How to lose a Republican in 4 months

Surprisingly, I have dated a diehard Republican. He was so diehard, in fact, that his facebook profile once featured a Youtube video of Ronald Reagan’s inaugural address. You may ask why I would date a Republican or vise versa, and I’ll tell you: It’s because he didn’t know I was a Democrat until three months of our relationship had passed.

The vicious cycle of self-denial began. I tried to mentally minimize my liberal-ness, an effort that only served to exacerbate the problem. I began fantasizing about expanding medicare just to spite him and his belief that the government shouldn’t guarantee its citizens healthcare. I began dreaming of guaranteeing impoverished American preschoolers breakfast so they could concentrate better in school and thereby have more social mobility, a dream that was doubly wonderful because I knew he would (drastically and irrationally, I might add), call me a socialist.

Then the inevitable came: I told him I was supporting Barack Obama for president. When he said to me that “his speeches are good, but there’s nothing behind them,” (I’m paraphrasing, but only a little), the discussions began. The discussions gave me immense satisfaction because they only reaffirmed to me that (this may sound redundant) I truly, truly believed in my beliefs. However, he began talking to me less and less frequently, and then changed his facebook relationship status to “single.” Not that he ever told me, but I know it’s because I disappointed him. I disappointed him because politics was the only thing we disagreed on.

One could look at this situation and go, “wow, if republicans and democrats can agree on everything except political party principles, then we’re not so different.” I like to think that the brief vignette I just described could send that message.

I think, however, that it also demonstrates that people should be more flexible with their beliefs. I am strongly liberal, but (let me just get this on the record before I undoubtedly do more Republican-bashing) I can understand the conservative viewpoint. I really can.

That is, if they can try to understand my viewpoint without disassociating themselves from me once they know where my political allegiances lie.

I think my ability to lose a Republican in 4 months by telling him that I’m a liberal illustrates how divided we are as a nation. This bitter partisanship is what keeps progress from occurring. I’m also not naive enough to think that the liberal way of doing things will always be the answer- I know that the pendulum will swing the other way, eventually. I would advocate understanding- not mere tolerance- to progress as a nation.

Published in: on April 11, 2008 at 5:50 pm  Leave a Comment  

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