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Americans with opposing political views learn to see each other beyond labels

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Nearly one year after the attack on the U.S. Capitol, it may seem like what divides Americans is too wide to bring us closer together. But one group has been trying to change that. 

Since 2017, Make America Dinner Again has somehow bridged Red and Blue America. People disagree agreeably on hot button topics like race in America, gun restrictions and COVID vaccines. 

Strangers got together to talk politics at an in-person meal before the pandemic forced the conversations to happen via Zoom. 

“Once everyone has a chance to share, there’s a lot of goodness that can happen,” said Justine Lee, the co-creator of Make America Dinner Again. 

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Wes Dennis, who described himself as “fairly liberal,” and Patrick Yu, who said he is “relatively conservative,” have become friends after stepping outside their silos where many liberals and conservatives live. 

“We disagree on a lot of things,” Dennis said. “Some of those members regularly frustrate me.” 

“I wouldn’t say I see them differently. I see them, period,” Yu said. “Before, I didn’t see them at all.” 

The conversations are kept civil by online moderators and members mostly seeing each other as people. The goal wasn’t to change minds, but to change hearts. 

“What choice do we have? We share this country,” Lee said. 

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After the January 6 riots, the country has seen one alternative: Make America Dinner Again is food for thought.

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