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The Better Angels Podcast

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Ciaran O'Connor (former communications staffer for Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama) and John Wood, Jr. (former GOP officer and Republican congressional nominee against Maxine Waters) bring left and right together in an effort to heal the anger in American politics. These two millennial, political entrepreneurs take on current events, interviewing thought leaders and public figures from both sides of the aisle and looking outside the box for goodwill and common ground. John and Ciaran are leaders at Better Angels – a grassroots, national, bipartisan organization seeking to depolarizae American politics and restore civil society.

Ciaran O'Connor (former communications staffer for Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama) and John Wood, Jr. (former GOP officer and Republican congressional nominee against Maxine Waters) bring left and right together in an effort to heal the anger in American politics. These two millennial, political entrepreneurs take on current events, interviewing thought leaders and public figures from both sides of the aisle and looking outside the box for goodwill and common ground. John and Ciaran are leaders at Better Angels – a grassroots, national, bipartisan organization seeking to depolarizae American politics and restore civil society.
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Location:

United States

Description:

Ciaran O'Connor (former communications staffer for Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama) and John Wood, Jr. (former GOP officer and Republican congressional nominee against Maxine Waters) bring left and right together in an effort to heal the anger in American politics. These two millennial, political entrepreneurs take on current events, interviewing thought leaders and public figures from both sides of the aisle and looking outside the box for goodwill and common ground. John and Ciaran are leaders at Better Angels – a grassroots, national, bipartisan organization seeking to depolarizae American politics and restore civil society.

Language:

English


Episodes

Diagnosing the Divide with Bob Shrum

4/17/2019
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Prominent Democratic strategist and Director of the Center for the Political Future at USC Bob Shrum talks with Ciaran and John about his friendship with Co-Director (and prominent GOP strategist) Mike Murphy, their work at the center, and how American politics became so divided.

Duration:00:41:18

Arthur Brooks and the Transformational Power of Love

4/8/2019
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Ciaran O'Connor and John Wood, Jr. talk to Arthur Brooks, the President of the American Enterprise Institute and the author of the recently-published "Love Your Enemies," about his new book, antidotes to polarization, and the transformational power of love amidst today's social-media-fueled rancor.

Duration:01:01:03

The Mueller Report and the Saga of Jussie Smollett

4/2/2019
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*Correction: This episode states that Cook County State Attorney Kim Fox was formerly a chief of staff for first lady Michelle Obama. This is incorrect. What has been reported is that former aide to Michelle Obama, Tina Tchen, contacted Ms. Fox on behalf of the Smollett family prior to charges against Smollett being dropped. John Wood, Jr., along with Better Angels leaders Randy Lioz, Greg Steinbrecher and Better Angels editor Luke Phillips take on the politics of the Mueller Report, Also,...

Duration:01:01:19

From Obama to Better Angels: A Conversation with White House Speechwriter Terry Szuplat

3/25/2019
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Ciaran O'Connor and John Wood, Jr. welcome Terence Szuplat to the podcast. Terry was Barack Obama's senior foreign policy speech writer and a member of the administration's speechwriting team for all eight years of the Obama presidency. Here Terry talks his work with the Obama administration, his experience coming to a Better Angels workshop, and the challenge of unearthing common values across the partisan divide.

Duration:01:11:51

Climate Change, Israel and the Challenge of Perceptions

3/22/2019
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Green New Deal, Ilhan Omar, AOC, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Better Angels, Ciaran O'Connor, John Wood Jr., Greg Steinbrecher, Randy Lioz, polarization.

Duration:01:03:35

Fame and Polarization with Ken Bone

3/7/2019
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Average Joe turned political celebrity Ken Bone joins John and Ciaran to talk about his wild ride to fame following his celebrated appearance at the second 2016 Trump vs. Clinton presidential debate, and to share his insights into the problem of political polarization and how we can overcome it. Follow Ken Bone: Twitter: @KenBone18 John Wood, Jr. Twitter: @JohnRWoodJr Facebook: @Transcending Politics Ciaran O'Connor Twitter: @ciaranjocconor Better Angels Twitter: @BetterAngelsUSA Facebook:...

Duration:01:01:37

Neeson, Omar, Northam and the Politics of Redemption (with Ione Butler and Billy Singhas)

2/16/2019
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[We had some audio issues on this one. Sorry everyone! But the conversation was great. We'll avoid these problems in the future.] Ione Butler, founder of Uplifting Content, and artist and activist Billy Singhas join Ciaran and John to talk about the suite of racial controversies to hit America in the last couple weeks, including the Ralph Northam blackface scandal, Liam Neeson's shocking admission and congresswoman Ilhan Omar's perceived anti-Semitic tweets. Join the Depolarization Movement...

Duration:01:00:31

On Immigration, Polarization and Special Interests with Kim Iversen

1/29/2019
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[Recorded on January 16th, 2018] John and Ciaran are joined by sharp and lively Kim Iversen, former syndicated talk radio show host and co-founder of The Left media network, to talk about immigration, the causes of polarization, special interest influence on politics, Kim's issues with the Democratic Party as well Donald Trump, and more. See more at www.better-angels.org Kim Iversen Website: https://www.kimiversen.com/ Twitter: https://twitter.com/kimontheleft?lang=en John Wood, Jr. Twitter:...

Duration:01:11:42

Protests, Pile-Ons and Toxic Masculinity

1/25/2019
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Ciaran O'Connor and John Wood, Jr., with fellow Better Angels leaders Greg Steinbrecher and Randy Lioz, discuss bias and pile on culture in the wake of the protests involving Covington Catholic High School students and participants in an Indigenous People's Rally, and the Gillette commercial targeting "toxic masculinity." Learn more about Better Angels at www.better-angels.org John Wood, Jr. Twitter: https://twitter.com/JohnRWoodJr Facebook:...

Duration:01:13:05

A Deeper Look at Immigration & the BA State of the Union

1/7/2019
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John and Ciaran dive back into the government shutdown and immigration debate, imagining a new way forward. J and C also announce the Better Angels State of the Union event, two days after President Trump's SOTU and the Democratic response, in Washington D.C. Get involved in the event, or hold your own B.A. State of the Union gathering: https://www.better-angels.org/SOTU/ Music: Josh Lim www.joshjameslim.com/

Duration:01:22:24

Trump, Syria and the Government Shutdown

12/29/2018
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Former Clinton and Obama campaign staffer Ciaran O'Connor and former Republican congressional nominee John Wood, Jr. kick off the relaunched Better Angels Podcast with discussion about the Trump Administration's pullout from Syria, the government shutdown, the work of Better Angels and the importance of the Depolarization Movement. Music: Josh Lim www.joshjameslim.com/

Duration:01:01:09

A Former Trump Official on Politics, Polarization, and a Path Forward

11/21/2018
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Better Angels CMO Ciaran O'Connor is a former political staffer for President Obama and Hillary Clinton. Lexi Hudson is a former official in the Trump administration's Department of Education. In this edition of the Better Angels podcast, Lexi and Ciaran reflect on the state of politics, polarization, and how we can find our better angels to move forward as a nation. Production: W. Harry Fortuna http://machinedhumanity.com/ Music: Josh Lim https://www.joshjameslim.com/

Duration:00:29:08

A Trump Supporter and a Black Lives Matter Activist Discuss Policing and Racial Justice

7/16/2018
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Ciaran and John host a lively Better Angels discussion between Hawk Newsome, the head of Black Lives Matter of Greater New York, and Greg Smith, a Trump supporter and former police officer. Produced by Harry Fortuna. http://machinedhumanity.com/ Music Credits: "Backed Vibes" Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com) Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

Duration:00:20:53

Conservatives Find Healing in a Better Angels Workshop

6/14/2018
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Steve Sphar and Marisa Bogdanoff, the red and blue co-chairs of Better Angels' Sacramento alliance, discuss their journey to build an alliance, including the challenges of equally representing the two sides.

Duration:00:10:25

Sally Kohn and "The Opposite of Hate"

5/23/2018
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Sally Kohn is a longtime organizer, political commentator (on both CNN and Fox News), and the author of the just-published "The Opposite of Hate: A Field Guide to Repairing Our Humanity." In this episode of the Better Angels Podcast, Ciaran, John and Sally discuss how to work with those you disagree with, how to confront hatred within oneself, and what it's like to be a progressive on Fox News. Produced by Harry Fortuna. http://machinedhumanity.com/

Duration:00:32:33

Confronting Polarization with Jordan Peterson

4/24/2018
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Better Angels President David Blankenhorn talks to Jordan Peterson, a psychologist, professor, and influential conservative intellectual, about politics, polarization, and how to bring conservatives into the fold.

Duration:00:10:28

Bridging the Divide with Jonathan Rauch: From Same-Sex Marriage to Donald Trump

4/5/2018
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Ciaran talks to Jonathan Rauch, a Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institute, about politics, polarization, and Jon's history of bridging divides within the same-sex marriage debate.

Duration:00:23:11

Bridging the Divide in High Schools

3/23/2018
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Ciaran O'Connor joins Ryan Adell, Executive Director of Next Generation Politics, to interview Avalon Fenster and Ryan Arranz, a liberal and a conservative high school student, about polarization, politics, and the next generation of political dialogue.

Duration:00:37:38

A New Way of Talking Politics with Ciaran O'Connor and John Wood, Jr.

3/19/2018
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Better Angels' Director of Public Engagement Ciaran O'Connor talks with John Wood, Jr. about their respective political backgrounds — Ciaran as a former Obama & Clinton staffer and John as a former GOP nominee for Congress — and how they came to work together.

Duration:00:26:04

A Conservative Christian and a Liberal Muslim Find Their Better Angels

3/15/2018
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After participating in a Better Angels workshop, conservative Christian Greg Smith and liberal Muslim Kouhyar Mostashfi visited each others' places of worship and became friends. Now they are leaders in the Better Angels movement and advocates for bridging the political divide. In this episode, Better Angels Director of Public Engagement Ciaran O'Connor brings them together for a wide ranging discussion about their background, politics, and how their relationship could be a model for coming...

Duration:00:33:04