Do opposites still attract?: Dating the opposing party

Emily Eaton, Columnist

My dad always said to me, “Growing up, there were two things that were never to be discussed: religion and politics.” Mom said she’d ask my grandfather who he voted for, and he’d reply, “That’s none of your damn business.”

But in the age of social media, along with obvious religious overreach into government (screw the separation of church and state, I guess), the once-blurry and vague horizon of politics has turned into a steep and sudden cliff of separation. One wrong step into a partisan-filled relationship and down you go. But do you have to fall in – or could your opposing-views counterpart catch you? 

The truth is, the daily doings of politics are much less polarized than they often appear. As a political science major at Grand Valley State University, I’ve witnessed just how boring and non-confrontational politics can be. Believe it or not, I get along extremely well with some of my Republican classmates (keyword: “some”) because of the fact that the majority of government are local, small-scale scenarios.

Daily politics includes things like what day of the week the city is sending the trucks out to collect everyone’s garbage, or picking out the swing set for the city park. I could still love a man if he didn’t want to spend taxpayer money on an enormous swing set. I’d be mad. But I’d still love him… maybe. 

However, I’d have a hard time loving a man who thinks marriage should only be between a man and a woman (once again, the government really missed the mark on the separation of church and state). The important thing to differentiate between when choosing a potential partner who may differ politically is that they don’t differ morally.

Looking at the intent of actions and beliefs is important. You can date an ignorant person. It’s when they’re willfully ignorant that you might be making a mistake. Do they blatantly ignore the daily injustice Black Americans face daily? Do they shout “All Lives Matter” at your support of the BLM movement? 

If you feel deeply invested in politics (as you all should) does your partner listen to your thoughts? That’s important. They should also think human rights are rights, but that’s just like the freebie on the bingo card. If they tell you to pick yourself up by the bootstraps, literally throw on some tennis shoes and run in the opposite direction. 

At the end of the day though, Democrats and Republicans are both corrupt in their own special ways… but it’s what we have right now. What matters is how your significant other treats you and treats others, especially others who are different from them. 

I’ve said all of this, but I still wouldn’t date a Republican. I’m too far deep into the depressing pit of politics for it not to be a deal-breaker for me. But, blurry partisan lines doesn’t have to mean a breakup. You can date that fiscal conservative if you want, honey. I won’t say I told you so later on.