The Mitchell and Gates families. Photograph by Ross Mantle for the Wall Street Journal.

Like much of America in this time of great division, a vast gulf separates the Mitchells and the Gateses politically. The Mt. Lebanon neighbors have Biden and Trump signs in their yards, respectively, reports The Wall Street Journal.

What’s different are the other signs. Each yard has a sign reading “We (Heart) Them” with an arrow pointing to the other house. It says inside the heart, “One Nation.”

“So how do they get along? They don’t argue. They don’t label each other. They listen to each other’s perspective, look for common ground and recognize that reasonable and good people can reach different conclusions,” writes Clare Ansberry of The Wall Street Journal.

Their kids play hockey together, and the families have Monday dinners together. They’ve been in each other’s bubble since the pandemic hit.

“There’s so much hate,’ says Chris Senko Mitchell, who came up with the idea. “We want to send a message.’”

“I think it boils down to respect,” says Mitchell. “We have no desire or illusion that we are going to change them or each other’s minds.”

“Our fundamental job as parents is to be a good role model for our children,” says Bart Gates. “We don’t see them as Democrats. They’re the Mitchells. We know they are good people who live next door. We love them.’”

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Michael Machosky

Michael Machosky is a writer and journalist with 18 years of experience writing about everything from development news, food and film to art, travel, books and music. He lives in Greenfield with his wife, Shaunna, and 10-year old son.