If there’s one thing I’ve learned in my 43 years, it’s that most things of importance are complex and that the world is filled with nuance. The way we talk politics in the US, however, doesn’t allow for much of this complexity and nuance. We oversimplify things. We generalize. We hyperbolize. If you’re on the left, it’s, “How could they be so racist, stupid and selfish?” If you’re on the right, it’s, “Why are they trying to destroy America?”
Well, two years ago I decided it was about time someone injected some complexity and nuance into the conversation so I drove around the country for 5 months interviewing conservatives. I was looking to discover the complexity and nuance I had a feeling was hidden underneath their talking points and underneath my side’s talking points about them. And discover them I did.
From West Coast to East Coast, and many places in-between, I hit the road in October 2014 and conducted over 80 interviews with Republicans and conservatives from all walks of life. I teamed up with IVN and the Foundation for Independent Voter Education (FIVE) in July 2015. I was able to raise over $50,000 to cover the travel and production costs necessary to complete the film.
Since then, I’ve been editing the footage into the feature length documentary, The Other Side: a liberal democrat explores conservative America. We’ll be releasing it on our website on October 7.
If you’re looking for a different way to talk politics, a rational and objective way, a way that embraces the complexity and nuance of the issues, mark next Friday on your calendars. Make some popcorn, gather your friends from the other side of the aisle, and watch my film.