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Local voters on country's growing division

SOUTH BEND, Ind. — some voters feel America is facing a civility crisis.

More and more folks are putting politics on mute as politicians continue to yell louder at each other across the aisle.

After recent incidents of harassment to members of President Trump’s administration, leaders in D.C. are calling out each other for a lack of kindness in the nation’s capital.

“I was asked to leave because I work for Trump,” said White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders after being denied entry to a restaurant. “Healthy debate on ideas and philosophy is important but the calls for the harassment and push for any Trump supporter to avoid the public is unacceptable.”

The back and forth isn’t limited to the White House or even against political parties.

Candidates in Indiana’s Republican U.S. Senate primary pulled no punches against each other.

And on the local level, a task force meeting in St. Joseph’s County Council went off the rails last week.

“That’s ok, I think, even strong oratory is ok, very dramatic,” said Democrat Tony Flora. “I think the problem is when you turn politics into personal psychologized attacks, when you build politics around demonizing people and demonizing populations and building on fear and psychology, even in campaigns. I think that’s the problem.”

While most avoid talking politics with strangers, ABC 57 News gathered four local voters, two Democrats and two Republicans, to weigh in on the hostility surrounding the topic.

The Democrats said a lot of the incivility comes from the top.

They went after the president’s language in his rallies.

But some Republicans say they appreciate the president not speaking like a politician.

“I think a lot of people view President Trump as, “hey I don’t agree with everything he has said but he’s better than what others had to offer,’” said Republican Parker Adkins.

Republicans like Adkins don’t see his relaxed rhetoric as a problem.

But that’s where the divide comes in for Democrats.

“How can you, pretty much accept a leader who talks down communities of color alike and how can you really side with someone like that?” said Democrat Arielle Brandy.

Each of the four voters of the voters agreed to disagree civilly.

But how can the country bring other people to the table?

“I think I’d like to see people engage in a local level where it really makes a difference,” said Republican Sharyl Dawes. “Seems like some people really only engage at a national level or four years when it’s time to vote for president.”


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