As usual, I’m the last one to jump on a cultural bandwagon.
I just discovered that quite a while ago, somebody discovered catechol-O-methyl transferase (COMT), an enzyme that breaks down dopamine. The COMT gene comes in two variants, one that slowly removes dopamine and another that does it fast.
It seems so far that a quarter of us have the slow version, a quarter have the fast version, and half of us fall somewhere between the two.
The slow version helps people succeed in normal life, but not so much under stress. The fast version can make people have trouble with normal life, but do well under stress.
These two versions got people calling COMT the worrier-warrior gene or the warrior-worrier gene. In practice, the terminology ends up being a bit lop-sided. While the words “worrier” and “worrying” come from the word “worry,” the word “warrior” and “warring” come from the word “war.” The thousands of articles about this topic tend to use the former set of terms and ignore the latter. Hence, most articles I’ve read speak glowingly of warriors without acknowledging the negative disruptions that can be invoked by a warring person.
But let’s not worry about that. Instead, let’s look at our current political landscape and ask if it was COMT that played a role. Is it possible that for years worriers were running things and the half of the population that is neither worrier nor warrior drifted a bit to the worrier side? Is it possible that the warriors got fed up and voted for disruptive warriors who don’t think much before acting?
Maybe that’s too big a leap, but if you find articles about this, please let me know so I can stop worrying about it.