If we’ve learned anything during the 2016 presidential campaign, it’s how deeply divided we are as a nation. For people on both sides it can seem like the other side is living in an alternate universe. It’s like there have been two stories running parallel to each other that rarely, if ever, meet.

That’s why in this week’s episode of the StoryCorps podcast, we decided to see what would happen if two people who disagree, in the midst of this divisive election, tried to do a StoryCorps interview. And what if the conversation wasn’t about policy, or ideology, or even trying to win an argument? What if they just tried to understand where the other is coming from?

We put a call out on social media for people who disagreed with a family member about politics and who would be willing to sit down with them to talk it out, and one of those who responded was 29-year-old Jenn Stanley.

Jenn, a writer who lives in Chicago, is liberal. Peter, her father, works in construction in Boston, and is conservative.

They’ve been fighting a lot lately and it’s taken a toll on their relationship. So last week they recorded a conversation about why they’ve been at each other so much, and tried to find some common ground.

Their conversation originally aired on NPR’s Morning Edition, and in the podcast we present a longer cut of their conversation, as well as audio from follow-up calls with each of them.

And we want to hear from you. Is there someone in your family you can’t agree with? Someone you’re always getting in arguments with? Leave us a voicemail and tell us how you handle it. And let us know if you are willing to do a StoryCorps interview about it. The number is 301-744-Talk, and that’s where you can leave a message for Jenn, Peter, or anyone else you hear on our podcast.

Like the music in this episode? Support the artists:
Cory Gray – “WTS”
Alan Singley – “You Know Who You Are”
Scott Holmes – “Nights with Amber Lights”
Nick Jaina – “All the Best Fakers”
Jean Luc Hefferman – “A Storm at Eilean Mor”