We need better disagreement to solve our nation's problems, Gov. Cox says

Utah Republican Gov. Spencer Cox and Maryland Democratic Gov. Wes Moore dig into Cox’s initiative as Wheatley Institute joined Wesley Theological Seminary and Deseret Magazine in a forum on "Disagreeing Better" in Washington, D.C., Feb. 21. Cox and Moore spoke about the Disagree Better initiative on "Good Morning America" on Tuesday.

Utah Republican Gov. Spencer Cox and Maryland Democratic Gov. Wes Moore dig into Cox’s initiative as Wheatley Institute joined Wesley Theological Seminary and Deseret Magazine in a forum on "Disagreeing Better" in Washington, D.C., Feb. 21. Cox and Moore spoke about the Disagree Better initiative on "Good Morning America" on Tuesday. (Carol Guzy, for the Deseret News)


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SALT LAKE CITY — If we hate each other, we can't solve our nation's greatest problems. That was the crux of Gov. Spencer Cox's message on "Good Morning America." The Utah Republican politician appeared alongside Maryland Gov. Wes Moore — a Democrat — to speak on Tuesday about the Disagree Better initiative.

Cox, the chairman of the National Governors Association, is leading an initiative called "Disagree Better" aimed at improving the quality of discussions across the country.

The initiative invites people to be curious about what other people think, foster a connection and collaborate on solutions. As part of the initiative, Cox and Moore have spoken together at the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C., about how to disagree on issues, even polarizing ones, with respect.

The initiative "really is about disagreeing and staying true to what we believe in, but doing it in a way that doesn't tear other people apart," said Cox on "Good Morning America."

"We're asking people to not give in to what we're taught about political divisiveness, but actually to give into our natural human instincts and see the humanity in others," said Moore.

What we're doing right now isn't working, said Cox. "I like to say, 'What is the alternative?'"

"Good Morning America" host Robin Roberts asked Cox about how the "Disagree Better" initiative has played into signing legislation on divisive topics.

"We have had hard conversations," said Cox. "And I think that's part of it. Process really does matter and because of those hard conversations on every one of those bills that you mentioned, there were changes that were made."

Moore said he hopes people will embrace this message as they discuss policies, run administrations and bring the message into their homes.

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