Red vs. Blue:
Risking relationships in the name of politics

Election years don’t always bring out the best in us.

Every two years — and especially every four — Americans are confronted with a red-blue divide that polarizes the candidates and the public.

What does it mean to be civil in the midst of polarization? What does progress look like when our leaders can’t even agree on the goal? Could the onslaught of campaign adds make us fear one another?

Working with This American Life, we asked how political divisions affect Americans’ relationships.

Based on what we heard, we created videos, radio stories and this interactive map. Together, they paint a picture of a social fabric under tremendous strain from the pressures of the political season.


What informs your position on gun issues?

Our hunch is that people come to their ideas about guns less through the arguments of politicians and more through their own experience and the stories they hear from people they know. So we're asking for your stories.

Read more →

Still struggling: Cheyenne Bishop reflects on her vote

A year ago, as she worked through how she'd vote on Election Day, Cheyenne Bishop felt as though she was being pulled between her beliefs (she's Mormon) and wanting a cousin, who identifies as bisexual, to be able to have the same rights as others who wish to marry.

Read more →

Voters’ voices: Dinner-table debates that don’t tear a family apart

Liza Long recognizes her family doesn't fit this year's political stereotypes. She's a female, Catholic Romney supporter, while her son is a Mormon Obama supporter in Idaho. Her family's divided loyalties haven't divided the family, though. Political conversations at the dinner table are stimulating and respectful -- and sometimes even funny.

Read more →

Voters’ voices: Keeping a divided congregation together

Rev. Bonnie Wilcox, like so many clergy around the country, knows her congregation is politically divided. She walks a delicate line between offering pastoral guidance about "moral issues" and keeping her own political views to herself -- even on social media, where she is both minister and "friend."

Read more →

Video: Love across the divide

Maren and Scott Christenson discussed tax policy on their first date. They didn't agree. They still don't -- on that issue and so many others. How do they make it work?

Read more →

“For now, it’s our dirty little secret…..”

When Rachelle Ankney revealed herself to her conservative family as a "progressive, pro-LGBTQ, earth-loving anti-poverty community organizer," she was most worried about what her grandma would say. Turns out, Thelma VanDine had a story to share, too.

Read more →

New details on our political unfriending habits

Seventy-five percent of Americans who use social networks say their friends post political statements online, according to a new survey. Eighteen percent of users have gotten so fed up they've blocked, unfriended or hidden some of those friends.

Read more →