Here is some of what you had to say. (These emails have been lightly edited and compressed.)
I was a Republican and a lifelong Conservative. Voted for Trump twice. I grumbled about his tweets, but our country needed a bootstrap policy. Then the pandemic hit.
His debt to China was spot on. His daily briefings were encouraging; I was scared. We all in the office continued to wear masks, agreed Trump was fine, and then the exposures started. No agents came into the office pretty soon. It was getting harder and harder to keep Trump’s press conferences satisfied. He said things that didn’t make sense; it got worse, not better.
I started seeing Andrew Cuomo’s briefings and it made more sense – to my surprise. It was a consolation and Trump sounded like an idiot. I stopped watching Trump. In fact, it was the first time I had said that I might not vote for him for my sister. We both complained that his constant nonsense tweets compromised his virtues. Still, we voted for him – but this time with a shipload of concern.
After the election, surprisingly, I wasn’t upset. Biden was so gracious, and I appreciated the total lack of meanness. In a matter of days, I wanted Trump to be gone from the White House, from the stage, and from American politics. We need a reserved, decent person to lead us out of this polarized minefield of a nation. Biden was the better choice. I am glad that he prevailed.
– – Andrea MacAulay, Jacksonville, Fla.
I was a Democrat until Ronald Reagan. I have supported Donald Trump from his earliest campaign events. If anything, the pandemic and draconian, sometimes arbitrary, response from local, state and some smaller communities has been a botched mess. Nobody really knew what to do. Nobody was prepared.
People should be given guidelines and take personal responsibility. Business closures should be as short and limited as possible. I am concerned that a “communist, totalitarian” method has been introduced. I believe that the rights of states are important.
The pandemic has changed my perspective to push me “further to the right”. Despite the terrible number of “reported” deaths (as a Conservative, I’m skeptical of the actual numbers), I have not known anyone who has died while my children, at the age of a thousand, had mild cases. Governor DeSantis is my hero for courage and common sense.
– Gwen Baker, Wellesley, Mass.
I am a 75 year old woman who first watched our country’s unity being destroyed by the Vietnam War. In all the decades since then, I have been naive enough to believe that our nation’s people were Americans above and beyond disparity. This naivete was suppressed during the Trump years. But I held on to the hope that the specter of a pandemic would bring Americans back together.
The past year has once again shown me to be naive. But the threat from Covid only pulled us further apart. To mask or not to mask? Block or not block? Take the vaccine or not? These have become political weapons that divide us.
How did Covid change my mind? Sad to say it eradicated the last of my hopes for American unity. I am relieved to be my age.
– Tina Rosato, Black Mountain, N.C.
Although I’m currently registered as a Republican, I’ve never been a fan of Trump. His handling of Covid-19 received an “F” rating. His approach has resulted in many more deaths than it would have if he had taken a leadership role. I will forever hold Trump responsible for my 98-year-old mother’s Covid-19 case.
The White House’s response to the pandemic, its allegations of electoral fraud that deterred Trump from a second term, and its impact on the Republican Party in general have made me a voter who is likely to vote for a Democrat for the rest of my life becomes.
– Leslie Bates, Xenia, Ohio
For most of the measures I thought I was a staunch progressive. Since the emergence of the pandemic and the crippling lockdowns that followed, I am now more closely associated with many Republican principles that I would never have thought possible a year ago.
In my opinion, democrats put themselves before the people as politicians. The lockdowns have done far more damage than prevented. I had always viewed Democrats as a party of justice, progressive ideals and freedom.
However, I see them depriving us of our rights through bans that perpetuate inequality as the most vulnerable are the hardest hit. They are closing schools, which seriously jeopardize the well-being and futures of our children, and eventually censoring free speech under the guise of hiding misinformation.
Parents (especially mothers), children and the impoverished were disproportionately injured by bans. These are groups that have traditionally been protected by Democrats. Where does that protect now?
I used to be a bleeding Democrat, but now I’m not so sure.
– Joanna Barron, San Francisco
I am a lifelong Democrat, 60 years old, and a past Democratic Party leader in Bergen, New Jersey .; an organization with a colorful history to say the least. To me, the pandemic has shown the astonishing decline of this nation’s collective belief in government to the point of absurdity.
As a result, I am a more passionate Democrat than ever! The Biden government has an incredible opportunity to revitalize the Democratic Party by demonstrating how the federal government can help people in real time.
I think this is the key to regaining the flood of workers and the southern white male voice that the Democratic Party must bring back under its tent if it is really to be the bearer of women, minorities, the disabled and people who are poor.
– Michael Kasparian, Bergen County, N.J.