Friday, October 26, 2012

Red State, Blue State

With the election only 11 days away, you can't escape the constant barrage of commercials, robocalls, and signage. Obviously the entire country is voting in the presidential and House elections, and some states also have a Senator to vote for. And maybe you even have state legislators and municipal elections thrown in there at the same time.

If your town looks anything like mine, the streets are decorated with red and blue campaign posters. (And yellow and green -- Virginia state law forbids printing party affiliation on the ballot for local elections. With so many federal employees living in the DC area -- who are not allowed to affiliate publicly with a particular party for fear of violating the Hatch Act -- you'd never have enough people for City Council or the school board if you were limited to Dem or Repub.)

But this post isn't about who to vote for. No way. It's about dating.

I've always wondered how a couple could survive if they're on two different sides of the battle lines at this time of year. My friend Laurie is a Jewish northeastern a Southern Baptist conservative Republican. This is their second presidential election together, so it obviously hasn't ruined the relationship yet. And don't forget Mary Matalin and James Carville.

Vice-presidential candidate Paul Ryan's wife has moved to the right over the twelve years they've been married, but she was a rising star Democratic lobbyist from a prominent Oklahoma political family when she first started dating the brand-new Republican Congressman. (If I recall correctly, they met at the gym.)

To me, this is fascinating. But I could never imagine experiencing it myself.

Heck, the only time I ever dated someone who was my polar opposite politically, it ended badly. I knew he and I didn't see eye to eye on most political issues as soon as I heard what Senator he worked for. But I still agreed to go out with him because he was hot. (Hey, I was 22...)

I suppose in retrospect I didn't bother to tell him outright my political philosophy. It didn't seem applicable at the time. But I guess he must have figured it out through conversations, because he stood me up on our very next date. He called me up and told me that the Marine Corps Ball (his boss was on the Armed Services Committee, so he got tickets) had been cancelled.

I was already dressed in my brand new floor-length gown, and was in the process of doing a twist to my hair.

Really? Cancelled? Dude, grow a pair and just tell me you don't want to see me anymore.


Terri Osburn said...

What a jerk. (That was the nicest term I could find.) I'm a liberal Yankee who married a conservative southerner and though that was not the downfall of the relationship, I learned a hard lesson. I can't be in a relationship with someone on the other end of the political spectrum.

We don't have to agree on every thing, but the big stuff would be a deal breaker.

Re: the election. Is is over yet??

catslady said...

Maybe I could have done it when I was younger but political parties seemed to be extremely polarized now and I could never do it. We have one relative on my husband's side who we have always adored but the last few elections have been rough and this one was the first time we actually hurt each others feelings so we have a no politics rule now which is really sad. I always could agree to disagree but that seems impossible in this day and age.

Robin Kaye said...

I don't think I could date or be married to someone on the opposite end of the political spectrum. My mom is though, she told her husband either he stopped talking politics or she'd divorce him. It's usually very quiet at their house during elections. Still, I guess it's working for them.