A Trump Republican on the FBI’s Mar-a-Lago Raid

Facebook
Twitter
Reddit
Email

Braver Angels CMO Ciaran O’Connor is a progressive Democrat who previously worked for Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. Wilk Wilkinson is a Trump supporter who helps lead Braver Angels’ efforts to engage working class Americans. In this episode of the podcast, Ciaran and Wilk come together to discuss the investigations into former President Trump’s conduct, why conservatives are so angry about the FBI’s raid of his residence at Mar-a-Lago, and what the “rule of law” means in a country this polarized.

More to explore

34 thoughts on “A Trump Republican on the FBI’s Mar-a-Lago Raid”

  1. Ciaran, I’ve just taken in some of your video “A Trump Republican on the Mar a Lago Raid.” First of all I object to the use of the term “raid.” But the real reason for my note is that I run a political book club and am considering recommending Braver Angels, so am looking at your many offerings. So far I am disappointed and cannot recommend. In this particular video, you ask the questions and the Trump guy gets to speak his opinions. Where are the rebuttals? Where is the Democratic Party opinions? Where do we speak about preserving our democracy?
    I’ll continue for a few more weeks looking at Braver Angels but honestly, from a Progressive point of view, this doesn’t cut it.

    1. Christopher Pitts

      When you say we should talk about preserving democracy, what is your definition of democracy?

      Correct me if I’m wrong because as a Trump supporter myself, I don’t know the opinions of progressives as well as you do – but in my experience, most progressives I talk to seem to believe “democracy” means something like, “If my side gets 100 votes and your side gets 99 votes, then my side should have total power to make all political decisions, and your side has a moral and ethical obligation to submit completely to the will of the majority”.

      To me, “democracy” means everyone has a voice, and political power is spread around proportionately so that everyone can have as much political power as possible within their own local sphere of influence, and that we negotiate to find mutually acceptable resolutions that give each side power locally in exchange for the ability to force one side’s will universally on issues where we can’t all agree on a single solution.

      I think in that sense, both progressives and Trump supporters are trying to defend Democracy as we each define it.

      The only question to me is, which definition of “democracy” is more worthy of being defended?

    2. Nancy,
      Your indication that you are “looking into Braver Angels” gives me hope that your investigation has been very limited. Please don’t give up on our Mission too quickly.
      “One podcast episode” gives a very small indication of the wholeness of the Braver Angels Mission and the work of 10,000 dedicated Members and Volunteers with 50,000 Subscribers to our Newsletter, nationwide.

      As a conservative voter who is VERY Thankful for the work that Braver Angels is doing, I invite you to read my comment (at the end of this comment thread) to hear another point of view.

      Braver Angels might not be what you are looking for, but please take time to learn a bit more about the hard work we do and what that takes before throwing us out with the bathwater. 😊

      Blessings ~
      Rita

    3. Nancy,
      Being a Member of Braver Angels (proud and enthusiastic) since February 2021, I have observed MUCH GROWTH within our Mission and our ranks. I spent a full day (and part of the night) exploring Braver Angels, their Co-Founders and their purpose before joining.

      Shortly thereafter, I decided to start from the beginning listening to the very first BA Podcast (October 16, 2017) through the most recent, which at that time was February 12, 2021. I was curious to learn about where Braver Angels had started and where they were at that point in time, through the guests and attitudes I would hear.

      As a conservative voter, personally not practicing and just learning about “partisanship”, Ciaran’s presentation, as I heard him on different BA Podcasts, made it pretty clear to me where his strong loyalties lay.

      That being said, I have seen a maturing in Ciaran throughout my Membership and active involvement and his ability to approach conservative thought with more respect (as hard as it might be!) and curiosity, as opposed to more cynical reactions to ideas that he does not understand or agree with. SILENCE DOES NOT DENOTE AGREEMENT. It is the wise man who chooses to hold his tongue until the emotion passes. (Been there done that! 😣) Believe me, it works the same way for Reds. For this, I thank you, Ciaran! 🙏🏻

      Brought to Braver Angels due to a very unexpected and deeply hurtful abandoning of a 50 year friendship (due to me choosing the “wrong” candidate) the idea that “Politics” would be used as a standard in determining a person’s “Character” was completely foreign and non-sensical to me. A person’s political vote (and religion) were subjects of personal freedom, which had never played a role in my personal choice of people I chose to invite into my personal world.

      Seldom a topic of discussion, I couldn’t really tell you what “color” my friends were, red, blue or in between. I knew from the lengthy history of our 50-year friendship that we were individuals that held differing opinions, her’s being more liberal than mine, but the respect and love, on my side, outweighed our political differences. (Since the hurtful experience, I’ve had more time to reflect on the whole of our relationship and came to see some truths that I had been blind to (or chose not to see) which puts things into different perspective for me.)

      A lover of people, the human spirit and it’s gifts and unlimited potential, political preference never played into my considerations or evaluations of a fellow human being.

      I’d like to thank LINDA for her comments and choice to emphasize the “positive” rather than the “partisan” aspect of this conversation. As you so aptly expressed, “this was NOT A DEBATE” (no yelling intended, just for emphasis 😊) The title of the subject of this Podcast clearly stated the focus: “A Trump Republican on the FBI’s Mar-a-Lago Raid”. I appreciate Wilk Wilkinson’s willingness to express his personal thoughts and feelings, knowing the blowback might be unpleasant.

      Braver Angels Podcasts, Debates, Forums and Common Ground Workshops are not “echo chambers”.

      I empathize with the desire to “answer” to statements you don’t agree with, but that was not the intent of this particular podcast. Ciaran is always open to suggestions for subject matter, so please share your ideas.

      Braver Angels is an Organization working HARD to listen with Curiosity and respond with Civility. Part of their commitment is to present BALANCE in representation of differing points of view. Without this balance, Braver Angels cannot present itself as having the interest of ALL Americans at heart.

      For those Blues who were offended by Ciaran’s willingness to listen to the “Red perspective” without rebuttal, I wonder how aware you are of the “balance” within Braver Angels. The Reds you meet or hear through different BA Events are dedicated to helping to heal the divide and we are working to bring more Reds to our Mission. And that is a challenge that we, as the MINORITY, face in our daily work with Braver Angels.

      It is an ongoing refrain that I hear from Blues about their desire to hear from Reds to help deepen their understanding of “why” Reds vote as they do. The comments from Blues here leads me to ask if these are Blues who are Members of Braver Angels or Visitors unfamiliar with the hard work it takes to encourage and bring about honest and open communication (which you might not agree with) in order to build trust, one human being to another.

      The indignation that I sense beneath some of the comments leads me to believe that these are Blues investigating Braver Angels (as one of the first commenters attested) who do not fully understand the fullness, variety and the hard work that goes into our Mission. Not everyone is equipped or ready for this “labor of love”, as is also true of other things in life. Humility is an essential character trait in our work.

      My comments are, in no way, intended to chastise or demean anyone here. If our Nation is going to survive the damage that has been inflicted by both sides, it is going to take some real heroes, BRAVER ANGELS, to do the hard, taxing, yet altruistic and nourishing work that must be done to see our Nation and her people survive.

      Please join our Braver Angels Mission and bring your Red friends along (if you’re still talking to them and they to you. 😉)

  2. Ciaran O’Connor did a good job of listening carefully and respectfully to his GOP interviewee. Generally, his questions were good.

    I was shocked and dismayed, however, to watch him repeatedly appropriate loaded and one sidedly misleading language when referring to the FBI’s authorized search of Mar-a-Lago. He must have said “raid” about a dozen times prior to actual discussion of the topic, thus subtly framing terms of the entire narrative.

    The meticulously planned and legally authorized FBI action was NOT a “raid”. To refer to it as such is to endorse incendiary GOP talking point language, which connotes an impulsive strong-man invasion. And which, of course, feeds into DJT’s portrayal of himself as victim.

    Word choice matters. Most responsible and respected journalists have refrained from saying “raid”. Yet in its heedlessness, B.A. demonstrated yet again that it is, albeit unwittingly, non-neutral.

    1. Your comments on use of the term “raid” hit the mark. I agree with you and fully support your comment. A.Z., CO

    2. Jennifer,
      Thank you for sharing your perspective on the conversation between Ciaran and Wilk Wilkinson.

      Please forgive me if I come across as a bit defensive, both of Ciaran and Wilk, but I want to share a different perspective (which Braver Angels encourages! 😊). For a fuller (and MUCH longer) explanation, please see my comment toward the end of this Comment Thread.

      As a commenter further down the thread after you points out, this Podcast Episode was not intended to be a DEBATE. The title of this episode clearly indicates that the audience would be hearing a perspective from the Red point of view: “A Trump Republican’s View on The FBI’s Mar-a-Logo Raid”.

      Braver Angels has grown in scope to offer MANY different Events and opportunities to participate in Curious and Civil Conversations: National Forums, Debates, Common Ground Workshops as well as State Alliances that also, occasionally, offer Forums, Debates and Workshops (though not as regularly as National). Most of these offerings are through ZOOM although, now that the Pandemic scare has dissipated to a good degree, State and Local Alliances are attempting to get back to “in-person” Meetings which offer something which the ZOOM Meetings cannot.

      From many of the comments here, showing disappointment in what was EXPECTED from the discussion, I understand and can empathize with what many had, apparently, hoped for. Reds have also faced some of those same disappointments when a discussion seemed to lean more to favor a Blue perspective.

      It took regular participation as a Braver Angels Member for me to finally understand the VARYING opportunities offered through Braver Angels and what I could expect from each one. Just one example: I worked on my younger brother to join Braver Angels and when he finally did he came to me after participating in his first Event complaining that there was no “real discussion” with Blues. Thankfully, I had already been a member for some time and had to explain that one of the first steps in learning the “Braver Angels way” is to LEARN to communicate across the divide. Most people must be “taught” how to interact without raw emotion in order to avoid shutting down the conversation .

      Naturally, most of us who come to Braver Angels want to better understand the other side, but we won’t get very far with one another if we don’t communicate with Curiosity and Civility. Our “training” for this important and ESSENTIAL step comes via our “SKILLS FOR BRIDGING THE DIVIDE”, “DEPOLARIZING WITHIN”, “FAMILY and POLITICS”, and several others specialized WorkShops. The “REB/BLUE WORKSHOP” is a great way to come together as Blues and Reds to better understand stereotypes we have of one another and how to combat those, often mistaken, stereotypes.

      BALANCE takes an enormous amount of work, and Braver Angels continues to try to bring that balance to be true to their Mission of allowing ALL voices to be heard so that we get out of our “echo chambers”, allowing individuals to hear different perspectives, not only the ones they are comfortable with.

      Blessings ~
      Rita

    3. When thirty armed FBI agents arrive in the early morning hours with advance notice given to the media for entry into a home, whether it’s Trump, Obama or Biden I believe that classified as a raid. If one or two agents accompanied by an armed escort arrived during the day with the warrant I would call that a search.

  3. I appreciate the interaction but I have the same reaction as when I attended the Election integrity debate a year or so ago. The person representing the Republicans is doing a great job of being cordial but does not have the facts to represent our side. The “find the votes” phone call had specific factual points that should have been made including the voice recording of the call and how it revealed what he actually said and how drastically the media’s quotes of the call were lies. I think this is what I see in Braver Angels in general is too much effort in being nice and leaving out data.

    1. Denise,
      Thank you for your comment. 😊

      Keeping in mind that Braver Angels is composed of citizens from all walks of life, educational backgrounds and life experiences, those that we sometimes hear from will not be your Ivy League Professor, Company CEO or seasoned Politician (although our Membership Ranks include some of those very people). Many of us are just everyday citizens trying to do our part to represent for parts of the population that often aren’t heard from.

      Braver Angels is a Non-Profit Organization being held up by a paid Staff with the majority of our 10,000 strong Membership being Volunteers who offer, free of charge, their gifts, talents and willingness to reach across the divide in hopes of promoting deeper understanding of one another to help to depolarize our Nation.

      “The person representing the Republicans is doing a great job of being cordial but does not have the facts to represent our side.”

      Wilk Wilkinson is a hard working American who has worked his way up through the ranks of his career, supports his family, does the “DERATE THE HATE” Podcast to encourage human beings to learn how to respect one another and works very hard as a committed and very active volunteer for Braver Angels. He brought, with sincerity, what he had to offer from his personal perspective and what time would allow. If you have any disagreements to some of his comments or additional information you could add, please feel free to comment here.

      Wilk is a very nice and reasonable person and, from my personal experience with him, I believe that he would have no objection to being challenged on statements that might be proven otherwise.

      You make reference to “The Election Integrity Debate” that you attended “a year ago”. A whole lot happens in a year. New information becomes available to further our personal understandings, lending to new perspectives. I hope that wasn’t the last event you attended before this one!

      Our newest Braver Angels offering, BRAVER POLITICS, promises to be an exciting step in bringing our Legislators into the Braver Angels fold, giving them deeper insight into what “We The People” would like for them to know.

      Please keep in mind that Braver Angels Volunteers work on a daily basis to reach out to their communities. Our National Weekday Newsletter along with Weekend Newsletters offer ongoing opportunities for BA Events/Discussions, Workshops, recent News/Magazine Articles concerning our work, Book Club Discussions, Film Discussions, our Podcast, etc..

      If you are not yet a Member of Braver Angels, PLEASE join us and offer what knowledge you have! We NEED more Conservative voices to lend to the Balance!

      Blessings ~
      Rita

  4. Paul Schwebel

    The promise of Braver Angels, the reason why I’m a member, is the hope that we, as a nation, can renew our tradition of civic discourse. I am beginning to worry that we are being “nice” at the expense of being real. Ciaran and Wilk are not really having a discussion. Ciaran is asking carefully worded questions which state a polite, un-strident, left-ish postion. He says nothing that can be challenged. Wilk is responding with highly charged opinionated statements. And his (Wilk’s) claims, which I (as an unaffiliated voter, i.e., an “Other”) find inconsistent, are simply left to stand unchallenged. This is civility, yes, but not civic engagement. How can we, as an organization, hope to shift the needle on the polarized nature of politics today if we can’t demonstrate how to have a back-and-forth about contentious issues?

  5. Barbara Magella

    Wilk Wilkinson did a lot of name calling and blaming in his descriptions of Democrats and Democratic Congressional members. He accuses Democrats of vitriol, but writes off what Trump says and does as showmanship and doesn’t consider how vile and vitriolic Trump, McConnell, and many other Republican Congressional members are and have been for years. It sounds very much like a double standard. I also noticed that while he name-called Democrats and Democratic Congressional members, he really didn’t state anything specific that Trump’s administration did that yielded positive results, nor anything specific that Obama, Biden, and Democrats have done/or are doing that is so vitriolic and/or detrimental to our country. He simply blamed them for all the ills of the country, including the economy, which is pretty much the result of the covid pandemic and 4 years of Trump. In all, I was disappointed in his answers and I had to conclude that he is misinformed, or at least limited, by the news sources he is reading and listening to. He may need to broaden the spectrum of news sources he uses and include more centrist and left leaning sources along with the ones that are right leaning. Things aren’t nearly so black and white as he paints them.
    I do like what he described as his intent with his podcast. That sounds like a very positive thing.

  6. I wanted to listen to the full podcast but turned it off due to hearing Wilk say things that I know just weren’t true. (and go unchallenged) No, Obama didn’t politicize the IRS. That’s not what happened. That people on both sides of the political spectrum need to form relationships and foment respect for each other, I agree with, but we have a big disinformation and misinformation problem in this country that I feel is just as important or even more important.

    I did find it interesting that your guest feels that election integrity is so important because the American people can’t lose faith in our elections, yet it is Republicans and conservative media that are who to blame for it.

  7. I agree with much that was said in the above comments. Sometimes, can we just call a lie a lie?
    I favor the Braver Angel debate format with a moderator to time responses and give everyone equal time and ability to express views which are, hopefully, grounded in facts.

  8. The podcast was apolite exercise in deflection, entirely predictable, lacking any consequential engagement. In a word, boring.

    Bottom line is Trump retained government documents contrary to the Pesidential Records Act. Their classification level is relevant only to the extent that they help establish how egregious the violation might be, which will be used to determine whether he will be charged.

    Mr Trump likes to blow things up. Explosions attract a crowd. He is oblivious to the institutional collateral damage done

  9. Hello,
    It’s extremely difficult to fully vet contributors and find the most qualified presenter of a particular side. That being said, it is my opinion that there are more qualified people to present “the right’s” position than Mr. Wilkinson. A lot more granularity would have been helpful as opposed to broad, general statements that were made. For this reason, I found little value in this interview. The subject of misused Presidential power is very important to discuss in an open forum. I hope we can be extend this conversation into the future debates and have a better representative of the “opposing view” at that time.

  10. I am super disappointed that the word “raid” was used in the title of this podcast. The bias is implied in the title. I believe it is incumbent on the staff of BA to carefully title the discussion since their mission statement starts off with “We are a national movement to bridge the partisan divide”. Wording sets the tone…

    1. Hi, Nancy,
      That makes two of us that are disappointed. You have reflected what many commenters have in sharing their opinions on what they heard in this Braver Angels Podcast entitled: “A Trump Republican’s View of the FBI Raid on Mar-o-Lago”.

      As stated in my previous comments, this Podcast had no indication that there would be a “Debate” with this guest, which would explain why there was no uncivil pushback from Ciaran (which is not the Braver Angels Way, regardless). My recollection is that he did ask questions, albeit polite, curious and civil in nature.

      My impression is that many tuned in to hear the Red perspective debunked as opposed to HEARING what this individual’s perspective is.

      As a Conservative voter, I am hearing echos of the frustration that Conservative voters were feeling as we continued to hear the term “insurrection”, which by definition could be considered fitting, but in reality fell so short of a believable description of what was going on, as witnessed by some of the footage from within the Capitol.

      Not to mention that the offer, beforehand, for additional Security was turned down by the Mayor of D.C. making for puzzlement by many at her unwise decision. It made no logical sense to me IF the safety of everyone and the avoidance of civil unrest was of sincere concern and priority.

      Those who argue otherwise come across as, disappointingly, intellectually dishonest. But I am open to having a discussion with anyone wanting to have a Curious and Civil Conversation with an opposing point of view.

      All of that being said, I hold no animosity toward anyone for their personal perspectives, but each of you expressed a desire for an “honest” exchange and I hope that you will take my comments to be my attempt at just that.

      Blessings ~
      Rita

  11. I commend the Braver Angels approach — ask good questions and then listen and listen some more. No arguing allowed. This approach encourages a much more thoughtful conversation than tossing out frequent combatively-spoken opinions which typically either escalate or end the conversation. It was not a debate, and may not have been an open discussion, but both sides spoke more thoughtfully because they would not be rebuked or interrupted. Thanks to both Ciaran and Wilk.

    1. Thank you for your positive and encouraging assessment of this exchange, Linda! Not all political discussions have to devolve into debate.

      Listening can be a very enlightening experience for those who understand that most of us “don’t know what we don’t know”. 😊

      Blessings ~
      Rita

  12. What bothers me about Wilk’s participation in Braver Angels events is that he repeatedly demonstrates that he’s here to promote his podcast and his own very narrow, rigid viewpoint, not to understand others and find common ground. I joined BA because I wanted to understand how so many of my fellow Americans could vote for someone I found so abhorrent, and I found that answer by listening to people from the other side, thanks to BA events. In this podcast, Wilk expresses the same astonishment about Biden voters. If he believed in listening to others and finding common ground, he’d have the golden opportunity right here at his fingertips in BA – but understanding and cooperation is not what he’s after.

  13. Barbara Watts

    Since I live in a Democratic bubble, the Braver Ángels method of eliciting the true thoughts of Republicans is the only way I get to hear them. I already know the rebuttals to Wilks comments. I would learn nothing new from that kind of debate. So thank you, Ciaran. On the other hand I find it truly frightening how little common ground there is across viewpoints – clearly we do live in a different reality. I understand that politics can be a brutal game of hurling insults with either side equally guilty, but doesn’t governing for the people require the trust and respect of men and women in office. Wilk hurt me in his assumption that as a Democrat I am imposing great harm. We must listen to each other’s opinions and ideas that are based in something close to as honest truth as possible. I fear that politics has forgotten the role of brave Republicans who told Nixon it was time to step down, or of the John McCains who worked with Democrats to forge, for example a bill to address climate change. Does Will know about Thosr Republicans and Democrats do still exist who are attempting useful bipartisan work?

  14. Wilk’s opinion is policy is the only reason to elect anyone; that Trump’s brash bully should be overlooked for sake of a righteous program. There are many qualified candidates that would promote that same program. However, Trump’s appeal seems to be to voters that have contempt for democracy and seek divisiveness.

  15. Sarah Hathaway

    I was looking for some interesting insight. Instead we had the Democrat politely asking curious questions and the Republican spewing falsehoods that were not challenged. It seemed the ratio of Dem to Republican talking time was about 1:3 and so that seemed unfair. The Republican showed no curiosity or interest in the Democratic point of view.

  16. Really difficult to listen to this person. How much do you want to bet that he or someone in his family benefits from some Federal program: Social security? Medicare? I just hear an incredibly selfish person who is not capable of looking in the mirror and being accountable for their words and actions. “Get the job done?” What is that job exactly? This person is totally lacking in curiosity about history or other peoples’ lives. Bottom line, violence wins and might makes right. That’s where he’s coming from. This is not a level of intelligence to manage a modern civilization. Be prepared to have less of everything: healthcare, education, art, science, civility. Be prepared to have more violence, domination, cruelty. Thank you, Mr. Smiley Trumpublican. You obviously are going to impose your small minded, uncurious beliefs on the rest of us with violence. You are such a good guy,

  17. When I listen to these people, I’m struck by how they blame the government for things that are actually the result of capitalism. When he says that he wants plumbers to “get involved and demand more?” What is that? His grasp is patchy at best. Very inconsistent. I promise you, he benefits from government handouts.

  18. After listening to Wilk’s convoluted and crypto-violent defense of Trump and right-wing aggression, the one question I would love to have heard from Cairan “Is there anything that Trump could do that would make you turn on him?”

  19. What happened at Mar-a-Lago was NOT a “raid.” It was meticulously planned by the DOJ and authorized by a judge. Ciaran sounded very well-prepared, speaking very carefully and cautiously, but he was overrun by the inaccuracies and name-calling of
    WW. We need to listen to others, yes, but we need to challenge statements by people who continue to deny proven truths (election results, taped phone calls about ‘finding votes’) and call DJT just a showman. What he did was not a joke and it has been documented and recorded. It was a threat to our democracy! He remains a great danger to the USA. I hope that BA can make deeper, more meaningful engagements in future conversations

  20. I am a Braver Angels fan when it comes to ‘listening’ to the other side. But
    my patience with diplomacy wore thin when Ciaran’s carefully
    worded questions yielded ‘opinion’ without facts.

    The January 6th discussion was a non starter. Yes, Pence’s decision to do his job was lauded but the mayhem and violence involving loss of life on the Capitol footsteps went remarkably unaddressed.

    I listened to the whole podcast but was alas not encouraged by the tip-toeing around the obvious thorny issues. Watch Ciaran’s body language (turning away from the camera) when Wilk makes unsubstantiated statements and easily challenged opinions about accountability and Trump’s showman style.

    Finally: A judicially authorized Search Warrant is not a “Raid”.

  21. I would like to see a follow-up discussion where Wilk is read each comment, then responds. I would find it most interesting.

  22. Having been a Member of Braver Angels (proud and enthusiastic) since February 2021, I have observed MUCH GROWTH within our Mission and our ranks. I spent a full day (and part of the night) exploring Braver Angels, their Co-Founders and their purpose before joining.

    Shortly thereafter, I decided to start from the beginning listening to the very first BA Podcast (October 16, 2017) through the most recent, which at that time was February 12, 2021. I was curious to learn about where Braver Angels had started and where they were at that point in time, through the guests and attitudes I would hear.

    As a conservative voter, unfamiliar with and just learning about “partisanship”, Ciaran’s presentation, as I heard him on different BA Podcasts, made it pretty clear to me where his strong loyalties lay.

    That being said, I have seen a maturing in Ciaran throughout my Membership and active involvement and his ability to approach conservative thought with more respect (as hard as it might be!) and curiosity, as opposed to more cynical reactions to ideas that he does not understand or agree with. SILENCE DOES NOT DENOTE AGREEMENT. It is the wise man who chooses to hold his tongue until the emotion passes. (Been there done that! 😣) Believe me, it works the same way for Reds. For this, I thank you, Ciaran! 🙏🏻

    Brought to Braver Angels due to a very unexpected and deeply hurtful abandoning of a 50 year friendship (due to me choosing the “wrong” candidate) the idea that “Politics” would be used as a standard in determining a person’s “Character” was completely foreign and non-sensical to me. A person’s political vote (and religion) were subjects of personal freedom, which had never played a role in my personal choice of people I chose to invite into my personal world.

    Seldom a topic of discussion, I couldn’t really tell you what “color” my friends were, red, blue or in between. I knew from the lengthy history of our 50-year friendship that we were individuals that held differing opinions, her’s being more liberal than mine, but the respect and love, on my side, outweighed our political differences. (Since the hurtful experience, I’ve had more time to reflect on the whole of our “friendship” and came to see some truths that I had been blind to (or chose not to see) which puts things into different perspective for me.)

    A lover of people, the human spirit and it’s gifts and unlimited potential, political preference never played into my considerations or evaluations of a fellow human being.

    I’d like to thank LINDA for her comments and choice to emphasize the “positive” rather than the “partisan” aspect of this conversation. As you so aptly expressed, “this was NOT A DEBATE” (no yelling intended, just for emphasis 😊) The title of the subject of this Podcast clearly stated the focus: “A Trump Republican on the FBI’s Mar-a-Lago Raid”. I appreciate Wilk Wilkinson’s willingness to express his personal thoughts and feelings, knowing the blowback might be unpleasant.

    Braver Angels Podcasts, Debates, Forums and Common Ground Workshops are not “echo chambers”.

    I empathize with the desire to “answer” to statements you don’t agree with, but that was not the intent of this particular podcast. Ciaran is always open to suggestions for subject matter, so please share your ideas.

    Braver Angels is an Organization working HARD to listen with Curiosity and respond with Civility. Part of their commitment is to present BALANCE in representation of differing points of view. Without this balance, Braver Angels cannot present itself as having the interest of ALL Americans at heart.

    For those Blues who were offended by Ciaran’s willingness to listen to the “Red perspective” without rebuttal, I wonder how aware you are of the “balance” within Braver Angels. The Reds you meet or hear through different BA Events are dedicated to helping to heal the divide and we are working to bring more Reds to our Mission. And that is a challenge that we, as the MINORITY, face in our daily work with Braver Angels.

    It is an ongoing refrain that I hear from Blues about their desire to hear from Reds to help deepen their understanding of “why” Reds vote as they do. The comments from Blues here leads me to ask if these are Blues who are Members of Braver Angels or Visitors unfamiliar with the hard work it takes to encourage and bring about honest and open communication (which you might not agree with) in order to build trust one human being to another.

    The indignation that I sense beneath some of the comments leads me to believe that these are Blues investigating Braver Angels (as one of the first commenters attested) who do not fully understand the fullness, variety and the hard work that goes into our Mission. Not everyone is equipped or ready for this “labor of love”, as is also true of other things in life. Humility is an essential character trait in our work.

    My comments are, in no way, intended to chastise or demean anyone here. If our Nation is going to survive the damage that has been inflicted by both sides, it is going to take some real heroes, BRAVER ANGELS, to do the hard, taxing, yet altruistic and nourishing work that must be done to see our Nation and her people survive.

    Please join our Braver Angels Mission and bring your Red friends along (if you’re still talking to them and they to you. 😉)

  23. Watching this conversation was a good exercise for me in really listening to and evaluating comments to see if they have merit and what the heart of the speakers’ points are. I’m getting better at identifying when an argument is hollow. Heard lots of that here.

  24. Jaye Summerlot

    I’m embarrassed that BA would platform a virulent partisan like Wilkinson. He would vote for his dog over any Democrat? Allowing his radically polarized language about Democrats without any push back? Where are the lessons BA is trying to instill in the US populous?

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Support Braver Angels' Work In 2024

This holiday season, help strengthen our national citizens' movement as we prepare for a critical moment in the history of the Republic.
Braver Angels Support