The Search For Common Ground – Question 1

The Search For Common Ground – Question 1

A few weeks ago I was approached to partake in a friendly competition with bloggers and creatives over at As contestants, in each weekly “episode”, we will answer a question with the goal of finding common ground with the other side. In my case, that means Trump supporters. Check out a link to the results at the end of the post (hint: I did well).

The Question

If your vote was for Hillary, your question is, if there was one single action or words he could say, that would allow you to clean the slate and support the president-elect, what would it be?

What I considered

As a progressive and Bernie Sanders supporter, I voted for Hillary Clinton and have many fears associated with a Trump Presidency. It is difficult to pinpoint a single question, answer, statement, or action that President-Elect Trump could say or do that could encapsulate an honest recognition of his obvious shortcomings. There are so many qualities he hasn’t shown that I desperately want to see:

He would need to do something that showed empathy.

He would need to show an ability and desire for self-reflection.

He would need to show a recognition of his lack of knowledge on important issues.

He would need to show an ability to listen and learn.

He would need to show an ability to handle intense situations with presidential grace.

My Answer

I think Donald Trump needs to go to Ferguson, MO and listen to peoples’ stories.

In 2016, I was lucky enough to travel to Ferguson, MO to produce videos with Harvard Professor, and then Democratic Presidential Candidate, Larry Lessig. The Listening Tour was one of the most insightful learning experiences of my life. I thought I understood issues on a complex level before I visited Ferguson. But when I left, I had an entirely new and wider perspective on the Black Experience in America.

If Trump travels to Ferguson, Flint, and other inner cities that face issues unique to minority communities, and simply listens to them, I believe Trump would have an opportunity to address a multitude of his own shortcomings. Not to mention, he could become a better man and better president.

In Ferguson, he would have an opportunity to be empathetic. It would be an opportunity for him to reflect on his own upbringing. He would see things he has never seen before. He would be confronted with issues he never knew existed. He would hear the anger and frustrations of people who are afraid of what his presidency could do to them and he’d have to be presidential the entire time. I believe if Trump made an effort to find common ground and to learn from people who feel ostracized by him, perhaps the American people would be inspired to find common ground of their own.

All of the first round answers can be found Here.

And the Results, Here.

Ryan Black is a documentary filmmaker, political consultant, and digital media professional who writes about Progressive Politics.

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