I'm a Democrat Who Doesn't Want to Date a Republican

It’s an election year. In NH it’s started in earnest but it’s coming to the rest of the country. You say that men don’t have to have the exact same interests and values as I do, but to me politics and religion matter. It sounds from your posts they should not matter that much. But to me they inform how you relate to the world and your most important values. While I agree it doesn’t matter as much with friends I have a harder time respecting people who believe in a party that is currently racist, homophobic, and anti-women. And I have a hard time believing in a church that has yet to stop condemning my son because he was born gay. If I don’t respect my partner then how can a relationship flourish?

I volunteer for the Democratic party and my oldest son is gay. How could I possibly date a Republican when our most important values clash? I can’t overlook that in this political climate given the opposition’s current rhetoric. These are not mild differences. Wouldn’t we end up just fighting? I don’t expect their families to believe as I do, but they can’t support Donald Trump or Ted Cruz. And how would they feel when I canvas on Saturdays or host the Clinton campaign holiday party at my house?

Also when you have a gay son and someone continues to go to the Catholic Church or is an evangelical Christian whose faith equates homosexuality with pedophilia, isn’t that a deal breaker? I was raised as a Roman Catholic but I won’t set foot in a Roman Catholic Church until they stop that nonsense. Pope Francis is trying but it’s like he’s Obama with a Republican congress. And 3 presidential contenders stood on a stage with an evangelical minister who advocates rounding up all the gays and killing them.

I don’t think I’m being harsh. I understand it’s not easy to give up, but my sons went to see Spotlight and stayed up all night discussing it. And they are my life. A man who thinks sexuality is a choice or that he would feel uncomfortable around my son is not for me and I don’t see a way around this. My female friends who continue to attend churches who don’t hold the same values, they do baffle me. It’s like staying in a bad relationship where you are verbally and emotionally abused isn’t it?

I’m not talking tennis vs. golf or action movies vs. indie flicks, but these are huge. And it’s going to get worse this year. So please discuss.

Thank you!
Kathleen

I may be a liberal, but I’m moderate in temperament. Which is to say that I’m big on listening and trying to understand someone else’s point of view. I’m not dogmatic; I try to let data and science inform my opinions. My metrics are about “effective and ineffective,” not “right and wrong.” And I feel very strongly – as do most liberals – that the world is grey and not black and white. Anyone who approaches a situation without nuance clearly hasn’t given it much thought.

So here’s your nuance, Kathleen:

Not all Republicans are the same.

I know that’s shocking, but it’s true. Is Trump a rich bully with a fourth grade vocabulary and no experience in Washington, spouting borderline fascist tirades at anyone who crosses him without any tangible plans on how he will make Iran, China, Mexico, Russia and ISIS heel, apart from talking tough? Of course.

Anyone who approaches a situation without nuance clearly hasn’t given it much thought.

Is Ted Cruz the caricature of a compassionless conservative, a mean-spirited divisive man who has alienated everyone on both the right and the left in his rise to prominence, a truly scary, retrograde human being who wants the United States to be a Christian theocracy? Hell, yeah.

And most of my Republican friends are scared shitless of them.

They are bright, socially liberal, moderate-tempered people who vote Republican because they offer lower taxes, believe in smaller government, and blindly support Israel. These are good people who are highly educated, happily married “job creators” here in the suburbs of Los Angeles, and while they’re uncomfortable with the official party platform, they vote with their wallets. Ask them about Obamacare and they’ll have very valid critiques, since they employ 50-100 people each. I can understand and respect their stances, and I hope you can, too.

So when you write, “I don’t think I’m being harsh,” that would appear to be your blind spot. You don’t consider the idea that politics (like sexuality) isn’t just binary, but a broad spectrum.

Republican moderates may not make much noise during the primary season, but they exist and are worth getting to know, dating and even marrying.

My wife grew up in a right-wing Catholic military family with an overtly racist and sexist patriarch. But my wife is moderate to apolitical. She voted for Perot back in ’92. She believes in the same exact values that you and I espouse. She thinks her family is on the wrong side of history when it comes to gay rights. But mostly she tolerates me for being an opinionated liberal. Hell, she came to a Bill Maher taping with me last year; whether or not she shares all of my beliefs is essentially meaningless. She doesn’t feel that strongly about her positions and doesn’t like to argue, and that allows us to work. A more political partner wouldn’t be a good fit for me – which is exactly what you’re saying.

Listen, Kathleen, you can restrict yourself to Democrats and still have half the population available to you. But I’m telling you that the other half of the population is not monolithic.

Republican moderates may not make much noise during the primary season, but they exist and are worth getting to know, dating and even marrying. Believe me; I should know.

P.S. If any Republicans take it personally that some Democrats have second thoughts about dating you, please check out this study, which points out that, in fact, Republicans are even more judgmental of Democrats.