by Joanna (JuJuBe)

I was reading a message board in which the discussion revolved around the political opinions of people’s friends and families. A lot of the people on the board were married to people from the opposite side of the political spectrum. Their friends ranged from the most conservative to the extremely liberal. So, I wondered if I could be intimate with someone who had political ideals that were vastly different from my own.

My political viewpoints permeate my entire life. I do not read stories about what happens in DC and think that politics ends there. My politics are essentially my morals, they are such a huge part of my life. What I believe is who I am.

I could not imagine being friends, let alone being married to or dating someone who is a “conservative”. To me conservatism equals racism. Conservatism equals xenophobia. Conservatism equals economic oppression. Conservatism equals ignoring the needs of your fellow man. I could never associate with individuals who hold such beliefs.

A large part of the reason that I do not get along with my father’s wife and her children is because I know they are ultra conservative. Even though we do not discuss politics at holiday gatherings, they still often make little comments that reveal how they feel about various issues. When that happens, I usually just roll my eyes and walk away, because I do not want to cause a disturbance. And recently, I made a decision to just not even show up to these gatherings, because I cannot handle having to hide how I truly feel. I mean, damn, how can I continue to keep my mouth shut after hearing that a 3 year old calls herself a “Rush baby”??

And, if it bothers me so much just to be at the same party as a conservative, how could I possibly share a bed with one? The funny thing is though, I actually have an “FWB” who is a police officer!! I run around all the time talking about “Fuck the police” and “I hate pigs”, yet I am sleeping with one. I did tell him from day one though that I have absolutely no respect for police because of the racism that is so rampant in the ranks of the police department. The funny thing is, he is the first police officer who I have ever met who ADMITS that the police are a bunch of racist pigs.

In fact, when I said that I thought 95% of cops were racists, he told me I was wrong…. that it was actually more like 99%. And he is the only police officer I know who has read “The Isis Papers” and “Trojan Horse: Death of a Dark Nation” and who is a “conscious” individual. I do find that I tend to keep my relationship with this man a secret though when I am around certain other friends, because, frankly, I am embarrassed! I have one friend who threatened to cut off ties with me if I continued to associate with a police officer, so I keep it a secret. Believe me, if the sex wasn’t so damn good, I would not even be associating with him, simply because of his job!

I once received dating advice from a “matchmaker” who told me to never discuss politics on a first date. Well, my policy is the exact opposite. The first thing I speak about when I meet someone new is my political/moral views. If it turns the person off, so be it, it is obvious that we would not get along. I cannot be with someone who is not as passionate as I am about the issues which are important to me.

“See Daddy, They’re As Republican As You Are!”

I remember calling an individual who answered one of my personal ads. When I started to discuss the prison industrial complex, this man had the nerve to tell me that most prisoners are there because they enjoy being locked up, and see it as a badge of honor. He also relayed a story about his childhood that made me a bit uncomfortable. He told me that when his family moved into a mostly Italian neighborhood, they were initially harassed, but that the problems ended when people found out his father was a cop. He told me that the situation improved because his neighbors discovered they were not a “regular” Black family. And he saw no problem with this!

He basically thought it was OK that his neighbors were a bunch of racist pigs who only accepted him because his father was in law enforcement and was therefore a “good N_______”. He actually defended them to me! Needless to say, I never spoke to him after that conversation. I was so glad I had brought up the topic immediately, instead of discovering this about him after I was already emotionally invested!

Am I missing out on some good friendships/relationships by dismissing conservatives as potential friends/partners? I don’t know, but I cannot see myself becoming close to someone who, to me, is just so WRONG! In fact, the second I find out someone calls themselves a “conservative” I automatically look at them as not worth my time. I just have no desire to become close to someone who I consider morally bankrupt, and honestly, that is how I see conservatives.

Could you become romantically involved with someone who holds very different political opinions from you? If so, how do you handle it?