As Donald Trump prepares to take his oath of office, he’ll preside over a divided nation. A recent Gallup poll found three-fourths of Americans believe the country is split over the most important values – the highest percentage ever.
With the inauguration days away, WUNC this week hosted “A Nation Engaged,” a pre-inauguration town hall at Duke University's Sanford School of Public Policy, and asked participants: What do you want President-elect Trump to know about you or your community?
Bryn Behrenshausen, of Durham:
“I’d like the president to know that I want him to make sure a greater emphasis is put on combating climate change.”
Connie Purvis, of High Falls:
"True conservatives and those with a libertarian bent, are not racists, do not approve of racist rhetoric, are not isolationist. We are, however, capitalists, constitutionalists. We want less laws and regulations so that individuals and businesses may be free to reach their potential. We want the laws that are already in place for protection of country, citizens and borders to be enforced. We disagree with the "Alt-Right" and want less government involvement in our daily lives - including the repeal of Obamacare -with healthcare given back to the Physicians and competition among the insurance companies.
“I would like them to know that my community (40+ with student loan debts, under-paid income, minimum savings and investments, who just received healthcare) exists. Despite all the things we did right in going to college, working non-stop, obeying the law, etc. We are the people at the most who will receive the heaviest loss with the new administration.”
Dennis Hill, of Durham:
“Honor those who labor. Veterans are not the only ones who have sacrificed for the democracy.”
Kirk Montgomery, of Burlington:
“Trump slogan was to Make America Great Again but it all actuality, it became ‘Make America Hate Again.’ How can someone set to run our country set a precedent to have hate among so many people? How can he become a healer and united America?”
NPR Political Correspondent Asma Khalid and WUNC’s Adam Hochberg co-moderated the a panel that discussed what issues that divides us, what still holds us together, and what people here in Durham want from the new administration in Washington.
The panel included:
- Bev Perdue, former Democratic North Carolina governor from 2009 to 2013
- Jonathan Felts, a Republican political consultant and former director of political affairs for President George W. Bush
- Mitch Meyers, an attorney and grassroots organizer for "North Carolina for Donald Trump."
- Angela Bryant, a Democratic North Carolina state senator.
- Fritz Mayer, a professor at Duke University's Sanford School of Public Policy and Director of "POLIS," the Center for Political Leadership, Innovation, and Service at Duke.