One of my favorite things about the conventions was getting to talk to people that I met at different events and on the streets of Cleveland and Philadelphia. It was amazing to see what you could find out about a person in a short three minute conversation. In Cleveland, on the final day of the RNC, the Wake the Vote Cohort hit the streets to ask people a few questions on camera. Then in Philadelphia, on the final day of the DNC, we did the same thing.
My favorite question to ask people was “Given the divisive climate in Washington, what is an issue that Republicans and Democrats can work together on to solve?” Going into this project, I thought that the answers would be pretty similar, but I was wrong. The answers ranged all over the spectrum from defeating ISIS to ending climate change to changing the education system. Whether someone said something that I agreed with or not, most of the time it was refreshing to see how passionate people were about the issues they care about. However there were a few people that we talked to that said stuff so vulgar that we couldn’t even put it on the internet.
Through my experience with Wake the Vote, I have learned that there is a lot of power in sitting down with someone you might not agree with politically, and just having a conversation with them. There is normally some common ground to be found on the issue you are talking about with that person.
As a millennial, I recognize that my generation will have an important say in how we go about addressing the problems that face our nation. Even with the ever polarizing political climate on the campaign trail and in Washington, I hope that young voters will start conversations about some of these issues.