“Would you ever date a Republican?” I was recently asked. It struck me as a funny question. The way the person said “Republican” sounded like she had just asked me if I would ever bear-hug a cactus.
This election has seemingly turned Republicans and Democrats into warring clans. It’s like we’re the Jets and the Sharks (obviously the Democrats are the Sharks) except this Godforsaken election has rendered all of us too exhausted to sing. The words “Republican” and “Liberal” have become synonymous with every other negative word in the English language. We have never been more divided, but it’s not politics that we are divided on. This election has so little to do with political theory and so much to do with who we are as people.
I am a centrist. An Independent. I proudly voted for Obama twice, and responsibility voted for Clinton this time. (Also, I voted early while living abroad, so you have no excuse tomorrow.) I would happily vote for a Republican in the future if I believed in that person’s platform, and I would happily date a Republican if the person was a good person and our morals and beliefs aligned.
There is just one thing.
The Republican Party no longer exists. There is no longer such a thing as a standard Republican, and I can’t date someone who does not exist (Trust me, in a metaphorical/metaphysical sense, I have tried.) No matter who wins this election, the Republicans are not represented in this race.
The KKK is represented in this race. The American Nazi Party is represented in this race. The newly empowered Alt-Right is represented in this race. The people who fire-bombed an African American church a few days ago in Trump’s name? They are represented in this race.
“The party of family values” is not represented in this race, as long as they don’t want to keep the company of the aforementioned groups.
I have a handful of Republican friends/distant family members. All of them are white. Most of them are in the 1%. Half of them are from the south. Half of them are college educated. A couple don’t like to read the news because it stresses them out so they just vote for who their dads vote for. (I wish I was kidding.) The other ones are not overly educated but they looooooove Jesus. (They love Jesus, but love thy neighbor only as long as thy neighbor isn’t gay, liberal or challenge any of the ideas of their personal interpretation of the bible.)
“Would you date a Republican?” feels like an outdated question. Trump him-fucking-self isn’t a Republican. According to several reports, Trump has changed parties at least five times since the 80s. For the record – that’s a lot.
So when it comes to judging what had once been Republican men on their “political views” in 2016, there are subgroups of which I go off. There are fiscally conservative people, there are socially conservative people, there are fiscally and socially conservative people, and then there are Trump supporters.
Let’s try this little quiz.
Would I date a man who thinks people who work hard and get paid over six figures are taxed too high and shouldn’t have to give so much of their salary to stagnated social programs?
Yes. I would be curious to know which social programs he was referring to, and would want to hear his suggestions for other feasible ways to fund the infrastructure of our country, but wanting tax cuts in and of itself does not offend me.
Would I date a guy who thinks Obamacare is not working seamlessly and is angry at the entire Democratic party for trying to get on board with the rest of the modern world and provide socialized healthcare for over 300 million people?
Yes, I would still date him, but I would have to explain to him what living in an advanced nation with socialized health care feels like (I have been living in France for three years and have had a few hospital visits that cost me zero euros) – but I also understand that you can’t force someone to immediately accept change, especially when there are still so many flaws in the system. I would forgive what is – in my mind – a lack of foresight.
Would I date a man who thinks immigration is a “problem in America”?
Possibly. He would have to explain his stance. Does he think illegal immigrants should be vetted and background checked and then given social security numbers and equal rights if they pass? If that was his position, then yes, I could date that man.
Would I date a man who <3 Jesus (or Allah or Moses or whoever) to the extent that he starts sentences with “Well Jesus (or Allah or Moses or whoever) says…” and uses his religion as a means to justify his personal opinions?
Nope. But upon hearing him say those words I would clear the table and perform a riveting puppet show for him and all his friends called, READ THE CONSTITUTION, that features two characters named Church and State who never, ever ever get near each other.
But here is where we start trailing away from “Republican” and into “Trump Supporter”.
Would I date a man who thinks women should be punished for having abortions, and that late-term abortion should be illegal because he thinks barbaric women choose to kill their babies at the last minute?
No. I date assholes, not idiots. But I would take time out of my day – probably over a strong cocktail to ease my pain – to explain to him that to “abort” a fetus in the second and third trimesters only happens if the mother or baby’s life are at risk, and is usually the worst moment of that woman’s (and probably the father’s) life. I would also inform him that unless he has a uterus, he needs to get the fuck out of other peoples’.
Would I date a man who thinks we need to build a wall on the Mexican border (and possibly Canadian) because he believes it will stop desperate people (and Canadians?) from entering the country?
No. Again, assholes not idiots. (Although that wall would probably be useful for Canada to prevent us from inevitably fleeing to them.)
Would I date a man who supports a man who has been accused of sexually assaulting over a dozen women, and who has also been caught on tape bragging about sexually assaulting women?
No. That, ladies and gentlemen, is what we call a “red flag”.
Would I date a man who knows his candidate is also the candidate of the KKK and the American Nazi Party, but doesn’t care?
No. That is called a Nazi Sympathizer.
Would I date a man who supports a man who has made fun of disabled people, ranks women on their fuckability, jokes about having his opponent assassinated and refused to denounce a terrorist attack made in his name on an African American church?
NO. I WOULD NOT DATE THAT MAN. In fact, I would not date that man if he affiliated with people like that, let alone if he wanted to be represented in the world by a man like that.
“I would not date him
in a house.
I would not date him
with a mouse.
I would not date him
here or there.
I would not date him
– Me and Dr. Seuss.
There are allowed to be differences in opinions. Even fundamental ones. Even if I think your religion has bled into politics and is harmful and antiquated, and even if you think I am a wild, slutty, liberal pagan, we still get to hold the American Flag up and claim it as our own and each other’s.
But let’s be clear on one thing. The people who stayed silent during the rise of the Nazis in the 30s are complicit in what followed. And the people who are staying silent – or are voting for – a man who has triggered the rise of the Alt Right and brought the KKK and Nazi Party of America out of the shadows – because Hilary’s voice annoys them, or she fucked up with her emails, or their health insurance premiums went up under the Obama administration- will be complicit in any havoc these hate groups may potentially wreak.
You are who you vote for in this election. Your vote no longer represents your theoretical political ideologies, but who you are as a human being. You don’t get to pick and choose here. If you support someone who calls for violence and hate, you support violence and hate. No matter how pissed off you are about your taxes.
So in answer to, would I date a Republican? (Or someone who might have been what was once a Republican?) The answer is yes.
But I would never date a Trump supporter.