Signs of hope in the midst of this Presidential race have been far and few between. However at the University of Northwestern, the student leader of the College Republicans and the student leader of the College Democrats model respect in the midst of disagreement. These two ideological opponents are also roommates and best friends.
Republican Nick Solheim and Democrate Cole Birkeland explain how they can disagree on the big political issues of 2016, but emerge each time with their friendship intact.
“We completely disagree on a lot of issues in politics, but we live together and we’re close friends and so we respect each other’s opinions. I understand where he’s coming from, and he understands where I’m coming from. So when we have discussions – which we very frequently do – you know, our room is full of posters of candidates from both sides, and we stay up later than we should discussing politics when we should be doing homework or sleeping – but it’s never disrespectful, and it never really gets overly confrontational.” – Cole Birkeland
But how do they manage to separate the passion for being right and the value of their friendship?
“All these people on the opposite side of the aisle, they’re not sitting here trying to destroy the United States. They’re not trying to make people miserable. They’re not trying to ruin anything. They want to keep America great and they want to do good things for the people. We just have different ways of going about it, and I think that’s the way Cole and I in particular have approached it in our friendship. You know, we have different ideas about how to do things, but that doesn’t mean that our motives are bad or whatever. It just means we have different ideas about how to get there.” – Nick Solheim
Read more about Nick and Cole here.On the Road with Nick and Cole