His wife’s ardent support for abortion rights didn’t matter when a doctor told Richard Brookhiser that, at age 37, he had a particularly dangerous type of testicular cancer. Her husband’s impassioned support for the Second Amendment didn’t matter when a doctor told Jeanne Safer that, at age 64, she had breast cancer. She votes down the Democratic line each election; he’s a committed conservative. But that still didn’t matter when, a year later, Safer learned she also had a rare form of leukemia. The two have been a political odd couple since they were married in 1980. She’s a liberal psychoanalyst. He hails from a right-wing family in Rochester, New York, and became a writer for National Review, the influential conservative magazine founded by William Buckley, who was also Brookhiser’s mentor. Their friends thought their marriage was an oddity. His family rejected it outright. For Richard and Jeanne, it worked. “We knew what matters, or we wouldn’t have married each other,” Safer said in her Manhattan apartment. But for two people whose polarized politics are so core to their beings, it was when Brookhiser got sick 12 years into marriage that they realized how little politics mattered. After major surgery… Read full this story
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