This all begs the question: Do you date anyone?

The Ladyblog’s Marianne Brennan announces that she doesn’t date liberals. While undoubtedly a great loss for all men enamored with progressive taxation, I’m left wondering why political disputes are so damn important to inter-personal relationships. I mean, it’s not like there’s a dearth of cool stuff to discuss outside of Obama’s healthcare plan.

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9 Comments

Filed under Culture, Politics

9 responses to “This all begs the question: Do you date anyone?

  1. Marianne

    There’s plenty of cool stuff to discuss, but politics is both my career and one of my favorite “hobbies.” I’d hate to come home from a bad day at work and have my boyfriend’s reaction be “glad to hear you didn’t accomplish much!” And surely you have interests and tastes you’d want your partner to share?

  2. I do have interests I enjoy sharing with my partner, but I don’t think our interaction is dependent on seeing eye-to-eye on everything. Sometimes, disagreement and debate can be quite stimulating.

    On a broader level, I just think politics is a lot less important than personal relationships. If I had to choose between my girlfriend having an awful day and a preferred candidate taking a hit, I’d choose the latter nine times out of ten.

  3. Alex

    “[bipartisanship] serves always to distract the public councils and enfeeble the public administration. It agitates the community with ill-founded jealousies and false alarms, kindles the animosity of one part against another, foments occasionally riot and insurrection.” On that note: if bipartisanship is preventing you from otherwise interacting with a dimpled companion, it’s time to take a few deep breaths. I agree with Will; a little debate now and again could serve to solidify your resolve, or you could discover parts of your ideology crumble under fire (and in that case is probably in need of some scrutiny). Nothing should be that set in stone.

  4. I am with Marianne here. It depends on how important an ideology is to you. If it is sufficiently important to your worldview, you really may not want to date someone whose views differ radically from yours. Politics (in a broad sense) is not just about some economic plan, but encompasses everything from morality to philosophy. For instance, I cannot imagine dating someone who does not share some libertarian beliefs.

  5. I think one of libertarianism’s great insights is the distinction between culture and politics. I’m not sure why that shouldn’t apply equally to personal relationships.

    Besides, it’s not as if there’s a substantial difference between liberal and libertarian worldviews. We all share the same premises – we just disagree about how wealth should be distributed on the margins of society.

  6. . . . at the margins of society.*

  7. Will–

    Do you agree that if you own a business you should have the right to decide who you hire, and if you feel like it, discriminate on the basis of sex or race.

    Do you agree that if A agrees to work for B for a low salary, then it is morally wrong to make a law that says they cannot.

    Do you feel a profound outrage within you when the government the makes laws that censor hate speech, or charge a person for drug usage or tells someone that they cannot sell their goods for a certain price, or enforces seatbelt laws, and so on?

    These things are not just about policy, it is about your moral existence, your basic premises. I cannot possibly date someone whose views do not align with mine on such matters. I do not know any ‘liberal’ whose premises match these; I’ll be extremely happy if that’s not true.

    On the other hand, I am perfectly happy dating someone who disagrees with me on the highest marginal tax rate or some such detail. It is only compatibility in the basic moral premises that are important.

  8. I think most libertarians and liberals agree that society should be as prosperous and free as possible. Which means, to my mind, that liberals are open to being persuaded how best to achieve those goals.

    And no, I’m not personally offended by people who think the Civil Right Act was an appropriate response to institutional and social discrimination.

  9. Pingback: The personal is not the political «

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