When I was younger, I’d look at James Carville and Mary Matalin’s relationship and marvel at how they seemed so happy despite the fact that they believed in two completely different political ideologies. I mean, he was a talking head for the Democratic Party and she a talking head for the Republicans, and yet, whenever I’d see them around each other on TV, they seemed like the happiest couple. Now granted, I don’t know them from Adam, but at least from outside appearances, they looked like they were able to accomplish something I wasn’t sure was possible – be in a healthy and loving relationship despite having staunchly different views on how the country should be run.
Maybe this incredulity of mine was heightened because I engage in the political/government and journalism world, so the idea of them working (and working well!) was and is still a heightened miracle to me. Maybe it’s not something that people who haven’t lived in DC or places like it for 10 years would even be concerned with? IDK. But either way, it always amazed me that they pulled it off, mostly because I didn’t think I’d actually be able to do the same.
Don’t get me wrong. That’s not to say I don’t think I could be friends with a Republican. I am friends with Republicans, but to seriously date one? I wasn’t sure how it would work. What would happen when I got really passionate about a particular political issue? How would I feel if I looked over while reading my Hillary Clinton book and saw him reading Dick Cheney’s book? I just wasn’t confidant I’d be comfortable sharing my life with someone who didn’t agree with me on those issues.
Well, I had a similar thought these past couple weeks watching some of the conversations play out on social media about topics such as date rape, marriage equality, affirmative action, etc… Granted, these conversations are becoming quite political, but they tend to actually vary within political parties. For example, I know more than a few Democrats who disagree with me on the issue of marriage equality. And you know what? I found myself wondering if I could really date someone who believed differently than I did on those issues as well.
Not because I don’t respect others’ opinions, but because I think they’re so important, I’m not sure I’d be able to look at him the same way if he thought differently. Is that wrong? I mean, it probably is and it’s probably all kinds of intolerant, but it’s true. And it led me to question whether socio-political issues were becoming a major deal breaker for me or if they had been all along and I just never acknowledged it. And I don’t mean deal breaker in the “I’d like him to have straight white teeth, but as long as they’re not jaws-looking I’m ok” sense of the phrase “deal breaker.” I mean, as in the “I respect all religions, but can only see myself seriously dating another Christian” type of deal breaker. Am I alone in this?
What do you all think? Could you seriously date someone who disagreed with you on some of the top socio-political issues concerning our country right now? Why or why not?