The presidential election is less than two weeks away and plenty of people are showing their support for a preferred candidate with a sign out front. Usually, it’s Trump or Biden.
But what about the homes who display both?
A couple of blocks south of Sunset Drive in Kendall, a Cuban-American family provides a fascinating example.
Twenty-one-year-old son Lazaro, who declines to give his last name for fear of the strong emotions this election has sparked, is a Florida International University senior biochemistry student. His father is a self-employed handyman. His mom is a nurse, and his retired grandmother lives with them as well.
The family moved to the United States from Cuba in 2004. But it wasn’t until Donald Trump showed up that they began really debating politics.
“Politics is just not something we used to talk about,” said Lazaro. “I think there was one day where we were just having dinner and then my dad or my mom just said something vaguely political. Then it started up.
In 2016, both Lazaro’s mother and grandmother supported Hillary Clinton. The grandmother takes her daughter’s lead when it comes to politics. The entire household was surprised when Trump won the election. Then Lazaro’s father showed his support for Trump.
“It was only a few months later that I noticed my father flaunting to our financially well-off Trump-supporting family and friends that he voted for Trump,” said Lazaro. “It looked like a social thing, like voting for Trump made him closer to them at the expense of us.”
His parents were able to overcome their difference by understanding why they voted for different parties. This year, the same political divide opened up.
“My mother, my grandmother, and l support Biden,” Lazaro said. “And my dad’s the only Trump supporter in the house.”
But they figured it out.
“The major thing is respecting political differences,” said Lazaro. “My father understands why [my mother] wants to vote for Biden, and she understands why he wants to vote for Trump.”
The family, however, does battle with signs on the lawn out front of the tidy, three-bedroom house on a quiet street not far from Miami-Dade College’s Kendall campus. Trump-supporting signs fill the neighborhood, overpowering the less than five Biden placards.
A couple of months ago, Lazaro’s father made his mark on the front yard.
“The Trump sign came first, my dad said he got it for free, “ said Lazaro. “He’s never struck me as the kind to buy something like that.”
Once Lazaro’s mother saw the Trump sign, she bought a Biden sign in retaliation.
“My mom was adamant that the Trump sign would not be put up,” Lazaro explains. “She hid his sign and put up a Biden sign despite the fact the neighborhood is overwhelmingly Trump-supporting.”
One day, Lazaro answered a knock on the front door. It was a Trump-supporting neighbor. He berated Lazaro for the Biden sign.
“I didn’t want the neighborhood to be hostile towards us, so I actually took the initiative to put the Trump sign up to at least seem a bit more in tune with the neighbors!” said Lazaro. “My dad is the one who changed the height of it and started the whole fiasco about the sign height!”
Throughout the day, the signs are readjusted. Burying the least favored signs stakes deeper in the ground makes them appear lower to those passing by. Everyone knows who’s making the changes. But that knowledge remains unspoken.
“Whoever gets to the sign first, their sign goes higher,” said Lazaro. “And then it moves back a little bit in the middle of the night or morning time. You know, someone moves it around.”
Like almost everything else in America, Lazaro’s father says, it’s all about the currency.
“Whichever sign costs more money, it goes higher,” he laughs. “The one that costs no money, can go lower.”
Both of the signs will continue being raised, lowered and moved around until election night. The family can’t wait until this political season is over.
“This election has been very stressful,” said Lazaro “I really just want it to end. Maybe we’ll never go back to being normal, but we can at least try.”
Whichever candidate wins, Lazaro’s father wants the country to become united once more.
“Hopefully over the next four years, people will be able to come together more despite the divide of the presidential candidates,” he said.