As the tone of public discourse becomes increasingly angry and divisive, Common Ground Committee offers a healing path to reaching agreement and moving forward. We talk with top leaders in public policy, finance, academe and more to encourage the seeking and finding of points of agreement, and to demonstrate how combating incivility can lead us forward.
The Crucial Role of Centrists: Will Hurd
We live in a world of political extremes, with the far right and far left denigrating each other on a regular basis. But could the future lie with politicians who appeal to everyone else?
Our guest on this show says yes. Former CIA agent and Republican congressman Will Hurd of San Antonio won three terms representing Texas’s 23rd district. He was told he could never it because it was bright blue, while he was red.
Hurd says he succeeded by engaging with everyone, not just voters who shared all his beliefs. “In the media in Washington DC…moderate means middle of the road,” he says. “But in reality, moderates are the ones that do the hard work and get things done because they're the ones that are having to take a philosophy to people that may not identify with it.”
Hurd grew up bi-racial in Texas, which gave him the early experience of finding common ground. In his book American Reboot he outlines how to "get big things done" by focusing on policy, not politics. He also shares his thoughts on what Americans should be worrying about, including losing control of the technology which we use to run our lives.
Our Common Ground: What Polling Doesn't Reveal About Americans. Diane Hessan
All too often people in public life talk past each other and assume that all Americans are rigid Republicans or determined Democrats. So what happens when we actually listen and give voters the respect and space they need to explain how their true opinions?
On guns, abortion, government spending and even partisan politics, most people may not be nearly as far apart as polling suggests.
For more than four years, our guest, entrepreneur and market researcher, Diane Hessan, conducted a remarkable series of conversations with hundreds of voters from all across the country. She checked in with them every week. What Diane found may surprise you, give you hope, and change the way you feel about your fellow Americans.
Diane also has some fascinating insights into the role of business, and how corporations could bridge divides among their workforce and the public at large.
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We're Less Divided Than We Think: Tony Woodlief
Every day on social media and cable TV, in newspapers and magazines, we're told that we live in a red-versus-blue world of rigid divides. Our podcast guest, Tony Woodlief, begs to differ.
"In reality, most people fall somewhere in the middle, or else have a complex blend of views from both sides of the aisle, Tony tells us. His new book "I, Citizen" uses polling data, political history, and on-the-ground reporting to make the case that party activists and partisans are attempting to undermine the freedom of Americans to govern themselves and make decisions that have a direct impact on their lives.
Many people have fallen for a false narrative promoted by leaders of political parties, academia, media, and government, that we're all team red or team blue, he argues. In this episode, we learn a different perspective and discuss how all of us can find common ground in our local neighborhoods and national discourse.
Depolarizing America: Building Consensus Step-by-Step. Kelly Johnston and Rob Fersh
Kelly Johnston and Rob Fersh disagree strongly on many issues, and voted differently in the 2020 presidential election. But they are friends and “agree on major steps that must be taken for the nation to heed President-elect Biden’s welcome call for us to come together.”
Both believe that constructive steps must be taken to help build trust among Democrats and Republicans, despite deep polarization and a firm resistance to bipartisanship from both ends of the political spectrum. They encourage open dialogue between sectors and interest groups whose views diverge in an effort to deal with divisive political discourse.
Rob Fersh founded Convergence Center for Policy Resolution, and previously worked for Democrats on the staffs of three congressional committees. Kelly Johnston, also a founding board member of Convergence, is a committed Republican and former Secretary of the U.S. Senate. In this episode of Let’s Find Common Ground, produced in partnership with Convergence, we talk with both Fersh and Johnston about bridge building and why this work is so urgently needed in an era of political gridlock.
How Our Accents Can Divide and Unite Us
We all judge others on how they sound: their accent, their pronunciation, their use of slang. Some of us have been criticized for these things ourselves, mocked because we sound different from those around us.
The way we speak can be a source of division. But it doesn’t have to be.
In this episode we speak with Jessica Mendoza and Jingnan Peng of the Christian Science Monitor. They host the Monitor’s new podcast Say That Again?, which explores how we sound, how we listen, and how we can come to better understand each other.
Both hosts and guests on this show were once newcomers to the US. We hear some personal stories of how their own voices have affected their experience, and how listening differently can help us all find common ground.
Guns: Ryan Busse Loves Them But Sees the Need for Limits on How They’re Used & Sold
The recent mass shootings in Sacramento, California, and at a subway station in Brooklyn, New York have prompted renewed calls for action on gun control. In this podcast episode, we gain a unique perspective on the raging debate with a former gun industry executive who says the NRA and its supporters have gone too far.
Our guest, Ryan Busse grew up around guns— hunting and shooting with his father. He is a proud gun owner, hunter, and an avid outdoorsman, who lives in Montana. But today, Busse says that his industry radicalized large numbers of Americans, and argues it must change before gun violence can be reduced and our nation can heal.
After a successful 30-year career, he decided to retire from the gun manufacturer he worked for, and write "Gunfight", a book that tells the inside story of a little-known industry. In this episode, we learn about Busse's lifelong love of guns and discuss his call for sensible rules of conduct.
Informative and anti inflammatory
I’ve listen to several episodes. I fell I learn about various points of view and why people come to their viewpoints.
A very entertaining 30 minute look at topics that make you consider how to better understand an alternate perspective
A message whose time is now
Let’s Find Common Ground is a refreshing voice that looks to overcome the pernicious polarization that plagues American politics.
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