General posts

Ten Better Angels Skills

Ten Better Angels Skills

Five Basic Skills Listen to understand rather than to prepare your rebuttal. If you couldn’t accurately summarize what the other person just said, you haven’t listened. Be curious (“Why you see it this way?”) rather than argumentative (“How could you possibly see it this way?”) Make sure you understand the other’s view before you disagree …

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What is a Better Angels Debate?

You probably haven’t experienced anything like a Better Angels Debate. It’s not a political debate, where competing candidates attempt to win votes. Nor is it a high school or college debate, where people advocate positions in which they may not believe for the sole purpose of vanquishing their foes. A Better Angels Debate is a …

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Skills for Communicating Across the Political Divide

Better Angels co-founder Bill Doherty, in a talk to students and faculty at the University of Minnesota in Rochester, teaches and demonstrates how to talk with people who differ from you politically and how to depolarize conversations so that they can be more productive and less damaging to relationships.

The Superbowl of Politics

The stadium is packed amid the early November chill for the Super Bowl of the New National Football League. Despite initial criticism, the new format seems to have revitalized the game and brought a new generation of fans clamoring for one of the precious seats. The players in their throwback uniforms, recalling the starred reds …

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‘Better Angels’ hold workshop

by Elisabeth Robbins, Better Angels Moderator Daily Democrat Can seven progressives and six conservatives get together for a day of talking about their political beliefs without anger and explosiveness? When participants follow the structure of a Better Angels Red/Blue Workshop, the answer is yes. Even more, it can be a positive experience for all involved, …

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Red and blues depolarize at Better Angels workshop

by Michael Cooper-White, the Gettysburg Times, Sep 10, 2018 Two dozen area residents spent Saturday at the Gettysburg library engaged in efforts to help “depolarize” American society. Facilitated by two members of a new national organization called Better Angels, the all-day workshop engaged participants in intense dialogue with one another across the political divide that many …

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How We Are Divided

American politics has grown increasingly polarized over the past 20 years, degenerating after the 2016 election and in the Trump Presidency into all-out partisan warfare. Observing from the sidelines, a significant portion of the voting public has begun to sense a real danger in this fracturing of partisan politics, and are searching for solutions. With …

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Why is it that US polarization is actually a worldwide phenomenon?

A great deal of prime-time TV shows dominating popular culture today are, in fact, international television formats. Competitive shows like The Four, Got Talent, Idol, American Ninja, Master Chef (the list goes on and on), are either imported to or exported from the US. Each show’s rules, visuals, pacing and even sets are being reproduced …

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“We are all Americans”

A statement by DC Better Angels (McLean, VA Nov. 4, 2017 Red/Blue Workshop Attendees) At the end of our Better Angels workshop, with an equal number of blues (Democrats) and reds (Republicans), one of the blues suggested meeting again in the near future for drinks. Without missing a beat, one of the reds quipped, “Politics …

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