Better Angels in the Media


Atlantic Magazine: The Bipartisan Group That’s Not Afraid of Partisanship

ABC News: Better Angels group puts Democrats and Republicans, Trump supporters and immigrants, in the same room to listen to each other

The Federalist: Red And Blue Americans Listen To Each Other With Better Angels, And It’s Wonderful (Podcast)

USA Today: One group tries to lower the volume on the high-decibel noise that’s further dividing a polarized nation

Washington Post: “Politicians can’t seem to do it but these citizens are learning how to find common ground”

New York Times (David Brooks): “Better Angels is aiming to build a group of people whose personal bonds with their fellow citizens redefine how they engage in the political system.”

CBS This Morning (Video): “Better Angels helps communities ease political tensions”

Financial Times: Can marriage counsellors bridge America’s political divide?

Oprah Magazine: “How to talk politics without starting fights and ruining relationships”

Washington Times: “Better Angels tour brings civil discourse to Americans bitterly divided over politics”

NPR: “Group Uses Marriage Counseling Methods to Help Bridge Political Divide”

Daily Caller: “Meet The Group Trying To Fix America’s Partisan Divide One Workshop At A Time”

Associated Press: “Minnesota professor hopes to overcome political divide”

CNN (Video): “How Americans Can Unify”

Real Clear Politics: “Better Angels: Slowly Bridging Our Divide”

NBC (Video): “Better Angels Aim to Bridge National Political Divide”

Minneapolis Star Tribune: “Reds’ and ‘blues’ sit down together to try to heal the political divide”

International Press

Nieuwsuur: Verenigde Staten waren nog nooit zo niet-verenigd

Franceinfo: “Nous sommes là pour dépolariser l’Amérique”: on a suivi une thérapie de groupe entre démocrates et républicains

NHK: “Dialogue can not be established” division of American society

Arjen van der Horst: MIDTERMS 2018 – Vechten tegen polarisatie

BBC News: “Crossing Divides: When a far-left Democrat met a big Trump fan”

Al Jazeera (Video): “Better Angels aims to bring civil discourse to divided America”

Handelsblatt: Die Amerikaner sehnen sich nach mehr Anstand (The Americans long for more decency)

CBC/Radio-Canada: Donald Trump divise et inspire

Neue Burcher Zeitung: Die «besseren Engel» von David Blankenhorn

Area’s ‘Better Angels’ work to improve political discourse
Amanda Valentovic, Essex New Daily, 11/24/18

Holiday blessing: Fewer arguments [+video]
Meghan Ottolinni, Boston Herald, 11/18/18

‘Better Angels’ Seeks to Difuse Political Divide
Ron Barnett, Independent-Mail, 11/15/18

Students for Free Expression aims to convince students that free speech is nonpartisan
Asher Weinstein, the Eagle, 11/13/18

Bill Doherty joins Roshini Rajkumar to discuss how we can regain our civility when it comes to politics and our daily discourse with each other
WCCO Middays, 11/7/18

Video: Better Angels round table
The Local Live # 233, Maura Carlin, Ken Freeman, and Sara Silver, 11/1/18

This Group Gets Democrats and Republicans to Do Something Radical: Talk to Each Other
Erin Feher, San Francisco Magazine, 10/31/2018

How Can We Bridge the Partisan Divide?
Richard K. Rein, PrincetonInfo, 10/31/18

Productive conversations
Dr. David Stevens, John Wood, Jr. and Rob Robertson, My Faith Radio, 10/30/18

Bridging the political divide
Richie Davis, Greenfield Recorder, 10/29/2018

Red-blue workshop aims at bridging the political divide
Steve Barnes, TimesUnion, 10/25/18

Conestoga Students Host Non-partisan Political Program
Max Bennett, Tredyffrin Patch, 10/25/18

Local Alliance is Determined to Depolarize Politics
Jessica Laskey, Inside East Sacramento, 10/23/2018

Bi-Partisan Workshop Held to Overcome Division in Charlotte
WBTV, 10/21/18

Better Angels movement hopes to unify a ‘divided nation,’ hosts Charlotte event
Rachel Lundberg, WCNC, 10/20/2018

We’re in the danger zone of distrust
StarTribune, 10/19/18

Dissolving our differences
Dr. David Stevens, John Wood, Jr. and Rob Robertson, My Faith Radio, 10/12/18

Editorial: Better Angels seeks to promote bipartisan alliances
Carroll County Times Editorial Board, 10/4/18

Being Respectful & Talking Across the Political Divide
Curtis Schaeffer, Falls Church News Press, 10/4/18

Bursting Bubbles: Local Group Works to Bridge the Red-Blue Divide
Jan Mercker, Loudoun Now, 10/4/18

No eye rolling, no yelling. How Trump supporters and critics try to find common ground
Mike Kelly, North Jersey Record, 10/3/18

Politics too divisive? Meeting looks for Carroll’s ‘Better Angels’
Jon Kelvey, Carroll County Times, 9/27/18

‘Better Angels’ hold workshop Special to The Democrat

Red and blues depolarize at Better Angels workshop
By Michael Cooper-White, Gettysburg Times, 9/10/18

In Pursuit of Our Political ‘Better Angels’
By Randy Freeman, Yorktown NY News – TAPinto, 7/25/18

Past partisanship: Arkansas Better Angels take flight
By J. Glen White and Cindy Kyser, The Democrat-Gazette, 7/20/18

“Better Angels” Offers An Alternative At a Time of “Deep Political Division”
Town Topics, 7/11/18

Finding our better angels in divided times
Jeff Newcomer Miller, Duane Beck and Russell Johnson, Mennonite World Review, 7/10/18

Not Just Talking About Bridging the Divide
Katherine Gianni, The Vineyard Gazette, 7/10/18

“Better Angels” movement attempts to bridge political gaps
Franklin Home Page, 7/4/18

Can America unite on Fourth of July? On nation’s birthday, political divisions hit close to home
Harrison Connery, Republican-American, 7/4/18

‘Better Angels’ looks to bridge divide between liberals, conservatives, 7/1/18

Better Angels Hosting Sacramento Workshop to Bridge Political Divide
Joe Michaels, KFBK, 6/29/18

The better angels of our politics
Gettysburg Times, 6/29/18

Finding Our Better Angels
Donna N. Murphy, Daily News-Record, 6/20/18

Podcast: Red And Blue Americans Listen To Each Other With Better Angels, And It’s Wonderful
The Federalist, 6/19/18

Angels of Our Better Nature (Podcast)
Northern Alliance Radio – Mitch Berg, 6/16/18

One group tries to lower the volume on the high-decibel noise that’s further dividing a polarized nation
USA Today, 6/17/2018

Enough arguing, let’s talk about it
The Chip Frank Show, 6/15/2018

Kira Hamman: Political tribalism is not the way forward
Herald Mail Media, 6/6/2018

The primeval tribalism of American politics: One effort to get people talking shows the depth of the divide
The Economist, 5/24/2018

Morning Shift’s Family Survival Guide For Memorial Day Weekend
Meha Ahmad with Bill Doherty, Morning Shift WPEZ, 5/23/2018

Can marriage counsellors bridge America’s political divide?
Patti Waldmeir, Financial Times, 5/4/2018

Panel Discussion: Confronting Political Polarization In America
Shennekia Grimshaw, Local, 5/1/2018

Better Angels: Spurred by a Drexel JD/PhD student, the national bipartisan dialogue-building group debuts in Philly next week
Roxanne Patel Shepelavy, The Philadelphia Citizen, 4/28/2018

Becoming “Better Angels”: PHC Hosts Bipartisan Round Table Discussion
Patrick Henry College, 4/16/2018

Op-ed: Respecting our differences heals a divided America
Aaron Kofford, The Deseret News, 4/14/2018

Out and About (Sort): Quest for Comity by Howard Freedlander
Howard Freedlander, 4/3/2018, The Talbot Spy

Better Angels help communities ease political tensions: People with differing opinions talk about gun control face to face to ease tensions
3/26/2018, CBS News

Republican and Democrat voters look to overcome differences at unique program
Halle Jackson, MSNBC, 3/22/2108

Mourning becomes electronic
Suzanne Fields, The Washington Times, 2/28/2018

In the mutual hostility of tribal America, we need our braver angels
Greg Erlandson, Catholic News Service, 2/26/2018

Respect First, Then Gun Control
David Brooks, The New York Times, 2/19/2018

Have our tribes become more important than our country?
Jonathan Rauch, The Washington Post, 2/16/2018

Commentary: Bridging divides among us is goal
Alysse ElHage, Tideland News (North Carolina), 12/27/17

Better Angels: Slowly Bridging Our Partisan Divide
Jonathan Rauch, RealClearPolitics, 12/22/2017

“Better Angels”
Maura Carlin, The Local Live #197 (Larchmont, NY), 12/21/17

For Family Values and Gun Control: Why not both?
David Blankenhorn, The American Interest, 12/14/17

“We are all Americans”
A statement by DC Better Angels (McLean, VA Nov. 4, 2017 Red/Blue Workshop Attendees), 12/5/17

NPR: Group Uses Marriage Counseling Methods To Help Bridge Political Divide
Chas Sisk, Weekend Edition Saturday, NPR, 12/2/17

We asked readers how U.S. can become more civil: Here’s what they said
David Plazas, The Tennessean, 11/22/17

Banned from the dinner table? Here’s advice for talking politics during the holidays
Jeff Jones, MPR News, 11/24/17

Here’s a recipe for civil chats during your turkey dinner: It starts with humility and a willingness to listen, not a war of words you have to win.
Tom Sylvester, The Star Tribune, 11/22/17

Meet The Group Trying To Fix America’s Partisan Divide One Workshop At A Time
Amber Randall, The Daily Caller, 11/7/17

Liberals and conservatives talked out their differences: here is what they decided
The Nashville Better Angels, The Tennessean, 10/20/17

In Lower Merion, Democrats and Republicans try something new: Listening to each other
Ashley Best-Raiten,, 8/25/17

Better Angels Strives to Bridge Political Divide
Kouhyar Mostashfi is a local resident of Warren County, Ohio, who recently participated in a discussion led by Better Angels.
Kouhyar Mostashfi, The Columbus Dispatch, 8/4/2017

Bill Doherty Talks Better Angels on the KQ Morning Show
Better Angels’ lead facilitator Bill Doherty talks to Minnesota’s 92 KQRS about our summer bus tour—and what it was like bringing liberals and conservatives together across the country.
92 KQRS, 8/1/2017

The Republican View: Building a Foundation for Common Ground
Mike Sigler,, 7/31/17

Minnesota professor hopes to overcome political divide
A University of Minnesota professor is among those on a mission to mend the hostility between supporters and opponents of President Donald Trump.
StarTribune, 7/29/17

Better Angels aims for better political understanding in Leesburg
A national bipartisan movement known as Better Angels is hoping to “bridge the nation’s divide and reunite America.”
Karen Graham, Loudoun Times-Mirror, 7/28/17

EDITORIAL: Better Angels, better understanding
Each day, the American discourse seems to sink to a new low. Settled fact is reinterpreted as fake news. Political manipulation distorts whether a foreign power meddled in our democracy. The President of the United States tweets insults and betrays the Boy Scout creed. The nation engages in a debate over health care as if we were mortal enemies, not as citizens looking out for one another.
Loudoun Times-Mirror, 7/28/17

UMN professor hits the road to bridge political divide
A University of Minnesota professor is touring the country in an attempt to mend frayed cross-party relations.
Max Chao, Minnesota Daily, 7/26/17

Better Angels group trying to fix political divide
A grassroots group is behind a series of meetings across the nation this summer aimed at getting Republicans, Democrats and everyone in between talking about the issues that divide our country.
Joe Dominguez, DCW50, 7/24/2017

Politicians can’t seem to do it, but these citizens are learning how to find common ground
Like so many Americans, most of Donna Murphy’s social circle shared her politics. So when she, a self-described liberal, was tasked with putting together a weekend-long event with an equal number of Democrats and Republicans, she needed to broaden her bubble.
Colby Itkowitz, The Washington Post, 7/21/2017

Ohio at center of civility movement
Ohioans ought to feel honored in a way — but challenged in another — that two national organizations have made the state a key to campaigns for civility in politics.
Herald-Star, 7/20/2017

Restore Civility To U.S. Politics
Ohioans ought to feel honored in a way — but challenged in another — that two national organizations have made the state a key to campaigns for civility in politics.
The Intelligencer, 7/19/2017

‘Better Angels’ Aim to Bridge National Political Divide
A national tour came to Vermont, hoping to reduce political polarization that can become mean-spirited
Jack Thurston, NBC Boston, 7/17/17

Podcast with Kris Hodges, David Blankenhorn, Braver Angels
Eric Clay, M.Div., Ph.D., host of “The Made of Clay Report” and founder of Shared Journeys, speaks with David Blankenhorn, founder of Better Angels and Kris Hodges, the local organizer for Better Angels’ Ithaca, NY stop.
Eric Clay, Made of Clay, 7/17/17

Bipartisian nonprofit tour stops in Vermont
’Better Angels’ teaches polite political communication
Renee Wunderlich, NBC 5, 7/17/17

A start to ending the political divide
Kim Scott heard about Better Angels while listening to National Public Radio. She heard about their program of putting eight Republicans and eight Democrats in a room together and getting them to listen, to understand, to come together and end the madness.
Ken Tingley, The Post Star, 7/16/17

Battleground Ohio targeted in push for civility in politics
Better Angels is a national nonprofit with the goal of reuniting the politically divided country through discussions, workshops and an interactive online curriculum. One America bus tour kicked off in Waynesville, OH on July 4.
AP,, 7/15/17

Belmar Gets on the Bus to Join National Movement to ‘Reunite America’
Better Angels’ One America bus tour quietly rolled into Belmar last week, but organizers hope that its grass-roots effort to heal the political divide in this country will generate a growing chorus of support.
Cathy Goetz, TAP into Belmar/Lake Como, 7/15/17

Spots open for political discussion in Bolton
There is space open for those interested in attending a Better Angels program Thursday in the Topside Room of the Algonquin Restaurant.
The Post Star, 7/11/2017

Needed in Politics: Our Better Angels
In a commentary about the current state of the Democratic Party, Fox New politics editor Chris Stirewalt writes, “Democrats have come in for a great deal of mockery over a silly promotion in which supporters were asked to vote on their preferred slogans for campaign stickers. One of the options was, “I mean, have you seen the other guys?” This is some undeniably weak sauce right there. It probably only reflects the foolish, stale snark of some poor intern tasked in finding a way to flog the same donors for another $5.”
David Robertson, Wizbang, 7/10/2017

Local bipartisanship startup begins national tour in Dayton, Lebanon
A group of local residents are engaging in political discussions this week in an effort to alleviate tension across party lines.
Grant Pepper, Dayton Daily News, 7/6/17

Americans know there’s a civility problem. Do they want to do anything about it?
People are facing a harder time having polite political conversations with those who disagree with them.
David Plazas, The Tennessean, 7/2/2017

‘Bridging the Red/Blue Chasm’
The “Bridging the Red/Blue Chasm” meeting on June 19 at the Wescott Library put on by the Better Angels Project pleasantly surprised me.
Sun This Week, 6/29/17

Taking to the Road for One America
Something unusual happened two weeks ago in Waynesville, Ohio, at the conclusion of our most recent Better Angels weekend-long gathering
David Blankenhorn, On Being, 6/23/2017

11 ways to talk politics with someone who disagrees
Political tensions are sky-high in the United States. Is it possible for people on both ends of a highly polarized political spectrum to give up their differences and find a way to understand each other? MPR News host Kerri Miller spoke with family social science professor Bill Doherty about his experiments in fostering dialogue with members of opposing political tribes.
Kerri Miller and Elizabeth Shockman, MPR News, 6/19/17

How Americans can unify
David Blankenhorn, activist and president of Better Angels, tells Fareed how his organization brings people together despite political differences.
Fareed Zakaria and David Blankenhorn, CNN, 6/18/17

Finding Common Ground in Ohio
Better Angels set out to southwestern Ohio to bring local Democrats and Republicans together for a weekend of discussion—and music—in the wake of the 2016 Election. This is their story.
with Peter Yarrow, Better Angels, 6/5/17

Depolarize! Podcast 35: Everyone Knows They’re Being Judged with David Lapp
Better Angels’ lead organizer David Lapp talks about depolarization in action as seen through his experiences with the organization he is with, Better Angels, which facilitates candid conversations between voters from the left and the right.
Dan Koch, Depolarize!, 5/9/17

Podcast: Can We Reunite America?
Imagine this scenario: Two women from Ohio are sitting together at a table. One voted for Donald Trump, the other for Hillary Clinton. They’re talking politics to each other. And actually listening. This is the premise of a social experiment called “Better Angels.” The project is working to rebuild civil dialogue in America after the election, with hopes of getting the country to move beyond polarization and stereotypes. On this episode of Indivisible, host Kerri Miller talks with two women who took part in the experiment. We’ll also hear from University of Minnesota professor Dr. William J. Doherty, the professor who facilitated the project, about what it takes to have a productive dialogue in a time of deep division. Is it enough to tolerate different points of view? Or does a vibrant democracy require us to really listen and respect what we’re hearing?
Kerri Miller, Indivisible, New York Public Radio, 3/2/17

He dramatically changed his views on gay marriage. Here’s how he says the nation can come together
Blankenhorn, an advocate for the institution of marriage, testified in 2010 against legalizing same-sex marriage. He believed then that gay people were using marriage as a political football and were not serious about the commitment that comes with it. But later, an unlikely friendship with writer Jonathan Rauch, who wrote, “Gay Marriage: Why It Is Good for Gays, Good for Straights, and Good for America,” gradually made him see the issue differently, and in 2012 he wrote in a New York Times op-ed that he had changed his mind.
He is now the founder of an organization called Better Angels committed to engaging people from all sides in an effort to encourage this kind of open-minded dialogue. It gets its name from a line from President Abraham Lincoln’s first inaugural address: “We are not enemies, but friends. We must not be enemies. Though passion may have strained, it must not break our bonds of affection. The mystic chords of memory . . . will yet swell the chorus of the Union, when again touched, as surely they will be, by the braver angels of our nature.”
Colby Itkowitz, The Washington Post, 2/28/16

It’s Time for Rochester to Lead from the Bottom Up
David Blankenhorn of the Institute for American Values asserts, “We Americans didn’t necessarily think our way into political polarization, but we’ll likely have to think our way out.”
John Calia, Rochester Business Journal, 2/3/17

Appealing to Our Better Angels
David Blankenhorn has set up a “new bipartisan network of leaders and organizations committed to reducing polarization” that he’s calling Better Angels. Run through the Institute for American Values-which has eschewed partisan labels since 1988-Better Angels has a few things going for it.
Travis LaCouter, Philanthropy Daily, 10/17/2016

Partisan Deadlock and the Value of Listening
David Blankenhorn discusses his recent efforts to speak — and more importantly listen to — Trump supporters. He examines their motivations, speaks about their grievances, and looks at what Trump’s ascendancy means for the country.
Richard Aldous, The American Interest Podcast, 8/9/16

Wales, Brexit, and Taking on Trump
The American Interest’s Richard Aldous speaks with David Blankenhorn about an open letter he recently co-wrote addressed to Trump supporters.
Richard Aldous, The American Interest Podcast Series, 7/6/16

SMU Law Professor among Those Urging Trump Voters to Reconsider Based on American Principles
Critics of Donald Trump are hoping to reach his supporters by arguing that he lacks, among other traits, self-control, honesty and respect for the rule of law.
Hannah Wise, Dallas Morning News, 7/7/16

Bridging the Divide Between Religious Liberty and Marriage Equality
When good people on both sides of the debate are put into the same room…they naturally become sensitive to the sincere concerns of others.
Ravi Iyer,, 5/3/2016

Is There a Movement to Depolarize America?
As people sort themselves into tribes based on everything from neighborhoods to news outlets, a small group of activists and academics is taking note and searching for ways to stem the partisan tide.
Allison Pond, Deseret News, 3/6/2016

David Blankenhorn’s Mission To Restore Public Discourse
A Democrat who has for years worked to bolster family formation now seeks to call forth honest and charitable discourse with the Better Angels project.
Hunter Baker, The Federalist, 12/7/2015

The War on Partisanship
How Fighting Polarization Became its Own Cause
Rebecca Nelson, The Atlantic, 10/30/2015

Diversity in Political Opinion Leads to Better Policy
Creating a more civil political environment is not just beneficial for our relationships in our communities. . . it also leads to better, smarter policy.
Ravi Iyer,, 10/28/2015

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