Robert Traynham

So here’s the question: how deep is the Civil War today? How much of a divide are we currently experiencing? See these verbatim quotes from an NBC/Wall Street Journal poll of counties across the country that voted for President Donald Trump over the Democratic nominee, Hillary Clinton.

“Our economy is better and our stock market is way up. He speaks his mind.” — A white Republican male from Ohio

“I think that Barack Obama led from behind. His policies were far to the left. He stirred up racial division. I think that Donald Trump has tackled many issues. He’s done away with over 800 regulations. He’s tackled some of the hard issues. Immigration, tax reform. Barack Obama divided the country racially and economically.” — Another white Republican male from Ohio

“I believe the stock market is the highest it’s been in decades, less illegal aliens coming across the border. The unemployment is low.” — A white Republican female from Florida

“Because we have a leader that is on our side and not against America. That covers a lot. That’s it. He is for the good of the people of America. He is putting America first. I haven’t seen it yet. I don’t know. I don’t know. It all works together. I trust him and think he is doing a good job. He is putting America first and I can feel it. He is not like the last president we had.” — A white Republican female from Michigan

“I do not care for immigrants. They should go back to their own country and get approved before they come in.” — A white Republican male from Indiana

“I feel like there is more of an emphasis on a Christian world view by our president. It’s being anti-abortion, or I guess you could say pro-life.” — Another white Republican male from Indiana

By contrast, 41 percent of the respondents in these “Trump Counties” said they were worse off since Trump became president. A sampling of their voices:

“I think we are at risk of war. That is the main thing. Racial issues. There is a lot of fighting, a lot of disagreements. Not being tolerant of Blacks.” — A white Republican female from Ohio

 “I’ll say for sure racial tensions have gotten worse.” — An African-American Democratic woman from Pennsylvania

“He has a difficulty with the truth; he only cares about himself.” — A white Democratic male from Florida

“We’re more separated, and there is more hate.” — A white Democratic female from Wisconsin.

“Two reasons. One, that his demeanor encourages hatefulness in our country. He just tweets too much and his tweets cause problems. We could go on with that one. Two, I think we are worse off because we have so many problems and Congress will not work together.” — A white female independent from Florida

“I just feel like since he has come into the presidency our country has become, everyone is so much more negative. Anyone can just say whatever on Twitter. There is no dignity left in the office.” — A white independent female from Indiana

And so here we are. We’re a country that’s being torn apart and there has to be a way for a path forward — for all of us. Typically, national leaders, such as the sitting president of the United States, members of the clergy and other national thought leaders typically stand up and speak out. I’m not hearing that this time and it is my sincere hope that this holiday season, we all take time to reflect on who we are as a society and what we believe as a country and get back to basic truths and shared sense of values and that’s all I ask this holiday season.

 Robert Traynham is the vice president of communications for the Bipartisan Policy Center. He can be twitted at @roberttraynham.

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