Can Americans Still Discuss Their Differences Constructively? David Blankenhorn Is Trying To Make it Happen.

David Blankenhorn is co-founder of Braver Angels, which now has 70 chapters around the country, and has hosted more than 1,400 meetings, Blankenhorn said.

The mission of Braver Angels is to get Americans to talk to one another, and to have honest conversations about their views on politics. The practice they preach is to get their members to listen to one another, rather than try to persuade each another, because the goal is to reduce alienation and demonization more than anything.

In other words, they want to bring people together to see that the other side isn't necessarily a bunch of raging maniacs who fit the descriptions that are churned out on cable TV, online and in fundraising emails.

Blankenhorn started Braver Angels a few years ago in 2017, and this task was tough then. But now, with the rise of conspiracy theories and many Trump supporters having been blue-pilled into an alternative reality, this is even tougher. And we talk at length about this. Blankenhorn is very firm that he doesn't want his group to do a lot of fact-checking.

I don't know what I think about this. At a certain point, if people are not able to discern basic facts from complete falsehoods, I don't know what good it does to pretend they're nt completely around the bend. But I admire Blankenhorn's desire to bring people together, and I think we need a lot more groups and efforts like this.

He also discusses how his personal history -- and his rather searing and personally painful experience being a public spokesperson on both sides of the marriage equality debate -- drove him into this work.

Outro song: "Fire" by Waxahatchee

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