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Become a better angel
November 26, 2017

Commentary: Bridging divides among us is goal
Alysse ElHage, Tideland News (North Carolina), 12/27/17

Better Angels: Slowly Bridging Our Partisan Divide
Jonathan Rauch, RealClearPolitics, 12/22/2017

"Better Angels"
Maura Carlin, The Local Live #197 (Larchmont, NY), 12/21/17

For Family Values and Gun Control: Why not both?
David Blankenhorn, The American Interest, 12/14/17

"We are all Americans"
A statement by DC Better Angels (McLean, VA Nov. 4, 2017 Red/Blue Workshop Attendees), 12/5/17

NPR: Group Uses Marriage Counseling Methods To Help Bridge Political Divide
Chas Sisk, Weekend Edition Saturday, NPR, 12/2/17

We asked readers how U.S. can become more civil: Here's what they said
David Plazas, The Tennessean, 11/22/17

Banned from the dinner table? Here's advice for talking politics during the holidays
Jeff Jones, MPR News, 11/24/17

Here's a recipe for civil chats during your turkey dinner: It starts with humility and a willingness to listen, not a war of words you have to win.
Tom Sylvester, The Star Tribune, 11/22/17

Meet The Group Trying To Fix America’s Partisan Divide One Workshop At A Time
Amber Randall, The Daily Caller, 11/7/17

Liberals and conservatives talked out their differences: here is what they decided
The Nashville Better Angels, The Tennessean, 10/20/17

In Lower Merion, Democrats and Republicans try something new: Listening to each other
On 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-Raiten,, 8/25/17

Better Angels Strives to Bridge Political Divide
Kouhyar 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 (
Kouhyar Mostashfi, The Columbus Dispatch, 8/4/2017

Bill Doherty Talks Better Angels on the KQ Morning Show
Better Angels' lead facilitator Bill Doherty talks to Minnesota's 92 KQRS about our summer bus tour -- and what it was like bringing liberals and conservatives together across the country.
92 KQRS, 8/1/2017

The Republican View: Building a Foundation for Common Ground
Mike Sigler,, 7/31/17

Minnesota professor hopes to overcome political divide
A University of Minnesota professor is among those on a mission to mend the hostility between supporters and opponents of President Donald Trump.
StarTribune, 7/29/17

Better Angels aims for better political understanding in Leesburg
A national bipartisan movement known as Better Angels is hoping to "bridge the nation's divide and reunite America."
Karen Graham, Loudoun Times-Mirror, 7/28/17

EDITORIAL: Better Angels, better understanding
Each 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-Mirror, 7/28/17

UMN professor hits the road to bridge political divide
A University of Minnesota professor is touring the country in an attempt to mend frayed cross-party relations.
Max Chao, Minnesota Daily, 7/26/17

Better Angels group trying to fix political divide
A grassroots group is behind a series of meetings across the nation this summer aimed at getting Republicans, Democrats and everyone in between talking about the issues that divide our country.
Joe Dominguez, DCW50, 7/24/2017

Better Angels tour brings civil discourse to Americans bitterly divided over politics
Liberal Susanna Isaacson, 70, and conservative Susan Syming, 63, are friends who have bridged their political divide but couldn’t find anyone else to join their bipartisan exchanges.
Laura Kelly, The Washington Times, 7/24/2017

Politicians can’t seem to do it, but these citizens are learning how to find common ground
Like so many Americans, most of Donna Murphy’s social circle shared her politics. So when she, a self-described liberal, was tasked with putting together a weekend-long event with an equal number of Democrats and Republicans, she needed to broaden her bubble.
Colby Itkowitz, The Washington Post, 7/21/2017

Ohio at center of civility movement
Ohioans 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-Star, 7/20/2017

Restore Civility To U.S. Politics
Ohioans 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 Intelligencer, 7/19/2017

'Better Angels' Aim to Bridge National Political Divide
A national tour came to Vermont, hoping to reduce political polarization that can become mean-spirited
Jack Thurston, NBC Boston, 7/17/17

Podcast with Kris Hodges, David Blankenhorn, Better Angels
Eric 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 Clay, Made of Clay, 7/17/17

Bipartisian nonprofit tour stops in Vermont
'Better Angels' teaches polite political communication
Renee Wunderlich, NBC 5, 7/17/17

A start to ending the political divide
Kim 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 Tingley, The Post Star, 7/16/17

Battleground Ohio targeted in push for civility in politics
Better 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.
AP,, 7/15/17

Belmar Gets on the Bus to Join National Movement to ‘Reunite America’
Better Angels’ One America bus tour quietly rolled into Belmar last week, but organizers hope that its grass-roots effort to heal the political divide in this country will generate a growing chorus of support.
Cathy Goetz, TAP into Belmar/Lake Como, 7/15/17

Die «besseren Engel» von David Blankenhorn
Der 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 Schwarzer, Neue Burcher Zeitung, 7/14/2017

Spots open for political discussion in Bolton
There is space open for those interested in attending a Better Angels program Thursday in the Topside Room of the Algonquin Restaurant.
The Post Star, 7/11/2017

Needed in Politics: Our Better Angels
In 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 Robertson, Wizbang, 7/10/2017

Local bipartisanship startup begins national tour in Dayton, Lebanon
A group of local residents are engaging in political discussions this week in an effort to alleviate tension across party lines.
Grant Pepper, Dayton Daily News, 7/6/17

Americans know there's a civility problem. Do they want to do anything about it?
People are facing a harder time having polite political conversations with those who disagree with them.
David Plazas, The Tennessean, 7/2/2017

‘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 Week, 6/29/17

Taking to the Road for One America
Something unusual happened two weeks ago in Waynesville, Ohio, at the conclusion of our most recent Better Angels weekend-long gathering
David Blankenhorn, On Being, 6/23/2017

11 ways to talk politics with someone who disagrees
Political 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 Shockman, MPR News, 6/19/17

How Americans can unify
David Blankenhorn, activist and president of Better Angels, tells Fareed how his organization brings people together despite political differences.
Fareed Zakaria and David Blankenhorn, CNN, 6/18/17

Finding Common Ground in Ohio
Better 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.
with Peter Yarrow, Better Angels, 6/5/17

Depolarize! Podcast 35: Everyone Knows They're Being Judged with David Lapp
Better Angels' lead organizer David Lapp talks about depolarization in action as seen through his experiences with the organization he is with, Better Angels, which facilitates candid conversations between voters from the left and the right.
Dan Koch, Depolarize!, 5/9/17

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 Miller, Indivisible, New York Public Radio, 3/2/17

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 Itkowitz, The Washington Post, 2/28/16

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."
John Calia, Rochester Business Journal, 2/3/17

Appealing to Our Better Angels
David 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 LaCouter, Philanthropy Daily, 10/17/2016

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.
Richard Aldous, 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.
Richard Aldous, 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.
Hannah Wise, 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.
Ravi Iyer,, 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.
Allison Pond, 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.
Hunter Baker, The Federalist, 12/7/2015

The War on Partisanship
How Fighting Polarization Became its Own Cause
Rebecca Nelson, 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.
Ravi Iyer,, 10/28/2015