Cross the Aisle
We are pleased to announce project Cross the Aisle
A Gallup poll conducted after the election found that a record 77% of Americans believe the nation is divided and 49% thought that Donald Trump would divide us further. A little over a month in to his presidency, and the President’s approval rating remains split between partisan lines.
During the election, poll after poll revealed that voters were shutting down – the negativity was too much and the fake news was overwhelming. By the time November 8th came, a swath of the country was disconnected from the election and simply didn’t turn out.
The Presidential Address to Congress on February 28th was a stunning visual of the divide in this country. Half of the room represented the Democratic Party, and half the Republican Party. As Trump spoke, only one side stood – only one side applauded.
It’s not just the Democratic Party and Republican Party that are fractured. Divisions are growing within both parties as they are tugged further left and further right. Moderates in both parties are struggling to find common ground with the fringes, and the fringes are struggling to reach out to the moderates. We watched it unfold for the DNC Chair, and old wounds resurfaced between the Bernie-wing and the establishment-wing of the Democratic Party.
We are here to stand against a xenophobic, racist, and discriminatory agenda. We are Indivisible. But we believe we have to cross the aisle and look ahead to 2018 and 2020 if we stand any chance of taking back seats in the Congress and the White House. Even without those ambitions, it is time for us as a country, as a state, as neighbors and friends and families to reconnect and find common ground again.
We are launching project Cross the Aisle.
Are you a Republican who believes in free trade and was opposed to TPP? You are practically on speaking terms with the Bernie Sander’s supporters?
Are you a moderate Democrat who believes that Social Security is not an entitlement? You have common ground with many Trump supporters who are worried they will lose their Social Security.
Once a week, once a month, or just once, find someone who you disagree with and cross the aisle.
Here’s an example:
As a Democrat, you believe that undocumented immigrants in this country deserve a pathway to citizenship. The undocumented mother of a DREAMer should be allowed to stay in this country and apply to become an American citizen. That is a hard line for you.
As a Republican, your friend says no. Sorry, but the law is the law and she is sympathetic to the story but everyone else had to wait in line and the mother needs to return to her home country and wait in line, too. Period.
This sounds like it’s about to be a fight. There is no way you’re going to convince your friend to come to your side, right? Maybe not. But that’s not what this is about. Not yet anyway. Right now, you’re having this conversation to find something to AGREE on. To open up the conversation, and to make your friend willing to listen to you down the road.
Back to the scenario. So what can you say? Admit that there is no easy answer to this, but offer a compromise. What about legal status? Perhaps you can both agree that we don’t want to separate families, that you don’t want to have undocumented workers here taking away jobs from Americans, and that everyone should pay taxes, right? What about the option of legal status?
Accept that YOU will have to compromise to open the conversation. This is not about compromising your beliefs. This is about opening up a dialogue so that you can be convincing later. And it’s OK if you don’t agree at all. Keep the dialogue going and find something you do agree on.
This project isn’t going to fix the divide in the country. We don’t expect it to sway the presidential election in 2020, or change the outcome of the midterms in 2018. But it could impact your household; it could change the way you communicate with your neighbors, which could change the way they communicate in their household.
One person can have a profound impact on another. And two people…well, two people can work miracles. They can change a whole town. They can change the world.If you have a success story, if you’ve crossed the aisle with a friend on an issue big or small, tell us about it. We don’t need names, or specifics, but we want to hear the ways in which you are trying to make a difference in our community. Use #CrossTheAisle on social media, or tweet us @indivisibleID and let us know!