What do Biden, Trump supporters want the other side to know?

PEW noted that while a good portion of the respondents used the opportunity to voice their own political opinions, only a select few highlighted themes of unity and common ground.

Donald Trump and Joe Biden (photo credit: REUTERS/MIKE SEGAR/CARLOS BARRIA)
Donald Trump and Joe Biden
The United States just endured one of the most polarizing elections in history - sparking a divide throughout the country that hasn't been witnessed since the elections surrounding the American Civil War.
To highlight the partisan disparity within the United States, the PEW Research Center review and compiled open-answer submissions to the request, "tell us something – anything – you’d like the supporters of the opposing candidate to know to understand you a little better."
PEW, who ran the study based on a representative sample of 11,818 adults in the weeks preceding the elections, noted that while a good portion of the respondents used the opportunity to voice their own political opinions, only a select few highlighted themes of unity and common ground.
The larger shares of respondents, 21% of Biden voters and 23% in support of Trump, "criticized the opposing candidate or his supporters, often in harsh terms." Some accused the other side of being misinformed, others pointed to labeling and the lst goes on.
"Socialism is not the answer. Biden is a puppet and is being used to get [Kamala] Harris in office," said one supporter of US President Donald Trump. "The 25th amendment will be used to remove Biden by his own party, making Harris president and opening up a ton of appointed positions and further rendering our election process worthless."
And on the other side of the fence...
"I would like them to understand that I believe that they’ve been brainwashed into being members of a cult," a supporter of President-elect Joe Biden said. "Thus, I have no regard for them or what they think of me.”
While obviously the sides have been picked and the divide is clear, as PEW clarified, there were a number of respondents who decided to focus unity and the process of healing the nation.
Following the months of partisan clashes preceding the election, and the years of build-up that lead to Americans standing on opposite sides of the fence during Trump's tenure as president, many are just searching for quiet - willing and eager to extend the olive branch from their side to the other in order to bring calm to the unrest.
“I think we all need to focus less on partisanship and more on the fact that we are all Americans who want our country to succeed – which means everyone succeeds, not just a few.,” one Biden supporter said. Another noted, "I want Trump supporters to know that I am interested in the well-being of people and I want to have collaborative conversations with others with different viewpoints respectfully."
The same sentiments were shared by a number of Trump supporters as well, highlighting that while many believe Americans are currently oceans apart, there are those searching for common ground - some 13% of Biden supporters and 5% of Trump voters.
“It is more important to me that we figure out our differences and work to resolve them instead of making such a political divide. We are Americans first.”
And another, "I believe both parties need to set aside their anger and work together.”
However, the main issue seems to be labels and stereotypes that supporters of each party set on one another, whether it be named insults or generalizing the political views of voters of an opposing party.
Around one-in-ten Biden supporters (12%) and Trump voters (11%) used the open-answer to tell the opposing "camp not to ascribe to negative stereotypes to them."
"Biden supporters need to grow up and stop acting like morons. They call conservatives Nazis and racists, and some have even said they think we should die of coronavirus. Some have even said we should burn in hell," one Trump voter said. Another noted that "free speech must continue to flow. I believe we can disagree about many things without labeling each other as immoral, bad, ‘Hitler-esque,’ or racist. I am teachable, are you?"
"A person’s support of a candidate or party does not make that person a Marxist or socialist – I would argue those people couldn’t even properly define either term – and if more people were willing to have an open dialogue, they would find average Americans will agree on more than they disagree,” a Biden supporter said.
While some Americans are looking to find unity, others are looking to find blame. Both sides, however, can agree (98% of the sample) that supporters who voted for the opposing candidate don't understand them "very well." While those sentiments can be true, as the submissions show, there are still Americans on both sides willing to stand on common ground, and find harmony among the dissonance.