How can Americans heal after a fiercely divisive election?

“Nightline” speaks to married couple Terry and Regan Long about their differing political views, and a Republican and Democrat who met through a group in Ohio that seeks to “depolarize” the U.S.
9:39 | 11/12/20

Coming up in the next {{countdown}} {{countdownlbl}}

Coming up next:

{{nextVideo.title}}

{{nextVideo.description}}

Skip to this video now

Now Playing:

{{currentVideo.title}}

Comments
Related Extras
Related Videos
Video Transcript
Transcript for How can Americans heal after a fiercely divisive election?
So I am a conservative, and I voted for trump. I'm a lifelong Democrat, and I probably voted for Joe Biden. Reporter: Jerry and Reagan long a true odd couple. She's red, he's blue. During a time when Democrats and Republicans can't seem to agree on anything. When Pennsylvania was called R Biden and Biden President-Elect, I felt like 100 pounds had jumped off my back. I'm saying, it's not over till it's over. I think things doctoring to change. I really think trump's going to stay in office. Reporter: They're trying their best. Most days, at least. We looked at each other almost as strangers at many points the last several months. Reporter: At home in north Carolina, their house deeply divided, even after 15 years together and five children. I'm not sure how to phrase this delicately. How the hell are you two married? Well, ironically, we got a divorce from each other. We got remarried to each other just this past July. We've always known each other's political beliefs. They've never been an issue. That wasn't part of our first divorce to each other. Reporter: A marital tug-of-war, where Mr. And Mrs. Seem to come from two different planets. He wears a mask, she doesn't. She thinks the election was rigged, he thinks she's dead wrong. He thinks conspiracy theorist. I like to deal with facts. It seems we got very heated over this election. We would look at each other sometimes in disgust, who are I feel like we have to give the Republicans some time. I know they're not accepting it right now. And would you? Are you going to accept it if trump stays in office? Are you going to move forward and heal? I don't have to entertain because I absolutely unequivocally know that will not be the case. And I know you will expect me to treat him with respect, and you would want our children to treat him with respect. I wish I could say the same that you did that for our current president. And that's the problem with our country. What I hear from you two already, again as part of this divide, not that I'm right and you're wrong, but part what was I'm hearing is, not only in am I right, you're stupid. Yeah. Basically. I think that would be accurate. We love trump! Reporter: In a nation so bitterly divided, Americans are becoming more strangers than neighbors. Political upheaval. Economy fractured as the nation continues to reel from the covid-19 pandemic. The white house still falsely beating the drum of a stolen election. Over a dozen lawsuits filed, most have failed. Attorney general William Barr authorizing an unprecedented federal probe of allegations of voting irregularities despite a ck of evidence. GOP leaders rallying around the president. Secretary of state Mike Pompeo on Tuesday refusing to accept President-Elect Biden's victory. There will be a smooth transition to a second trump administration. Reporter: Leading Americans to ask, how does a divided nation come together after a tumultuous eleion season? And when does the healing begin? Dr. Mariel bouquet is a clinical psychologist who focuses on healing relationships, wounds, and trauma. When people feel as though some aspect of their life is being threatened, they see people that are unlike them as an "Oer." They see that person as a likely target. Because they feel the need to protect themselves. And so in comes this experience of us and them. And so it creates this divisiveness. It creates the divide of -- perhaps even the divide of much of what we're seeing within this nation. Reporter: Outside of Dayton, Ohio, Greg Smith and kuyar mushtafi, two ends of a Poli widening divide. We met them in 2018 just before the midrm elections. Rick is retired police chief and construction worker, a devout evangelical, ardent trump supporter. I really believe in his values. I really believe that he loves this country. What time is your music class 2:00. Reporter: Kumyar lives a few miles away. He emigrated from Iran, works as a computer engineer, and active member of the local democratic party. After the election, I was devastated. I was ready to cut every Republican out of my life. Reporter: These two men with seemingly irreconcilable differences became friends through a group then called "Better angels" which brings together reds and blues with the goal of "Depolarizing America." The group now called braver angels, their end goal not to change minds but to reach what they CL accurate disagreement, which can lead to mutual understanding. When you get past the stereotype part of everything, you've got it beat. You've got it beat. To me it was nice to also see his other side and the fact that he wants to listen to me and learn about my background. Reporter: They ended up visiting one another's places of worship. Friendship grew from there. We caught up with them after this year's election results. I believe that president Donald Trump will be inaugurated on January 20th, 2021. Reporter: Both men working for Ohio's board of elections, denying allegations of voter fraud in their own state, but Smith believing it's likely in other states. I do believe that there will be some blue states that will have to flip back over to the president. So far, based on the allegations of fraud that have been brought on by president trump campaign, they have not brought up anything substantial. Reporter: Despite their differences, the two continue to forge common ground in seas of uncertainty. I think we need to start listening to each other. As citizens we need to- and this is my prayer every night. We need to start reaching out to each other and embrace each other. The best example is Greg and me. So I plead to the nation, try to have a respectful conversation and realize that we're in this thing together. I'm the crazy Christian, he's the mad Iranian, and we get along like Fred and Barney. We have a host of different moral beliefs. And we still havecessarily learned how to bridge the conversation so that every perspective and every moral code is accepted and integrated. We can start having conversations about how can we bridge each other's moral codes and find middle ground? We can actually have conversations that can be more productive and more centered on how we can progress on to the future. Reporter: What happens when these fundamental disagreeme live under the same roof? For years I was under the impression that she had voted for Barack Obama and a second term, until I overheard her at a party we were at and she had mentioned to someone, Terry still doesn't know that I voted for Mitt Romney over Barack I said, what was that? What was a typical back and forth between you over biden/trump? Wow, you both rolled your eyes. I'll be honest. We have gotten very heated. There's been some explicits, there's been door-slamming, there's been some bad name-calling. Reporter: Sure, the longs' partisan squabbling might seem unsustainable, but they say it's rooted in the one thing the world sorely needs, love. You clearly disagree on politics. How do you make your relationship work? I truly feel what holds us together is, we thrive being in survival mode constantly. We're a family of seven. Even though we've really been butting heads a lot lately, we're excellent partners as parents for the betterment of our kids. School and sports and church and so there's times we'll give each other a high five or fist bump, even if weon't like each I'm like, gosh, we this good Why not say, you stand on my side of the river, I'll stay on my side of the river, good luck to you? I think that's wt we're going to have to do. I think if Biden gets in fs, I have the personality to be respectful, to accept that, and to be the bigger person, I really do. I think that will be more helpful to our marriage. Yeah, I think we can handle it better when it's just her and I. It's going to get tough because I feel like it's just going to continue to be split. Reporter: Teamwork is at the core of their union. The core of their healing. One team focused more on the future and what unites them, notwhat divides them. How do you two end the night if the day's been like this all day? We pass out. Like putting one kid to bed, the baby, another kid, brush your teeth -- You start another day. Then literally, a minute later we're like, remember, you have to take so-and-so to that soccer practice, but going to pick her up -- it's just like, yep, got it, okay, love you, and out the door we go. I think in 2021, things are really going to calm down. I feel like it's not going to be top of mind as much as it is now.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

{"duration":"9:39","description":"“Nightline” speaks to married couple Terry and Regan Long about their differing political views, and a Republican and Democrat who met through a group in Ohio that seeks to “depolarize” the U.S. ","mediaType":"default","section":"ABCNews/Nightline","id":"74164764","title":"How can Americans heal after a fiercely divisive election?","url":"/Nightline/video/americans-heal-fiercely-divisive-election-74164764"}