Fox News posed a very intriguing question to respondents in their latest poll. They asked, "When choosing someone to be your Valentine, how important is it to find someone who shares your political views?"
Fifty-three percent said it was important. Of those, nearly a quarter thought it was very important.
I thought back to the early days with my wife, the lovely and gracious Marta. I was a liberal Democrat. She was a conservative Republican. We began dating in 1982 at the University of South Dakota.
Marta and I also had some religious differences in addition to our opposing political viewpoints. However, I don't ever recall becoming angry with her over her beliefs. She certainly never did with me.
We had an immediate personal connection that transcended our differences. We were able to look past our differences to the person beneath them.
I experience exactly the same thing with my family.
For instance, Dad is a liberal Democrat. Now I'm the conservative Republican. I have had people ask me how I manage to get along with family when I'm the lone conservative.
I am always a bit incredulous at the question. My response is always the same, "We're family."
I don't think any less of Dad for his political beliefs. He's the same great guy who taught me how to fish, hunt and play softball. I love Dad for the wonderful man that he is, not for his voting record.
And there's nothing I could ever do to stop Dad from loving me. He loves me despite all of my flaws because I'm his son. I feel the same way about my own children.
Some of my very dearest friends are liberals. We can passionately debate issues, yet still treat each other with kindness.
Perhaps that is what's missing in today's political climate: the ability to disagree with someone without disrespecting them. It is, sadly, all too rare these days.
Greg Belfrage (@belfrageshow) is heard mornings 6am-9am on KELO Newstalk 1320 AM / 107.9 FM. Greg can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.