My wife and I voted recently after a 1 hour, 20 minute wait time in a long, snaking line. After suffering through another toxic, nuclear campaign of negative TV ads and scathing attacks on both sides, we were uplifted by our experience.
People in line were relaxed, smiling, talking, listening, nodding, offering occasional polite rebuttals and “opposing” views, and getting along. The partisan monitors were pleasant and friendly. Three local candidates were milling around and summarizing their ideas without mention of an opponent. Signs were everywhere and co-existing side by side with those of respective opponents.
This experience tells me that real people in a real-life setting, where all views can flow freely, can rise above the low bar that is being set on both sides. We can like and respect each other even as we may partially or fully disagree on specifics. Common ground is evident for those who are searching. This can work. Sanity can prevail. In the hands of the people.