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October 7, 2004


Can marriages survive this election?

In an examination of how the intensely political landscape of America is affecting our homelives, USA Today features a discussion of households in which one spouse is backing Bush and the other is a Kerry supporter. Actually, in every single case they mention, the woman of the family is a Democrat, and her husband is a Republican. Now, I've hardly been coy about my political views, but the men that are featured in this article are not just Republicans, they are often huge jerks. Gretchen Klein is a teacher from Illinois who says she and her husband have been arguing about politics a lot. "He'll bait me. He says 'You liberals, look what you're trying to do now. You all want me to pay more taxes!'" When Klein talks about the need for a social conscience, she says he shoots back, "'Why don't you write the government a check? Why don't you give the tax refund back, Gretchen?'" Hey Gretchen, why don't you ditch your morally bankrupt jackass of a husband?

Alynne Sharp is an artist from Florida who loves her husband, "but we both feel so strongly in this election, and it's been hard for me." Her husband Philip "watches Fox, Fox, Fox all the time. Then we go in the car and, for a breath of fresh air, it's Rush Limbaugh. Let's just say air, forget the fresh." she jokes. Yeah, funny.

The couples that weather their political differences without resorting to personal attacks seem to be the ones who have already been through a failed marriage, like Jerry Lewine, an CA computer consultant and Bush backer, who is somewhat kinder when he talks issues with his Democrat wife, hospital administrator Sheryl Rudie. "She's really stubborn but brilliant. She runs circles around me," he says.

Another older couple in the piece are reminiscent of James Carville and Mary Matalin, the political couple that confounds us all. "Jay Cooper was deputy White House press secretary in the Reagan and senior Bush administrations and also worked for the Republican National Committee. Christine Black, a longtime political journalist, worked for Teresa Heinz Kerry and still consults for Kerry's personal philanthropies. She's known John Kerry 32 years and says she's 'maxed out' in contributions to him. Black and Cooper wed in July after not seeing each other in the 30 years since they were college classmates." Cooper says "We do have passionate discussions. I don't think I've ever convinced her of anything, and I never will. We enjoy taking apart the political ads objectively and talking about the races."

As an aside, one of the most notable points in the USA Today article is about the rise of party-oriented online dating sites. How creepy is ConservativeMatch.com, "for sweet hearts, not bleeding hearts"? On its site, ConservativeMatch says "Many of the larger web sites for singles are behaving more and more like major news media outlets, in that they carry a high liberal bias. Typically these services are neutral or even hostile to people with conservative values." So all those pretend single women who are actually hookers on Match.com are Democrats? And get this one: "Although our service is not a religious singles web site, it is based upon Judeo-Christian principles that have been the bedrock of society since the dawn of mankind. While our service is open to people of all faiths, the manner in which our service operates will clearly be guided by the principles and values upon which it has been built." So there have been Jews and Christians SINCE THE DAWN OF MANKIND? Right, all those Homo Erectus types were walking around accepting Jesus Christ as their personal saviors and voting against gay marriage. Sounds like great material for a long-term relationship!

categories: Gender, Politics
posted by amy at 3:28 PM | #

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