show episodes
 
Our lives have changed – our politics need to change too. Now is a time for us to remember that we need each other as Americans. Now is a time for us to reject those voices that say we don’t. The Braver Angels Podcast brings you face to face with leading voices from across the divide alongside remarkable Americans you did not know existed. Experience a movement to reignite the spirit of America and defeat the forces that divide us. With John Wood, Jr., Ciaran O’Connor and April Lawson.
 
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show series
 
Shelby Steele has been one of America's most important Black conservative voices for more than a generation. His recent documentary film "What Killed Michael Brown?" critiques the mainstream narrative surrounding the death of Brown, a tragedy which spark protests for social justice across America. But does Steele see any legitimacy in the new antir…
 
Cheyenne Donaghy, a junior at Detroit International Academy for Women, Autumn Brown, an Oklahoma State University aspiring Ph.D. candidate, and Keyshawn King, a Stanford University Class of 2022 member) tackle questions-of-curiosity. Which ones? Their vision, influencers, and cancel culture. They even probe the adult Angels' musings about celebriti…
 
"It's been an emotional rollercoaster." Ciaran O'Connor and John Wood, Jr., the original hosts of the Braver Angels Podcast, come together to discuss the 2020 election, its aftermath, and how we can begin to heal the nation, confront multiple crises at once, and build a House United in 2021 and beyond.…
 
Artist and entrepreneur Alma Cooker, actor and Braver Angels social media manager Greg Steinbrecher, and Stacia Wilson of the Unity 2020 Movement join John Wood, Jr. to talk about the shifts in American political life on the eve of the election, and to survey the growing movement towards unity and political depolarization in American political life…
 
Braver Angels' holds as its ethos the ability to be opposite colors, emphasizing one's values, vocalizing beliefs and opinions, and be more than civil. Meet and hear Ms. Julie Boler, Braver Angels' Partnership Specialist, and a Blue. Hear Mr. Jim Allen, Red, also a specialist of a different sort - a retired US Special Forces warrior, Christian Past…
 
Stand-up comedian and entrepreneur Mike Casentini and Chris Paul, (host of Be Reasonable: with Your Moderator, Chris Paul), join John Wood, Jr. to have a real conversation about the 2020 election. Is President Trump corrupt? Can we trust the outcome of the vote? And can we get along regardless of the outcome? Mike and Chris trade fascinating person…
 
Think swing voters don't exist? These two lifelong conservatives have decided to vote Biden this year. Join us to find out why. Braver Angels member Peggy Wardlaw is a former TX Republican congressional candidate, a mother, and an entrepreneur from a ranching family. Across the country member Andrew Stegmaier is a millennial, libertarian software d…
 
Author Thomas Chatterton Williams is a unique and insightful voice out in the American cultural landscape. Contributor at New York Magazine and author of Losing My Cool Williams racial commentary emphasizes the need to transcend racial categories to help depolarize American racial life. In this conversation he and John Wood, Jr. discuss their birac…
 
Rick Gates is a former aide to the Trump campaign who is best known for being charged with money laundering as part of Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into ties between the campaign and Russia. In 2018, Gates pled guilty to lying to investigators and became a cooperator by helping the investigation that led to the convictions of Paul…
 
David French, Senior Editor of The Dispatch, has a new book called “Divided We Fall” about why America is so polarized, how it could tilt into civil war, and ways we can stop that from happening. On this episode of the Braver Angels Podcast, he talks to Ciaran O’Connor and Greg Steinbrecher about his book, how and why polarization has gotten so bad…
 
Lydia Cornell is an actress, producer and writer known for her work on shows ranging from Love Boat and Full House to Curb Your Enthusiasm. She is the author of the book How to Talk to Ann Coulter, If You Must. You may know Roxanne Beckford-Hoge from shows like A Different World and films including Father of the Bride II and Something's Gotta Give.…
 
Daniel McCarthy, editor of the venerable journal of conservative cultural commentary Modern Age, has been observing and commenting on Republican politics and intellectual trends in conservatism for decades now. How does someone who once deeply supported Ron Paul go on to deeply supporting Donald Trump? In this episode of the Braver Angels Podcast, …
 
"Why do you support Trump, and what reservations do you have about him?" Five conservative-leaning Braver Angels members join co-hosts Ciaran O'Connor and Carlos Hernandez for a lively discussion on President Trump, Joe Biden, and the Supreme Court vacancy. Featuring guests Iris Diaz, Larry Gutman, Joe D'Aura, Mark A Reinecke, and Ruth Littmann-Ash…
 
Host of Full Court Press with Greta Van Susteren, and former host of Fox New's On The Record, Greta Van Susteren has been one of the most visible anchors in American political media for many years. But how did Greta's media career begin? And what did it have to do with a Toga party in 1976? Hear Greta recap her whipsaw career in broadcast journalis…
 
Many Americans are deeply concerned about the culture of shaming and silencing that some see as becoming dominant on college campuses and increasingly in major American institutions and cities. No one has more reason to be concerned about this than Heather Heying - former professor of evolutionary biology at Evergreen State College and noted member…
 
Bill Fry is retired Military, a Tea Party activist, and an avid Trump supporter. He's also a longtime Braver Angels leader who is co-organizing "No Ballot No Buck," a bipartisan campaign finance reform initiative in Ohio with his liberal counterpart Rob Weidenfeld. Bill talks to host Ciaran O'Connor about Braver Angels, Donald Trump, and working to…
 
Carol Swain may not reflect the image some people have in mind when they think of an elite university professor. She is an African-American Christian Conservative who grew up in severe rural poverty to achieve success at the top of the academic ladder. Her story of personal accomplishment shines light on the power of perseverance in face of adversi…
 
Carlos Hernandez is a Latino Braver Angels leader from San Francisco who supports President Trump. In this episode, Carlos talks to host Ciaran O'Connor about what it's like to be a conservative in San Francisco, why he supports the President, and how he believes Braver Angels' work can build trust and understanding between those who plan to vote d…
 
Dominique DiPrima is a former co-host of the Steve Harvey Morning Show and is the host of The Front Page with Dominique DiPrima. A “leading-edge” progressive activist, she has challenged the political status quo from the airwaves of KJLH in Los Angeles as LA’s most popular Black morning show host. Kira Davis is the editor at large of Red State, a n…
 
The philosophy of Nonviolence guided the moral leaders of the Civil Rights Movement in a struggle for freedom and justice that inspired the world. Dr. King's philosophy birth a vision for American society that still challenges the conscience of the nation. And yet the true substance and practice of Nonviolence is largely forgotten today. How can we…
 
There is a movement underway to depolarize American politics. It is a movement committed to transforming the way we interact with and think about each other as Americans. And guess what? It is bigger than just Braver Angels. John and Ciaran welcome National Conversations Project and Listen First founder Pearce Godwin, Bridge Alliance founder Debily…
 
The Braver Angels Songwriting Contest is over! And we've emerged with three incredible winning songs. In this episode of The Braver Angels Podcast John Wood, Jr. and Sage Snider speak to Jon Baker and Donna Elaine Miller (writers of the "A United States of Humanity," performed by Donna), Thomas Prasada-Rao ("Even You") and Scott Cook ("Say Can You …
 
Fashion stylist and cultural commentator Ayishat Akanbi is a uniquely refreshing voice in the social discourse of the United Kingdom. Increasingly however Ayishat's following is growing in the United States where people of widely differing background are drawing value from her empathetic and deeply perceptive approach to communicating across ethnic…
 
Why has America struggled so mightily to control the coronavirus compared to other countries? Is there something about American identity or culture that renders us uniquely ill suited to managing this crisis? What do we mean by "cancel culture?" And how can we promote the values of free speech while making sure marginalized voices are heard? Ciaran…
 
What are the forces driving the breakdown in our media system? How do media polarization, hyperpartisanship, and disinformation threaten our values and democracy? And what can we do about it?? Ciaran O'Connor talks to the leaders of two organizations working to free people from filter bubbles so they can better understand the world, surmount the bu…
 
Can gay rights activists and proponents of religious liberty build the trust and understanding needed to find common ground? Or is this divide destined to be a zero-sum fight? Jonathan Rauch is a Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institute and a contributing writer at The Atlantic. He's also a gay man who helped lead the movement to legalize same-sex …
 
In different ways, Joy Donnell and Maleena Lawrence are on the front lines of the cultural and political struggle against "White Supremacy." The idea of white supremacy holding sway over the dominant institutions and culture of American life strikes many Americans as outrageous whereas for many other Americans this truth is almost self-evident. But…
 
This is a conversation like few others. Bob Woodson and Hawk Newsome are among the most important voices in black America today, but their politics couldn't be any more different on the surface. Hawk Newsome is the chairman and former president of Black Lives Matter of Greater New York. Bob Woodson advised the Reagan administration, the Bush admini…
 
A columnist at Quillette Magazine, a contributor to Citi Journal and a person who has testified before the House of Representatives on the subject of reparations, Coleman Hughes is a writer and public commentator who has been celebrated for his sober analysis of issues relating to race in America. He joins John Wood, Jr. to talk about the statistic…
 
Tara Isabella Burton, one of the most interesting rising commentators on religion (broadly-defined!) in the American public square, joins April Lawson and Luke Nathan Phillips on the Braver Angels Podcast to discuss her new book, Strange Rites: New Religions for a Godless World. Why do Americans in a secularizing age seem to find spiritual fulfillm…
 
Braver Angels leaders John Wood, Jr. and April Lawson are joined by author, social psychologist and Braver Angels board member Jonathan Haidt to discuss the historical and psychological paths by which the United States has found itself looking over the cliff of chaotic social divisions – and wrestle with how we forge a positive path into the future…
 
Bridget Phetasy is a writer, actress and comedian whose Twitter feed has emerged as an unlikely refuge for political misfits across the spectrum. Formerly a columnist for Playboy, a contributor to publications including The Federalist and a guest on podcasts including The Joe Rogan Experience and The Rubin Report, Bridget has never gone into depth …
 
John Wood, Jr. is joined by Braver Angels leaders Sage Snider, Luke Phillips and special guest Phillippa Hughes, founder of the Looking for America project, to talk about the Braver Angels songwriting contest, the cross-cultural artistic and convening work of Looking for America, and the power of music, art, food and culture to transcend the normal…
 
Like the rest of America, Braver Angels has been touched by the COVID-19 epidemic and the national response. Some of us have been touched in very personal ways. So listen as the Braver Angels crew, including Ciaran, April, Monica and John, share their own experiences related to COVID-19, while exploring the warring attitudes of the American people.…
 
How do we overcome the bitterness of American politics and change the way things are done? This is John Wood, Jr. "Left of Bernie," yet a consistent defender of President Trump; author, commentator and creator of the comic strip "Dilbert" Scott Adams is a fascinating or infuriating voice in the political conversation, depending on who you ask. But …
 
Sam Daley-Harris is a true pioneer in the area of bipartisan political organizing, and he has the track record to prove it. From his beginnings in anti-poverty work in the 70's to climate change today, Sam has built organizations that have set the cutting edge in grassroots coalition building. In this episode of The Braver Angels Podcast, Sam trave…
 
Things have changed in the USA. But while ordinary Americans fight extraordinary battles to beat back COVID-19 and keep our economy running, Braver Angels and hopeful Americans across the country look for ways to make our politics worthy of our heroes and the future we want to see. In this episode of the Braver Angels Podcast, guests Chloe Valdary …
 
Everybody seems to hate the media. But is it the problem or the solution? And is it possible that during the COVID-19 pandemic Americans are coming together after all? Ciaran O'Connor and John Wood, Jr. are joined by media figures Annafi Wahed (founder of The Flipside), Denise Quinn (talk radio show host on KYKN in Salem, OR) and Monica Guzman (co-…
 
It's a new day in America, and many things have changed. This new day requires courage. Better, has become Braver. In this episode Braver Angels national ambassadors John Randolph Wood, Jr. and Ciaran Justice O'Connor talk about Better Angels transformation, the politics of Republicans and Democrats during the Coronavirus crisis, and the challenge …
 
Recorded 3/12/2020: Peter Boghossian, Co-author of the book How to Have Impossible Conversations, drops by The Better Angels Podcast to talk with John Wood, Jr. and Ciaran O'Connor about how the techniques in this book prepare us for some of the difficult dialogues the spreading pandemic is confronting us with. Pick up your copy of How to Have Impo…
 
As American society becomes increasingly polarized and sorted by geography, ideology, and capital, our children are growing up in bubbles — isolated from kids who come from different backgrounds. But what if there were a way for kids to study abroad ... right here in America? Ciaran O'Connor talks to David McCullough III about his vision for the Am…
 
What's your reaction when you hear the name James Comey? If you're a Democrat, maybe you blame him for the election of Donald Trump. If you're a Republican, maybe you see him as the embodiment of a sinister deep state. Or maybe you see him as a faithful public servant who's been unfairly maligned by both sides. Either way, the former FBI Director h…
 
What happens when a liberal and a conservative decide to jump into an old Volvo and drive across the country? Jordan Blashek and Christopher Haugh share the story of their friendship, their travels, and how their journey changed their understanding of America and each other. Their new book is entitled Union: A Democrat, A Republican, and a Search f…
 
Rusty Reno is the editor of First Things Magazine, an influential conservative journal on politics, religion, and public life. Rusty joins the Better Angels podcast to talk about how and why the religious community has responded to — and in many cases rallied around — President Trump amidst the populism surging through modern conservatism.…
 
Julie Kohler, author of the Washington Post article "How Calls to 'Love Your Enemies' Enforce the Status-Quo," joins Ciaran and John for a back and forth about her own past critiques of Better Angels, the proper place of empathy in political life, and the importance of depolarization to preserving the possibility for political progress in the long …
 
John Wood, Jr. and guest co-host Greg Steinbrecher talk to, Monica Guzman journalist and founder of Seattle based publication The Evergrey, about the influence of identity on our culture of conversation in the United States, and how to have difficult conversations across racial and political divides. Check out the Evergrey at https://theevergrey.co…
 
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