We are not enemies, but friends. We must not be enemies. Though passion may have strained, it must not break our bonds of affection. The mystic chords of memory…will yet swell the chorus of the Union, when again touched, as surely they will be, by the better angels of our nature. —Abraham Lincoln, 1861. First Inaugural Address
I’ve tried to take Lincoln’s words to heart while putting together the “Better Angels Benefit Tour.” Admittedly, it’s not always easy. Passions are still pretty strained these days and still for good reasons. And I acknowledge that “talking” may not always help us find shared solutions to serious disagreements. Even shared music from our past and present—literal “mystic chords”—may not have the power to “swell the chorus of the Union.”
Nevertheless, I believe that Better Angels, both the organization and the metaphorical “Better Angels of our nature,” can bring out parts of us that can bring us together. If we really commit to changing the way we communicate with each other, we can learn to work with, live with, do politics with—and maybe even respect—those with whom we disagree.
Therefore, I have been working for nearly a year to make a show that supports Better Angels. If you also want to help spread their message, I’ll be selling these bumper stickers that I’ve made at all my shows. In the Better Angels spirit, you can show that you recognize the limitations of the labels we throw at each other and even put on ourselves. Instead, start a real conversation. Make a new friend.