LATHAM, N.Y. (NEWS10) — During one of the most contentious presidential elections in history, many people across the nation are struggling to see past their political differences. Two local college students are now setting an example for their peers and elders.
Derek Peralta and Dominick DiCarlo are juniors at Siena College. They’re both Jets fans, they like playing video games, and they binge on the same Netflix shows, but when it comes to politics, they’re on opposite sides of the spectrum. Ever since they first met as freshmen three years ago, they’ve never let that come between their friendship. In fact, their love of politics, a mutual willingness to be open-minded, and a commitment to civil conversation has brought them closer.
“There’s yet to be topic on that table that we have not had a discussion on,” said Peralta.
“Joking about it from the beginning kind of benefitted us because both of us know the that other person genuinely wants people to have better lives, and that’s why we care so much about politics. We just have, at times, very different solutions for how you get to that end goal,” said DiCarlo.
Peralta, a progressive, and DiCarlo, a conservative, are both political science majors and were supposed to be rooming and interning together in Washington, D.C. this semester, but COVID canceled their program. The two still talk every day as they eagerly await the outcome of the November 3 election.
“Of course, Dom has not convinced me on anything just yet, but we’ll see as time progresses,” Peralta jokingly said.
“We want people to have better lives, and as long as you want people to have better lives, and as long as that’s your goal, then I’m not going to try to constantly push for you to change your opinions. I’m going to engage you in a discussion and try to find out where you’re coming from,” said DiCarlo.
These gentlemen are encouraging young voters to get out and have their voices heard. They also stressed the importance of becoming educated on local elections as that has more of an impact on everyday life.
They’re also showing that even with such a contentious election season, Americans should find a way to see past their differences.
“These discussions need to be had, they need to be debated, they need to be argued on social media and in social circles and all of that, but people need to realize that just because somebody doesn’t see your perspective, that doesn’t mean you shut them out. Everybody doesn’t think in lockstep, and they shouldn’t; that’s a bad thing,” said DiCarlo.