……to articles like this one is: what about political changers like me? How do you explain us?
Political preferences seem to come packaged with a whole set of other kinds of tastes, with liberals and conservatives having separate preferences when it comes to things such as humor, food and even whether they want poetry to rhyme, according to John Hibbing, coauthor of the forthcoming book Predisposed: Liberals, Conservatives and the Biology of Political Difference.
Hatemi, the Penn State political scientist, has written a forthcoming study that indicates political inclinations are deeply rooted — all the way down to the sensory level. Politically like-minded people tend to share preferences in taste, sense of smell and what their eyes are drawn to.
The article goes on to discuss the fact that most couples are uni-political. That does seem to be the case; although I know quite a few couples whose politics differ from each other and they appear happy enough, most of the couples I know do share each others’ politics.
But of course most of the people I know share each others’ politics: liberal all the way.
Being a changer is one of the things that has made me such a misfit nearly wherever I go. I’m no longer part of the liberal circle dance, and perhaps I never really was. But I’m not quite of the right, either, in some undefinable way. I’m not sure why, but just the way I look seems to make people assume my politics are at least somewhat to the left, and if and when I reveal the situation to be otherwise they tend to express shock.
Perhaps it’s that I smell like a liberal?:
How deep does it run? Make conservatives and liberals wash with the same shampoos and soaps, and like-minded people can still sniff them out. “Liberals found the body odor of liberals more attractive,” Hatemi says. “Conservatives found the body odor of conservatives more attractive.”
And here’s a finding that shows how much more divisive the country’s politics have become since I was a girl. This rings true to me:
A recent Stanford University study that people are more likely to have hostile feelings toward people of the other party than members of another race. The who say they would disapprove of their children marrying someone from the other party has shot up from 5 percent in 1960 to 40 percent in 2010.
You see that politics has become, among other things, the new religion. Very few people these days would object to racial intermarriage and probably the same is true of religious intermarriage. We are now “tolerant” of diversity in those things. But politics has a lot more emotional valence now, and it’s those on the other side of that divide who have become the enemy.
[ADDENDUM: It occurs to me that a lot of readers may not be familiar with the many posts I've written about the experience of being a political "changer." So here are some links:
There's a whole bunch on the experience of leaving the circle and becoming a political apostate. Here's a good one to start with.