In the meantime, what of the rest of us? Can we, too, if not erase our many lines in the sand find reason enough to cross over them every now and again?
Some see that as unlikely, fearing the animosity that has been growing across parties and among people these past years will only worsen over the next four.
Bryan Baine isn’t one of those.
There were no Romney or Obama signs gracing the windows and walls this election year at his bookstore on Main Street. Rather, his shelves are filled with books by Rachel Maddow, host on left-leaning MSNBC, and Rick Warren, the evangelical pastor. There’s a memoir by former Republican President George W. Bush, and biographies of Bob Dylan.
Baine knows how most in town might label him politically, but he prefers nowadays to just not say one way or the other — or even talk politics with his neighbor-customers.
‘‘There so much I'd rather talk to you about. What music you listen to. What your family’s like. What literature you read. Those are much more interesting to me than who you vote for or what you think about abortion or gay marriage or whatever the hot button issue is,’’ he said. ‘‘In small towns we have to live with each other, and I think most of us are able to look at the person who has a different position and still move on.’’
His Thursday open mic nights are the perfect example. ‘‘You'll be sitting there and there'll be people that you can peg as pretty conservative or as a hippie, and one might be playing bass and one’s playing mandolin.
‘‘Democrats and Republicans. Together,’’ he said. ‘‘Just not talking politics.’’
Pauline Arrillaga, a Phoenix-based national writer for The Associated Press, can be reached at features(at)ap.org
Another installment in the occasional series ‘‘American Pulse,’’ plumbing deeper currents in American politics in this election year.