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Finding Common Ground

In a hyper-partisan world, coming together to find common ground can be difficult—but it is needed to find solutions for our toughest problems. As another election cycle approaches and tensions rise, remember we are all working toward the same goal: improving our communities and our country.  

Mike Rogers, LEAD founder and a former U.S. Representative, is a prime example of finding common ground to create solutions for complex problems. A recent national article points to the ways he is a leader in this arena. The Washington Times opinion piece says this: 

“The model for bipartisan collaboration can be found from 2011-15, when Republican former Rep. Mike Rogers of Michigan chaired the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence and Maryland Rep. Charles ‘Dutch’ Ruppersberger III was the panel’s ranking Democrat. Never brandishing any predisposed ideological bias when it came to national security, Mr. Rogers and Mr. Ruppersberger embodied Vandenberg’s sacred principle of bipartisanship in their work.” 

For Rogers, candid conversations with people of differing views were not optional, they were essential to best serving his constituency and making real progress in Washington.  

“I had some passionate disagreements with people, but it didn’t make them my enemy,” said Mike Rogers. “It just means that I had to try a little harder on my debate skills—to get them to a place where we could agree, or even get them to change their mind but that didn’t seem to happen much. However, we did find areas to agree because we were on the same mission: finding solutions for hard issues.”  

Rogers now applies this mentality to LEAD, a foundation he started to reignite hope in the American Dream.  

This upcoming year, make a point to include other viewpoints in your important conversations—you may make a monumental impact on someone’s American Dream. 

By The Honorable Mike Rogers, LEAD Founder and Former U.S. Representative and Chairman of the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence