I spent most of Saturday afternoon at the pool with an old friend. He and my brother have been friends since they were 14, and I do remember him as that scrawny high school boy I'd see when I came home from college, so in my mind he's a kid. Sort of.
I mean, he's really not. He's six feet tall and handsome and has a very serious, suit-wearing job and if you didn't know him well you'd think he was all kinds of grown up. We dated several years ago, and there are many, many good things about him. I like him very much as a person.
The reason we broke up was mainly because he's a Republican. I have friends who won't date Republicans in the first place, but I have dated a variety of them. Mainly because I am attracted to such conservative looking, suit-wearing, spreadsheet-making men, and they often wind up being conservative in their politics as well. This doesn't bother me as long as it's about money.
What I mean is, there are those Republicans who have the same social values I do; they just don't want to pay for the programs. In my personal experience, these have been guys who come from poor or working class families, families that struggled, and they feel like if they could do so well without any advantage except a big brain and hard work, everyone else should be able to as well. And so they don't want their taxes to be "squandered" on social programs. I can understand this point of view, even if I don't agree with it.
This guy, however, bought the party line full on. And it used to make me really mad, especially with ole W in office, and so I'd provoke him. We used to argue, and I would tell him he's way too intelligent to believe such stupid things.
We're friends, though, and I do really like him as a person. We have this funny frankness that comes from having known each other both for so long and at some point quite intimately as well.
I was thinking yesterday how odd it was that we argued so much about politics. Because me, I am not remotely interested in a good debate. I never play Devil's advocate just because I think it would be fun. And actually, I am not generally that interested in politics. Which means I'm rarely well-informed about issues. I don't have much to say about them most of the time.
So how was it, I wondered to myself, that I wound up arguing so much with him, when I don't argue with others?
It was because, I finally concluded, I hang out with people who think the same things I do. We don't argue about politics because we agree.
I wondered briefly if this was a bad thing. But then I realized, actually, I like spending time with people who are right.