A group of Michigan voters, who have taken on the name “America’s Hope,” are proving that Americans are greater than the politicians who represent them. 60 Minutes Special Contributor Oprah Winfrey and Republican Pollster Frank Luntz first gathered the 14 Michigan voters over the summer — half Trump voters, half Clinton voters.
Amazingly, the group of 14 have stayed in touch and developed friendships despite their political divides. They talk daily in a Facebook message thread, where the President’s tweets and the gridlock in Washington are constant topics of debates.
In her first report for 60 Minutes, Oprah Winfrey explores the political divide in the U.S.
The first report played this past September: https://www.cbsnews.com/news/post-election-is-the-u-s-still-a-nation-divided-oprah-winfrey-reports/
Oprah Winfrey leads another discussion with 14 Michigan voters
The group was reassembled in the New Year and the second report aired in February: https://www.cbsnews.com/news/oprah-follows-up-with-the-partisan-voters-in-michigan/
The group still disagrees on most issues — and no one has changed their mind. But their continued communication shows that with a little extra engagement, the average American citizen can be more bipartisan than our elected politicians.
If this experiment could be repeated across America — that is — if strangers with different political believes engaged daily with their neighbors, I think that our communities would be stronger for it. You can see in the second report how the group is able to act cohesively despite their differences; even getting together for social outings. For example, they are able to take on really complex topics such as the #MeToo movement, in part because they have developed respect for one another and will actually hear each other out.
One thing they all agreed on — their options are not well reflected in Washington:
Jeff: You know, I think if we really get down to it, those of us that are on the right side of the equation, we’re not always, what, we don’t always want to be defined by Mitch McConnell and Paul Ryan. And the folks on the left, they don’t always want to be necessarily defined by Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi.
Jennifer: Not at all.
Jeff: Because there are positions that those groups hold that aren’t real congruent with what a lot of us think sometime.
Tom: Agreed. One hundred percent.
Lauren: That’s right.
Jeff: And you know, maybe that’s our fault for letting the parties go the way they have and the platforms that have been created. But ultimately it’s gonna be up to us if we want to fix it or not.
That is one major thing that Oprah’s experiment on 60 Minutes has revealed clearly — our two party system is a failure! It would be interesting to have these 14 people split up into new political parties and see how many they naturally form.
We know one insecure American who was watching Oprah’s reports:
I wonder what the America’s Hope group had to say about that tweet! Read more here: http://time.com/5165601/trump-oprah-60-minutes-politics/