death penalty for monsters who rape children unconstitutional.

. . . Despite, as Justice Alito pointed out, considerations regarding the age of the child, the nature of the rape, or the number of times the unspeakably evil act was committed.

. . . Despite the Constitution's multiple mentions of the death penalty as an appropriate punishment.

. . . And despite the fact that unlike a number of other controversial social issues, capital punishment has consistently received majority support from the American public over the past half century.

Finally, it is essential to emphasize that as the research continues, it will be infinitely more productive if it is accompanied by the study of MRI scans that show which parts of the brain "light up" when liberals view video in which intended victims of horrible crimes blast their attackers into oblivion.

Not to worry about public support for such studies; for the great majority of Americans would love to know what caused the wrong sections of Ed Rendell's brain to light up when the lame duck Pennsylvania governor, disregarding the overwhelming vote of both houses of the state legislature, recently decided to veto a bill expanding the state's Castle Doctrine (the right of a person in his or her home to use deadly force against an intruder).

Perhaps research will show that Rendell's "lighting problem" was caused by the same DNA glitch that afflicted Pollyanna.

Perhaps by the absence of a neurotransmitter essential to blocking hubris, thus explaining why liberals always believe they know better than the "ignorant, racist, fascist, Know-Nothing" Jeffersonian masses.

However, given the complexity of the human psyche, I'm guessing only a complex tangle of perversities can cause a person to veto a bill that simply asserts the following basic human right:

No person should be required to surrender his or her personal safety to a criminal, nor should a person be required to needlessly retreat in the face of intrusion or attack outside the person's home or vehicle.

A complex tangle of perversities, indeed — as was the case decades ago when Pennsylvania's codifying of the basic Castle Doctrine sent Rendell's liberal ancestors hysterically and neurotically screaming condemnations of a "shoot your neighbor" law.

So, as we analyze the liberal psyche, which certainly "doth protest too much" about its love of reason, let us hold tightly to the truths of human nature our forebears observed over millennia and passed on to us.

But let us also go full steam ahead with studies of genes, neurotransmitters, and brain scans; for the astonishing complexity of the human brain dictates Hamlet would have been correct if he had said this in a sincere attempt to expand his scholarly friend's too-narrow outlook:

"There are more things that shape the liberal mind, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy."

© A.J. DiCintio


The views expressed by RenewAmerica columnists are their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of RenewAmerica or its affiliates.
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A.J. DiCintio

A.J. DiCintio posts regularly at RenewAmerica and YourNews.com. He first exercised his polemical skills arguing with friends on the street corners of the working class neighborhood where he grew up. Retired from teaching, he now applies those skills, somewhat honed and polished by experience, to social/political affairs.


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