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Posts Tagged ‘Political Ideology’

The Art Of Sleeping With The Enemy

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on October 30, 2012

By Dr. Peggy Drexler, Author, research psychologist, and gender scholar

I have good friends. Call them Ed and Paula. They are in a mixed marriage: she’s a Republican, he’s a Democrat. Both take their respective affiliations seriously.

They’ve always made their union of political opposites work. But this season, there is coolness in the political air. They find themselves avoiding dangerous territory.

“It’s funny,” Paula told me. It’s just harder to talk about things in this race.”

Maybe they just reflect the country as a whole — the feeling that it’s a zero-sum game. From the left: Republicans are for the rich, and against just about everybody else. From the right: Obama will preside over America’s financial ruin.

Both those positions have likely been hardened by the current climate of Congressional polarization: “I’m OK. You’re the anti-Christ.”

Evidence of a hardening of positions is visible in a paper published in Public Opinion Quarterly. Stanford University professor Shanto Iyengar points to a 1960s study that found 5 percent of couples would be upset if their child married outside their political party. A study in 2010 put that figure at 40 percent. For the record, Republicans would be more upset — 50 percent to 30 percent.

How do couples cope? There are some visible examples that say it can work. Read the rest of this entry »

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