In Lower Merion, Democrats and Republicans try something new: Listening to each otherOn Aug. 13, I joined hundreds of my neighbors at a rally in response to the events in Charlottesville. Several members of the crowd held signs reading, “Hate Has No Home Here.” One side of the sign is red and the other is blue. The phrase is repeated in six languages. I had put the same sign on my lawn just before the presidential inauguration, and I watched as more and more appeared in the yards of my neighbors.Ashley Best-RaitenPhilly.com8/25/17
Better Angels Strives to Bridge Political DivideKouhyar Mostashfi is a local resident of Warren County, Ohio, who recently participated in a discussion led by Better Angels, a national, bipartisan movement to bridge our political divide (www.better-angels.org).Kouhyar MostashfiThe Columbus Dispatch8/4/2017
EDITORIAL: Better Angels, better understandingEach day, the American discourse seems to sink to a new low. Settled fact is reinterpreted as fake news. Political manipulation distorts whether a foreign power meddled in our democracy. The President of the United States tweets insults and betrays the Boy Scout creed. The nation engages in a debate over health care as if we were mortal enemies, not as citizens looking out for one another.Loudoun Times-Mirror7/28/17
Ohio at center of civility movementOhioans ought to feel honored in a way — but challenged in another — that two national organizations have made the state a key to campaigns for civility in politics.Herald-Star7/20/2017
Restore Civility To U.S. PoliticsOhioans ought to feel honored in a way — but challenged in another — that two national organizations have made the state a key to campaigns for civility in politics.The Intelligencer7/19/2017
Podcast with Kris Hodges – David Blankenhorn – Better AngelsEric Clay, M.Div., Ph.D., host of “The Made of Clay Report” and founder of Shared Journeys, speaks with David Blankenhorn, founder of Better Angels and Kris Hodges, the local organizer for Better Angels' Ithaca, NY stop.Eric ClayMade of Clay7/17/17
A start to ending the political divideKim Scott heard about Better Angels while listening to National Public Radio. She heard about their program of putting eight Republicans and eight Democrats in a room together and getting them to listen, to understand, to come together and end the madness.Ken TingleyThe Post Star7/16/17
Battleground Ohio targeted in push for civility in politicsBetter Angels is a national nonprofit with the goal of reuniting the politically divided country through discussions, workshops and an interactive online curriculum. One America bus tour kicked off in Waynesville [OH] on July 4.APFOX45News.com7/15/17
Die «besseren Engel» von David BlankenhornDer Soziologe David Blankenhorn, ein überzeugter Trump-Gegner, gründet nach Trump Wahlsieg die Organisation «Better Angels». Ziel der dort angebotenen Workshops ist der verständnisvollere Umgang zwischen politisch verschieden Denkenden.von Rita SchwarzerNeue Burcher Zeitung 7/14/2017
Needed in Politics: Our Better AngelsIn a commentary about the current state of the Democratic Party, Fox New politics editor Chris Stirewalt writes, “Democrats have come in for a great deal of mockery over a silly promotion in which supporters were asked to vote on their preferred slogans for campaign stickers. One of the options was, “I mean, have you seen the other guys?” This is some undeniably weak sauce right there. It probably only reflects the foolish, stale snark of some poor intern tasked in finding a way to flog the same donors for another $5.”David RobertsonWizbang7/10/2017
‘Bridging the Red/Blue Chasm’The “Bridging the Red/Blue Chasm” meeting on June 19 at the Wescott Library put on by the Better Angels Project pleasantly surprised me.Sun This Week6/29/17
Taking to the Road for One AmericaSomething unusual happened two weeks ago in Waynesville, Ohio, at the conclusion of our most recent Better Angels weekend-long gatheringDavid BlankenhornOn Being6/23/2017
11 ways to talk politics with someone who disagreesPolitical tensions are sky-high in the United States. Is it possible for people on both ends of a highly polarized political spectrum to give up their differences and find a way to understand each other? MPR News host Kerri Miller spoke with family social science professor Bill Doherty about his experiments in fostering dialogue with members of opposing political tribes.Kerri Miller and Elizabeth ShockmanMPR News6/19/17
How Americans can unifyDavid Blankenhorn, activist and president of Better Angels, tells Fareed how his organization brings people together despite political differences.
Fareed Zakaria and David BlankenhornCNN6/18/17
Finding Common Ground in OhioBetter Angels set out to southwestern Ohio to bring local Democrats and Republicans together for a weekend of discussion -- and music -- in the wake of the 2016 Election. This is their story.
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?
Kerri MillerIndivisible, New York Public Radio3/2/17
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.”Colby ItkowitzThe Washington Post2/28/16
It's Time for Rochester to Lead from the Bottom UpDavid 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.”John CaliaRochester Business Journal2/3/17
Appealing to Our Better AngelsDavid Blankenhorn has set up a “new bipartisan network of leaders and organizations committed to reducing polarization” that he’s calling Better Angels. Run through the Institute for American Values—which has eschewed partisan labels since 1988—Better Angels has a few things going for it.Travis LaCouterPhilanthropy Daily10/17/2016
Partisan Deadlock and the Value of ListeningDavid 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.Richard AldousThe American Interest Podcast8/9/16
Taking on TrumpThe American Interest's Richard Aldous speaks with David Blankenhorn about an open letter he recently co-wrote addressed to Trump supporters.Richard AldousThe American Interest Podcast Series7/6/16
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.Allison PondDeseret News3/6/2016