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- Podcast: Can We Reunite America? Imagine this scenario: Two women from Ohio are sitting together at a table. One voted for Donald Trump, the other for Hillary Clinton. They're talking politics to each other. And actually listening.
This is the premise of a social experiment called "Better Angels." The project is working to rebuild civil dialogue in America after the election, with hopes of getting the country to move beyond polarization and stereotypes.
On this episode of Indivisible, host Kerri Miller talks with two women who took part in the experiment. We'll also hear from University of Minnesota professor Dr. William J. Doherty, the professor who facilitated the project, about what it takes to have a productive dialogue in a time of deep division. Is it enough to tolerate different points of view? Or does a vibrant democracy require us to really listen and respect what we're hearing? Indivisible, New York Public Radio March 2, 2017
- He dramatically changed his views on gay marriage. Here’s how he says the nation can come together. Blankenhorn, an advocate for the institution of marriage, testified in 2010 against legalizing same-sex marriage. He believed then that gay people were using marriage as a political football and were not serious about the commitment that comes with it. But later, an unlikely friendship with writer Jonathan Rauch, who wrote, “Gay Marriage: Why It Is Good for Gays, Good for Straights, and Good for America,” gradually made him see the issue differently, and in 2012 he wrote in a New York Times op-ed that he had changed his mind.
He is now the founder of an organization called Better Angels committed to engaging people from all sides in an effort to encourage this kind of open-minded dialogue. It gets its name from a line from President Abraham Lincoln’s first inaugural address: “We are not enemies, but friends. We must not be enemies. Though passion may have strained, it must not break our bonds of affection. The mystic chords of memory … will yet swell the chorus of the Union, when again touched, as surely they will be, by the better angels of our nature.” The Washington Post February 28, 2016
- It's Time for Rochester to Lead from the Bottom Up David Blankenhorn of the Institute for American Values asserts, “We Americans didn’t necessarily think our way into political polarization, but we’ll likely have to think our way out.” Rochester Business Journal 2/3/17
- Partisan Deadlock and the Value of Listening David Blankenhorn discusses his recent efforts to speak — and more importantly listen to — Trump supporters. He examines their motivations, speaks about their grievances, and looks at what Trump’s ascendancy means for the country. The American Interest Podcast 8/9/16
- Taking on Trump The American Interest's Richard Aldous speaks with David Blankenhorn about an open letter he recently co-wrote addressed to Trump supporters. The American Interest Podcast Series 7/6/16
- SMU Law Professor among Those Urging Trump Voters to Reconsider Based on American Principles Critics of Donald Trump are hoping to reach his supporters by arguing that he lacks, among other traits, self-control, honesty and respect for the rule of law. Dallas Morning News 7/7/16
- Bridging the Divide Between Religious Liberty and Marriage Equality When good people on both sides of the debate are put into the same room...they naturally become sensitive to the sincere concerns of others. CivilPolitics.org 5/3/2016
- Is There a Movement to Depolarize America? As people sort themselves into tribes based on everything from neighborhoods to news outlets, a small group of activists and academics is taking note and searching for ways to stem the partisan tide. Deseret News 3/6/2016
- David Blankenhorn's Mission To Restore Public Discourse A Democrat who has for years worked to bolster family formation now seeks to call forth honest and charitable discourse with the Better Angels project. The Federalist 12/7/2015
- The War on Partisanship How Fighting Polarization Became its Own Cause The Atlantic 10/30/2015
- Diversity in Political Opinion Leads to Better Policy Creating a more civil political environment is not just beneficial for our relationships in our communities…it also leads to better, smarter policy. CivilPolitics.org 10/28/2015