As they awaited the results of a bitter, nasty presidential election between two historically disliked candidates, 200 local voters responding to Reporter Newspapers’ latest 1Q cellphone survey were hesitant about whether the country could heal from the political battle.chart

The survey was taken on Election Day, shortly before Republican Donald Trump was declared the winner over Democrat Hillary Clinton. Only 48 percent of respondents said they were sure the country could heal from the divisive election, whoever the winner turned out to be, while 35 percent were unsure and 18 percent said no.

“I mean, I don’t think this campaign is going to end the country, so in that sense, yes, we will heal. Definitely will leave a scar, though,” said one respondent.

“Too many things were said that cannot be taken back,” said another.

In political affiliation, 32 percent of respondents were Democrats, 25.5 percent Republicans, and the rest identifying as independent or “other.” In age categories, 55 percent were 25 to 34.

What some other respondents had to say:

“It’s always bad. It always gets better.”

“I think both candidates were pushed to extremes of their parties and now there will be a lot of people dissatisfied with either presidential candidate as their new president. It felt like a lose-lose situation and it will take a long time for Republicans to get over ‘deplorables’ and Democrats to get over Trump’s boastful racism.”

“We are a united country, and though this campaign has divided our people on some issues, we will remain united in our belief of a free and just nation.”

“I don’t trust that we will have the leadership necessary for healing as a country.”

“If we see action on improving the economy, we will be able to heal because the people want to see action and are tired of just the words.”

“I believe the country will heal, but it will take time. It may also take a crisis for us to come back together. The tone of the campaign was deplorable and at some points made me ashamed to be a citizen of this country.”

Reporter Newspapers also asked some local residents on the street what the new president could do to heal the nation, with the advice trending toward lowering their egos and focusing on the people’s business.

“Having a positive attitude that unites both sides, that doesn’t point fingers [or] talk negatively, and essentially tries to bring together all Americans.” — Mary Helen 
“If Donald Trump wins, to not to be so arrogant or closed-minded. He’s not going to take our citizen’s opinions or suggestions to heart.” — Eric Martin
“Work for the good of the citizens of the United States and the rest of the world, and disregard power-tripping for their own good.” — Lisbeth Boli
“I think everyone’s so divided right now that [the people] aren’t going to change their opinions after the election. The politicians need to figure a way to work things out. Take their ego out of it.” — Rick Sanders

John Ruch

John Ruch is an Atlanta-based journalist. Previously, he was Managing Editor of Reporter Newspapers.

3 replies on “Community Survey: Can the country heal after this divisive presidential election?”

  1. It’s always hard to when the majority of voters cast a ballot for a candidate that didn’t win. This is an “Only in ‘merica” issue of democracy. No where else in the world does this happen. No where else would someone be elected who has no experience leading, no interest in the well being of others nor an understanding of togetherness. The fact the person who won with a majority of the vote has himself never voted up until now, nor his children who couldn’t meet the deadline to register speaks to the bigger issue of why that person was ever a consideration.

    We’ve never had an election that was effected by outside influence in the form of illegal hacking of computers by foreign agents and still considered it a valid election.

    Let’s change deplorable’s to uneducated and include all those who got thru school with barely passing grades and no understanding of the lessons taught. They voted for someone with no experience, no real interest in them based on a life of con like behavior and narcissim and radical racist rants. What was forgotten is that there are more uneducated, under educated than there are educated.

    Here in Georgia we live in a world of professed religion while those same ‘religous’ people practice aberrant racism that doesn’t involve inclusion. The uneducated, undereducated then support the 1% who will use deregulation to further take advantage of them.

    If you expect a wall on the Mexican border, keep dreaming. Expect immigrants to stop coming who don’t practice your religion, keep dreaming. The only thing that will fix a horrid lot in life is to do what those who are successful do. Continue to educate, grow and adapt to change. Expecting coal to be your future is an illusion, only people of the same color as you, illusion, the same religion as you, illusion.

    The only thing that can stop hate in the way the republican party has spewed it for over a decade now is to stop voting for hate. The office of President has been so denigrated by the Republican Party it’s a wonder anyone wants the position.

    Will we heal? No. Will life go on and the United States continue to be a magnet for others the world over of course.

    1. I voted for the Trump ticket. No Trump was not my first choice for President, but given the other option (face it there were only two with a chance to win) that was the only choice I had to make. You call me uneducated or else I barely passed with no understanding of the material. Well, let’s have a public Brain Bowl where the answers are based on true facts and not what you learned from the internet and other propaganda sources. Yes, such as two plus two does only equal four, not five because little Johnny tried and he thinks it is five. Let’s compare net worth in the true accounting sense of net worth assets minus liabilities, let’s compare charitable giving of both monetary value and time to the community serving those around us to make for a better Georgia. You up for that “Scooter Boy”????
      Let’s compare these two candidates as well.

      Hillary seems to have some con like behavior in her life and dare I say perhaps considerably more? Again, let’s talk true facts and not what you have heard from the leftists while living in “Scooter Mama’s” basement?

      Sound like a good way to exchange ideas and thoughts, rather than rants and raves?

      1. Andy,

        OK, I have a security clearance you can’t begin to imagine and that tracking device, I mean phone, in your pocket is searched by the likes of a Scooter Boy creating code to do just that before the internet was available to the public.

        Credit score is 820, I owe no one a dime, more money than I can spend.
        Scooter Boy’s Mom is dead but the house I live in costs million and I paid cash.

        Charity giving, wow, happy to beat you on that as well. When I sell the private company we own that trades the securities for Fortune 500 exec’s and the public companies they manage as employee’s it will all go to abused women and orphans. It’s getting cold so maybe I’ll see you out on the streets, by yourself like me, feeding those who need a meal.

        The message above is we are a nation who’s popular vote (total of all votes counted) winner isn’t the winner. That, as I said, is an American thing. There has never been a more vile election in our history and the world is laughing. We are now weaker with the winner who got the minority of the peoples vote.

        I could have changed Deplorable to shallow minded racists but thought the educational comparison was better as Mr. Trump often ranted about winning the uneducated vote. One is not the other as on the street I live of local wealthy executives who all attend church but consider black NBA players in our neighborhood as those who they’d rather not have on the block. Their children attend private religious schools and spew vile racist comments along with there parents at community gatherings.

        Lastly, the hits to this Blog, nothing here is a unique investigative journalism story, should increase by that post. Hopefully some will realize that the illusion of a billionaire fighting for them when that rich man has never done anything for anyone but himself is foolish. Yes, the most qualified candidate in our short history as a nation won the popular vote and lost the election for a 2nd time. The last time that happen our country went down hill and a little skilled president was lead around by others, which is probably what will happen with this one, it already is.

        Now, all the lawsuits against Mr. Trump will continue, he may be found guilty of crimes and that will lead the nightly news. Those Republicans and power players who’ve brought endless charges against someone, none of which have ever amounted to a thing have served their purpose.
        These are the ones who profess God as there guiding light and seem to have missed every verse in the good book they claim to have read but then no one ever said Do Unto Others… was something required.

        You can’t build bridges when using a flame thrower. The do nothing congress who has ignored the constitution of various issues will now be able to get something done? I wish them all good luck with that. Those of us who are global citizens already know that all of us on this planet are equal, sharing everything but language and religion neither of which get in the way of our working together.

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