Red state, blue state: Better Angels looks for a way cross the divide

K-Staters and Manhattanites enter Manhattan High School to vote in the Republican Presidential Caucus on March 5, 2016. (Archive photo by Parker Robb | Collegian Media Group)

Barack Obama once said, “I see Americans of every party, every background, every faith who believe that we are stronger together: black, white, Latino, Asian, Native American; young, old; gay, straight; men, women, folks with disabilities, all pledging allegiance under the same proud flag to this big, bold country that we love. That’s what I see. That’s the America I know!”

Many others agree as well.

Better Angels is an organization that replicates this viewpoint and wants to create an America that unites liberals and conservatives.

Better Angels, a bipartisan organization that aims to reduce the ongoing political divide throughout the United States, holds workshops that allow liberals and conservatives to discuss the divide.

Donna Murphy is the regional coordinator for Better Angels. Murphy’s region is concentrated in the greater Washington, D.C. metro area.

“If red and blues worked together, we would be unstoppable,” Murphy said.

Despite political differences, most can agree that change must come. One ongoing political controversy is over immigration. Both liberals and conservatives agree that we must change our immigration policies but disagree on what that change should be.

Roger Marshall, representative for the state of Kansas, said he believes immigration reform is necessary for our country and especially for his home.

“I am proactive in regards to how NAFTA and immigration reform will affect Kansas,” Marshall said.

Marshall discussed how he wanted to see a policy reform that will help our country as well as Kansas, which heavily relies on immigrant workers to help the agricultural industry. With such a massive reliance on agriculture, protecting immigrants is a top priority in order to maintain a stable economy throughout the state.

With Kansas being a red state, immigration is a topic that is often debated. The entire state believes immigration needs to be reformed, but the trouble stems from how to accomplish that. When discussing such controversial topics, we must ask ourselves a question:

How do we, as Americans and specifically Kansans, move past the lines of red and blue in order to get policy passed?

While there are differing perspectives, Debbie Dingell, state representative of Michigan, said she thinks she knows the first step to defuse political tension in order to create and pass policy that will benefit our country.

“First off, we need to be more tolerant of each other,” Dingell said. “We all care about this country equally.”

I'm Monica Diaz and I graduated in May 2020 with a degree in broadcast journalism and Spanish. I severed in several roles while working for the Collegian, but most of my work focused on rebuilding the Collegian digital brand with an increased social media presence. I also worked on KKSU-TV and appeared as an anchor on MHK All Day in my last semester on campus. In my spare time, I enjoy a good cup of coffee and spending time with family. I have a passion for journalism because I believe that everyone deserves to have their voice heard.