How a group is trying to bridge the growing partisan divide and depolarize America

"Nightline" went to Better Angels' first national convention where Republicans, Democrats and Independents listened to each other.
7:51 | 07/26/18

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Transcript for How a group is trying to bridge the growing partisan divide and depolarize America
You are witnessing the beginning of a road trip the same hybrid is a undertaken by two of the strangest political bedfellows imaginable. Greg Smith is a retired police chief and construction worker from rural southwest Ohio. He's an devout evangelical and and art into Trump's support. I really believe in his values I really believe that he loves this country he messes up but so why. A vice president private disliking him through music and went mall. We are must not sheet lives just a few miles away in suburban Dayton but he might as well be on another planet. He immigrated from Iran and now works as a computer engineer Andy as an active member of the local Democratic Party. After the election I was devastated I was ready to cut. In Maine Republican out of my life. These two men went seemingly irreconcilable. Differences became friends through group called. Better angels which brings together reds and blues with the goal of quote deep polarizing America. Political polarization or tribalism has reached a fever pitch in America. Divisions between red and blue are more stark than ever. It's not just polite disagreement nearly half of Republicans and Democrats CD opposing party as a threat to the nation's well beat. No matter what topic you picked now you're gonna get this horrible tribal conflict over that prevents. Anything productive from happening David blanket horn is the founder and president of better angels even before the 2016 election it seemed clear that this was really cancer the group's appeal sent national unity immediately rang true for both Greg and Cooley are. When they met at their first better angels gathering. When you get past the stereo type part of everything you gotta be you've got to be to me it was. Nice to also see his other slide that no compassion and the fact that he wants to listen to me and learn about my background. They ended up visiting one another's places of worship and a friendship just grew from there who who who boom. And on this sting they are traveling together from Ohio to Virginia food program Ankara to attend the first ever better angels in national convention. Both sides. Thing being attacked by yet you say you care about the going on and you ADR UU eight embedded on just after boarding under the about it. In a car weighty issues are hashed out. They agree to disagree on abortion but they do find common ground on guns. The whole point about training he'll hold kids about accountability. Yet for people that own firearms yeah I mean that is a no brainer. Remember him from getting when they arrived in Harrisonburg Virginia where they meet up with other political odd couples from across the country and I want to hear people who aren't like me how I wanted to hear their stories and understand. Why they they vote the way they do I actually have felt conversation how hot he. We can my families that's kind of restarted because the polarization we're finding ourselves in more and more isolation that there. Anthony ginger is the president of the young Democrats at Graceland university and Iowa and his roommate. Christians Arabia. Runs the campus Republican group. You were roommates even though he basically agree on nothing politically correct thing yeah says. We believe our opinion strongly however we. Understand there are perspectives. That are is what practical pieces of advice could you give. Anybody watching about how to have constructive relationships with people. With whom you disagree. We deeply. Violate yourself. You have to want to open yourself up to new ideas new believes. Not necessary to one persuade. The other person if any of us are here with the idea that in three hours or seven hours we're gonna get these people teachers and Ryan. It's not going to allow. The better angels have a strict format designed to keep things civil. And it was designed by this man. A marriage counselor named bill Doherty. He had a long history of working with couples yes on the precipice of divorce and some can't yes to district he was harder or easier than that. A harder these are strangers. And strangers from different tribes and those tribes have been a war. Your job is to listen and learn how people in this group received message. Here's how better angels meeting works reds and blues whichever group is on firsts we should be willing to serve other people in this case it's the blues Hafner in the center with the reds observing on the outside the idea was to create a process in which. There was. And there's little chance. That people would get reacted to each other and escalate where do you stand. On this bill to BT rights religious liberty issue why. Five years ago my son came. And it was nothing but supportive of facilities. Thank. We'll 2013. I had a non legal wedding and we went to a hotel and we were refused service. And the reds go while the blues listen I see NIC marriages sometimes between a man woman for the purpose of having children. So that the children had parents don't pass on the values of society. Very few of us get a chance to hear our group of like minded people talk among themselves they're not arguing with anybody. After the fish bowl its direct one on one conversations between the two sacks. Transit on my game I'm not saying I'm checking it just just obviously completely un. Unacceptable and every possible way. Again the end goal here is not to change minds but to reach with a better angels call. Accurate disagreement which can lead to mutual understanding the end goal is humanizing. One another despite our political difference humanizing not getting people you know. Changed their moral compass certainly don't know no mass just about this exercise that we've just seen how how did it go further to view. These are deeply held beliefs honorable sites and we've got to talk about them even if it pills are so hard but worth do get. Actually maybe heart but must do. Absolutely. So what are takeaways for those of us who struggle to talk politics with friends family or colleagues he won its worth repeating this don't try to change anybody's mind. If you enter into this. And they sense your goal. This to show them how stupid there. With their perspective they're gonna put their defense is up to make ice statements rather than truth statement so I am for example. Really concerned about climate change. And what's gonna happen to my grandchildren and great credentials generation and three don't characterize the other side's opinion just characterize your own so don't say. You guys wanted to just grow government that would be arresting if those don't say a blue or red you're at your side just once. You know let's let people that die on the strength better angels is only eighteen months old with 3100 members across the country. And they say they are growing and scalable. The common thing people tell us as I have been waiting for something like this war I wanted something like this. No more better angels is open for business and looking to get more conversation started. Before it's too late for Nightline this Dan Harris being Harrisonburg Virginia.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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