Local voters weigh-in: How do we start bridging the divide between Republicans and Democrats?

Posted at 6:59 PM, Nov 05, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-05 19:59:06-05

MILWAUKEE — With still a lot of uncertainty around this presidential election, there is a feeling of pronounced divisiveness in American politics. We spoke with Democrats and Republicans throughout southeast Wisconsin on how to bridge the divide.

Many Democrats and Republicans feel further apart than ever.

“I don’t know how you could look at what President Trump has done in the past four years, and say that he has done a bad job,” said Alex Hardin, a Republican from Oconomowoc.

“You can see how he’s handled these past four years, how does it not click that there is an issue?” said Eric Robinson, a Democrat in Milwaukee who voted for the first time in this election. “How can you still support that man?”

With such differing views, where do we go from here as a nation?

“With such polar opposite ideologies between parties, I really don’t know how you solve the divide?” Hardin said.

“I’m in a really uneasy place right now as a black person,” said Adija Smith, a small business owner and mother of two who lives in Milwaukee. “Emotionally, I am tired.”

Smith puts into words what so many voters are feeling right now. Especially, in Black, Hispanic and Asian communities.

“The fact that this race is so close and that so many people in our country voted for Trump, reminds me that we are so divided, and that there are so many people who support such negativity and foolishness,” Smith said.

As a Republican voter, Andy Nunemaker says he too is feeling uneasy.

“I’ve been alienated by a lot of my friends in the Black community and in the LGTBQ community because of the emotion and the charged-up, pent-up frustration that people are feeling,” Nunemaker said. “I don't know where this happened. Where all of a sudden people think all Republicans are bad, evil, anti-gay and racist?”

While Democrats and Republicans may never see things the same, every voter we spoke with agrees that trying to find some common ground is overdue.

”I don't know how to change the mentality of people who have fundamentally different opinions and views, who vote against everything I believe in, but I know we can get so much further as a people if we can try to come together and have real discussions,” Smith said. “Rather than keep standing on separate lines all the time. My hope is that we can have a leader in place that will try to help unify us as a nation.”

“We can come together and have civil discussions, and at the end of the day we’re going to disagree on things, but we can do it civilly and with compassion and understanding of where everyone’s coming from,” Nunemaker said.

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