My big fat politically-polar marriage

Political conversations don’t take well in every house. A recap of my night…

Never marry politics | Lindsey Talerico-Hedren

Democrat of the household: I saw your tweet today. So are you giving up your Republican dream to own a gun shop?

I was kind of proud of you. But tweeting that I was proud of you seemed a little demeaning so I didn’t post it, for your sake.

Republican of the household: My wife is so thoughtful.

Dem: Did you see mine?

Rep: Yeah, I saw it.

Dem: It’s totally true. And pathetic.

Rep: The U.S. will definitely increase security before we address the real issue.

Dem: Oh really? Are you allowed to talk like that, Republican?

Rep: Ummm yeah. I told you I think gun legislation should improve.

Dem: Pretty sure your vote says otherwise. Like maybe your last girlfriend’s daddy is on the board of the NRA.

Rep: My last girlfriend?

Dem: Yeah, I bet she wore a bonnet. And learned how to gut a deer when she was six. She also fishes. Crazy enough, she bought the fishing pole at the same place she bought her gun… when she was eight.

Rep: Yeah, that does sound a lot like someone I’d date.

Dem: You know you vote for a candidate and their party. You don’t get separate votes for all the different issues.

Rep: But just because you vote for one party or another doesn’t mean you believe everything they stand for.

Dem: It kind of does.

Rep: No, if you believe nine out of ten things that a candidate stands for and you want your vote to count, then you vote for that candidate knowing that one thing you don’t agree with…but you still want your vote to count… you’re never going to agree 100% of what a candidate stands for… but if you want to vote then you’re forced to be okay with a percentage that you won’t agree with.

Dem: Another name for that is compromise. You compromise certain things you don’t agree with for the greater good of what you do agree with.

Rep: But just because you compromise doesn’t mean you agree. You only compromise because you’re forced to.

Dem: You’re forced?

(Rep gives Dem weird, quizzical look.)

Rep: Or you don’t vote. Or you write your own name on the line.

Dem’s inner-monologue: God forbid you vote for the other, more democratic, more civilized of the two candidates. Now that would be forced. (Rep gives Dem a look — like maybe he’s reading her mind — that isn’t nice, or kind, or civilized. But is, on the other hand, very, very Republican.)

Rep: No one ever agrees with a candidate 100%. You choose the party that you agree with the most to vote. But it doesn’t you mean believe and like all the same things.

Dem: I believe Jesus died for my sins and rose from the dead to give us Easter. But I don’t like that he was so mean to all the temple priests and made people leave their families to follow him. So I vote for Christianity, excluding the fundamentalists.

Rep: That is not the same thing as voting for president.

Dem: Except it is. But in this case, you’re voting for eternal life… Jesus’ party.

Rep: I also think we could vote differently in the future depending on where we find ourselves in life.

Dem: Like washed up on the shore of our own self-pity? You’d switch your vote over that? You literally have no loyalty.

Rep: You vote based on how issues will affect you. We probably aren’t going to take into account laws that affect small businesses because we don’t own a small business. And I might vote differently in the future if that changes.

Dem: Okay, lukewarm.

*

Redeeming lessons from this conversation: 1) Never marry for politics, unless it comes with a title like First Lady or Dutchess, and 2) Never marry politics. And by that, I mean that trying to calmly and rationally discuss politics with the person you’re married to is largely useless, especially if they’re an apathetic voting Republican.

PS: Colin rates himself a 3 on my made-up Republican/Democrat scale (0 = Republican, 10 = Democrat). I rate him more like a 2.5. And I’m probably like an 8.5 but he thinks I’m only a 7. On another note, we are equal in our love for ice cream and our disdain for bad bosses…. which are apparently the crux and glue of our marriage… that and lots of love.

PPS: Colin feels, once again, that I’ve misrepresented him in this post.

If you’d like a different sound bite of what (our) marriage sounds like, try out: Olympians: They’re so hot right now

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  • Sounds about like my husband and I! But… he still voted for Obama. 😉

  • Yeah, I’m stepping up my persuasion skills for the election. Usually I can pass with B-level coercion… I think I might have to start bringing my A-game to the dinner time political conversations. 🙂

  • Kayla Ferg

    I feel like I should pop in and tell you that I stalk your blog. I love it. Always super interesting and makes me laugh! Also, I miss you very much and hope you are doing well down under!

  • Awww Kayla, you just made my day. Please, please stalk my blog whenever you want:)I just stalked your Facebook photos, your daughter is so precious. So much older since the last time I saw you. Life down under is… different in every way. Beautiful, and leisurely, and… not America, that’s for sure. Miss you very much! Hope all is well.

  • Last time I too, one of those surveys I came out dead middle 50/50. When I vote, it’s typically a vote against a particular plank, not for it. It’s a bit frustrating. Taxed but not represented.

  • I explored the idea tonight of voting as a household — one vote per household — thinking this could really encourage a collective opinion of the family unit, bring us more together, facilitate informed debate and force us to agreement. This could actually come in handy and maybe save our marriage and households years of strife in the future from holding emotionally-charged grudges since constructive debate is now part of the DNA of our family unit. I figure, since we file our taxes as a family, we should vote as a family. Then Colin reminded me that we don’t actually file our taxes together even though we check the married box. And that screwed up my whole plan. But saves me from being the one to file my taxes another year 🙂 heheheee…

  • Why stop there? You could do like my parents and use a combined Facebook account. Or if your votes would just cancel each other out, both of you could vote for Ron Paul. 🙂

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  • Tara

    Love this! When Tim and I got married I think we were pretty opposite politically. He was like a 7 (and still is pretty much) and I was a maverick of a 1, maybe 1.5. This was largely based on my parents being republican and me having zero idea of anything about politics. After he and I had numerous political conversations, learning a little more about politics and watching a number of episodes of the daily show (ok maybe a lot of episodes), now I’m closer to an 8.5, just don’t tell my parents 😉

  • Bahaha… my parents side with Colin, too. (Of course… they love him more than me, I think).

  • A combined Facebook account… (GASP) and lose my social autonomy? Never!

  • This is not your actual conversation is it?! Reminds me of the Gilmore Girls (which I loved btw!) If it is, I’m totally never having you two as dinner guests. You’d leave the rest my guests feeling mentally inadequate. I’d be okay, of course.

  • Oh I’m sure your dinner guests would runaway before the main was served if I was there. However, the husband by himself is quite pleasant — our better half. People usually like him and then they grow to liking me. He’s all artful like that.

    PS: This is pretty accurate of our conversations. Except I say meaner things than I put in the blog and Colin says nicer things than what I’ve included. I do this so people who might read this think more highly of me… terrible tactic. I don’t suggest it.

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  • Matt

    I have a scale but it doesn’t have a 1 or a 10. It goes like this: Democrat = good, republican = bad. Would it be fair to say that the US is functioning as a duocracy rather than a democracy? There is zero chance of a 3rd party in your political system.

  • Since I’m to blame for the entire American political system, I’d say yes, it’s fair to assume there is little to none chance of a 3rd political party. However, you can practice whatever religion you want, except for saying “God” in public schools. Not cool any more.

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