For hope that Americans can bridge the political divide, watch the Better Angels documentary showing depolarization in process. Across the country, the citizens’ initiative holds workshops to bring people together and civility back to politics. Their mission is to have Americans see each other as friends, not enemies, no matter where they sit on the political spectrum.
An approximately hour-long documentary, with highlights of a Better Angels Red/Blue Workshop held in Ohio, shows conservative and liberal participants arriving suspicious and somewhat hostile toward the other side. They leave hugging each other. The video will be shown July 23 at 3:00 p.m. in MountainView Ballroom East to encourage respect for differences rather than to advocate for any position on the right or left. You will see participants respectfully disagree and realize that those who disagree with them aren’t necessarily bad.
The Better Angels Red/Blue Workshops have an equal number of people leaning right and leaning left participating in carefully structured exercises, examining common stereotypes of each side of the political spectrum, listening and looking for common ground. In a safe environment, participants engage to understand and learn from each other, even if they still disagree. Better Angels also sponsors free skills workshops for those who want to learn helpful ways to discuss difficult issues.
Over 1,000 people have participated in respectful, carefully designed Better Angels workshops in 31 states, and close to 150 towns and cities will be launching workshops this year. Tucson hosted its first full-day Red/Blue Workshop on May 18 with five “Red” and five “Blue” participants. Everyone left with a better understanding of how and why we differ and an interest in continuing the conversation.
For more information about the free SaddleBrooke showing of the documentary, contact Andrea Molberg at [email protected] SaddleBrooke’s Community Church, Freethinkers, League of Women Voters and Democratic Club are co-sponsoring the viewing on July 23.
To learn about the Better Angels Skills Workshop scheduled in Phoenix June 15, see http://www.better-angels.org. As the website announces, “anyone interested in having better conversations with people on the other side of the political aisle” is invited.