Politically Divided Couple Struggles To Heal After Election Day
AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:
Throughout this election campaign, we've brought you stories of families divided by politics, and those divisions have only gotten more challenging.
ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:
Like for the Halprin household in Woodbridge, Conn. Jessica Halprin is an attorney, and she supported Hillary Clinton. Marty is a firefighter who voted for Trump.
MARTY HALPRIN: The first morning was challenging because it was all my fault that Trump won because my one vote in Connecticut really made a difference.
JESSICA HALPRIN: I really hate to sound melodramatic, but I was devastated.
M. HALPRIN: It was a long night of not enough sleep. The TV was on. Shortly after things didn't look well for Hillary, the TV got shut off.
CORNISH: The Halprins are dealing with the aftermath of the election on a very personal level like a lot of people around the country.
FRANK FARLEY: The divisiveness is extremely deep. It's a grand canyon of contention.
SHAPIRO: That's Frank Farley. He's a psychologist and professor at Temple University. We called him for some advice for both Trump and Clinton supporters on how to bridge that canyon.
CORNISH: For voters on the losing side, step one - restrict your media intake for a while.
FARLEY: Sort of step back a little bit from the intense debates that are going on and discussions, you know, a kind of timeout. That might be very helpful, and you may come back with a kind of fresh perspective on it.
SHAPIRO: And he says if you're feeling angry, try to direct it toward something constructive.
FARLEY: This is an amazingly creative and innovative country. And if there are things that you find utterly intolerable coming out of this election, then work on it, you know, contribute your creativity to do something about it. Work toward the next election, for example.
CORNISH: Frank Farley also underlined how important it is for winners and losers alike to empathize with people on the other side.
FARLEY: We talk about things. We converse over our differences, and we try to mend any deep divisions. And of course that's needed in a democracy.
SHAPIRO: In Connecticut, Marty and Jessica Halprin are following some of these tips. After an initial night of frantic texting and Facebooking, Jessica's taking a break from social media. Marty says he's been careful not to gloat.
CORNISH: Jessica says it's especially important to work through their differences because in her view, Trump was so divisive.
J. HALPRIN: I saw him as a candidate who is more than happy to have his supporters take up arms against those who opposed him, and that is the antithesis of our democracy. And so that's why it's important for me now and for my husband now and our friends to remain loyal and steadfast to our ability to talk to each other and to be able to disagree with each other but get to a better place.
SHAPIRO: Though Marty thinks some Democrats have gone overboard with their reaction to Trump's win.
M. HALPRIN: It bothers me that there are schools that cancel - make midterms optional because students are so upset. It's not - you know, it's not the society I grew up in. And they're bringing in counselors - grief counselors to schools. You know, get over it, is my opinion. Move on. Let's work together. And I hate to say it, but make America great again.
J. HALPRIN: Because we're stronger together.
M. HALPRIN: So right.
CORNISH: At least they're keeping a sense of humor about things. But there's one tip from psychologist Frank Farley that the Halprins are not following.
SHAPIRO: Frank suggested a political ceasefire this Thanksgiving. Marty Halprin has other plans.
M. HALPRIN: I'm going to have to gloat a little bit because I wouldn't be me if I didn't. And I'm not sure how I'm going to do it - if I'm going to, you know, make America great again hat or a Donald Trump mask or, you know, something to celebrate the occasion with everybody because I was definitely a minority.
CORNISH: But he promises to keep the gloating to just one day. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.