Chicago Tribune

Divided America, difficult conversations: If you're ready to have them, here's how

If you knew Joan Blades, committed progressive, passionate climate change advocate, Berkeley, Calif. resident, you might think she would be feeling a little bit heartened by the results of the recent midterm elections. Then again, maybe not: "The horrible thing about this election," says Blades, co-founder of, "is that I'm really happy about some of the progress we made for progressive causes, but it really doesn't change the dynamics of this fight we're having with each other."

It's been two years since the Great American Schism of 2016's election season, but time does not heal all wounds. Maps showing precincts that voted blue (Democrats) or red (Republican) illustrate that, even in Illinois where Democrats largely prevailed, you could cross

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