Discuss and debate the issues that mean the most to you.
I don't think I've ever fucked a Republican. It's entirely possible that one of the dudes I've shtupped was hiding some sort of secret conservative leanings -- I can't say I made it to the "Let's have a serious discussion about political affiliations" stage with each and every gentleman with whom I have shared my lady-cookie (you know, all three of them. And I've been in love every single time, Mom/Buddhallahjesus/current-men-I-am-interested-in!)
Anyhoodle, the other day I found myself wondering if I would ever actually do it with a gentleman caller who was, say, anti-choice (or pro-life, as it were), or a dude who was against gay marriage, or a fellow who genuinely believed that global warming was a myth perpetrated by scientists, Hollywood and the Elders of Zion. The answer, by the way, is "Not unless we're talking about Joseph Gordon-Levitt."
I cast my line of questioning into the vast, murky depths of the Internet and pulled out quite a haul of fresh, lively opinions.
For some reason, the international gals got back to me first. "Love does not know political affiliation," wrote Wahidah, a 31-year-old from Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.
Similarly, 14-year-old Juttisha wrote from Denmark, "I guess if he or she is the one you're happy with, nothing should ruin it. I can't decide who to fall in love with, but that's the magic of love!" Rhiannon, 28, in Manchester, England weighed in thusly: "If you love someone you love them for everything, even if you don't agree with all their beliefs. If a couple completely agreed with everything you'd never get to have a good debate or discussion. Which to me seems pretty boring."
Deborah, 32, from Scotland wrote to tell me that she's actually marrying a man with a completely opposing political viewpoint -- she's Labour, he's a Tory, and they never discuss politics.
And Irene, 20, made a very clear, succinct contribution from her hometown of Rome: "Absolutely NO."
Let's see what a few Americans have to say about whether they could date a person with a different political perspective, shall we?
"I'd date someone with a different political persuasion, as long as they are intelligent about it and actually work toward making the world a better place, however they think that needs to happen. Laziness or apathy would be a bigger problem for me." – Baly, 29, Queens
"Nope! Could bang him, but could not bring him around my friends and family and the potential of constant bickering does not appeal." – Deejah, 41, Phoenix
"I threw a hot guy out of my room in a B&B in the Czech Republic because he said Bush and Kerry were exactly the same anyway." – Rachel, 32, Manhattan
"I would absolutely date an intelligent conservative -- one who has well-formed thoughts and is willing to engage in reasonable debate and discussion, not for winning points but to try to learn something about how the 'other side' thinks. Sadly, the level of political discussion in this country has so deteriorated that it seems very hard to find a thoughtful Republican who wants to be in a real dialogue. Far too many, sadly, have been schooled on conservative talk radio and rely on rhetoric and attack. Sigh." – Sara, 56, Los Angeles
"Absolutely not. How would it be possible to fall in love with someone who thinks it's OK to spend billions on war, but nothing on food programs for children and the elderly? How could I fall in love with someone who wants to allow corporations to poison our air/water/soil with toxic fossil fuel energy? If I ever did fall in love with a Republican, smack me across the face & knock some sense into me." – Yvonne, 29, Brooklyn
"I once almost broke up with my college boyfriend when he admitted to me he was anti-union. We stayed together another couple of years, but that always stuck with me." – Laura, 28, San Francisco
"I dated a serious Republican corporate attorney a few years ago...but managed to get him to vote for Obama! In fact, our early dates involved watching the presidential debates between Obama and McCain. Since he was a lawyer, he felt he could judge with authority who was the better debater. (Hah.) But even this hardcore Republican fellow had to acknowledge that Obama was CLEARLY the debate winner. And the deal was we'd both vote for the debate winner. But my boyfriend was such a crybaby about it. Like, I remember him saying, "Fine, I'll hold my nose and vote for the Democrat." (Who says "hold my nose" on a date?? It was straight out of a 9th grade social studies textbook.) We obviously broke up a year later. Now he's supporting Gingrich. I think he's trying to overcompensate for falling out of line with the GOP for one crucial election. So sadly, my powers of persuasion didn't last. After that experience I could never date a Republican again. I felt like I was always making a deal with the devil and betraying the forces of good in the universe. I'm going to have to seduce five Republicans into voting for Obama this year to make up for it." – Kay, 29, Manhattan
"My friends once set me up with a Republican. I found this odd because not only am I a Democrat, my entire career has revolved around Democratic politics and progressive causes. But I tried to be open-minded about the whole thing so I went out with him. We went out a few times but the reason it didn't work out wasn't politics-related. That being said, I can imagine had we dated longer, politics would have come up more often and really could have caused problems. I don't know if I could date a right-winger now, because I feel like our outlooks on the world would be too different to overcome. But then again, look at James Carville and Mary Matalin. It could work." – Megan, 27, Washington, D.C.
"Shtup? Possibly. It has happened before. Date? No. A few years ago, I had a blooming romance with a slightly younger woman. In the course of intimate chats, she revealed her favorite book was The Fountainhead and the Libertarian roommate she complained about for being so dogmatic was actually an ally of hers politically. This was her secret from her gay lefty circle she surrounded herself with, the way I had met her. She was younger than me so I thought, OK I can get her over to some more insightful literature, argue against privatization of grandma's meds with her later. But it never really sat right with me and subsequent dates never materialized. Why isn't she nicer? More generous? Or maybe the thought of going home to meet her dittohead parents in Jersey made me more uncomfortable than the idea of getting in a tub filled with scorpions." – Claudia, 35, Los Angeles
After consulting the masses, I came to a personal decision: I will only shtup a Republican if he is so extraordinarily hot as to make my underpants physically melt, and only if he is the most liberal kind of Republican who hearts the gays. Basically, my best bet is to shtup a Log Cabin Republican who is feeling "experimental."
Alright, wimminz, let's get into it in the comments. Would you/could you ever get down with a lady or dude who voted differently than you did? (Canucks and other internationals, I want to hear from you on this one, too! And conservative chicks, please speak up!)