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Sunday, February 12, 2012

Learning From James & Mary?

I suspect I could learn something about tolerance & compromise if I could somehow listen in on the private conversations of James Carville & Mary Matalin. How do these smart people from opposite sides of the political spectrum keep their relationship from fracturing? How many people do you know who prove, rather than disprove, the old adage "opposites attract"?

Though I claim to be open-minded, I'm not sure that applies when it comes to my choice of life partner and that person's politics. How about you & your partner? Although my wife and I are different (if not "opposite") in several ways, we are closely aligned in our politics. I once heard that old adage amended to "opposites attract if values are aligned". That's more consistent with my experience. Yours?

Still, James & Mary seem to make it work. What do they do that I haven't learned to do? Or, is it just show business? I won't allow myself to be so cynical. Instead, maybe one or more of you can offer me some additional insight. If not, I'll add "opposites attract" to the heap of adages belonging in the trash, James & Mary notwithstanding.


  1. I've wondered the same thing about them, and as a result have made note of other couples whose political views differ. I have a few such couples as clients. Each of them appear to be true best friends and easily accept that they have quite radically different viewpoints. These differences seem to both ground them and create energy. I used to think a person's politics didn't matter to me. But now I've come to realize, it does. I accept that some good friends have different politics than I, but I will stop them from espousing in the interest staying friends. I'm thankful that Sandy and I have mostly similar points of view. I would not want to not have that in common with my mate, to use a double negative.

    1. Thanks again for your thoughtful comments, Jim.

      Unlike you, I don't know a lot of couples who are "radically different" in their politics. But I like what you said about it grounding those folks and giving them energy. More for me to reflect on and learn from.