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:

 

 

Common Ground Committee featured on the TODAY Show & MSNBC Live

NBC anchor Craig Melvin shines a spotlight on Common Ground Committee, after moderating forum with Petraeus & Rice

Common Ground Committee had the pleasure of working with NBC news correspondent Craig Melvin, co-host of Today Third Hour and host of Craig Melvin Live on MSNBC, at our November 19th forum on Finding Common Ground on the New Cold WarMelvin, who served as moderator for the forum featuring General David E. Petraeus (US Army, Retired) and former Ambassador Susan Rice, talked with Al Roker, Dylan Dyer and Sheinelle Jones about his positive impressions during Today Third Hour on November 25th:

Melvin also interviewed CGC co-founders Bruce Bond and Erik Olsen on MSNBC Live about how Common Ground Committee works as a citizen-led initiative to inspire people to find common ground in a political world that has become polarized:

Community Takeaway: Salih Hudayar

Student Salih Hudayar 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.

Salih says events like these are key in showing interested citizens how to navigate the one main issue we must address in order to move forward productively. Get his take.

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