How to Get Through Election Season without killing your Republican Husband
So you married a Republican. What were you thinking?!
Everything has been hunky dory—till now, an election year. Brace yourself, raging political debates possibly followed by tears and/or silent disdain, they are a-comin’. This will be my third election cycle since I, a liberal (gasp!) feminist (shudder!) met my husband, a conservative Republican (horrors!), and he is still alive. Let me help you with my step-to-step guide.
Step One: Drink
Play a secret drinking game while he’s talking politics. Every time he says “Reagan,” drink. Every time he says “fiscal,” have two drinks. If he says “build a wall,” throw your drink at him. This should make conversations more bearable—or at least make you too sleepy to care.
Step Two: Engage the Enemy
Eventually will have to talk to him. You are probably worried that hearing him expound his political views will be the time that his health is most endangered. That might be true, so proceed with caution. Debate big and then small. Start with a problem you both recognize; for instance, national debt or healthcare or gun violence or why Bernie Sanders can’t get his hair to lay flat. Then trade solutions on how to fix these problems. When you start with a common goal, even if you disagree on implementation (gel vs. new haircut), you have a better chance of discovering some overlap. For very contentious issues, I recommend debating in writing. That gives you time to craft a response, fact check his statements, and find sources to back up your points. Then at the end of the day, you can agree it was a productive exchange and watch South Park until you fall asleep, like normal married couples.
Step Three: Summon Your Allies
Texting Democrat friends during the Republican primary debates is essential. Yes, you are just writing “OMG.WTF?? Asshat.” over and over, but it makes you feel like you aren’t in this alone.
Step Four: Avoidance and Appeasement
This is a very important step especially if the Republicanism spreads to his family and friends. While I think it’s important to engage your spouse in all manner of philosophical and political debates, I do not think it’s an important to engage your husband’s second cousin, even on Facebook. Especially on Facebook. It is OK to agree to disagree and not say anything.
Step Five: Find Common Ground
National politics have very clear party lines even for issues that don’t have anything to do with a party’s actual philosophy. They are “partisan” just because one side got to it first so the other side lined up to oppose it. Congress is exactly like how you remember eighth grade being. Local politics are a little murkier—which works in your favor. There are elected positions that have little to do with political party affiliations. Republican Pary. Democratic Party. Fed-up Party. Have a date night, really dive in to the backgrounds of the candidates running for Sanitation Commissioner and pick someone together. Now you have one tally in common in your scorecards. You, your spouse, and Joe Sanitation rise and fall together.
Step Six: Drink
There are two types of politics in America. One is serious. You and your spouse already covered that in Step Two (good for you!). The other type of politics is a media horse race which trivializes the important issues into sound bites and polls and whatever insane graphic CNN comes up with to show electoral votes. Celebrate the wackiness.There is no shortage of drinking games for election night. Pick one, pick all, and watch the madness together.
Adhering to these six simple steps should help you and your spouse get through election season unscathed.*
*Please note that this guide is not effective if you are married to a Trump supporter.