Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Could you ever date a Republican (or a democrat?)

Election day gives me major anxiety.  I mean, pretty much since I was old enough to care, the race for president has been a total cluster-fuck.  Bush VS Gore in 2000 was a complete disaster.  Bush was the crappiest president ever and he still beat John Kerry in 2004.  And who can forget Palin VS Obama in 2008.  There's a very real chance that after today, we might be forced to look at Romney's two-toned hair for four years!  UGH.  Which brings to the moment you've all been waiting for before going to the polls: the BLOW OFF endorses Barack Obama for president.  Like I'd ever vote for a dude who wants to control what I do with my vagina.  Fuck that shit.

I'll be honest, when I find out someone I like is a Republican, it kind of breaks my heart.  Just like the time I found out Beck was a Scientologist.  It's like...WHAT?  But as I get older, I've realized that I need to be more open-minded about other people's views.  No matter how completely insane they are.
For instance, my husband is super-liberal, but his parents are Republicans.  It's possible he could have gone completely the other way (I think he registered as a Republican when he was 18).  And I can honestly say that if he had gone the other way, there's no way I would have married him let alone dated him.  It's a deal-breaker for me.  There would be so much we wouldn't see eye to eye on that I'm not sure we'd be able to sustain a relationship without killing each other first.  We already argue about what to watch on TV, how would we handle disagreeing on gay marriage or climate change or a woman's right to choose?

BUT some people are in relationships with people who have opposite political views as them.  I'm not exactly sure how they make it work.  I'm guessing in some cases, the political debates add fuel to a passionate fire.  OR they just avoid the topic of politics all together.  Or there's other things in their relationship that are more important to them than who their spouse votes for on election day.  Look at James Carville and Mary Matalin.  He was Bill Clinton's campaign manager in '92, while she worked on George H Bush's re-election campaign.  They got married in 1993 and they're still together.  Sheila Heen who wrote the NY Times article The Mixed-Politics Marriage had this to say about being married to someone with opposing political views: WHEN you marry across the divide, you have to give up things that provide the like-minded self-satisfied comfort. As tempting as it is, we can’t demonize those on the other side as idiots who are out of touch, because they’re liable to reach out across the dinner table to touch you (and rather sharply). 

Wait, "sharply"?  Like stabbing you in the hand with a knife?  This is going to be controversial: but sometimes I think liberal ladies that have dated Republicans are willing to put the person's political views aside, because they had a lot of $$$.  Not everyone, that would be an obvious generalization, but, I feel compelled to ask-- could you deal with a poor Republican?  Where do you all stand on this topic?  And if you are married or dating someone who has different political views than you, then good luck tonight.  One of you is going to be very upset.  Here's hoping it's the one who hates black people.

3 comments:

  1. I agree. I don't think I could ever be with someone that was Rep. But I'm guessing that some couples that are affiliated with two different political parties perhaps agree on some of the bigger issues and differ on others. I've heard lots of people refer to themselves as fiscal Republicans but social Democrats. So maybe they agree on a woman's right to choose or gay marriage but have different ideas about tax plans. Seems awfully complicated to me though.

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  2. Yeah I'm a liberal and have dated (seriously) a lot of Republicans. I'm personally conservative in my life, although I think the rest of the world should do whatever they want, so I attract more conservative types. Usually just fiscal conservatives (thank god). I have so many other deal-breakers that I had to let this one go. Especially as I prefer more traditional guys. Sigh.

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  3. I think i could handle the fiscal conservative side of things as long as they were socially liberal, but then i would still feel like money is more important to them than human rights and that i just can't get behind. Plus, i think a lot of conservatives also tend to me on the religious side and that's my second deal breaker.

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