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-   -   Politics and Love (http://www.polyamory.com/forum/showthread.php?t=35681)

Helo 12-24-2012 07:17 AM

Politics and Love
 
Something I'm always intrigued by is how people tend to square politics with the people they love. I personally am an anarchist and that's a very big part of who I am, it informs a lot about the rest of me and its a big part of my outlook. I enjoy discussing and dialoging about political topics but I've run into a lot of people who are, effectively, a-political.

Having a strong opinion period makes dating a little harder and I was wondering how other people handle the inclusion of political thinking with their relationship, how do you handle a range of different possible opinions?

There's a granted lean to the left to be expected in the poly community at least on the basis of sexuality politics; I doubt you'll find too many poly people arguing against gay marriage.

UpsideDown 12-24-2012 02:56 PM

"Strong cup of coffee"
 
is how my husband describes me, although I really like your sig line as well. I find that people either love me or hate me, and if I were interested in dating in any broad sense, I think I'd get the political out of the way first.

Husband and I met surrounded by conservative Republicans, and our family considers us far-left hippies ...moved to our current city and *are* the conservatives, comparatively. The cute-girl in the signature is about as left as I can handle, and we talk about this stuff ALL the time. We don't agree on all of it, but that doesn't matter terribly much because my views and hers don't need to intersect most of the time. :)

River 12-24-2012 08:24 PM

Hmm. There are SO many things that folks can clash about: politics, religion, life philosophy, "lifestyle" (e.g., voluntary simplicity grounded in a radical green commitment vs "I want to drive a giant SUV and have three backyard swimming pools and a three thousand square foot house, electrically heated)....

And isn't is amazing how diverse we all are? I mean, wow!

Those are my two cents for the moment. Just the wow part.

LovingRadiance 12-24-2012 08:56 PM

My husband is Republican, my boyfriend is a Democrat. I have a peculariar wash of leanings that I think makes me what a Republican might have been at some point.
I don't want the gov't in my business. But, I tend to believe that what we should do at the individual level is much more democratic.
Shrug.

I try to let people be themselves and expect lovers to do the same for me. :)

nycindie 12-26-2012 12:19 AM

I take much more issue with people who are very religious and want to convert me, than people who have a different political stance than I.

JaneQSmythe 12-26-2012 01:32 AM

I had a friend (not a romantic one) that I greatly enjoyed discussing politics with. He's a Democrat, I'm a Libertarian (I called him a Socalist, he called me an Anarchist). We were pretty much diametrically opposed on everything and had great fun, I think because, although we disagreed with each other's position at least those positions were internally consistent (as opposed to hypocritical).

I have a much harder time having political discussions with Dude - even though we agree on a great number of things. Mainly because what HE considers "news" and "evidence" (in terms of where he gets his information) I consider "propaganda" and "anecdote". As a skeptic I find it a lot harder to have a rational discussion with someone with an uninformed opinion that matches mine than someone with a well-thought out opinion that is opposed to mine.

I also enjoy discussing religion - I'm a very relaxed agnostic (I don't have any answers, just a lot of questions - which is fine with me, I'd rather have no answer than hang my hat on the wrong one). I find the very concept of "faith" to be highly problematic and love to ask people to explain their take on that to me. (That same Democrat that I mentioned earlier also happened to be Jewish - we had some lovely conversations on religion as well - even though he insisted on labeling me an "atheist").

It probably depends on what role politics or religion plays in a person's life and how it shapes their day to day decisions and activities - and whether they think that someone who holds the opposite opinion is "the enemy" (or going to "burn in hell forever").

JaneQ

SchrodingersCat 12-26-2012 06:11 AM

My husband voted for Harper, I voted for Layton. We have some great debates on aboriginal rights, poverty and the value of social assistance, and whether or not the guy with the gigantic gas-guzzling SUV is an asshole on principle.

We agree on so much about life, especially how we approach it and what we want out of it. We have the same view on how karma and the universe work. So the fact that we have polar opposite political views has never been anything but a source of discussion. We understand one another's origins and how we came by our political views.

I guess it's important that neither of us identifies with our politics as "who we are." It's just "how I vote" and "how I would like the country to be run." But I personally think the best way to make change in the world is in small pieces every day.

Feynman 12-26-2012 07:04 PM

For me, it's all about how people approach those kinds of topics. I love debate so long as both sides come to the table with reasonable, fact-based evidence to support their side. When it breaks down into anecdotes or reiteration of propaganda-sounding hyperbole, I shy away and would rather avoid the topic. I love to be wrong so long as I can also be right.

That said, there are certainly some kinds of ideas or views that inform you quite a lot about another person right from the get-go. Not believing in evolution or global warming are indefensible in this day and age, so I'm somewhat closed-minded when dealing with such people. They're typically too far to another extreme for there to be any fruitful conversation about things with me and I'd be just as likely to harden them in their beliefs as I would provide an alternative.

It's all about specific issues, though. Labels like "Democrat" and "Republican" are misleading. I'm not against guns, demand gay marriage, love regulations, not always a fan of unions, hate corporate person-hood, etc. I have friends who disagree on all of those issues, but they're still people with whom I can have a meaningful interaction.

SchrodingersCat 01-04-2013 11:30 PM

Actually, there's a lot of bad science on both sides of the climate change debate. The planet is coming out of an ice age, the duration of which just happens to coincide with the period during which humans have existed on Earth. At many eras in the past 6,000,000,000 years, the planet has been tens of degrees hotter than it is today. The reality is, and I say this as a scientist, humans are really terrible at modelling complex systems. Anyone who says they truly understand how the climate works is at worst a dirty rotten liar, and at best a bad scientist.

Michael Crichton's novel "State of Fear" does a really good job of opening the question from a neutral perspective. I used to be 100% on the "it's all the humans' fault" side, too. But that book raised a lot of good points and really forced me to realize that without analysing the data myself, with a background in the right field of science, I was no better than the capitalists who claim that global warming is most certainly false.

Can you legitimately say you understand all the evidence yourself , with specialized training in environmental science? Or are you just as guilty of accepting the propaganda, but from the popular perspective?

Now don't get me wrong, l'm not saying unequivocally humans are not causing these changes... that would make me as presumptuous as those who say unequivocally that humans ARE. I'm saying the evidence is weak on both sides, and no unbiased scientist would make a definitive conclusion one way or another. Unfortunately, there's no such thing as an unbiased scientist...

But I'm also a pragmatist and a pessimist. For me it's enough that humans may be responsible. The changes required to offset our alleged effect happen to be good for the environment anyway, and I'm certainly in favour of that.

Velvet 01-05-2013 03:56 AM

Personally I am quite a-political. If it wasn't for the fact that all the people in offices large and small effect my personal life I would rather opt out of the drama and layers of lies and also lies of politics. I have two guys I am in a relationship with, and many years ago I asked my guy Ave to take over politics for me. Ave has the stamina to watch news programs and research politics on the internet, so then he gives me the extremely short version so I stay in the loop. Ave and I also tended to have identical viewpoints...and ever since I gave up my politcal views to him we do have identical viewpoints now.

With my other guy, we can have quite the difference of opinion on many topics. But I wouldn't let that interfere with our relationship (and he doesn't either). As long as no one gets personally offended or indigent at someone else's opposing viewpoint you can coexist. The world doesn't act that way but it is actually possible


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