A recent piece in The Wall Street Journal by Elizabeth Williamson brings up the topic of interpolitical dating. Can you, if you are a Democrat, even, perhaps, not an actively campaigning one, but one who would certainly never deign to vote for Mitt Romney, consider in good faith a Republican as a possible suitor? Can you, if you are a Republican, ever love someone who believes in the presidency of Barack Obama? Are such politically star-crossed lovers as Mary Matalin and James Carville a relationship unicorn? In Williamson's piece, which features photos of a blonde, hyper-coiffed businesswoman in an evening gown (only dates Republicans!) and a sort of casual-looking black cotton-shirt-clad neurosurgeon who also writes erotic nonfiction (only dates Democrats!), a matchmaker named Barbie Adler (undisclosed) speaks to the idea that now, in our especially fraught pre-election time, "politically active singles won't cross party lines." At the Daily Beast, Megan McArdle responds to this news in horror, finding it "pretty deeply disturbing."
McArdle's concerns: We're all so busy surrounding ourselves with people just like ourselves that no one will go out on a limb and disagree (or befriend anyone who would). The slippery slope is soon, she fears: "Keep this up, and we're headed for a world in which Democrats and Republicans view intermarriage the way the Hasidic do," she writes. But also, what of the ongoing quest for love? Is our staunch dating divide keeping us from finding people we'd be happy with? "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," she writes. "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."