Courtesy Brian Mann.
Political arguments between Allen Mann (left), an evangelical Lutheran, and his brother Brian, a middle-of-the-road Methodist, intensified after the 2004 elections.
Efforts to reach common ground in America aren't just about red states and blue states. These days, the rift can be far more intimate — between husband and wife or between brothers.
That's the case for Brian Mann and his older brother, Allen. Brian thinks of himself as a moderate: a middle-of-the-road Methodist. His brother is an evangelical Lutheran, and he thinks of Brian as a liberal.
The two men always argued about politics. But in recent years, things began to get ugly. Words such as "outraged" and "disgusted" punctuated their arguments.
The brothers made a pact to get together more often, sharing vacations and sitting down for family dinners in order to try to bridge the gap.
Brian Mann, a reporter for North Country Public Radio, tells the story of searching for common ground in his family in his book, Welcome to the Homeland. Although the process has been difficult and sometimes painful, Mann says their lives and views have been enriched by their ability to talk across the divide.