Common Ground Media Roundup: January 2020

Looking for a fresh take on finding common ground? Start with our January 2020 news roundup.

From calls for bipartisanship and better listening from new and old, how an age-old rule could be a tool to help political divisiveness and two books for you to start your common ground reading journey. Here’s a look at the top five stories and two books from our January 2020 reading list.


Articles

1: GOP Senator Isakson called for bipartisanship in farewell speech

USA Today – Republican Sen. Johnny Isakson made a plea for bipartisanship in his farewell speech Tuesday, December 3 as the U.S. Senate bid farewell to the lawmaker from Georgia.

2: Let’s fight for America by learning to listen first

USA Today – Pearce Godwin of Listen First Project and scholar Graham Bodie share insight for The Hidden Common Ground project on the need for better listening behavior as a way to combat the growing issue of polarization.

3: In 2020, Our bitterly divided America needs to recommit to The Golden Rule | Opinion

Newsweek –  The Golden Rule’s lesson of “teaching us to treat others as we would like to be treated” may be a beacon of hope in teaching others in this opinion piece from Joan Blades Co-founder of MoveOn and Living Room Conversations and Reverend Richard L. Tafel is Minister at Church of the Holy City & Founder of Log Cabin Republicans.

4: Talk Less. Listen More. Here’s How. 

The New York Times – Lessons in the art of listening, from a C.I.A. agent, a focus group moderator and more.

Book recommendations

1: American Manifesto: Saving Democracy from Villains, Vandals, and Ourselves

Amazon – Do you fear for our democracy? Are you perplexed by Trumpism? Are you ready to throw in the towel? Don’t! This is your guidebook to reassembling our hyperpolarized American society in six (not-so-easy) steps, written by co-host of WNYC’s On the Media Bob Garfield.

2: Tough Love: My Story of the Things Worth Fighting For 

Amazon – Recalling pivotal moments from her dynamic career on the front lines of American diplomacy and foreign policy, Susan E. Rice—National Security Advisor to President Barack Obama and US Ambassador to the United Nations—reveals her surprising story with unflinching candor in this New York Times bestseller.

Engaging in tough conversations is worth it. Even if we can’t find agreement.

In this opinion piece Bruce Bond and Erik Olsen co-founders of Common Ground Committee argued that the point of common ground is not to force an agreement on issues – it’s to foster conversations that lead to greater understanding.

They also position CGC as one of many members of the common grounder movement, and a link to the 10 attributes of a common grounder is included.


— This article was published in USA Today on January 23, 2020.

Finding common ground isn’t about ‘being nice’ or losing values. It’s about understanding.

Bruce Bond and Erik Olsen co-founders of Common Ground Committee wrote a letter is in response to the new poll numbers from the Hidden Common Ground initiative.

They write that common ground can be found between Democrats and Republicans but, in order for that to happen, we have to dispel the myth that finding common ground is somehow compromising your values.

The letter also includes mention of the 10 common grounder initiatives and includes a link


As co-founders of an organization focused on the state of our political discourse, we are not surprised by the results of the newly-released USA TODAY/Public Agenda/Ipsos poll published in “America is dangerously divided. USA TODAY and partners launch ‘Hidden Common Ground’ to find solutions.” Common ground can certainly be found between Republicans and Democrats — but first, we need to dispel a common myth.

One of the most consistent critiques we hear is that finding common ground means “being nice” at the expense of one’s values. The real point of common ground is not to force-feed agreement on a particular issue — it’s about a conversation that leads to understanding each other.

Before Thanksgiving, we released the 10 attributes of what we call common grounders. One of those attributes is to listen and learn from personal experiences. This is the essence of the common ground movement. When we brought Gen. David Petraeus and Ambassador Susan Rice on stage for an event recently, the audience was inspired by just how much they found agreement despite their different backgrounds.

–This article was published in USA Today on December 13, 2019.

Community Takeaway: Sidonia Cannon

Student Sidonia Cannon attended our Finding Common Ground on the New Cold War forum on November 19, 2019, at George Mason University to hear General David Petraeus and Ambassador Susan Rice discuss foreign policy at a time of rising international tension.

Sidonia said it was important to see people from different political backgrounds come together at a time of polarization as it gave her hope that people can still speak their opinions respectfully and find common ground between one another.

 Sidonia Cannon on what she took away from our Finding Common Ground on the New Cold War event:

 

 

Community Takeaway: Matt Fay

Student Matt Fay attended our Finding Common Ground on the New Cold War forum on November 19, 2019, at George Mason University to hear General David Petraeus and Ambassador Susan Rice discuss foreign policy at a time of rising international tension.

Matt explained how events like these are necessary to bring people together and show us how, in a time of polarization, we can and will be able to come together and make it through.

 Matt Fay on what he took away from our Finding Common Ground on the New Cold War event:

 

 

Community Takeaway: Hannah Adamson

Student Hannah Adamson attended our Finding Common Ground on the New Cold War forum on November 19, 2019, at George Mason University to hear General David Petraeus and Ambassador Susan Rice discuss foreign policy at a time of rising international tension.

Hannah explained how events like these help her studies, showing how the theories she discusses in class have real-life applications.

 Hannah Adamson on what she took away from our Finding Common Ground on the New Cold War event:

 

 

Community Takeaway: James Suber

Student James Suber attended our Finding Common Ground on the New Cold War forum on November 19, 2019, at George Mason University to hear General David Petraeus and Ambassador Susan Rice discuss foreign policy at a time of rising international tension.

James said General Petraeus’s comments on “mutually beneficial” relationships when it comes to China struck him on a personal level. Here’s why.

 James Suber on what he took away from our Finding Common Ground on the New Cold War event:

 

 

Community Takeaway: Arielle Rosenberg

Student Arielle Rosenberg attended our Finding Common Ground on the New Cold War forum on November 19, 2019, at George Mason University to hear General David Petraeus and Ambassador Susan Rice discuss foreign policy at a time of rising international tension.

Arielle said events like this give her hope that not only can politicians come together, but so can students – even in the face of all the polarization we encounter today.

 Arielle Rosenberg on what she took away from our Finding Common Ground on the New Cold War event:

 

 

Community Takeaway: Molly Reed

Student Molly Reed attended our Finding Common Ground on the New Cold War forum on November 19, 2019, at George Mason University to hear General David Petraeus and Ambassador Susan Rice discuss foreign policy at a time of rising international tension.

Molly says events like these make her hopeful and optimistic that, one day, politicians can sit down and have a productive conversation like this. Get her take.

 Molly Reed on what she took away from our Finding Common Ground on the New Cold War event:

 

 

Community Takeaway: Marisol Maddox

Student Marisol Maddox attended our Finding Common Ground on the New Cold War forum on November 19, 2019, at George Mason University to hear General David Petraeus and Ambassador Susan Rice discuss foreign policy at a time of rising international tension.

Marisol gained more faith from our event that even with the current impeachment hearings and trials, conversations between parties can be had – and common ground can be found.

 Marisol Maddox on what she took away from our Finding Common Ground on the New Cold War event: