In Pursuit of Our Political ‘Better Angels’

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Randy Freeman, Yorktown NY New

Sadly, since the 2016 election, and increasingly as well in the years leading up to 2016, politicians and some media have pushed the political arguments to the margins where it is impossible to find middle ground and any hope for agreement between the political divide. The fire was lit before President Trump arrived on the scene, and unless the flame is quickly returned to a manageable level, I’m afraid that this country will burn with its own hatred. This venomous reaction is not what our country had stood for in the past. There were differences, but we lived with the differences with a degree of respect for people’s beliefs and values on both sides.

One day a few months ago, I was reading one of my professional magazines and saw an article written by Bill Doherty, one of the founders of an organization called Better Angels. The founders had crossed our country by bus, organizing workshops to encourage people on the left and the right to hear each other. They drew from their successes, learned from their mistakes, and put together a program that is now being offered across the United States.

Better Angels was established about 18 months ago in response to the rancor and polarization between people from the two political poles. At first, I was doubtful. Can people from today’s political extremes listen to each other with respect? Can we disagree without being disagreeable? I doubted this could be true.

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