Tuesday, November 06, 2012

The limits of politics

Tom Chivers has a heartfelt, articulate and entirely hopeless blogpost up today, the basic message of which is that political opponents aren't usually bad people, they just disagree with you, and inferring bad faith or actual evil on their behalf is unhelpful, unpleasant and unproductive. So say all of us. It's a lost cause though, I think. Two stories I've seen in the last couple of days go to why that is. Given that 'tis the season and all that, both stories are from the US.

The first is that, in on-line dating, political affiliation is about the biggest factor in datability.

Being a member of the opposite party often beats religious difference, unattractiveness, and low educational and professional attainment on Ms. Adler's clients' list of turnoffs.

I've dated across party lines in the past (hell, it's all in the past, I've been with my wife since 2001), and a bit of disagreement adds spice to things - spending your life surrounded by people who agree with you gets a bit dull. I certainly can't imagine anything so depressing as considering political disagreement to be a deal-breaker.

Well, maybe there's one thing that's more depressing.

Last week's viral video of poor little Abigael crying about the election caused me to reflect on what good parents my husband and I are. This model parenting all started about six months ago, when our then 3-year-old saw us watching Mitt Romney on "grown-up TV" (the news) and asked: Who is that? Without even consulting a single parenting book, my husband confidently answered: "Mitt Romney. He's a bad man.”

The fathers have eaten sour grapes, and the children's teeth are set on edge. Sigh.


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