EVANSTON, Ill. -- One local man finds the politics of today so polarizing, he won't even allow cable news networks to be broadcast at his place of business.
Partisan politics in American have left Rob Paddor with no choice but to turn off the news in his car dealership.
Paddor is a salesman who owns Evanston Subaru in Skokie. Over the years, he has heard arguments swell as conversations grow in the increasingly partisan political atmosphere. Lately, all arguments seem to swirl around one topic: Donald Trump and the state of politics today.
These same conversations led to a scuffle at his dealership.
"Right after the election, I had a customer who asked to change the channel to Fox News," Paddor said. "A couple customers got into it. It got ugly. I don't know if any fists were thrown. It got loud."
This left him with no choice. He turned off the two sets in his customer lounge and instead, taped up two signs.
"I put up a blanket sign," Paddor said. "Until the political season cools down I was not going to let those three networks to be on our television."
No CNN, MSNBC, or Fox News anymore.
Maury Pauvich now plays in the room, it's apparently less maddening to his customers than Rachel Maddow.
Partisan politics seem to have hit a new low—or is it a new high? - dividing our nation in ways we could have never imagined?
Alvin Tillery, Associate Professor and Associate Chair of Political science, specializes in diversity, equality, and the Presidency. He claims that this is a polarizing time, but our history has shown that America has seen much worse.
"By no means are we living during the most polarizing time in American history, " Tillery said. "The 115 years between 1850 and 1965 were an incredibly violent and bloody time where Americans were dying for their political views."
Last week's shooting at a Republican baseball practice in Virginia is proof that political anger today runs deep, but our history tells us that we've experienced worse.
The Civil War, the two World Wars, and of course the Civil Rights Movement of the 1950's and '60's that resulted in the assassinations of world figures like John F. Kennedy and Martin Luther King Jr. tell us that political issues run deep throughout our history.
"President Trump is a singularly polarizing because of his rhetoric," Tiller said. "We have not seen, in the television age, a president who behaves in the way President Trump does."
The President, himself, frequently throws fuel into the fire with angry tweets and controversial statements. Trump's style, all his own, coupled with social media and partisan reporting can create a recipe for disaster.
"It provides an echo chamber for persons with extremist views to go in and lock in and only focus on these extremist conspiracy theories," Tillery said. "And that is incredibly dangerous."
The unpredictability of this administration only adds to the polarizing politics, and it gets people not only talking, but reacting.
For now, Rob Paddor maintains, his waiting room is not the place for political discussions ever.