Can Better Angels Depolarize America?

by Autumn Herring

He dramatically changed his views on gay marriage. Here’s how he says the nation can come together. David Blankenhorn, the co-director of The Marriage Opportunity Council, spoke out in 2010 saying that he was against gay marriage. He was against gay marriage because he believed that people were not taking it seriously politically. However, one of his friends showed him a book that changed his outlook on same-sex marriage.

He completely flipped his views on the matter and is not the founder of an organization called Better Angels. Better Angels works with people from all sides to try and encourage them to be more open minded on the subject.

Blankenhorn invited both Trump and Hillary voters after the presidential election as part of the Better Angels mission to try and dispel stereotypes and get the people to agree. The discussion was around thirteen hours long, but the two groups managed to come together and find some common ground amongst one another. David now has been devoting the majority of his time to try and engage people in the act of depolarizing the nation. He most recently wrote about seven ways that you can be an effective depolarizer. I agree with what he wrote where he stated “reframing your thinking to see issues differently, or at least, not as black and white.”

Blankenhorn is a perfect person to advocate depolarizing the nation, because he himself changed his opinion about gay marriage. He was so against it and looked at it so negatively until he stopped being close minded. I think it is a good example that he can show to to people to show them that even he himself can change his political opinion on issues. To me, it is important to be open-minded, especially in regards to politics and topics such as same-sex marriage. If people were more open-minded and willing to see the other side of things our nation would not be so polarized. Diversity is important in regards to politics, and I strongly agree with David as he stated “Diverse groups make better decisions than the smartest individual. If that’s a fact and I really believe it, then no one person knows everything.”

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/inspired-life/wp/2017/02/28/he-dramatically-changed-his-viewson-gay-marriage-heres-how-he-says-the-nation-can-come-together/?utm_term=.5e4dcefd1eb9

 

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2 thoughts on “Can Better Angels Depolarize America?

  1. Great article and discussion. After reading this and the discussion we had in class I think it may be hard to convince these people to change their minds in the amount of time that was given. It takes years and years sometimes for generate an opinion on certain things and I believe this is one of them. People may have come to an argument since they were in the same room and did not want to offend the other group. Situation can truly define the outcome of any discussion. If you feel comfortable you will be more open and willing to talk candidly.

  2. I agree with Richard with his comment and the approach of group decisions. I think it may be hard to change everyone’s mind, but I think it is important that people are able to hear the opinions. I think the news media shoves opinions to generate discussion instead of having everyday people talk about the issues. I think this is also highlighted in the recent commercial by Heineken, that people should talk face to face instead of social media.

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