Friday, February 22, 2013

Brain Scan Can Accurately Determine Political Allegiance

Republican Elephant_Reuters_Feb20.JPG

I like this brightly decorated elephant so I borrowed it from an article I read about the natural "hard wiring" of a person's political ideology.  A study found that by using a brain scan, the conclusion drawn will quite accurately determine which political party you will consider your home.

The study, from the University of Exeter and the University of California, San Diego, evaluated the brain activity of 82 subjects engaged in gambling games. Then, researchers compared participants’ cerebral activity to their declared political parties. While Republicans and Democrats took similar risks during the games, the brain activity that prompted those risks was extremely different.
Among participants who voted Democrat, gray matter showed more activation in the left posterior insula, the region linked with empathy and emotion. The other side of the brain was Republican territory: conservatives flexed their right amygdala more often when making decisions. That brain region is associated with fear, reward, and a fight-or-flight response.
It is true that Republicans are not the touchy-feely party.  We are the pull yourself up by your bootstraps party.  We are the take responsibility for yourself and your family party who value education, free enterprise and entrepreneurship. We believe you can make better decisions for yourself and your family than a government bureaucrat will make.

Those of us in the Republican party understand that when the government is taking care of you, you owe them.  Your dance to their tune and are not your own person.  All that "help" has lots of strings attached.  Not to mention a real power base for Democrats come election time.

We have lost some recent elections due to our never-ending inability to communicate with the average Joe or Jane.  Our heart is in the right place but you would never know it.  Democrats have been really successful with convincing voters that we want your grandma to eat cat food while living in a cardboard box suffering in pain because she can't get medical care.  We've been labeled anti-everything good and even though it is ludicrous to any thinking person, the nonsense has stuck.  

The good news is that change has begun.  Though slow, activists are realizing that the task ahead of us is huge.  I don't subscribe to the doom and gloom of those naysayers who state that our time is over.  Every time a party suffers big defeats at the ballot box, that claim is made.  Remember after the 2010 elections when even President Obama had to admit that the Democrats had their butts handed to them?

Reading a liberal columnist's idea of what young Republicans believe, I think he inadvertently got it exactly right in the final sentence below. The GOP is learning to embrace those who would be outside their regular comfort zone - those with technological knowledge, social media skills, common sense government budgets and yes, gays.

By proclaiming that their defeats are due mainly to technological inferiority or bad messaging, the young Republicans ignore the underlying source of popular disdain for their party.  It is true that their technology was feeble, their candidate and consultants were incompetent, and their messaging was often repellent. But the self-styled hipsters of the right are in fact not much different from the Tea Party octogenarians in their hostility to government investment, social insurance, health care, education, and industry - and both are in conflict with the evolving attitudes of young Americans across all demographic lines.
The disgruntled figures who spoke with Draper represent almost nobody in the GOP, compared with the legions commanded by Limbaugh and the religious right. But if their fantasy could be made real, what shape would it take? A tech-savvy, gay-friendly, 21st-century Calvin Coolidge? A composite of Marco Rubio, Chris Christie and Rand Paul?

He gave it a "good luck with that" finish but I know it will be true. In order for a modern political party to survive, it has to be true.  It can all work comfortably into the conservative ideology that will lead the Republican party in the no so distant future. The old white men who have dominated the party leadership are being replaced by women, younger people and minorities, slowly but surely.  I have not given up.

By now demanding to be heard and that the party make the changes necessary, while maintaining our conservative principles, those coming up in the party and among activists are shaping the party's future.

Democrats are rooting for our failure, of course.  They really hope we just keep our heads in the sand and continue on our merry way as though no change is needed.

No comments: