Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Bipartisan relationships

I am a Clinton democrat; my partner is a Reagan republican. I think that pretty much paints the picture. I'm a democrat based on hopes of social progress; he is a republican based on hopes of economic prosperity. We fight about politics on a fairly regular basis. Not argue. Fight. I am confrontation-averse, so I try to go through life without mentioning or showing interest in anything political around my partner. Not easy, but I think I do pretty well.

I wish I could compare my methods and our limited success rate with other couples in the same ideological boat, but I'm not sure enough of us exist for any meaning comparison. It's a hard row to hoe. I'm not sure many people would want to or be able to do it, even with the extravagant blow-outs we sometimes have taken into account.

Do other people draw lines in the sand? I can't because there is literally nothing he hasn't said to me over politics.

I cannot conceive of a workable way to handle this source of conflict, except to give up every belief I hold dear, which to me, is actually a fate worse than physical death, because what are we without our ideals? Is someone who holds no convictions, political or otherwise, fully human? Aren't the intangible things the components of our innermost self (souls)? If I did not love justice, for example, would I still be the same person I am now? If I did not believe in equality, would my daily walk through this world look or be different? I think we're made of our deeply held beliefs. We are that feeling of right-or-wrong that defies religion, social structure, class, etc.

And, yes, I try every time we fight to explain why I won't just do/think/believe as he wants me to do. He can't grasp it. Nothing I say or even write for him penetrates, and that well and truly baffles me. I can understand why he has his beliefs. He wants to make more money and pay less taxes and for the world to be as it was in his youth. Easy-peasy. Why keeps him from doing the same? Ever?

Well...I guess that's more personality than political persuasion, in either sense.

For the record, I have never tried to change his mind about anything. I respect his life experiences and what brought him to his conclusions about politics. I totes understand wanting more money. Really, I do. I just don't get why he can't agree to disagree or put some limits on how far the arguing goes.

Other people have found away through this. I know we will too eventually. I'm just hoping ... sooner rather than later, you know?

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