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John + Ciaran of Better Angels: Political rivals, real friends

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Russell Tripp Performance Center

Ellingson Road Southwest

Albany, OR 97321

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When you see a warm fuzzy story about a “left right” friendship, it’s easy to think, “well, of course – anyone could do that if they’re both moderate enough.” But what about people who are deeply passionate enough about their politics to have gone all in?

John was Vice-Chairman of the Republican Party of Los Angeles County, running in 2012 for Congress against incumbent Maxine Waters. He’s a social conservative who supports an active church, views capitalism as the antidote to poverty and is working to reform the conservative movement. And Ciaran was a campaign staffer for Barack Obama and in 2014 and Hillary Clinton in 2016 – and is a liberal who believes in an active government, supports progressive social causes and Democratic campaigns. These guys really disagree on big things that matter.

Now friends, they met as early leaders in a political movement called Better Angels, a name plucked from Abraham Lincoln’s first inaugural address: “We are not enemies, but friends. We must not be enemies. Though passion may have strained, it must not break our bonds of affection. The mystic chords of memory will swell when again touched, as surely they will be, by the better angels of our nature.”

We’re looking forward to a day when John and Ciaran will be involved in a good old-fashioned political brawl on the floor of Congress (after which, they will grab a beer like political opponents were accustomed to doing in days of yore), but for now they’re on the same side of a different kind of political fight – one that aims squarely at making respectful disagreement cool again. Something tells us this duo might just win it. Listen to Ciaran and John chat it up on the Better Angels Media podcast.

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Russell Tripp Performance Center

Ellingson Road Southwest

Albany, OR 97321

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