Revisiting the “would you date a liberal” argument

Over two years ago, I started a thread here asking readers whether or not they would let someone’s political affiliation stop them from dating/marrying them. There were quite a few interesting responses in the thread. My response was that it didn’t matter one way or the other as long as the guy worshipped me ;;)

I’ve written since then (not sure it was here, or at a political message board I frequent) that I’m not sure if I could date a liberal anymore, considering how polarized the left and right have become. I have dated liberal men in the past and at the time saw little difference in them and the conservative men I went out with, but the last liberal guy I went out with on a regular basis was years and years ago, and over the years I’ve become more set in my ways regarding my political views. I’m not totally anti-going out with one, but there would be some make it or break it issues for me, like the war in Iraq, the sanctity of human life, and Christianity. If we disagreed strongly on those issues, we’d have to part company. I’m not saying I’d conduct a big interview on the first date or anything like that to find out (LOL) – I mean, when you’re interested in someone, the first thing you ask them is not “are you a liberal or conservative?” – but eventually those things do come up in some way shape or form throughout the course of the relationship. If I found out we agreed in general terms on the issues I mentioned, I’d be cool with snuggling up with him, because the other issues I’d try to persuade him on a bit later in the relationship, in an effort to bring him over to the dark side :D

What brought this up was John Hawkins’ interview with several female conservative bloggers on their dating experiences with liberal and conservative men, and what the differences (if any) were/are. Most of them say that either they would not date a liberal and/or the experience they’ve had with them haven’t been good.

I only have one experience that really stands out on that front, which I may have talked about here before (I know I wrote about this at the political forum I visit, and am reposting parts here so I don’t have to re-type it). Actually two experiences, now that I think about it, that would have fit in the ‘stereotypical’ liberal man vs. conservative man definition each side holds about the other. Back in the mid 90s I went out with a nice-looking conservative guy who was divorced with two (or was it three?) kids. On our first (and only) date, he talked fondly of his ex-wife and how he wanted a stay at home mom just like her to raise his kids, mentioned how much I looked like his ex, etc. Keep in mind I was in my mid 20s at the time, and was unprepared to be the mother of someone else’s kids, not to mention I wanted to work.

On the other hand, around that same time frame, I had been talking to this cool guy I’d met at a sports bar/ club that I went to with friends sometimes. This guy was very attractive and he seemed nice enough. Anyone who’s been to a club knows it’s kind of hard to “talk” at one because it’s so loud, so one evening when I was there, he invited me out to his car so we could talk without having to yell – I went, and on the back of his car there was a “Clinton/Gore” bumper sticker. I asked him if he was still a supporter after all had been said and done (this was shortly after the 1996 election). And he said something like “hell yeah, Clinton’s a cool dude.” I liked this guy, so I didn’t engage him in any political debate – especially about Clinton. We exchanged phone numbers, and he called me a couple times and we had some nice chats. On about our third call, I decided I’d call him – and found out the number he’d given me was his work number. Hmmmm … When I asked to speak with him, the receptionist who was screening calls asked me, “Is this his wife?”

Apparently just wanted a little fling on the side … needless to say, he was history after that. I didn’t take his calls and avoided him at the club, which I didn’t go to much after that experience, anyway.

But that was an exception to the rule. The liberal men I have dated I broke up with for reasons unrelated to their political beliefs. Most of the time it was due to incompatibility on other things, loss of interest, them being overly possessive, things like that. Their manners were, for the most part, just like a conservative guys’ in that they held the door for me, gave me their coat when it was cold, etc – maybe it’s because the liberal men I’ve dated have been from the South and possessed Southern manners that I didn’t have these really negative experiences some conservative women have had with liberals males. Now, if I had gone out with a California liberal (for example) the experience might have been decidedly different ;) The bottom line is that I don’t think we should limit ourselves, when there are so many interesting people out there whose views many not mesh 100% with ours but who, nevertheless, could make a good soulmate.

Independent Liberal Kevin Sullivan understandably didn’t like the Hawkins’ piece, but I disagree with the way he choose to respond to it by attacking the conservative female bloggers personally. I can see a criticism of their comments on the general level, but the personal swipes were a bit much. I say this with some degree of experience, considering some of the things I’ve written here about radical liberal feminists which led to nasty personal attacks on me in response. Now I’m a grown woman, and can handle such attacks, but they’re really not necessary in the scheme of things, and in the end really don’t solve anything. It’s one thing to criticize another blogger’s arguments, even another blogger himself in terms of his/her debating style, but taking a personal swipe is going too far. IMO, Kevin should leave that stuff to the far left bloggers who have have cornered the market on such behavior, and save his blogspace for the more meaningful issue-oriented posts he publishes …. even if I don’t always agree with everything he writes ;)

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