Strange bedfellows

Could you love someone who lives on the opposite side of the political fence? Members of Salon's Table Talk tell

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Family Life

(Son Of) Honey, I Love You, But You’re Being an Idiot 

hhrvt – 09:34 am Pacific Time – Jul 28, 2009 – #132 of 171

Yes, I have known since day one that we hold some differing political views. We agree to disagree on many points, and usually cancel out each other’s votes. However, I WILL NOT STAND for you watching Fox News in our house. I am sorry that being subtle didn’t work this morning and I had to resort to shrieking harpy to get you to change the channel. You are smarted than Fox, you even admit most of their “news” is bullshit, but I promise you that if I see that channel on again, I will be calling up the cable company.

Sheera Queen of the Universe – 01:27 pm Pacific Time – Jul 30, 2009 – #140 of 171

My husband was a Republican up until this last election, when he registered as a Democrat and voted almost a straight Dem ticket. I don’t know if he was just fed up with the Repubs after the Bush years or if I’ve just worn him down over the last 14 years, but whatever. We still only talk politics occasionally, and agree more than disagree on things.

But he thinks Fox News is shite, so we really don’t have anything to argue about there.

Oceanus – 01:32 pm Pacific Time – Jul 30, 2009 – #141 of 171

The wife went and voted for McCain last year. Came out of nowhere. I was floored.

Margot Metroland – 01:39 pm Pacific Time – Jul 30, 2009 – #142 of 171

My husband leans Republican, but it’s only because he plans to be really rich eventually (and he’s driven and ambitious enough that I am sure he could be) and he doesn’t want to pay more taxes.

There, I said it, my husband leans Republican. I don’t talk much politics with him though, at least not where it concerns anything that could affect taxes.

Phouka – 01:46 pm Pacific Time – Jul 30, 2009 – #143 of 171

I can deal with some serious opposite belief systems in my marriage (I’m a fairly militant atheist, he is a soft-fuzzy sort of Christian, toothpaste squeezer vs roller, etc), but I don’t think I could manage a Democrat-Republican mixed marriage.

I get way too riled up over politics, and so does he. Luckily we’re on the same side.



Samiratou – 02:07 pm Pacific Time – Jul 30, 2009 – #145 of 171

My husband is a Libertarian.

‘Nuff said.

lilacs – 02:16 pm Pacific Time – Jul 30, 2009 – #147 of 171

My SO is a libertarian and temporarily supported Ron Paul for president (till I pointed out that Ron Paul is anti-choice). He tries to be discreet about it but still gets some weird looks in our crunchy suburb. We also have the Jewish/atheist, Mac/PC mixes going on — it keeps things interesting.

Billie Jean – 02:25 pm Pacific Time – Jul 30, 2009 – #148 of 171

My husband is a democrat (thank God), but practically everyone else we know is very right-wing. Like, the NRA, Sarah Palin type of right wing. Needless to say, I have learned to NOT bring up the subject of politics, and when it does come up, I usually keep my mouth shut, because it doesn’t really do much good to argue. Yesterday somebody brought up Healthcare Reform, and some good ol’ bullshit talking points were raised, and I couldn’t resist countering them. Which made somebody mad. It’s socially very uncomfortable for me at times, but why can’t I express my viewpoint, if everyone else gets to express theirs?

Laura Margaret – 04:43 pm Pacific Time – Jul 30, 2009 – #151 of 171

I went on a great first date the other night and when I was telling my coworkers about it, I mentioned that he had campaigned for Obama (went out to Iowa, all that). My coworker decided that we need to bust out the wedding invitations after that!

I was in a LTR during the 2004 elections and I can’t tell you how many fights we had about my SO’s decision to vote for Bush, solely because he had met and disliked Kerry (this from a guy who voted for Gore in 2000, to boot!). Like, voices raised yelling angry fights. I don’t think I could seriously date somebody who didn’t share my politics, after that.

Calamity Jeanne – 05:07 pm Pacific Time – Jul 30, 2009 – #153 of 171

My ex-husband is a Republican. A single-issue voter Republican at that. His issue is gun control. I’m sure he truly believed that if Barack Obama got elected, somebody was going to break down his front door and confiscate every single one of his eleventy-hundred guns. He also thinks that the overturn of Roe v. Wade is not a bad idea, and will pontificate at every opportunity about how the Libruls have made American society so decadent. I gave up trying to argue anything political with him years ago. How in hell did I manage to stay married to him for ten years? (Answer: lots of booze.)

Steve, however, is a long-haired, wild-eyed, pinko, rabble-rousing, union-belonging, Reagan-hating liberal, and I am quite happy.

Billie Jean – 05:13 pm Pacific Time – Jul 30, 2009 – #155 of 171

I felt so strongly about the 2008 election, that if husband had voted for a 72 year old with a history of cancer and a winking bimbo as a running mate, I would have seriously considered divorcing him.

GaudyNight – 05:45 pm Pacific Time – Jul 30, 2009 – #156 of 172

I can’t imagine being married to someone with opposite political views, either. My politics go to the heart of what I believe about life and the world. I just can’t imagine getting along on a daily basis with someone who believed differently.

No offense to those of you who are in politically-mixed relationships – quite the contrary, I’m impressed that you can manage it.

Oddly enough, despite being a clergyperson, I don’t think I would personally have issues being married to an atheist, as long as he was a lefty atheist. (The professional issues would be another matter.)

Jen – 08:13 pm Pacific Time – Jul 30, 2009 – #157 of 172

I can’t imagine being in a political mixed marriage, either, although I know quite a few women who seem to be more left-leaning than their husbands. But then if you think about it, I’m not so sure the current US parties are necessarily all that well aligned with the beliefs of their voters/members anyway. I have met (for example) pro-choice Republicans and anti-tax Democrats, so I guess I can imagine a marriage where the parties are in agreement on their core issues but for whatever reason vote differently.

lilacs – 09:34 pm Pacific Time – Jul 30, 2009 – #159 of 172

In my situation we want the same things to happen, socially/politically (e.g. universal health care, gay marriage, etc.), and we just disagree on how best to achieve them. This definitely makes it workable. I think we differ most on “the government is too bureaucratic and inefficient” vs. “we need more federalization!”, and that’s abstract enough to be tolerable. I’d have a hard time being with someone who was against something I really believed in as a moral good, like the issues above.

Kady G – 10:52 pm Pacific Time – Jul 30, 2009 – #160 of 172

DH was a Libertarian when I met him but migrated to Democrat in the last couple of elections. Politically we are pretty evenly matched.

My college boyfriend of 5 years was a Republican Army officer when I met him and I was a flaming liberal journalist. How we didn’t kill each other over that time, I have no idea. (The hot sex smoothed out a lot of stuff.) We broke up around the same time the lack of WMDs in Iraq was revealed. Boyfriend finally admitted I was right about Bush. I felt bad because his whole world view was shattered, but man, that vindication was sweet.

We could never have been married, every election was a Battle Royale, to the point where I now have a hard time having a “friendly” political debate with anyone.

Calamity Jeanne – 11:02 pm Pacific Time – Jul 30, 2009 – #161 of 172

I remember watching the 1992 election returns with my ex. I must have had a bit of a smirk on my face, because he started screaming at me: “You voted for Clinton, didn’t you? You voted for that prick! He’s going to make me turn in all of my guns, and all you can do is sit there and smile?”

Two years later I divorced the SOB.

mimismartypants – 03:22 am Pacific Time – Jul 31, 2009 – #163 of 172

In a political mixed marriage, I would assume that you just end up not really talking about that stuff. I can see how it could work.

My husband and I agree on most issues and disagree on some. He’s also interested in a lot of monetary-policy stuff that bores me, and I don’t really like to talk about politics much anyway. I wouldn’t be married to a racist or a jerk, but I can imagine a situation where people just agreed to disagree.

I was taught that you don’t tell anyone who you voted for, not even your spouse. I am not sure where my parents got that one, it seems like some really odd outdated etiquette.

Sheera Queen of the Universe – 08:01 am Pacific Time – Jul 31, 2009 – #168 of 172 

We don’t talk politics a whole lot here. I mean, sometimes I will ramble on and on about something that I think is unacceptable, and sometimes he’ll agree with me, and sometimes he just listens and makes no comment. He’s actually pretty restrained, and we agree a lot on the issues that are most important to me, so on the ones that we don’t agree on? Eh.

Best of Table Talk is an ongoing feature of Salon’s vibrant community forum. Older posts of the week may be found in TT. Want to join the discussion? Sign up  here. 

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