Asymmetrical Information - Megan McArdle

10.30.12

Red Date, Blue Date

The decline of cross-party dating

I find this pretty deeply disturbing:  

"People now say 'I don't even want to meet anybody who's from the other party,' even if it's someone who's perfect in every other way," Ms. Adler says. In past election years, about a quarter of her clients wouldn't date a member of the opposite party. Now it is three-quarters, Ms. Adler says. She has fewer problems matching Democrats and Republicans in Los Angeles, New York and Washington, but in swing states, "it's 24/7," she says. 

Politics has ceased to become set of opinions about how the country should be governed, and started to become who you are.   People surround themselves with like-minded friends who don't disagree with them on anything fundamental--which in turn, makes it easier to feel that no reasonable person could disagree.  Which itself, in turn, makes it harder to befriend people from the other side.  Keep this up, and we're headed for a world in which Democrats and Republicans view intermarriage the way the Hasidic do.

I've dated liberals, conservatives, and libertarians, and as far as I can tell there is absolutely no correlation between one's political views and one's potential as dating material.  The most self-centered, uncompassionate jerk I ever dated was a Democrat, and the one with the greatest difficulty keeping a job was a Republican.  It's true that I ended up with a libertarian--but it's the fabric of our shared lives, not our politics, that keeps us together.    

It's hard enough to find someone who is attractive, good to you, and fun to be around. Why on earth would you make it harder by refusing to consider anyone whose opinion on the relative merits of national health care programs differs from yours?