Can Conservatives Have Liberal Friends, Or Even Partners?

Written by Donald Joy on October 16, 2013

Yes and no.  Yes, as in, it is possible, and no, as in, it’s not normal in the soul sense.

Of course, one immediately thinks of famous, mysteriously married, bi-partisan power-couples such as top republican consultant Mary Matalin and top democrat strategist James Carville.  They’ve been happily wedded for twenty years. Amazingly, they actually met (in 1991) while each was about to be hired to manage opposing presidential campaigns; Matalin for George H. W. Bush, and Carville for Bill Clinton.  They claim publicly that they don’t talk politics at home.  When they appear on TV together, it’s actually pretty amusing to observe their playful jousting over public issues.

Or, perhaps less applicably, we have the dynamic duo of RINO former California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and media maven/Kennedy-clan Obama shill Maria Shriver, who may be headed to Splits-ville after all.

Then we come back to the reality of everyday life among us, the comparative so-called hoi polloi.  The real hazards and occasional rewards of odd-couple, opposites-attracting, friendships and relationships are in evidence everywhere.  We all have at least some experience with this.

In the way of caveats about fellowship with people who don’t share our faith, those of us who are religious can point to the Biblical admonition about being “unequally yoked” with unbelievers (2 Corinthians 6:14).

For that matter, when liberals and moderates try to insist that Islam can peacefully coexist with the non-Muslim world, we vigilant conservatives can easily point to the many passages in Islamic scriptures which forbid followers of Mohammed from taking friends among the “kuffar(non-Muslims).”  We’re on solid ground, in terms of referencing Muslims’ own doctrine, which also says that it’s perfectly okay for Muslims to lie and pretend (“taqiyya” and “kitman”) to be friends with us, and give the appearance of cooperating, if it in actuality helps advance the overall goal of Islamic conquest of the globe.

But back to our more mundane daily lives.

Many of us have friendly workplace colleagues who differ with us drastically on major political topics, and for the sake of keeping things professional and amiable at work, we do our best to avoid getting too involved in sensitive political discussions and diatribes.  That is, those of us who prefer to keep our jobs, and keep workplace aggravation to a minimum.

Then there are the various family members with whom we profoundly disagree, yet maintain all sorts of uneasy truces over inflammatory subjects in the news, tiptoeing gingerly around the political minefield while exchanging rote pleasantries and cordiality where necessary.  Those can be the more touchy and explosive relationships that sometimes are better allowed to lie dormant indefinitely.

In this cyber-age of social media and online networking, almost everyone has reunited with old pals from our school and/or military days, with lost loves, former coworkers, estranged relatives, and so on.  Plus there are the new online friends and acquaintances in our lists.  As often as not, people we’ve never even met in person become fast friends through shared interests and discussion threads, mutual friends, political causes, or just liking their profile picture, initially.

Those venturing into the dating world, both online and off, know full well the vagaries posed by political differences which arise when getting to know, and attempting to develop relationships with, significant others.

It’s when things go bad that we step back and wonder if it’s even realistic to try to maintain certain associations, though.

Shortly after the Boston Marathon bombing, I had reconnected on Facebook with an old pal from my long ago drinking days in my youth, from whom I’d become estranged and had had no contact for many years.  I made the mistake of immediately sending him one of my columns on, and he didn’t take too kindly to my efforts/sharing.  His initial reaction?:  “Good lord, don’t start sending me Bill Ayres(sic) conspiracy type shit. I’m actually thinking of deleting FB account. I never use it.”

We argued, and had some choice words for each other.  Here are his final words to me on Facebook:  “Seriously, Don, you’re a megalomaniac. And I don’ t care to hear your flatulence rising from the right wing fever swamps. To quote you from yesterday, why don’t you go f*** yourself. I’m blocking you.”


To quote Rodney King(r.i.p.), “Can we all get along?  Can we get along??”

Probably not; not always, anyway…but sometimes, we can–sometimes, for decades.  I believe it’s a question of specific circumstances, complex chemistry, and spiritual forbearance.  Either we work with what’s workable, or we don’t.  It’s work, that’s for sure, and as with any kind of work, there are rewards.

Right, libs?  😉

Following his service in the United State Air Force, Donald Joy earned a bachelor of science in business administration from SUNY while serving in the army national guard. As a special deputy U.S. marshal, Don was on the protection detail for Attorney General John Ashcroft following the attacks of 9/11. He lives in the D.C. suburbs of Northern Virginia with his wife and son.