John Wood Jr. comes by to talk about Braver Angels, the largest grassroots bipartisan organization in America, focused on the work of political de-polarization. Along the way he and Bridget have a fascinating conversation about his experience being raised by a mother who’s a liberal black Democrat from inner city LA and father who’s a conservative white Republican from Tennessee, and how his white father emphasized the greatness of black culture in the context of the greatness of America and made him proud of being a black man.  He and Bridget bond over their similar experiences dealing with their parents’ divorces. They cover how you can engage conflict without suffering the debilitating impact of hatred in your own psychology, being chameleons growing up and learning to integrate all the different parts of themselves as they grew older, how important it is to see the human behind the opinion – especially when it’s one you don’t agree with,  what’s truly noble and redeemable in all of our American traditions, and whether Trump is actually racist.

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  1. Bryan McAllister Inactive
    Bryan McAllister
    @bmcallis

    I was not familiar with “Braver Angels”, before this podcast, nor with John Wood, Jr.  I missed why he dropped out of running for office – I did hear his concerns about working specifically for a party – but, I wish more of those seeking and attaining office were equally articulate and motivated.  His discussion about ‘civics’ versus ‘politics’ – I think at about 60 minutes in – was compelling.  Also, his discussion about the value of having an upbringing without a group or a tribe – painful as a teen, but now he feels comfortable in many settings.  Consequently, he is fluent in many languages and can help and aspires to bridge divides.  I suspect that he is effective in that work.

    This was a delightful conversation.  Insightful, and one that spans and synthesizes across positions, platforms, peoples, and ideologies.  I hope that Bridget is able to continue this conversation with Mr Wood in future podcasts.

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