Are you worried that politics will ruin your family’s vacation?
Many are concerned about the family discord at the Thanksgiving table this year. Holidays are well known for bringing out stress. A 2018 American Psychological Association survey showed that 38% of people said their stress levels increased while on vacation. The COVID pandemic has caused many to focus on the social media scandal machine, pushing our loved ones further and further away.
Pew Research polls show that our political divide has worsened considerably in recent years:
More recent data shows that 40% of supporters consider the supporters on the other side to be downright bad. In addition, that 5 to 15 percent of Americans from either party approve of violence, depending on the circumstances.
Now more than ever we need family and mutual understanding, but with opinions so strongly divided, we risk seeing the dreaded family political argument turn into a battle royale and potentially create permanent divisions between friends and family. .
Some people take steps to heal our divided culture. Launched in 2016, Braver Angels is a national nonprofit organization that seeks to depolarize American politics by transforming our attitudes towards each other. We are working to heal the wounds of our Red / Blue partisan divisions, in a process that favors and supports more civilian communities. We champion shared human values such as human dignity, respect, empathy, curiosity, contextual understanding and deep listening. Together, we discover what it means to be truly “American” in these times.
Braver Angels CT will host a virtual workshop on November 14 – Families and politics, designed to explain why family differences on politics are particularly difficult. Participants will learn specific strategies and skills for dealing with family policy differences constructively.
Braver Angels Workshops are based on extensive experience, sound principles, and soliciting input from workshop participants, recognized external leaders, problem-oriented caucuses, and ongoing research. As a result, these workshops are carefully designed and then thoroughly checked through field trials.
Braver Angels CT is the Connecticut local alliance under the Braver Angels national organization structure. Braver Angels Alliances strives to create vibrant red / blue “communities” where you live. These alliances nurture lasting friendships, lifelong learning, and joint initiatives around common public policy interests. Our alliances are active and autonomous to advance the work of Braver Angels in local areas. They are doing important work that cannot be done at the state and federal levels. Each local alliance is led by a red co-chair and a blue co-chair to ensure balance in decision-making, culture and operations.
Braver Angels CT has organized two previous events: a debate asking Should social media be regulated, and an information session on Critical Race Theory and Its Potential Application in Kindergarten to Grade 12 Education. We plan to offer monthly activities as we approach 2022. We are a growing group committed to opening channels of communication through our divided society and we hope to see you at our future events.
Please contact [email protected] if you would like to get involved with Braver Angels CT. Visit This site to register for the Family and Politics workshop on November 14. A printable event flyer is available here.
Christopher P. Clouet, Ed.D., of New London, is Assistant Professor of Education at Mitchell College. Al E. Smith, Brookfield, President, Western CT Military Officers Association. They are state co-presidents of the Braver Angels CT Alliance.
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