So your candidate won or lost. Here’s some advice as we emerge from the election

November 6, 2020

Just because Election Day has come and gone does not mean the politics are over.

Just because Election Day has come and gone does not mean the politics are over.

“Voting is not the end of this fight to renew our democracy,” said Steven Olikara, the founder of the Millennial Action Project that works to create bipartisan cooperation.

Olikara and MAP believe that people across the political spectrum can find common ground like this public service announcement with elected leaders from both parties about early and absentee voting in the state.

“Wisconsin can be not a poster child of political polarization, but instead a leader in political bridge building,” he said. 

He wants to bridge the political aisle in a way that “doesn’t just split the difference and find the least common denominator” but moves society forward. 

Olikara, who recently moved back home to Milwaukee, believes Wisconsin is a pivot point for the country. 

“What we do here will ripple across the country,” he said. 

Here’s what advice Olikara had as we emerge from the latest election cycle. 

First, change our mindset. Break out of the idea that the other side is the enemy for constructive conversations.

“This hyper conditioning around hyperpolarization is a direct result of our political industrial complex that profits off of conflicts,” Olikara said. “So just recognizing the problem and that our minds have been, in many ways, manipulated by that system. 

Second, approach political conversations with empathy. “Listen with empathy and an open mind to realize that the other person is not the enemy — they might just have a different viewpoint than us,” he said. 

Third, vote for leaders who believe in cooperation. OK, so this one we have to wait until the next election to do. “Further demonizing each other and dehumanizing others only fuels the dysfunction in our politics,” Olikara said. 

Rep. Sara Jacobs


Be a part of a network of lawmakers committed to governing effectively, passing more representative public policy, and increasing public trust in democracy.