For Better or For Republican….a bipartison love affair

Written By: Jenni  Potts

For Better or For Republican……a bipartisan love affair

Relocating often with my husband in the military, and experiencing a myriad of cultures and lifestyles, I have come to learn to read my new community by merely observing my surroundings.  From cinder block homes in Hawaii to oversized McMansions in the Hamptons, there always seems to be a political debate scattered over lawns like forgotten Mardi Gras beads.   In the past, the campaign signs that littered grassy corners and sprouted up on residential lawns often gave “nosey neighbors” a heads up as to what, or who, the majority of locals support within their community.  Being a newcomer to Westhampton beach, I am not really certain where the East End community stands.  After attending dinner parties and local wine tastings, there seems to be a guarded approach being taken by locals when it comes to discussing the political soap opera that is unfolding on every T.V. from Dune Road to Ditch Road.  Will orange be the new black? Or will the White House be painted pink?  These are subjects I find many not willing to approach, but maybe I have just fallen on a reserved crowd……but this is not the case in my Westhampton Beach home……..

I married a military man almost 15 years ago and I knew we would be together for richer or for poorer… sickness and in health but I am not sure how I handle the fact that he is having an affair, and not just with one person, with an entire party!  The priest that married us never mentioned anything about For Democrat or for Republican…..  I am not sure we are going to make it through this emotional, unstable, new found love affair he is having with the Republican Party.

We met at the elementary school where I was teaching.  This sweet man was volunteering with the Coast Guard assisting young students in need of extra tutoring or mentoring.  Before we were married, we had many in depth conversations with my gay roommates and we volunteered to help with several nonprofit fundraisers in our town.  We even attended a gay couple’s birthday party where my “boyfriend” dressed as a woman from the 50’s, complete with poodle skirt and bobby socks. I wonder if anyone cared about which bathroom picture he identified with that evening?  I guess I never felt the need to discuss his political views because he was very tolerant and caring towards everyone.  He was not judgmental and he never met a stranger……..that was something I loved about him……..sounds like a friendly, happy Democrat to me……although, really I never even thought about it because I never labelled myself as one, or the other.  I didn’t think I needed to discuss his political views because, for me, actions speak louder than words.

As the years past, and Fox news began to echo through our gun-free family room, we grew into a family of four.  We have two boys, who are now tweens and hang on every word their Father says. Suddenly, his role as “Baby Daddy” has had a conservative approach on his child rearing technique.  I always thought I would raise my children to respect other people’s ideas or beliefs even if they differed from their own.  I have learned it is not easy to raise children with ideas and beliefs different than MY own.  I don’t care about whom you want to marry and I have yet to meet a woman who wants to have an abortion, but I do believe that these are choices that an individual makes on his/her own.  My husband and I have had many heated arguments about me being Pro-Choice and how I support the “killing of babies” (in his words)……I find it hard to have such a discussion with someone who does not ever have any chance of becoming pregnant……..grow some ovaries and then we can talk…….he tells me that is a very “democrat” thing to say.

We attend Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in Westhampton Beach, every Sunday, and I believe in God.  I don’t always believe what the church has to say, but I try to keep those thoughts to myself because I want to allow my children to form their own beliefs and opinions. My republican husband likes to discuss my beliefs, or lack thereof, in front of my children and ask me why I go to church if I don’t agree with everything the church has to say…….that is why having a choice in this life is so important.  I love and adore many people in my world but I have, yet, to meet a person with whom I agree with his/her every spoken word.  My choice is to love good, kind people even if they don’t agree with me……so glad I am free to make my own choices.  But, I must admit, some people I choose not to be around because they think I should make THEIR choices, and those doors I must keep closed because they are not leading me anywhere positive.

I have witnessed many discussions and read many Facebook rants where people are angry because others do not agree with their point of view.  Sadly, election years bring out the worst in people when in turn they should bring out the best in all of us.  People think if you disagree with someone’s beliefs you must fear or hate those people.  If you disagree with someone, that just allows you the opportunity of gaining a deeper knowledge from a different point of view.  Most educated people have an intelligent point of view which usually is a reflection of the experiences they have had in life.  When I meet someone who lacks an opinion or who isn’t willing to share ideas, I can only assume that person has had a lack of exposure throughout his/her life. Sometimes lacking experiences causes the mind to narrow a bit and sometimes too many experiences will cause the mind to open.

I suppose I have come to realize, in in the past 15 years of marriage, that maintaining a relationship does not always mean there is peace on earth.  A partner comes into your life and engages your mind to make you question things around you and change your reality.  You both must have the same initial goals in life but your partner is just an ordinary person, not the one you have idealized in your dreams.  When I look up at the altar at church and admire my youngest son serving Mass, or I listen to my oldest son campaign to support Trump, I have to take a deep breath and remind myself that they are trying to figure out what they support and believe in.  And then I look at my husband who always puts our family first, who never forgets an item on the grocery list and who is always thinking about others around him and I realize to love someone does not mean you agree with everything they believe, say or do.  To love someone means to listen, question and challenge respectably, in order to gain a deeper meaning into a mind that transformed your world in just one moment…….such a “democratic” thing to say! And sometimes you just need to walk away mumbling, “get back to me when you grow some ovaries!”