The Politics of Love

PoliticalBrainAn article on NPR over the summer reported that political leanings and ideologies are strong predictors of whether two people will get together and stay together. Um. Duh.

Does this really surprise anyone?

The article deals specifically with Democrats and Republicans – like those are the only two options – but I think it’s safe to assume that this can be extrapolated to any political label you wish to place on yourself (libertarian, moderate, independent, tea party, Marxist, etc).

Your political views must arise from deeper, fundamental values that you hold. If they don’t, then I urge you to reconsider and dig a little deeper. I know why I hold the political beliefs that I do; they’re based on fundamental and philosophical principles, and those fundamentals are unshakeable. Perhaps I change my mind on how certain policies should be implemented, or which policies are good or bad, but the fundamentals that drive my thinking are not-so-easily influenced.

When choosing a mate, how could you possibly love someone who doesn’t share at least your fundamental views about life? For example, I value life and believe that every human being’s life is of equal value. There is no possible way that I could ever, ever, ever date someone who believes that a black person is less of a human being than a white person. Subsequently, I also value individualism, and believe that the individual is the smallest minority on Earth. I believe that an individual’s interest should be placed above that of some arbitrary group. Therefore, I could never date someone who believes that a group of people have rights or a moral stronghold over an individual (such as, affirmative action).

Now, my mate and I may differ on some minuscule policy implementations such as whether the state should offer pensions, or whether charter schools exemplify school choice. But the fundamentals- love of life, value of individuals, value of reason and the power of the human mind- those are deal breakers. And I don’t find it surprising that people will not choose mates who disagree with them about politics.

As the article states, one’s political views “[ooze] out as part of this entire life package…”. This is inescapable! Again, if you think that your political views are somehow isolated from the rest of your life, then I beg you rethink your political preferences (or your life, I suppose).

What I do find quite silly about this article is how they stress party lines. It states, “…people are more likely to have hostile feelings toward people of the other party than members of another race.” Woah, seriously? I guess that’s good on the race side, but misleading on the other, because there is no difference between the parties. Yeah, I said it. Also, “The percentage of parents who say they would disapprove of their children marrying someone from the other party has shot up from 5 percent in 1960 to 40 percent in 2010.”

What is this obsession that we have with Democrats and Republicans? I can understand that the ideological differences between the two are important, but when you look at reality, they basically do the SAME things while in office. Both parties are big-government fanboys, regardless of what they wish to exude. Both parties sway with the political climate and do not stand on principles. Both parties get us into wars, and meddle in business we shouldn’t be involved in. Both parties perpetuate racism and sexism. Both parties support corporatism. And neither party knows how to talk to people- they push away those who they should be reaching out to.

This isn’t to say that a Democrat can’t choose a Republican-voting mate, or vice-versa. But, I do believe that your fundamental values have to match up, regardless of how or whether you vote, and that your political views are inescapably influenced by those fundamental values.

If you disagree, please share your reasons for dissent. If you agree, I’d love to hear any additional remarks as well!

[Originally published on Wollstonecrafty]


2 responses to “The Politics of Love

  1. I agree. One’s politics cannot be isolated from one’s fundamental philosophy whether he or she realizes it or not. But I think that there are also a lot of people who don’t know what their fundamental philosophy is which leads to them not choose any particular set of political principles but rather to advocate for the middle-ground, “go along to get along” approach to politics – and life.

    I suppose that would mean that only those who are aware of their fundamental philosophy and convictions would even use that as a criterion when choosing a mate. As you pointed out there is not much of a difference between Democrats and Republicans by today’s party standards. So they should probably be fairly interchangeable.

    • I think you’re absolutely right. Most people aren’t interested in politics… Why? Perhaps because- like you said- they don’t have a fundamental philosophy. If you don’t have a thought-system to base your political beliefs on, then it all seems very confusing and I think people get overwhelmed and just give up. Or they get frustrated, so they give up.

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