Listen

Chairs Of Ohio's Two Major Parties Discuss Polarization

Nov 11, 2016

Ohio Republican Party Chair Matt Borges and Ohio Democratic Party Chair David Pepper at Thursday's post-election forum in Columbus
Credit Ohio Public Radio

Tuesday's election has polarized many people.

The chairs of the Ohio Republican and Democratic parties have differing views on why polarization is a good thing. Ohio Public Radio's Jo Ingles reports.

Thousands of people throughout the country have taken to the streets, protesting the election of Republican Donald Trump as President. Democratic Party Chairman David Pepper says he understands the division.

“I’m really worried where we are.”

Pepper explains some voters who are gay, minorities, undocumented citizens, women or others who feel insulted by Trump or threatened by him are troubled that their friends and neighbors chose to support Trump with their votes.

“The people who he was attacking the whole year and a half thought, ‘My gosh, this guy is running for President by saying we are other people and we need to be treated differently’ and so now we have millions of people in this country after Tuesday thinking ‘it wasn’t just polls, it wasn’t just the candidate, now the country has just verified’ and so it may not be interpreted that way by some people but the people who have been targeted by all of this, that’s the way they see it.”

“If the Democrats’ takeaway was that this was a racial thing or this was an anger thing or whatever, good.”

That’s Matt Borges, the chair of the Ohio Republican Party. He says Trump spoke for many people who didn’t have a voice before.

“I think there are a lot of voters out there who didn’t think Donald Trump’s message was negative at all. I think what they thought was ‘somebody actually hears me. Somebody is giving me a voice for the first time in a long time.' I’ve been told by the establishment….a term he uses, the politicians, a term he used….he was using these terms on purpose. They feel like those people have held them back and don’t listen to them. And why is it a bad thing that they now feel like they have a voice?”

Trump beat Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton by nine points in Ohio.