Questions about love and sex in the Iowa City/Cedar Rapids area can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org (queries can also be sent anonymously using this form). Questions may be edited for clarity and length, and may appear either in print or online.
So I’ve been dating this girl for a few months now and everything seems to be going pretty great, except for one thing. She voted for Donald Trump. I am an outspoken feminist and Democrat; I’ve attended rallies in protest of his executive orders — I really don’t think I can identify with that man other than that we are both straight, white males. I know her family is quite conservative, but from the things we do together and talk about, I assumed that she was the black sheep and voted for Hillary like me or just didn’t voted at all. She has expressed she feels a great amount of remorse from her decision, but it still boggled my mind that our views, at least in terms of voting, could be so far from each other. I’ve definitely tried to hear the other team’s side since the election, but how do I continue being with someone that voted for Trump, a man who is so far off base with reality or anything right in the world?
I’m so sorry, honey. There isn’t much room for text on those Tinder profiles, is there? Whoopsie. So, has she expressed remorse by saying “whoopsie” or has she expressed it publicly in her civic life, in the form of calling Congress to block Trump’s appointments and agenda items, or by talking to her family and friends about what a mistake he is, or donating money to the organizations or causes that his administration threatens? If she isn’t expressing her remorse with words and actions that show her to have really changed and internalized the mistake she made, she’s still a Republican, and y’all still have some serious shit to work out. I’m assuming she is a younger person still under the sway of her family’s belief system. Perhaps her politics are transforming radically as we speak and you can live happily ever after, or at least carry on dating without questioning your moral fiber.
But Confused honey, if she’s not doing anything except twirling a strand of her long, white supremacist hair and saying “whoopsie,” you might really want to reconsider this relationship. As millions of us learned the hard way, this election was about more than political parties — it called into question many of our values as human beings and as a society, and most Americans who are aligning themselves with this Republican administration are showing themselves to be all kinds of ugly. The politics of this election has torn families apart, caused divorces, you name it. My best bet is that this gal may be, at her core, awash in the values and rhetoric of her family and therefore the GOP, and she’s going to have to work hard to unlearn all that nonsense. There’s this old saying, “a leopard cannot change its spots.” I would take into account the real possibility that your girl is just gonna keep being a conservative.
If you can stomach it, and being with someone who voted for a narcissistic sexual predator isn’t making steam come out of your ears every single day of your life, I commend you, and carry on trying to change her into someone with ideas and convictions that are worth loving.
This article was originally published in Little Village issue 221.