WASHINGTON, D.C. (KGUN) — Keith Allred saw everything happen at the Capitol in Washington D.C. like the rest of us.
"I wish I could say in this context: 'oh, it's not as big a deal as it looks,' it is fully as bad as it looks."
Quite the pessimistic tone for the Executive Director of the Institute for Civil Discourse, founded after the January 8th shooting.
"We can hope that this might be a galvanizing event, a little bit like the Tucson shooting was 10 years ago, that wakes us all up and says 'hey, we had better step up and do something about it.'"
Allred said political divides exist in Arizona like most anywhere else in America.
"The 10% most extreme on either side talk louder and longer than anybody else."
Moderate voters, like those he said you'll find in the suburbs of Phoenix and Tucson don't buy a message because it's loud or long-winded.
"If either side gets too extreme, they're going to lose them and so I think that Arizona is typical that way."
While most other places in the country voted for President-elect Joe Biden, Congressional races trended to Republicans, Not the case in Arizona.
"Now Senator Kelly, was a little bit of an exception to that and so Arizona was a little bit different," Allred said.
It's the divide in politics fueled events like we saw in our nation's capital.
A divide, he said, didn't exist as much as it does today in local politics.
"County, to some extent, certainly city elections, school board elections, etcetera, they were non-partisan and we didn't think of those in partisan terms."
Allred, who is also a Harvard Professor of Negotiation and Conflict Resolution at the Kennedy School of Government said local politics can actually inspire us to come together.
He said political leaders are more accessible and the keeping our communities thriving, reminds us to stay practical.
"As the saying goes: there's not a republican or a democratic way to fix a pothole."