Braver Angels

My journey to Braver Angels began shortly after the 2016 election and was motivated by two separate, but equally powerful reasons. Like others, I was troubled by the growing resentment between “reds” and “blues” and the demonizing by many of anyone whose positions ran contrary to their own. Moreover, I found myself also wondering about the reasons why so many people pulled the level for Donald Trump, a man I saw as being completely disqualified for the role of president (and de facto role-model-in-chief) by his words and behaviors leading up to election day. This says nothing about his policy positions or his lack of experience. It was easy to associate the people who voted for Trump with the worst things that he had said and done. I imagined them as complicit in that behavior; behavior that most, if not all of us, would certainly be saddened to see in our kids or close friends. But yet, there was SOMETHING that enabled a large number of citizens to overlook these things and cast that vote anyway. In an effort to understand this, and knowing that sitting
and mulling through this within my own circle without making an effort to actually talk to those who might offer me a different perspective wouldn’t help to close the harmful division I was seeing in this country, I became a member of Braver Angels.

At this point, I've come to realize that Braver Angels' work transcends any one president or politician. The need to continue this process of depolarization and the building of bridges through finding shared goals and recognizing our common humanity must continue long after the November election. It will be equally, if not more important then, regardless of the winner. We can, and maybe even should, disagree on exact policy solutions, but we have to start by listening and refusing to see the "other" as the enemy. Only then can we discover a shared vision that we have for lifting the country to its full potential for all its citizens: red, blue, and otherwise.

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