Editor’s Note: Van Jones is president of Dream Corps and Rebuild the Dream, which promote innovative solutions for America’s economy. He was President Barack Obama’s green jobs adviser in 2009. A best-selling author, he is also founder of Green for All, a national organization working to build a green economy. Follow him on Twitter @VanJones68. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.

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Van Jones went to Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, before election to try to understand divisions

He discovered a yearning among all Americans to be heard

CNN  — 

The Messy Truth, a special program hosted by Van Jones, airs Tuesday at 9 p.m. EST.

I got tired of just sitting on the CNN set, talking about Donald Trump voters.

So, days before the 2016 election, I decided to fly into a battleground state – and talk to them.

I visited Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, where a major battle was fought in America’s Civil War. I wanted to know one thing: Are we on the verge of another civil war?

What I learned surprised me. The answers are even more important, now that Trump has won.

My film crew recorded our Gettysburg encounters in hopes they’d shed light on this tense moment in America.


A local family invited me into their home one day after Trump made his own “Gettysburg Address” at a campaign appearance. I expected fireworks. And I got them. What I didn’t expect was all the laughter – or the tears.

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The Messy Truth: Episode 1
10:21 - Source: Magic Labs/Meridian Hill Pictures


Four moms sat on the front porch and debated Trump’s candidacy. Even though they disagreed bitterly, I discovered their secret for remaining the best of friends.