Can Couples Disagree on Politics?

A friend asked me recently if a marriage could withstand the spouses disagreeing on politics. “If my husband,” she says, “really thought differently on important political and social issues, I would have a hard time seeing ourselves as a couple. “

It is an interesting question. In the last presidential election, almost one-third of couples split their votes; my friend Kevin and his wife are one of them. (“We always cancel each other’s vote,” he says. “I vote Republican, she votes Democrat – but we still vote.”)

On the other hand, I suspect most spouses feel similarly about the majority of issues. If they held widely different views on the social landscape, at least one of them would have probably questioned the marriage before taking the vows. And if one doesn’t care to vote, it is easy for their spouse to shrug their shoulders as well.

My wife and I tend to agree on most issues, though she is more compassionate and I like to think, I am less idealistic and more pragmatic. One issue we differ on is capital punishment. She is almost always against the death penalty, whereas I see it as a useful tool to eliminate creeps.

Take last week for example…There were two cases in Utah where, if I were the judge and jury, the firing squad would be cleaning their barrels.

In one case, a prison inmate (Timothy Patrick Maez) pled guilty to killing his cellmate at the state prison. He didn’t just knock his head against as cement wall. No, according to press reports, he shoved and kicked a pen into the man’s ears several times, shoved a spoon into the man’s eye socket, then stomped on him and slammed his head against the floor. Once the man was unconscious, he used a bedsheet to strangle him. This wasn’t his first outrage. In 2014 he pled guilty to aggravated kidnapping and, one year later, was convicted for hurling a substance at jail staff and threatening retaliation against a judge/board of pardons member.

The heartless part of me says that I don’t want any of my tax money going to feed this monster. My wife might respond that since the guy is only 39 years old, a worse punishment would be to keep him locked up and away from people for the rest of his life. Technically, she’s probably right, but I wouldn’t be a bit sad if he met his Maker tomorrow – even if society had to nudge him along that path.

In the other case, 48-year old Craig Crawford admitted to setting a fire that killed his husband, the found of the well-known Gastronomy restaurant chain. After the restauranteur filed for divorce, Crawford set the fire, then as the victim cried for help from a fourth-floor bedroom; the spurned spouse watered the garden. Apparently he cared more for the tulips than a man being burned alive.

Both Maez and Crawford are receiving life sentences, the same penalty some poor suckers are serving for selling a few joints out of their car trunk near a school zone.

Even though my wife and I disagree on the death penalty, we can see the reasoning behind each other’s position. I suppose that makes all the difference, the ability to see where the other person is coming from.

So in answer to my friend’s question, “Yes, you can still have a happy marriage despite political differences.” Although I’m sure if I said “Donald Trump is the most moral and principled president I’ve seen in my lifetime,” she would be heading for a divorce attorney. After all, who would want to be married to a man who is off his rocker?

The opinions stated in this article are solely those of the author and not of Iron County Today.

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