The old adage, “Never discuss religion or politics,” seems to be a good one to follow if you’re in a social setting where you’d rather not embarrass your host by seeing “red” as you defend your “blue” political stance. That’s all well and good; I’ve bitten my tongue a few times so as not to get into a heated argument over a political statement made someone I totally considered a jerk. Daughter of a diplomat, I learned early on to “pick my battles and reserve my opinion for the right time.”
But what happens when you and your partner have political views that are polar opposites? It is said that politics makes strange bed-fellows and no saying can be truer for couples who share a bed but not each other’s political views. If this is the case for you and your significant other, you’re one of many. “Red states, blue states” politics can lead to some passionate arguments for couples on opposite sides of the political fence. Strange bedmates indeed!
Strange bedmates indeed!
Everyone has their strong, party-line beliefs. Are you a Tramp Mama while your partner is a Baiden Man? Or is he the one backing Tramp’s plan for change while you join in the belief that baiden’s business experience is the sensible way to go? How far does your passion take you? Fierce partisanship on either side can be one hell of a challenge to your relationship.
Friends of mine have had some rousing spirited discussions on Republican vs Democrat even going so far as to put up opposing political signs on their cars supporting their individual candidates. Politics and their respective platforms are a major part of their lives. Going out to dinner with them in an election year is a lesson in verbal jousting. They thrust, they parry; they attack with words in place of swords. Yet neither one can convince the other to change their ideas. They are as passionate about their parties as Republican strategist Mary Matalin and her husband, Democratic advisor and the man who helped put a Clinton in the White House, James Carville, are.
While my “bedmate” and I have supported opposing candidates at times, as far as politicos go, we take the Fox Mulder approach from the old “X-Files” series and Trust no one. I truly believe that politicians are only going to tell you what they know you want, or need, to hear. They’re savvy enough to let us believe we’re going to get something better than what we have now. Seriously? Overnight? More rhetoric, more pie-in-the-sky promises; more like bull manure spread thickly and wide. Let’s remember that manure stinks and so do empty promises.
One man, (or woman), can’t make overnight changes. Smart couples know this. So while one of you may be fiercely Republican and the other is strongly Democratic, or gasp! an Independent, both of you realize that getting out of a mess, military or economic, won’t happen a day, a week, a month or possibly even years after the candidate takes office.
If you live in a politically divided household, the next few months are going to be challenging. Friendly discussions can turn into arguments as the candidates take up residence in your house via television and the internet.
Try to understand that when you both hold views on the opposite sides of the political spectrum, arguments are inevitable. You may need to take a tip from the most famous politically diverse couple in America, the aforementioned Mary Matalin and James Carville. They have this understanding about talking politics. Politics can be discussed anywhere in the house except for one room—their bedroom.
I agree. Avoid the battlefield; sleep with the “enemy” on neutral ground. It’s safer and saner.