More in Common, a nonpartisan organization focused on strengthening resilience against the forces of division, just completed a study of One Small Step “Audio Cards,” short video excerpts of One Small Step conversations that are shareable on social media and demonstrate that it’s possible to have conversations across the political divide.
In 2018, More in Common launched a year-long groundbreaking project that explores the nuances in the way we identify politically in America. It turns out we’re not just Republicans, Democrats, and Independents—the American electorate is actually comprised of what More in Common has identified as seven Hidden Tribes. Learn more about this research here. The Hidden Tribes project found that 9 in 10 Americans say they are exhausted by the political division in this country. The research also showed that most Americans value empathy, believe in the power of listening and engaging with others who have different views and experiences, and are looking for a way out of the divisive place we find ourselves in today. Additionally, the findings suggest that almost all Americans think that people need to listen to each other better and agree that sharing stories helps us understand each other.
For the StoryCorps study, More in Common gathered a panel of Americans from different political backgrounds and shared eight Audio Cards that feature excerpts of real One Small Step conversations. Afterward, panelists were given a set of questions to capture their opinions.
Results showed that participants of all political persuasions were powerfully affected by these excerpts. The panelists’ strong positive responses confirm our initial hypothesis that seeing others take part in One Small Step conversations can make Americans feel it is possible to engage others with different political beliefs and that doing so might help us overcome our divisions. One of the most common responses to each Audio Card was the word “hope.” In particular, many participants said they felt inspired by the evidence that Americans from different backgrounds can talk respectfully and want to take part in a similar conversation.
“The One Small Step conversations are a ray of light at a time when Americans feel blanketed in pessimism, with no way forward beyond our deep divisions,” said More in Common Co-founder Tim Dixon. “In a time when most Americans no longer trust politicians, talking heads or even celebrities, it’s the authentic voices of Americans just like them that are more powerful than anything else.”
“For One Small Step to achieve its true potential—of impact at scale—we need to test and learn whose voices resonate most strongly, and what reaches those Americans who most need to hear the positive message that comes from these conversations,” added Dixon.
Experience these Audio Cards for yourself—and if you like what you hear, we invite you to share them on your social media channels.