–submitted by Kevin Hoffman
Cameron Swallow (left) and Susan Vergeront (right) are the state coordinators for Braver Angels, a national organization that was founded in 2016 to address the growing partisan political divide that is occurring in the United States. Increasingly, we are defining one another not as multi-faceted human beings but as good or bad people on one side of a Red or Blue divide. Worse, we have let this polarization become emotional and personal. Instead of searching for truth and understanding we seek victory. This win-lose demonization is a threat for our democracy. Braver Angels’ mission is to bring Americans together to bridge the partisan divide and strengthen our democratic republic. Using programs with equally balanced representation, they bring people together from opposite sides of the Red/Blue divide to seek understanding when agreement is not possible and to realize that we have more in common than we are different. This is done through workshops that facilitate and offer strategies for communicating civilly among people who disagree – and with like-minded people who veer into contempt and ridicule. The goal is not to change views on issues but to change and inform our views of each other. On the policy level, by speaking to each other in civil discourse, the objective is to find collaborative solutions for the common good.
If you missed our meeting this week, you can watch it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cp52UDxKE2E&t=3s