Editor’s note: This is a reply to my article “Ideas on Maintaining Relationships with the Less Committed in a Dark Age.” My comments are in bold.
As a White, female spouse of a male TOO contributor, I read with special interest Kevin MacDonald’s recent essay on how to maintain relationships among the less-committed. His essay suits me to a T. I have long been uncomfortable with my husband’s political writings—partly because I disagree with some of them, partly because of his use of a pseudonym, and partly because of the potential consequences for both us and for society. MacDonald’s essay has the laudable goal of creating better family relations, but many of his points are condescending or miss the mark. I offer my thoughts below.
As I read his essay, the main point seems to be the difficulty of maneuvering (and maintaining) a personal relationship with someone who is not in total agreement with your own ideology, and specifically the way in which he expresses that ideology. For sake of simplicity, I will assume that the “dissident writer” is a White male, and that the “significant other” (SO) is a White female; this should cover the vast majority of the 200-some TOO contributors.
I wonder, first of all, about the motivation for such a piece. I don’t know if Prof. MacDonald has (or had) an SO, and if so, if she is one of the “less-committed.” Does he speak from direct experience? Or is he hearing things second-hand from his many correspondents? If he has no firsthand experience, he is perhaps in a poor situation to comment. And in any case, he is obviously not himself one of the beleaguered SO’s, and thus is unqualified to address things from that perspective.
KM: Yes, I have a significant other and yes, she is less committed. Like many people, she is far less interested in politics than I am.
Second, I fear that my reply may well be a futile effort because I am a woman who engages in political discussion, and women’s voices seem undervalued and underappreciated in alt-right circles. MacDonald seems to have in mind women who apparently avoid political discussion in order to dwell on family, friends, and hobbies. I never looked at it that way (nor does my husband) because we know that women (and men) can engage in activism and still have time for hobbies/interests. So, from my point of view, this article could be addressed to any couple whose viewpoints differ on political issues, especially considering our current political climate.
MacDonald raises the interesting case of Anne Morrow Lindbergh, and so I will begin with some thoughts on her situation. I will then look at the problem of relationships specifically, and then close with some critical thoughts on the whole “White interests” movement.
The Lindberghs: A Case Study
I enjoyed the reference to the Anne Morrow Lindbergh diary entries, which were all drawn from the fifth (and last) volume of diaries and letters (War Within and Without, 1939–1944). Anne, like many SOs, finds herself in a role that she did not ask for.
My similarity to Anne is the concern I experience for my husband’s reputation. I also struggle with understanding his intended end game. A bigger issue for some SOs is the realization that the dissident writer intends to instigate others to a negative (i.e., violent) outcome. The SO is often left to explain (uncomfortably) this behavior to family and friends. I do think that most women prefer personal interaction and dialogue over publications or speeches. We see it as a quicker way to resolution, or at the very least to understanding intent. I would also lean toward supporting a situation—even a White identity movement—that was intended to help humankind rather than hurt a particular group. Anne has “the greatest faith” in Charles as a person, and she understands his intent. However, some dissidents act only in their own self-interest, often emanating insecurity and a combative intent in their rhetoric. Charles Lindbergh is hardly a dissident in this regard.
As a famous and respected person, Charles had intended to simply write a speech naming the people and governments he saw as “war agitators” in an effort to inform the American public and avoid involvement in the war that was at that time contained to Europe. He was not bitter or hateful toward the agitators as a group of people, nor as individuals. He stated the truth as he saw it. Lindbergh did not intend for his speech to lead to violent retributions. It is the reaction of the public (actually the press in his case) to the dissident’s words or how they understand the intent, that leads to potentially unwarranted scrutiny. If we describe the contributors of TOO as dissidents in the sense that they are pro-White and anti-Jewish, we assume that they know that their “truth” could be detrimental to entire groups of people.
KM: Yes, but not saying anything is certainly detrimental to the traditional White majority. Some people have to speak up. There always going to be conflicts of interest in politics. That’s what it’s all about. Anonymous seems to see things entirely from the standpoint of possible negative repercussions for the targets of dissident writers—e.g., Jews in the case of Lindbergh. But again, the big picture is that Lindbergh was trying to avoid a catastrophe in which millions would die. In such a situation, the hurt feelings of Jews who were accurately portrayed as an important force promoting the war mean nothing. Even possible violence by lone individuals or small groups motivated to action by Lindbergh’s comments (and in the absence of Lindbergh’s endorsement) would be of trivial compared to the war; I am aware of no record of anti-Jewish violence occurring as a result of Lindbergh’s speech, and of course TOO does not advocate violence as a solution.
Thus, the SO finds herself on the outside of this fraternity but with the opportunity to play the role of moderator. Charles’ speech included statements that Anne believed would not be welcome in her community. This played a part in her fear, although her greater fear was for her family’s ostracism. She foresaw that his intentions would be misunderstood. MacDonald quotes Anne as sensing “that this is the beginning of a fight and consequent loneliness and isolation that we have not known before.” She does not, however, let this potential outcome stop her from supporting her husband. She continues to speak to him about her feelings and beliefs, and he listens—even revising his wording to better address his audience and potentially assuage dissent. From my experience, this is the best option we have when those outside of the relationship seem short-sighted or are quick to judge, as perhaps many of our family and friends can be, and as Anne’s were. Of course, there are people we do not know who may act upon our words, and being mindful of these reactions is always prudent in public discourse and publishing. Dissident writers hold that responsibility.
As MacDonald points out, Anne states, “I cannot explain my revulsion of feeling by logic.” Correctly, she knows this is not always possible. And yet, she in fact goes on to give something of a “logical” analysis; I think she underestimates herself. It is possible to know the truth of an issue and yet still realize that that very truth may be hurtful and misunderstood by others. That is often the case in my situation. How can I question what I have not personally researched, especially if my misgivings are based on feeling and not on logic? Being aware of this natural reaction makes the experience less intimidating.
On the day of the speech, Anne writes, “I am afraid of the effect of his speech…and the effect on him and the cause. He says that the point is not what the ‘effect’ will be on him … but whether or not what he said is true and whether it will help to keep us out of war.” Charles’ point is that he tells the truth, and he is not concerned about the resulting effect on him. This is what my husband says as well. He ignores the fact that there may be an effect outside of himself. The SO has the choice to buy into the ideas written or buy into the resulting effects. She finds herself in a dilemma when she cannot reconcile the intent of the writing with what she fears of the end game. She must tackle this herself; and further on I discuss what the dissident writer may do to help her.
As stated, I believe that many SO’s find themselves highly concerned with consequences. Many dissident writers throw empathy out the window so as not to weaken their position. However, if there is concern for your SO, some acknowledgement of unintended effects would put the dissident writer in a much better position to make his case. This, in my opinion, is necessary when one is engaged in criticism or one-sided ideologies. Dissidents can act without foresight or in ignorance of the potential consequences, or they can moderate their points based on the effect on others. As Anne points out, her worst fears were confirmed when Charles was “attacked on all sides” (not physically) after his speech—by the Roosevelt “Administration, pressure groups, and Jews, as now openly a Nazi.” Anne wanted to avoid this; not strictly for fear of her situation, but to avoid a misunderstanding of the ideology behind her husband’s speech because it was not one of hate but of concern for his country.
I find it insightful that Anne asks and answers the question as to why she senses that it is wrong to name the Jews as being pro-war “even if it is done without hate, bitterness or criticism” as she does. Her answer is “because it is segregating them as a group, setting the ground for anti-Semitism.” She recognizes that naming or blaming of Jews is an agitator based on historical context. This is unsettling to her because she knows that it will instigate hatred, and for that reason should be moderated. She is not considering the truth of the statement (as Charles is). In the end, the truth is more than some influential people want to hear, and Anne’s fears are realized.
Anne understands that what may have been Charles’ intent brings about the opposite result. This is very common today and dissident writers should understand that this may be a result of their rants, speeches and articles. I do not single out the alt-right. This is true of any group that does not moderate their attacks on others. This does not mean to moderate views necessarily, but is a suggestion to moderate the mode of attacks. Anne states that “more passion is being aroused” by statements of fact that were intended not to arouse but to quell passions.
KM: Again, I worry that too much emphasis is being placed on the possible effects that dissidents’ words may have on others. Certainly, my writing has offended the ADL and many individual Jews as well as many others on the left. I do worry that someone who claims to have been influenced by my writing will go and blow up a synagogue or something. But that can’t be helped. There are always people out there who are prone to violence as a solution for everything. But that is no reason for me to stop writing. If there is no dissent, then what I regard as the forces of evil—forces that would utterly destroy the people and culture of the country I grew up in—would have no push-back at all. As it is, we are relegated to relatively tiny corners of the internet and oftentimes to conventions held in secret, whereas those who hate us are beaming their messages 24/7 into the living rooms, classrooms, and movie theaters across the entire country. Our demonstrations are greeted with violence aided and abetted by police, government, and ultimately the courts. Our meetings are held in secret, whereas our enemies can easily muster thousands in prominent public spaces without any fear of violence. And despite our relatively weak position, they are doing everything they can to completely stifle dissent, abrogate the First Amendment, de-platform and demonetize sites like TOO and Red Ice, and ultimately legislate prison terms for politically incorrect speech as has already been done in many parts of Europe at the behest of the same forces promoting censorship in the U.S.
Present-day Relationship Conflicts
MacDonald points out that a typical situation might be that of a wife/girlfriend being “terrified of it becoming known that she is associated closely with someone” who is setting themselves up for social ostracism. “Typical” makes it sound like a widespread problem. It is a bit of a mystery to me as to why he would think this is a pervasive issue. From my experience, this is an over-generalization of a woman’s reaction. As a wife of a dissident writer, and knowing SO’s in similar situations, I would not use “terrifying” in my description of the typical situation. I do, however, understand that in some situations the dissident does put his ‘innocent’, ‘less-committed’ family in potential unwanted peril. But in fact, in many cases, the SO is the only thread keeping the dissident from anarchy.
KM: It’s quite different being the SO of a well-known dissident writing under my own name as opposed to the SO of a pseudonymous dissident—the former is much more terrifying for many. I don’t understand the idea that the SO may be “the only thread keeping the dissident from anarchy.” That certainly doesn’t apply to me.
MacDonald seems to speak for women in this piece, far too often. For example, “men are far more concerned [than women] about politics and distribution of power.” I guess he would know better than I, since he is a man. It does not mean it is necessarily a good thing. He also states that “men tend to suffer more [read: die] when there is a(n)…takeover.” I don’t know about that. Once you are slaughtered, your suffering ends. Being taken as a concubine (against your will and all that comes from that) might lead me to question who actually suffers more. Let’s just say there is suffering by all during war/takeovers.
KM: My comments on men being more concerned about politics stem from evolutionary psychology. You interpret me to be concerned about mental suffering. I am concerned about evolutionary fitness: Male fitness is much more affected by the distribution of power than is female fitness. In nature, the vast majority of females mate, while males typically have to achieve a position in the dominance hierarchy to mate. (If you want to see the brutality of male competition, watch the National Geographic videos now available on the Disney streaming channel.) This has shaped the male brain—the fundamental premise of evolutionary psychology, well-supported by the research.
MacDonald mentions “that doxing would result in social opprobrium” and he assumes “that your significant other is not a social justice warrior.” He assumes that the wife/girlfriend is “intolerant of conflicting opinions” and that she may be “fueled by hatred toward people” with strong right (nationalist) views. He also states that “such people are impossible to reason with, …spew hatred… accompanied with ungrounded assertions of moral and intellectual superiority.” I am not sure where this is coming from; there is a lot of hatred spewed toward other ethnicities when reading some White identity diatribes (maybe less true of TOO articles). I think MacDonald’s assumption is a prejudiced description of an SO with liberal views. It was an inappropriate point for him to make.
KM: Believe me, I know some such people personally, and they are every bit as hateful as I describe and every bit as willing to cut off all contact with dissidents. The point in my article was that I was not going to be talking about such people because they are hopeless. If the SO of a dissident is like that, the best advice is to leave the relationship or stop being a dissident. I am talking about people who are sympathetic but less committed—people who are attracted to the relationship but not on board with the whole package. That, incidentally, is my experience.
Absolutely correct is his assertion that there are pressures on employers to punish dissidents. Companies are all too willing to fire those who dissent. Maintaining a low profile is understandable when threatened by loss of livelihood. In my case, my husband and I have experienced the consequences of failing to conform. Capitalism does play into this issue, and dissident writers could/should spend more time questioning the issues caused by it. Capitalism allows employers to call the shots and mold its employees in their thoughts and deeds—by desire or demand. For sure, it is another possible effect that your SO must be willing to risk for the sake of supporting your ideas.
MacDonald addresses the fact that “being ostracized from polite society may not bother activists personally.” This was previously discussed as something Charles Lindbergh addressed as well. This comes from their belief that they are right-minded (even if not open-minded), and often fueled by like-minded friends (if only in cyberspace). But how could a worldview be based on cyberspace relationships when the first priority for most humans is to have real, face to face interactions? Apart from dating websites, eventually those “sympatico mates” must meet face-to-face.
KM: I agree that online relationships are ultimately unsatisfying. That’s why it’s important to have conferences, such as AmRen does. I usually go to several conferences every year (most held in secret or under police protection) and I enjoy meeting people, putting faces to names, and talking in relaxed, informal environments.
I agree regarding use of a pseudonym. MacDonald states that it is necessary and desirable for many, but that this does not completely solve the problem. Often the reason one is used is that this option “protects” the SO. That being said, it seems to me that having a pseudonym gives permission to live two separate lives. It begs the question: which one is the real you and which one includes the SO? The alternate identity gives a license to say things one would not say in public. It is just a matter of time before it no longer works. Better to be up front understanding the importance of being your genuine self and accepting the consequences. I would be surprised if the pseudonym option makes your SO ‘feel better,’ as their real issue should be with the dissident’s ideology and intent.
KM: Obviously, I don’t use a pseudonym, and I think it’s important that some of us do this. I have had pseudonymous writers on TOO who have not been doxed in over 10 years. I am sure that a government agency or a determined hacker could find out real names but it seems to me to be quite rational to continue using a false identity as along as possible in cases where there would be dire consequences, such as loss of livelihood. In my case, I had no excuse because I had tenure at my university. All they could do was unleash their hate—which they did.
White and Right
Because White identity is typically bound up with feelings of being threatened, White identity ideology is self-interested by definition. In my view, some dissident writers appear to have concern only for their own personal interests (disguised as White interests). This is not a persuasive position, assuming you are writing so that other less-informed people will join in your efforts. Even so, it is not a persuasive position if you want your SO to join in. It is always better to have her support than to have her sabotaging your efforts.
KM: I am curious what writers you think are only concerned with their personal interests. I can’t think of any. It’s all about the future of White people and the forces arrayed against us, and the great majority of us are doing it at great personal cost or potential cost, social or financial.
Accordingly, what Lindbergh does similarly (as an American who happens to be White) is to admit that his intent is for Americans to understand the upcoming danger of entering the war so that they are saved from the consequent peril. However, he is able to put himself in the shoes of the British and the Jews, recognizing and stating that they have obvious interests in the war. He shows some empathy for the position they are in. This seems very different from what SO’s are now faced with when understanding their partner. This is the dissident’s lack of ability to put themselves in anyone else’s shoes. From my experience, dissident writers seldom acknowledge that they understand why the other side acts or believes as they do; in addition to lack of recognition that if things play out as they wish, someone will reap extreme negative consequences. This is a mindset that so many SO’s cannot reckon with.
KM: A lot of my writing is directed at understanding why White people think the way they do about these issues. Much of this has appeared on TOO, and my recent book, Individualism and the Western Liberal Tradition, has an entire chapter (106 pages) on it. I think that all of us on the dissident right have been there. We were brought up in liberal-left culture, and many of us, like myself, began our political journey on the left. As outsiders and former adherents to liberal-left culture, we are in a good position to understand why they think like they do—oftentimes better, I think—than they themselves are able to.
One issue not discussed by MacDonald is the dissident writer’s intent (writing as a researcher and truth reporter vs. writing as a propagandist or political ideologue). The first thing I look for when being given the opportunity to pre-read my husband’s writings is the integrity of his research. When (if) the White interests movement grows, its members may have different ideas of the means needed to reach the end game. The common thread is that it is pro-White and anti-Jewish in nature. As an SO, I work to moderate the negative (anti) nature of the writings in favor of the positive (pro) aspects. It is a weak argument to portray yourself as the victim.
White identity politics is somewhat perplexing to me and short of being of genuine. Whites make up a small percentage of the world’s population. Why would the world respect or support an ideology when it shows a disregard for 90% of humanity? With that said, I have no disagreement with the facts of the matter, as research has proven much of it true (referring to the Jewish control and debasing of the White culture). There is a high-quality, well-documented case to be made and the TOO contributors have done a good job at this. The question remains what to do about it. And some of the alt-right views on this are too much in line with the tactics that they claim to be against. A better approach may be to use the dissenter/SO relationship as an indicator of how to approach the topic with the larger population to gain the momentum that will be needed to address such a pervasive issue. Of course, the dissedent must be open to considering opposing views.
KM: I don’t see why it should matter what other groups think of us. The point is we have interests and they are not necessarily incompatible with a reasonable interpretation of the interests of other peoples. A common idea on the dissident right is universal nationalism (e.g., Frank Salter)—the idea that different people should have their own homelands. I accept that as a reasonable solution. But what the globalist establishment wants is an end to White political, cultural, and demographic predominance in any country while not applying this ideology to countries like Korea, Japan, African societies, Israel, etc.
True free speech should be heard from whomever wants a voice. The First Amendment is (contrary to MacDonald’s opinion) valued by all sides as is the fight for justice. Although I lean toward believing that people can be reasonable when faced with dissenting views, I am in agreement about talking to your SO about the very real dangers of being a dissident of any position (not just on the right). MacDonald suggests pointing out “that many people are being attacked these days.” That point is obvious and somewhat condescending, unless your SO has been living in exile. She also knows that attacks from either side are not often justified. Using the example of Trump supporters being harassed with impunity is very hypocritical. Disruptions are planned almost every time a highly publicized event occurs. These disruptors often plan for violence. It is documented that Trump invites this behavior against those who do not agree with him (although I am not condoning it). MAGA-hat wearers are not the only people being called out publicly. Anti-Trump people get called out every day in alt-right speeches and at protests/rallies. Democratically elected lawmakers have received death threats because of their support of gun laws. Most SOs know there are real dangers and would most likely agree to punishment, when warranted, on either side.
KM: Sorry, but the First Amendment is definitely not valued on all sides. Speakers are routinely shut down, harassed, or disinvited as a result of actions by the left on college campuses; riots have occurred, as at UC-Berkeley over conservative speakers being invited. Demonstrations even by Trump supporters are attacked on the streets of cities like Portland, with little or no attempt by the government to stop them. The vast majority of this is left-on-right violence, not the reverse. And because I believe that Jews are very powerful in the U.S., realize that free speech is not at all a Jewish value—not only absent from traditional Jewish communities, but quite apparent in the contemporary world where Jewish organizations have uniformly supported “hate crime” legislation throughout the West. Jewish organizations, such as the ADL, and organizations with prominent Jewish funding and Jewish staff members, such as the SPLC, have taken a lead role in getting people and organizations de-platformed from social media and financial institutions. Just recently, Pres. Trump signed an executive order on the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions Movement that will be a devastating blow to criticism of Israel on college campuses and elsewhere.
And frankly I resent being called condescending for pointing out that many people are being attacked these days. In my experience, it has been effective with the less committed to point out that people like Tucker Carlson and Trump administration officials have been harassed in public. This is because they are in the mainstream enough to have TV shows or be employed in the government. Many SO’s think that dissident-right ideas are disreputable. It helps to tell them that we aren’t the only people being attacked, but that people with much milder ideas are being attacked as well.
Yes, attacks are happening against people on both sides. But it’s quite clear that the vast majority of the violence and harassment is coming from the left. Are leftists forced to hold meetings in secret or be prepared to fight if they decide to demonstrate in a city like Portland? I think not. Are leftist speakers denied platforms at universities? Rarely, and only if they are prone to doing things like criticizing transgenderism (perhaps because of its effects on women’s sports) or Israel. The left has a virtual hegemony in the culture and they want to keep it that way.
I have an issue with the statement that “your significant other may relate to the fact that the censorious left is shutting down many ideas that were entirely mainstream and respectable just a few years ago.” This is probably true. However, mainstream ideas are only mainstream for a short period of time before they become law (or no longer law), tradition, or simply out of fashion. They evolve based on cultural input. If we do not invite new ideas, which often replace the old, we risk stagnation. I think it is the censorship that we object to, and on that I agree.
KM: We on the dissident right are very involved in trying to understand why the culture has changed so much. If you want to read my opinion on what happened, I suggest reading The Culture of Critique for starters. The culture doesn’t just change by happenstance or drift. People do their best to shape culture in the direction they think will serve their interests, and in my opinion, the main shifts in the last 50 years have come about because of Jewish activism. I have done my best to rigorously support that proposition.
This may bring us close to “the wall-to-wall propaganda and ubiquitous surveillance by government” which no one wants—even the left. MacDonald tags the left with supporting big tech. Clearly, each side supports big tech (except maybe TOO contributors who are in a quandary, as without tech they would have no platform!); and it is a very big issue. It is without a doubt one of the biggest issues we continue to fight against, and it is aided by capitalists (liberals and conservatives alike). Trump pedals propaganda constantly as well as supporting government surveillance (especially of non-Whites). There is blame to share, and this issue needs to be addressed by all sides. We do indeed have to stand up to this.
KM: Big tech is far from neutral in the culture wars. Notoriously they are on the left, and they are much influenced by the ADL which has formed partnerships with Facebook, Google, Twitter and Microsoft to combat “cyberhate,” including pressuring You Tube to remove accounts associated with the Alt Right. We don’t see them removing or shadow-banning accounts of people on the left.
Of course, Trump pedals his point of view, like all presidents have done; I am unaware of non-Whites being targeted specifically by government surveillance. If so, there would be a deluge of lawsuits by the ACLU, etc.
Finally, it’s common on the dissident right to critique capitalism—not only because of the political proclivities of big tech, but because they have colluded with the open-borders crowd to promote immigration because they get cheap labor. Virtually all the big American companies are committed to liberal/left positions on issues such as LGBTQ+, race, and immigration. They will not sponsor people like Tucker Carlson who is so hated by the left, with the result that all his sponsors are small companies looking for a niche market.
These issues may threaten all that we (collectively) value. I do not consider myself a “dyed-in-the-wool social justice warrior” by any stretch of that term. However, these issues threaten humanity, and MacDonald is suggesting that if we tap into women’s maternal instincts, they will understand. It is again condescending to generalize women as MacDonald does in this piece. The women I know are not more conservative when married and as they have gotten older. I have not lived in a shell; but have had the opportunity to know and been active in my community and my workplace with women and men of all sides of the political spectrum. From my experience, the older they get, the more enlightened they become, making them more open-minded. Using the words “buck up” is like saying ‘shut up and put up,’ and I recommend avoiding this way of getting your SO on board. It also seems to me that you claim to want to avoid making her fearful; but you want to warn her about evil in the world. If you want to reach your significant other; treat her like an equal.
KM: I am not being condescending but simply pointing to well-replicated findings. In claiming that women are more nurturant than men and that this affects their politics (resulting in the well-known gender gap on issues pulling for empathy, such as refugees, welfare programs, etc.), I am well within the research mainstream (reviewed in my recent book). And yes, marriage has a big effect. These findings of course do not necessarily apply to individual women. They are statistical patterns.
I understand the suggestion by MacDonald that the dissident writer keep their obsession with politics out of “day-to-day conversation.” That is probably what I would prefer in my situation as well. However, since how a person views the world drives all their actions, it is not possible in a real relationship. Keeping your ideology in the closet is not a recommended way to pursue a relationship or keep an existing one intact. Modern day women have been showing for decades that we want open and communicative relationships. Covertly discussing these ideas (especially when the consequences of the end game are so relevant for all of humanity) is a major mistake. Maybe that is how it has been done in the past, but aren’t we searching for better solutions?
KM: Sorry, my advice stands. Talk politics with people who are interested in politics. Why talk politics with someone who doesn’t much care? It can only lead to dissension or boredom. The key to good relationships is finding common ground—to talk about things that both people are interested in.
I have suggested above some of the things that should not be done when trying to maintain a relationship with the less-committed SO. The two best options for your SO, if you seek to obtain a positive relationship, are for her to: 1) buy in to your ideas, or 2) buy in to the risks. There are multiple ways of approaching your SO. They include moderating your level of dissent as well as explaining your intent. Keep in mind that this may be a continual process, maintaining respect for each person’s right to have their own ideas. Tone down the condescending, demeaning, and sexist comments, because nothing will result from your ideology without the female White race on board. If you intend to go forward with oppressing our views, you will never achieve your end game.
Anne and Charles Lindbergh may have had differing opinions as to how much finger-pointing should occur when blaming others for world issues, but their honesty with each other is what kept their relationship strong. Hiding the true nature of dissent will never work in relationships. If the choice is shutting down versus keeping lines of communication open, an SO would always choose keeping lines of communication open. With any SO, it is always a bad idea to tiptoe around a topic. That is, unless you are prepared for future conflict and spending your life alone.
I would like to close by quoting Anne Morrow Lindbergh’s introduction to her final volume of her diaries. Her story was (in her words)
“an intensely personal story of two individuals: a complex man and his struggle to follow what his background, his character and integrity demanded; and a complex woman of quite a different background, who must reconcile her divided loyalties in a time of stress.”
As I am well aware, issues of divergent political values between couples is a complex and difficult problem, and requires effort and compromise on both sides. Generally speaking, the men contributing to TOO are intelligent and well-meaning. And surely their SO’s are similar. Perhaps “live and let live” is the best advice here, if a true meeting of the minds is impossible.