The last few years of presidential politics pitted friend against friend, child against parent, and husband against wife. Many Americans are no longer able to speak to — much less understand — the other side.
So when Deborah Homeister, a Republican who voted for President Donald Trump’s policies, contracted COVID-19 weeks before the election and had to recover at the home of her son, Ryan Spahn, a gay Democrat and Joe Biden voter, their relationship could have fallen apart.
Spahn is a 40-year-old actor and filmmaker based in New York City; Homeister is a 64-year-old evangelical Christian living outside of Detroit. Spahn is pro-choice and Homeister is pro-life. They could have emerged from quarantine as divided as our nation. Instead, they spent the time under lockdown having tough, but loving debates, and caring for each other all the while.
In this moving and respectful conversation, recorded in November after Homeister returned home, mother and son discuss their political perspectives, their votes, how they prioritize different moral and political questions and where they might need to do more work to understand the other.
Listen to their conversation, posted above, and let us know what you think about their political differences. Has politics caused a fracture in your family or community? What advice do you have for civil cross-party discussions? Let us know on Twitter with the hashtag: #tellusatoday.