The thing is -- and I'll probably write something longer about this at some point -- he *is* a good man,. A really good man. Arguably a better man than all the previous men I've dated who had the proper liberal bona fides. The lefty political science professor who broke my heart used to smoke pot in the car and blow it in my face, even though he knew I had to pass a background check. The Armenian side of his family ultimately rejected me because I'm Jewish. Liberal, but ultimately anti-Semitic, so I would call that a wash.
Then there was the history professor that I dated on and off for ten years -- the drama of that relationship could fill a 10 minute read, but includes him screaming at me in public and private more times than I can count, and his throwing three framed drawings at my head. Not exactly respectful of women, despite being liberal. There's the dumb, pot smoking Bernie-Bro skater who used to tell me that i was stupid. At least I got a good laugh about that. I could go on, but you get the idea.
Enter MAGA Man. He's kind, respectful, interested in what I have to say. He supports my writing, so much so that I came home to a surprise gift of Stephen King's On Writing, among other books. I feel extremely safe with him, respected. He's actually interested in what I have to say, which is if you pause to think about it, is a pretty rare thing these days.
I've written quite a bit about the idea of "The Great Divide" (Check out the MAGA Man stories, 1, 2 & 3 if you're interested), but essentially it's the condition we all find ourselves in now: the message that if we are on the other side of the political spectrum, the other side is the enemy, and can't be humanized. Media has also changed so much that we are all operating with a different set of facts, which is obviously bad and has lead to this condition. It's this type of messaging that makes one fall into the trap that because he's a conservative who happens to support Trump, he must be a racist, knuckle-dragging, woman-hating idiot.
But the fact is that he is none of these things -- obviously, or I wouldn't think he's so great. He favors limited government, lower taxes, energy independence, was sick of the the professional political class and was therefore jazzed about someone new. We obviously disagree about Trump, but I can respect the above-mentioned conservative principles.
Likewise, he knows that I love Joe Biden and will be voting for him in 2024, and he disagrees with that, but respects some of my liberal leaning principles. (Although, full disclosure: I've been politically homeless for awhile, and don't feel at home in either party any more). Despite these disagreements, we haven't decided that the other person is "bad;" we see each other as full human beings.
I'm writing such a long comment, because I do really worry about the world being cleaved in two this way, I hope we can find our way back to feeling like we are all part of the great grand experiment. and not just "bad" or "good" based on some sort of political purity test.