Liberal dating a conservative
We met as young law students and connected on Facebook.I remember him posting about Carly Fiorina being a “champion for women” and my subsequent response to what I thought was a ridiculous assertion. We counter each other’s biases by sharing information from sources that the other wouldn’t necessarily access on their own.I grew up in a liberal family, in a liberal city, in a liberal state, and attended a very liberal university in another liberal state. I was surrounded by liberals and constantly had my views reinforced rather than challenged.Tyler was raised in a white Catholic family in a rural, conservative, highly religious community before attending college in an area that was more liberal but far less safe. He, too, lived in an echo chamber of opinions that were constantly reinforced — and then moved to a liberal area that seemed to vindicate his already negative opinions about liberal policies.It requires willingness to consider and accept information and perspectives that doesn’t necessarily comport with our preconceived notions.It requires willingness to allow that, even if you still think the other person is wrong, he or she is well-intentioned.Each of us could offer the other a perspective, rooted in personal experience, that gave direct insight to the “other side.” But insight itself wasn’t enough: We had to be willing to listen to each other.
A part of that learning process has been confronting exactly why it took until our mid-twenties to be open to engaging with a different political viewpoint — namely, that both of us had spent most of our lives in “echo chambers” of our own opinions.
Take a recent article by writer Kassy Dillon, titled “I Dated A Democrat and I Probably Never Will Again.” I can understand where Dillon is coming from: She and “Tom” both work in politics, which means their ideologies can consume their lives, and she wants to raise her children with specific values, which makes it hard to consider a future with someone whose values are quite different.
But the article also struck a chord for me as a moderate liberal who has been dating a Reagan conservative for the last three years (and will continue to do so).
I countered with, “Well, if my assailant was a candidate for the Supreme Court 30 years from now, that would probably be when I came forward too!
”, “Plenty of people would question whether I was actually assaulted,” “Age doesn’t matter, scars on young people who are assaulted last forever,” and finally “I can’t talk about this anymore.”I know that Tyler and I still disagree.
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So when Tyler defended now-Justice Brett Kavanaugh, we struggled to discuss the issue.