The Politics of Love

Debby Erazo, Web Editor and Student Choice Editor

“In Marriage We Trust”

One of America’s founding cultural mottos has increasingly become threatened by America’s current political climate. But when exploring the concept of love, politics don’t make the headlines.

For most couples, the question of political affiliation doesn’t exactly come up on the first date.

Does this mean that political affiliations don’t matter in relationships?

This is hardly the case; in fact, only 6 percent of men who identify themselves as republican marry women who identify as democrats.

Political ideology has proven to be an underlying determining factor of many marriages. According to The Pew Research, 20 years ago 17 percent of Republicans claimed to have had a “very unfavorable” view of Democrats.

This percentage has since grown 26 points.
Polarization in America has proven to be a growing epidemic.

However, there is a difference between respecting another person’s politics and falling in love with them.

Naturally, I wondered if I (a strong democrat), would be able to sit down and have a talk with a staunch republican. Not to find love, of course, but to find some sort of common ground through a game.

The game was simple and involved only one rule: We would have to be completely honest.

I went in search of a possible candidate for my theoretical date and found a perfect one: David Newton, a senior here at Da Vinci Communications who was happy to discuss his viewpoints.

Just ten minutes into the conversation, I was already completely baffled; I couldn’t believe everything was going so well!
On the initial topic of immigration, most Republicans believe that legalization would encourage more to come to America by legal means.

Newton, however, had a contrasting view in saying that he ultimately “agreed” with an immigration reform and that “[he was] completely fine with a certain amount of immigrants coming through our borders.”

I often found that as he described his views on immigration, healthcare, and the environment, my response was almost always an “I completely agree.”

While this was initially a surprise, not everything we discussed ended in rainbows and sunshine.

When discussing gun control, I really saw how frustrating it could be to discuss my individual viewpoints on something so controversial.

Newton stated that he was “completely for owning guns and allowing everyone in a household to have one,” to which I completely disagreed with.

As you’d imagine, this argument persisted until we both agreed to disagree.

However, I was still able to understand why he thought guns were so essential. We were both arguing for safety, just in different ways.

After conversing, we both took a survey where we rated the conversation and answered whether we would be willing to do something similar in the future.

David, on a scale of 1 to 10 rated the conversation an 8, if we were to have had it on an actual date.

I rated the conversation a 6 simply because I realized how awkward it would be to address such sensitive topics on a first date.

We both agreed that we might do this again in the future, depending on the setting.

“When you’re with someone,” explained Newton, “their political identification shouldn’t be something you judge them on.” He also mentioned that every one of his past relationships was with a democrat, which, for him, only improved their relationship and added a humorous element to discussions.

So, for the big reveal: Would I marry a staunch republican?

Probably not, but I definitely would explore the possibility of dating a republican.

Although in congress a republican and democrat might never cross the  aisle, in life they may be able to walk down it together and be pleasantly surprised.