Capitol Riot

Some San Diegans Pessimistic About Country's Division

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Across the U.S. and here in San Diego, millions of people watched in horror as scenes of chaos unleashed at the nation’s capital.

But local residents say they felt outraged but not necessarily surprised at the violence. 

“It's insanity,” said San Diegan Joshua Parsons. “I think the rhetoric has gotten too explosive at this point.”

Many San Diegans immediately reacted with shame and concern.

“I think it's really disappointing, unacceptable,” said Cory Scott. “I don't think people should be protesting what was a fair election.”

Many pointing out the real problem is our country’s political polarization.

“It’s a scary time and I think it’s because we’re so divided, and that's the issue,” said Cecilia Lane. 

“I see [the division] when I drive through my neighborhood and when I talk to people,” Jared Herd, lead pastor at The Church at Rancho Bernardo, said.

“It was heartbreaking as an American, a follower of Jesus, as a pastor to watch those images,” Herd said.

He preaches kindness and compassion, but said this problem goes beyond that. 

“We are deeply divided and I don't think it's going to go away anytime soon,” Herd said.

Stephen Goggin, a political science professor at San Diego State University, said bridging the gap won’t be an easy task.

“As political leaders continue to stir the pot, as long people get their information from the internet or social media or other upstart media organizations that aren't telling the truth to people, it's going to continue to be a problem,” said Goggin.

Goggin said the only way he sees things changing is if political leaders start working together instead of against each other. 

“It’s really hard to come back from a situation where people have vastly different world views and different sets of facts they believe in,” he said. 

As far as change coming anytime soon, Goggin thinks only time will tell.

“The real take away from yesterday is that it is unclear if and when we will see tensions kind of settle a little more,” Goggin said. “If the past is any guide, the next two weeks aren't looking positive.”

An uncertain future in very turbulent times.

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