© 2017 MARA

S2EP8 - RICKY & BRADLEY - LIBERAL MESSAGING

TRANSCRIPT

 

Samia:  This is Make America Relate Again, presented by Better Angels Media. I’m Samia Mounts

 

We’re gonna jump right in this week, with a conversation between two West Virginia gentlemen centering around why liberal messaging seems to be so ineffective in a country where polls show the majority of the population agreeing with liberal policies.

 

Ricky and Bradley are cousins, both from southern West Virginia - coal country - and both tend to agree with liberal policies. However, Ricky considers himself a libertarian, because according to him, liberal messaging does too much to alienate anyone who doesn’t fit the mold of the “coffee-shop liberal.” From his perspective, both sides of the political aisle have very similar flaws, can be very judgmental, and feel they have the moral high ground.

 

Bradley is a hardcore liberal who doesn’t think liberal messaging is to blame for liberals losing elections so much as the fact that conservatives are more easily united under a few issues - God, guns, and lower taxes - whereas liberals are trying to do something very difficult - united ALL Americans.

 

Now, West Virginia is a state that frequently ranks 50th in the nation’s economy, education, obesity, and substance abuse, and a state that recently switched from blue to red, thanks in large part to Obama’s campaign to reduce our nation’s dependence on coal. So these guys are very much in touch with Trump’s America, and I learned a lot from them.

 

I’ll let Ricky and Bradley tell you more.

 

MUSIC

 

Samia:  Ricky and Bradley, welcome to Make America Relate Again. Let's go ahead and start by having you both introduce yourselves so the listeners know your voices and a little bit about where you're coming from, politically speaking. Ricky, let's start with you.

 

Ricky:  Okay, well, I grew up in a small area called Boone County, West Virginia, on the edge of the banks of the Little Coal River. Dad was a coal miner, mom worked at the local newspaper, and I usually vote third party. I voted for Perot and Nader and the first Bush was pretty bad, so I went ahead, instead of voting clear conscience, I voted for Kerry. I wanted to vote for Obama, actually. I thought he had a real good message, but yeah, the last election I went back to the third party. Third party to me, it doesn't matter which one, really. I kind of lean left-wing Libertarian, but I'll vote any third party candidate that has the best chance of making some margins, at least.

 

Samia:  Okay, great. Bradley, what about you?

 

Bradley:  Okay, I'm Bradley, age 47. I also have the same background as Ricky, from southern West Virginia. Father was a coal miner. In fact, we're related, so we've been lifelong friends. I lean liberal. Extremely liberal. I've always pretty much voted straight Democratic ticket.

 

Samia:  All right. I want to get into a little bit about what shaped your political leanings, but let's do that in the process of the conversation. We’re here today to talk about messaging. Specifically, you guys told me that what might be interesting for you to talk about is liberal messaging and whether or not it's effective, so where do you both stand on that? Let's continue on with you Bradley. What's your take on liberal messaging?

 

Bradley:  Well, I'm not so extreme on it. I don't think that there's so much of a liberal conspiracy. Ricky and I, we totally disagree on that, but I don't see it as something that is out to take over the country, okay. I think for the most part the liberal message is basically doing the right thing in a lot of cases. We definitely differ on that.

 

Samia:  And Ricky, how do you differ?

 

Ricky:  Most of the liberal issues America agrees with, so if they're losing elections, they're doing something wrong. The thing I think that they're doing wrong is they're doing the exact same thing that the Christian Right is doing and trying to enforce their morality through law. It turns a lot of people away because of that.

 

Bradley:  Well, keep in mind we've only lost one election, okay. It's not like that we've had five consecutive elections that the Democratic party's lost. It's at this point, it's one election, and it was just barely at that.

 

Ricky:  If most of the country agrees with most of your issues, how in the world did you lose this election?

 

Bradley:  It does baffle the mind how we lost this election, but still, yeah, we did and there's a group of people that are not being listened to and now their getting their 15 minutes worth, so…

 

Samia:  What group of people do you mean?

 

Bradley:  The small town people. They've felt for years that they've been pushed out, not listened to. 

 

Samia:  So you're talking about the Trump base. All right. So what about liberal messaging do you think is making all this worse, Ricky? And feel free Bradley to jump in with your questions and your responses without waiting for me. I will just be over here on the sidelines being quiet, unless I feel like I need to jump in.

 

Ricky:  Okay, the first thing is the left-wing media is as guilty, not as guilty, but guilty of sensational journalism as it is. So when you watch Fox News, it's all sensationalized right-wing leaning. The only liberals you really see are in the most negative light, right, but the left wing does about the same thing. If you're just as guilty, if the only news you get is NPR and CNN and CNBC, you're just as guilty as the people that all they get is Rush Limbaugh and God forbid, Alex Jones, or Fox News. You end up in this bubble and you see the opposition through a limited prism.

 

Bradley:  Now see I think you live in a bubble. I think you live in a conservative bubble that you are forcefed the conservative Kool-Aid and I don't get that. So I'm out in the middle. I see the middle of the road on a daily basis. I feel like that you're almost locked in a conservative prison down there.

 

Ricky:  Well dang, you don't get much more right-wing these days, than the coal fields, yeah they feel abandoned by the... West Virginia was blue for what? Seventy, eighty years and as soon as the EPA ... I kinda…

 

Bradley:  It breaks my heart that West Virginia went back to conservative.

 

Ricky:  Yeah.

 

Bradley:  It just, oh, I die.

 

Ricky:  Well that was, you know there's no more blue dog democrat as there is.

 

Bradley:  Right.

 

Samia:  But wait, you were about to say why West Virginia went back conservative. Could you expound upon that a little bit, because I don't that people outside of West Virginia would really understand the issues involved there.

 

Ricky:  Oh, okay. The first thing is that coal never had a competition, and natural gas, the natural gas industry, in my opinion put the fleece over the EPA’s eyes, saying that they had a product that burned cleaner than coal and would have no environmental drawbacks. Of course, we know that's not true. It contaminates the water supply, but once there was an alternative to coal, that gave the Democratic party enough leverage to do what they've been wanting to do, which is...

 

Bradley:  Kill coal.

 

Ricky:  Kill coal.

 

Bradley:  Plain and simple.

 

Ricky:  And once you did that, that was the, I don't want to say sole employment opportunity in that state, for as long as I can remember.

 

Bradley:  That's all that's there. I mean is coal mining. There's no flat land there to build factories and to bring in other opportunities for people. All they ever had was timber and coal, and coal made up 90% of their income. That's what the population was based off of. And absolutely, I voted for Obama, but I will admit that he absolutely killed the coal industry. He took the opportunity. Now I think he did it for good reasons. I mean you can't go to the rest of the world and say, hey, we need to start fighting global warming, when he himself is burning coal like crazy, okay. So it's kind of instead of a, do as I say not as I do, he set the example. He did kill the coal industry. There's no doubt about that, but I think it was for reasons that has to - we just have to get there.

 

Samia:  So it sounds like it was a pretty unfortunate situation for the state of West Virginia, but from your perspective Bradley, also from mine, the coal industry needed to die.

 

Bradley:  Its time was up. Coal’s time was up. 

 

Samia:  Ricky do you agree with that?

 

Ricky:  The thing is, that's the reason West Virginia is went red. There's no recovering West Virginia now.

 

Bradley:  Yeah, it's lost.

 

Ricky:  It will never turn back blue because of this. I'm just giving the reason. We know their logic.

 

Bradley:  Their morals already were in conflict with the Democratic party, their stance on abortion, guns, many things. They already felt conflicted. When they killed the coal industry, that was the last straw that drove the entire state over to the red.

 

Samia:  I think there's a side conversation we could have here about the need for environmental regulations and fighting global warming and all that. Do you have an interest in pursuing that, or should we get back to the topic of liberal messaging?

 

Bradley:  I think we should stick with liberal messaging. I mean, what's going on in West Virginia is going on in many places. It might not be that their industry died, but still yet that small town, they feel conflicted to try to vote Democratic. So I think we should stick with that.

 

Samia:  So what about the liberal messaging, then, nowadays is exacerbating this situation? For you, Ricky, since you're the one who really has an issue with it?

 

Ricky:  Okay, the first flaw that the left has is this image that we're, well, all these red states are uneducated, they don't know what's good for 'em. They don't know that their vote is actually counterproductive to their well-being, their livelihood. They should be voting Democrats because the Republicans benefit the one percent. 

 

Bradley:  Yeah. Corporations.

 

Ricky:  Tax cuts. Corporations.

 

Bradley:  Business. 

 

Ricky:  The Democrats are the guys that's fighting the good fight for the little guy in the town and-

 

Bradley:  But the little guy doesn't feel it. The little guy doesn't understand.

 

Ricky:  And they're just undereducated, and they don't know what's good for 'em. They should just listen to us and come on over.

 

Bradley:  Yeah, that's, that message is not working.

 

Ricky:  That is not gonna work. You can't help somebody, a dummy head.

 

Bradley:  Yeah, you know...

 

Ricky:  And say, hey dummy.

 

Bradley:  I'm the one that's educated so you need to listen to me and vote Democrat. That message is not working.

 

Ricky:  And the message that benefiting them is not gonna ring true, 'cause they don't want the government to come in and benefit them. They want to be self-reliant like they were in the old days, when they all had these factory jobs and they could buy their own house and do all these things on their own without government assistance. That's what they want. They don't want government to come in and protect 'em and be their parents and guardians and all of that.

 

Bradley:  So question for you, Ricky. Do you feel that the liberal message is weak, or do you feel that the conservatives are just doing better at staying on point with their message? 

 

Ricky:  Those conservatives stay on point with their message. They know where they're at. God, guns, what's the other one? 

 

Bradley:  Abortion, we've got abortion, God...

 

Ricky:  That's God, guns, and what's the third one? Lower taxes?

 

Bradley:  Yeah, yeah. Taxes.

 

Ricky:  All they have to do is say God, guns, lower taxes. Hey, come on over.

 

Bradley:  I hear abortion a lot. 

 

Ricky:  That's God, that's under the God context.

 

Bradley:  Okay, I see what you're saying. Okay.

 

Ricky:  And the Democrats, they don't have a unified front like that. A liberal from California is going to be far different from a liberal living in Kansas, but a conservative in California has a lot more in common with a conservative in Kansas. So it's harder to wrangle and narrow the message down to something clearcut and concise. 

 

Samia:  Why do you think that is?

 

Ricky:  You know, I'm not sure. I don't know. If you look across the board, almost every poll or liberal idea, say like legalizing marijuana, that's been a liberal idea for a long time, and polls in the 80s, probably, it was not supported by the majority of the population, but today every poll shows it's a liberal idea, a liberal platform that most of the population agrees with. Who cares about this? This is an old issue. We know marijuana's got public approval on its side now. Yet you still can't get it passed, and you fight tooth and nail with it. Liberal, Democrat platform talking points across the board, with the exception of a few wedge issues, the public approves of, agrees with. So they agree with a lot of the message, like regulating Wall Street, raising taxes on the one percent, most of America wants to raise taxes on the one percent. It's logical, but the detractors that the left has supersedes the positives and they can't get that message across. They should stand on the messages that what the polls say the people want, and hammer those home. 

 

Bradley:  You are not heading into the direction that I thought you were going to head. Okay, I thought for sure that you were going to…a lot of the liberal messages just tear you apart. You can't handle it. Okay, you use words like fragile little snowflake, and things like that. So you're holding back pretty well on what you actually think about the majority of the liberal message, and you feel that they should drop a lot of this in order to bring back middle America. Now see, I don't see it as liberals enforcing their moral message. I see that as corporate America enforcing the liberal message, but though it has nothing to do with the Democratic party. Okay, they pretty much, it's over getting sued that they got to where you can be fired over something from Facebook. So if you post something racist on Facebook, you can be fired for it. You see that as the liberal message, okay, being enforced.

 

Ricky:  Yeah, those are EEO laws that are backed by the left. That's what their suing them on the basis of. Okay? So if you're at work and you get offended by something, and let me preface this with, the reason those laws started and began with were of noble intentions, because there is a lot of horrible things that happen that you shouldn't be exposed to at your job. Agreed. The same thing can be said with the Christian right. Their intentions are noble efforts to say I think that, morally, the country should be like this, so let's enforce a law like prohibition, 'cause I don't think anybody should be drinking alcohol. I've got the moral authority through my representatives to pass prohibition. The left does the same thing through the equal opportunity laws and the harassment laws that infiltrate the business. That's how they enforce it. They get - you know, the company surely doesn't want to get sued. There's parts of it that has not only necessary but needed. You have to have something to where workers are protected equally, but it's a fine line from fair to overextending your morality. And overextending your power to be offended and cost me my job.

 

Samia:  Do you have any personal experience with this?

 

Ricky:  We had a harassment meeting. Training meeting last week, and they were going through all the things that you could basically get in trouble for, some of them are very, I just, they're ridiculous. Some of 'em - if you, you know people decorate their cubicle with maybe a comic strip or something out of the newspaper, and if somebody comes by your cubicle and is offended by the comic strip that you cut out, that's an EEO complaint, which could eventually... I mean, you're not gonna get fired for a first incident, but that could be the trigger point for this wave of outrage that the Left is capable of doing now, and you could end up losing your job, and at the crux of it was a comic strip that somebody didn't like. They brought examples up in the meeting about people getting fired for Facebook posts and things like that. 

 

Bradley:  Now, whether or not you should be fired for a Facebook post, that's a different argument. Whether a company should even be looking at your Facebook to fire you is a totally different argument, but at the core of it, it's about… See, to me, freedom of speech means that in my house, I can say whatever I want inside my house. Now, if I go over to your house, and I'm standing in your house, and I start saying what I think, and you disagree with it, you have the right to throw me out of your house. It's the same thing with a company. Okay? When you're working for that company, you're in their house. You represent them. And anything that can damage their reputation, or hurt their employee relations, is something that you gotta address. So I don't see it as a liberal agenda thing as much as I see it as just doing the right thing. Now, I have an example. Someone at my place of work made a noose and hung it up at work. Needless to say, it offended quite a few people. He didn't lose his job over it, but he got substantial time off for it. A lot of people felt that it was just silly. That he just was playing around, made a noose, hung it up. And other people saw it as a threat. So it's a fine line, but at the same time I think it's one that you gotta take into consideration and use your brain.

 

Ricky:  But here's the thing. It's a double standard, because you just said if you go to your place of employment, well, when they're kneeling at the Anthem, who's mad about that? The conservatives are mad, and the liberals are saying, “Oh, it’s his freedom of speech." Well, he's in his place of work. So what's good for the goose is not good for the gander, when it comes to it. And the reason is those laws are constructed by, and facilitated by the left.

 

Bradley:  Okay. But if you're saying that when they kneel at the Anthem, that they're just stating that they hate America.

 

Ricky:  No. I'm not. Don't put words in my mouth. That's a strong word.

 

Bradley:  No I'm just saying that would be what the conservatives take it as. 

 

Ricky:  No they just find it offensive.

 

Bradley:  They find it offensive.

 

Ricky:  They find that very offensive. They're doing it for-

 

Bradley:  Okay. They don't try to see both sides that he is actually protesting an injustice in his country.

 

Ricky:  Well it wouldn't be an effective protest if it didn't make the people you were protesting mad. 

 

Bradley:  Right.

 

Ricky:  It wouldn't even be a protest. I'm just saying. If I can't cut out a Lockhorns cartoon and tape it on my locker, then what's the difference in that and kneeling at the Anthem?

 

Samia:  I think there's actually a big difference there, and I love that you brought this up, because last week's episode was actually about that specific issue. That is an interesting analogy to make, to say, well, this kneeling at the Anthem thing is offensive to the conservatives, and why is that not being held to the same standards that we're holding other things in workplaces. Like things that are offensive to liberals. I get that, but at the same time, the kneeling during the Anthem thing is a very peaceful form of protest, whereas hanging a noose in your office speaks to a violence of our past as a country that is deeply traumatic for a lot of people. I see a huge difference there. What do you think, Ricky?

 

Samia:  This is Make America Relate Again, presented by Better Angels Media. I’m Samia Mounts

 

We’re gonna jump right in this week, with a conversation between two West Virginia gentlemen centering around why liberal messaging seems to be so ineffective in a country where polls show the majority of the population agreeing with liberal policies.

 

Ricky and Bradley are cousins, both from southern West Virginia - coal country - and both tend to agree with liberal policies. However, Ricky considers himself a libertarian, because according to him, liberal messaging does too much to alienate anyone who doesn’t fit the mold of the “coffee-shop liberal.” From his perspective, both sides of the political aisle have very similar flaws, can be very judgmental, and feel they have the moral high ground.

 

Bradley is a hardcore liberal who doesn’t think liberal messaging is to blame for liberals losing elections so much as the fact that conservatives are more easily united under a few issues - God, guns, and lower taxes - whereas liberals are trying to do something very difficult - united ALL Americans.

 

Now, West Virginia is a state that frequently ranks 50th in the nation’s economy, education, obesity, and substance abuse, and a state that recently switched from blue to red, thanks in large part to Obama’s campaign to reduce our nation’s dependence on coal. So these guys are very much in touch with Trump’s America, and I learned a lot from them.

 

I’ll let Ricky and Bradley tell you more.

 

MUSIC

 

Samia:  Ricky and Bradley, welcome to Make America Relate Again. Let's go ahead and start by having you both introduce yourselves so the listeners know your voices and a little bit about where you're coming from, politically speaking. Ricky, let's start with you.

 

Ricky:  Okay, well, I grew up in a small area called Boone County, West Virginia, on the edge of the banks of the Little Coal River. Dad was a coal miner, mom worked at the local newspaper, and I usually vote third party. I voted for Perot and Nader and the first Bush was pretty bad, so I went ahead, instead of voting clear conscience, I voted for Kerry. I wanted to vote for Obama, actually. I thought he had a real good message, but yeah, the last election I went back to the third party. Third party to me, it doesn't matter which one, really. I kind of lean left-wing Libertarian, but I'll vote any third party candidate that has the best chance of making some margins, at least.

 

Samia:  Okay, great. Bradley, what about you?

 

Bradley:  Okay, I'm Bradley, age 47. I also have the same background as Ricky, from southern West Virginia. Father was a coal miner. In fact, we're related, so we've been lifelong friends. I lean liberal. Extremely liberal. I've always pretty much voted straight Democratic ticket.

 

Samia:  All right. I want to get into a little bit about what shaped your political leanings, but let's do that in the process of the conversation. We’re here today to talk about messaging. Specifically, you guys told me that what might be interesting for you to talk about is liberal messaging and whether or not it's effective, so where do you both stand on that? Let's continue on with you Bradley. What's your take on liberal messaging?

 

Bradley:  Well, I'm not so extreme on it. I don't think that there's so much of a liberal conspiracy. Ricky and I, we totally disagree on that, but I don't see it as something that is out to take over the country, okay. I think for the most part the liberal message is basically doing the right thing in a lot of cases. We definitely differ on that.

 

Samia:  And Ricky, how do you differ?

 

Ricky:  Most of the liberal issues America agrees with, so if they're losing elections, they're doing something wrong. The thing I think that they're doing wrong is they're doing the exact same thing that the Christian Right is doing and trying to enforce their morality through law. It turns a lot of people away because of that.

 

Bradley:  Well, keep in mind we've only lost one election, okay. It's not like that we've had five consecutive elections that the Democratic party's lost. It's at this point, it's one election, and it was just barely at that.

 

Ricky:  If most of the country agrees with most of your issues, how in the world did you lose this election?

 

Bradley:  It does baffle the mind how we lost this election, but still, yeah, we did and there's a group of people that are not being listened to and now their getting their 15 minutes worth, so…

 

Samia:  What group of people do you mean?

 

Bradley:  The small town people. They've felt for years that they've been pushed out, not listened to. 

 

Samia:  So you're talking about the Trump base. All right. So what about liberal messaging do you think is making all this worse, Ricky? And feel free Bradley to jump in with your questions and your responses without waiting for me. I will just be over here on the sidelines being quiet, unless I feel like I need to jump in.

 

Ricky:  Okay, the first thing is the left-wing media is as guilty, not as guilty, but guilty of sensational journalism as it is. So when you watch Fox News, it's all sensationalized right-wing leaning. The only liberals you really see are in the most negative light, right, but the left wing does about the same thing. If you're just as guilty, if the only news you get is NPR and CNN and CNBC, you're just as guilty as the people that all they get is Rush Limbaugh and God forbid, Alex Jones, or Fox News. You end up in this bubble and you see the opposition through a limited prism.

 

Bradley:  Now see I think you live in a bubble. I think you live in a conservative bubble that you are forcefed the conservative Kool-Aid and I don't get that. So I'm out in the middle. I see the middle of the road on a daily basis. I feel like that you're almost locked in a conservative prison down there.

 

Ricky:  Well dang, you don't get much more right-wing these days, than the coal fields, yeah they feel abandoned by the... West Virginia was blue for what? Seventy, eighty years and as soon as the EPA ... I kinda…

 

Bradley:  It breaks my heart that West Virginia went back to conservative.

 

Ricky:  Yeah.

 

Bradley:  It just, oh, I die.

 

Ricky:  Well that was, you know there's no more blue dog democrat as there is.

 

Bradley:  Right.

 

Samia:  But wait, you were about to say why West Virginia went back conservative. Could you expound upon that a little bit, because I don't that people outside of West Virginia would really understand the issues involved there.

 

Ricky:  Oh, okay. The first thing is that coal never had a competition, and natural gas, the natural gas industry, in my opinion put the fleece over the EPA’s eyes, saying that they had a product that burned cleaner than coal and would have no environmental drawbacks. Of course, we know that's not true. It contaminates the water supply, but once there was an alternative to coal, that gave the Democratic party enough leverage to do what they've been wanting to do, which is...

 

Bradley:  Kill coal.

 

Ricky:  Kill coal.

 

Bradley:  Plain and simple.

 

Ricky:  And once you did that, that was the, I don't want to say sole employment opportunity in that state, for as long as I can remember.

 

Bradley:  That's all that's there. I mean is coal mining. There's no flat land there to build factories and to bring in other opportunities for people. All they ever had was timber and coal, and coal made up 90% of their income. That's what the population was based off of. And absolutely, I voted for Obama, but I will admit that he absolutely killed the coal industry. He took the opportunity. Now I think he did it for good reasons. I mean you can't go to the rest of the world and say, hey, we need to start fighting global warming, when he himself is burning coal like crazy, okay. So it's kind of instead of a, do as I say not as I do, he set the example. He did kill the coal industry. There's no doubt about that, but I think it was for reasons that has to - we just have to get there.

 

Samia:  So it sounds like it was a pretty unfortunate situation for the state of West Virginia, but from your perspective Bradley, also from mine, the coal industry needed to die.

 

Bradley:  Its time was up. Coal’s time was up. 

 

Samia:  Ricky do you agree with that?

 

Ricky:  The thing is, that's the reason West Virginia is went red. There's no recovering West Virginia now.

 

Bradley:  Yeah, it's lost.

 

Ricky:  It will never turn back blue because of this. I'm just giving the reason. We know their logic.

 

Bradley:  Their morals already were in conflict with the Democratic party, their stance on abortion, guns, many things. They already felt conflicted. When they killed the coal industry, that was the last straw that drove the entire state over to the red.

 

Samia:  I think there's a side conversation we could have here about the need for environmental regulations and fighting global warming and all that. Do you have an interest in pursuing that, or should we get back to the topic of liberal messaging?

 

Bradley:  I think we should stick with liberal messaging. I mean, what's going on in West Virginia is going on in many places. It might not be that their industry died, but still yet that small town, they feel conflicted to try to vote Democratic. So I think we should stick with that.

 

Samia:  So what about the liberal messaging, then, nowadays is exacerbating this situation? For you, Ricky, since you're the one who really has an issue with it?

 

Ricky:  Okay, the first flaw that the left has is this image that we're, well, all these red states are uneducated, they don't know what's good for 'em. They don't know that their vote is actually counterproductive to their well-being, their livelihood. They should be voting Democrats because the Republicans benefit the one percent. 

 

Bradley:  Yeah. Corporations.

 

Ricky:  Tax cuts. Corporations.

 

Bradley:  Business. 

 

Ricky:  The Democrats are the guys that's fighting the good fight for the little guy in the town and-

 

Bradley:  But the little guy doesn't feel it. The little guy doesn't understand.

 

Ricky:  And they're just undereducated, and they don't know what's good for 'em. They should just listen to us and come on over.

 

Bradley:  Yeah, that's, that message is not working.

 

Ricky:  That is not gonna work. You can't help somebody, a dummy head.

 

Bradley:  Yeah, you know...

 

Ricky:  And say, hey dummy.

 

Bradley:  I'm the one that's educated so you need to listen to me and vote Democrat. That message is not working.

 

Ricky:  And the message that benefiting them is not gonna ring true, 'cause they don't want the government to come in and benefit them. They want to be self-reliant like they were in the old days, when they all had these factory jobs and they could buy their own house and do all these things on their own without government assistance. That's what they want. They don't want government to come in and protect 'em and be their parents and guardians and all of that.

 

Bradley:  So question for you, Ricky. Do you feel that the liberal message is weak, or do you feel that the conservatives are just doing better at staying on point with their message? 

 

Ricky:  Those conservatives stay on point with their message. They know where they're at. God, guns, what's the other one? 

 

Bradley:  Abortion, we've got abortion, God...

 

Ricky:  That's God, guns, and what's the third one? Lower taxes?

 

Bradley:  Yeah, yeah. Taxes.

 

Ricky:  All they have to do is say God, guns, lower taxes. Hey, come on over.

 

Bradley:  I hear abortion a lot. 

 

Ricky:  That's God, that's under the God context.

 

Bradley:  Okay, I see what you're saying. Okay.

 

Ricky:  And the Democrats, they don't have a unified front like that. A liberal from California is going to be far different from a liberal living in Kansas, but a conservative in California has a lot more in common with a conservative in Kansas. So it's harder to wrangle and narrow the message down to something clearcut and concise. 

 

Samia:  Why do you think that is?

 

Ricky:  You know, I'm not sure. I don't know. If you look across the board, almost every poll or liberal idea, say like legalizing marijuana, that's been a liberal idea for a long time, and polls in the 80s, probably, it was not supported by the majority of the population, but today every poll shows it's a liberal idea, a liberal platform that most of the population agrees with. Who cares about this? This is an old issue. We know marijuana's got public approval on its side now. Yet you still can't get it passed, and you fight tooth and nail with it. Liberal, Democrat platform talking points across the board, with the exception of a few wedge issues, the public approves of, agrees with. So they agree with a lot of the message, like regulating Wall Street, raising taxes on the one percent, most of America wants to raise taxes on the one percent. It's logical, but the detractors that the left has supersedes the positives and they can't get that message across. They should stand on the messages that what the polls say the people want, and hammer those home. 

 

Bradley:  You are not heading into the direction that I thought you were going to head. Okay, I thought for sure that you were going to…a lot of the liberal messages just tear you apart. You can't handle it. Okay, you use words like fragile little snowflake, and things like that. So you're holding back pretty well on what you actually think about the majority of the liberal message, and you feel that they should drop a lot of this in order to bring back middle America. Now see, I don't see it as liberals enforcing their moral message. I see that as corporate America enforcing the liberal message, but though it has nothing to do with the Democratic party. Okay, they pretty much, it's over getting sued that they got to where you can be fired over something from Facebook. So if you post something racist on Facebook, you can be fired for it. You see that as the liberal message, okay, being enforced.

 

Ricky:  Yeah, those are EEO laws that are backed by the left. That's what their suing them on the basis of. Okay? So if you're at work and you get offended by something, and let me preface this with, the reason those laws started and began with were of noble intentions, because there is a lot of horrible things that happen that you shouldn't be exposed to at your job. Agreed. The same thing can be said with the Christian right. Their intentions are noble efforts to say I think that, morally, the country should be like this, so let's enforce a law like prohibition, 'cause I don't think anybody should be drinking alcohol. I've got the moral authority through my representatives to pass prohibition. The left does the same thing through the equal opportunity laws and the harassment laws that infiltrate the business. That's how they enforce it. They get - you know, the company surely doesn't want to get sued. There's parts of it that has not only necessary but needed. You have to have something to where workers are protected equally, but it's a fine line from fair to overextending your morality. And overextending your power to be offended and cost me my job.

 

Samia:  Do you have any personal experience with this?

 

Ricky:  We had a harassment meeting. Training meeting last week, and they were going through all the things that you could basically get in trouble for, some of them are very, I just, they're ridiculous. Some of 'em - if you, you know people decorate their cubicle with maybe a comic strip or something out of the newspaper, and if somebody comes by your cubicle and is offended by the comic strip that you cut out, that's an EEO complaint, which could eventually... I mean, you're not gonna get fired for a first incident, but that could be the trigger point for this wave of outrage that the Left is capable of doing now, and you could end up losing your job, and at the crux of it was a comic strip that somebody didn't like. They brought examples up in the meeting about people getting fired for Facebook posts and things like that. 

 

Bradley:  Now, whether or not you should be fired for a Facebook post, that's a different argument. Whether a company should even be looking at your Facebook to fire you is a totally different argument, but at the core of it, it's about… See, to me, freedom of speech means that in my house, I can say whatever I want inside my house. Now, if I go over to your house, and I'm standing in your house, and I start saying what I think, and you disagree with it, you have the right to throw me out of your house. It's the same thing with a company. Okay? When you're working for that company, you're in their house. You represent them. And anything that can damage their reputation, or hurt their employee relations, is something that you gotta address. So I don't see it as a liberal agenda thing as much as I see it as just doing the right thing. Now, I have an example. Someone at my place of work made a noose and hung it up at work. Needless to say, it offended quite a few people. He didn't lose his job over it, but he got substantial time off for it. A lot of people felt that it was just silly. That he just was playing around, made a noose, hung it up. And other people saw it as a threat. So it's a fine line, but at the same time I think it's one that you gotta take into consideration and use your brain.

 

Ricky:  But here's the thing. It's a double standard, because you just said if you go to your place of employment, well, when they're kneeling at the Anthem, who's mad about that? The conservatives are mad, and the liberals are saying, “Oh, it’s his freedom of speech." Well, he's in his place of work. So what's good for the goose is not good for the gander, when it comes to it. And the reason is those laws are constructed by, and facilitated by the left.

 

Bradley:  Okay. But if you're saying that when they kneel at the Anthem, that they're just stating that they hate America.

 

Ricky:  No. I'm not. Don't put words in my mouth. That's a strong word.

 

Bradley:  No I'm just saying that would be what the conservatives take it as. 

 

Ricky:  No they just find it offensive.

 

Bradley:  They find it offensive.

 

Ricky:  They find that very offensive. They're doing it for-

 

Bradley:  Okay. They don't try to see both sides that he is actually protesting an injustice in his country.

 

Ricky:  Well it wouldn't be an effective protest if it didn't make the people you were protesting mad. 

 

Bradley:  Right.

 

Ricky:  It wouldn't even be a protest. I'm just saying. If I can't cut out a Lockhorns cartoon and tape it on my locker, then what's the difference in that and kneeling at the Anthem?

 

Samia:  I think there's actually a big difference there, and I love that you brought this up, because last week's episode was actually about that specific issue. That is an interesting analogy to make, to say, well, this kneeling at the Anthem thing is offensive to the conservatives, and why is that not being held to the same standards that we're holding other things in workplaces. Like things that are offensive to liberals. I get that, but at the same time, the kneeling during the Anthem thing is a very peaceful form of protest, whereas hanging a noose in your office speaks to a violence of our past as a country that is deeply traumatic for a lot of people. I see a huge difference there. What do you think, Ricky?

Ricky:  The noose thing, there's no place in the workplace for that. Right?

 

Bradley:  But once again, there was a large group of people that felt like he did nothing wrong, and they were very offended that he got in trouble for this. And that's what I couldn't believe. Okay, I sat at a meeting that about this noose, and I couldn't believe the people that were taking up for him. It was just crazy. I'm like, "How do you not?" 

 

Ricky:  And those same people probably get mad at the Anthem kneeling.

 

Bradley:  Exactly. 

 

Ricky:  'Cause if it doesn't effect you and your tribe, then you don't care. 

 

Bradley:  Right.

 

Ricky:  And that's what I'm saying. There's two tribes, they're locked in, no matter what, there's no gray, the guy kneeling at the Anthem, “Oh, let him go because he's justified. It's a peaceful protest." And I cut out maybe... I got a cartoon from the Sunday paper, which didn't offend... Nobody got fired from the paper, but it's offensive to somebody else's perception, so I'm the bad guy. And that's another thing, the reason the left's message... I'm always the villain. I'm a white male, and add this beautiful Boone County accent on top of i.t

 

Bradley:  Right.

 

Ricky:  Oh man, if I go to Hollywood and audition for a villain part, the only guy beating me is some British dude. 'Cause they love British villains. 

 

Samia:  So what do you think is the solution? And then I'll let you guys talk this out amongst yourselves. How can liberal messaging be better? Before you answer that, let me say that I also thought you were gonna go in a different direction, Ricky, and I thought you were going to speak to how snarky and condescending... I mean, you have said a little bit about how it makes you feel like a villain. I personally find liberal messaging to be so snarky and condescending towards everyone who doesn't already agree that it completely defeats its own purpose, by causing people who don't agree to feel attacked and therefore to dig their heels in deeper to the views that they already possess. So what is the solution? How could the messaging be better? How could it reach more people? Especially the people who stand to benefit from Democratic policies, but still vote Republican?

 

Ricky:  The first thing is, look in the mirror and quit blaming everything under the sun for any failures that the party has. They fail to recognize that they helped create the market for Trump. They helped create it. In my opinion Trump hijacked Fox news, the vehicle of Fox News. They didn't want him to be the representative of the Presidential nominee until he actually won it. They fought him tooth and nail, but he hijacked their own system, because they had to cover him, because he was the most sensational candidate. He said something every day that was newsworthy and drowned out the field. So he hijacked Fox News. The second prong was, no Republican candidate made the left angrier than Trump. So even conservatives that don't like Trump, we’re so tribal in our thinking, look how mad they are. They like that. 

 

Bradley:  We were scared of Trump. They knew it and they liked it. Plain and simple.

 

Ricky:  And he just, the more enraged he made the left, the more the right liked it.

 

Bradley:  Yeah.

 

Ricky:  I think there's a bit of an image problem with the word liberal.

 

Bradley:  Without a doubt. Without a doubt. It's a badge of honor that I wear proudly. I have no problem what so ever saying that I'm a liberal, okay, but to a lot of people that's a dirty word. That's - you know.

 

Ricky:  Well, it's got the connotation. When you think liberal, you're exposed to kind of the new age, coffee shop hipster is a liberal. The old school 1960s peace, love, dope, hippie liberal, the tree hugging, driving the van, what was those, the VW Bug? You know.

 

Bradley:  Yeah.

 

Ricky:  When you think liberal, you don't think me. 

 

Bradley:  Right.

 

Ricky:  I would be way down the list.

 

Bradley:  Well I'm an endangered species, anyway, because I'm a southern white, non-educated, liberal. I mean, I'm on the endangered species list for sure. 

 

Ricky:  Yeah, but when you think conservative, you think maybe like those guys that took hostage the state park. That would be the worst image you could get of 'em, and still other than that, they're wearing the cowboy hats and the... or you think maybe the Christian south, which puzzles me to no end that we can't get on the same page, even in subpopulations that have so much in common. Like, if you're gonna back candidates and base your vote on your religious morality, there's a huge population of black society that are churchgoing, but they never reach out to them. 

 

Bradley:  Right.

 

Ricky:  The other side of that coin - there's tons of potential undecided to left leaning populations that never get reached out to. They're dropping the ball.

 

Bradley:  I don't think we're in so much trouble as what it appears. It's dark times in America, for sure, for a liberal, but I think the right candidate can easily step in and start bridging a lot of this. He lays down his platform and his message-

 

Samia:  Or her platform and her message.

 

Bradley:  Or, excuse me, you're absolutely correct. So they can come in with the right message and reach middle America. I think it could be done.

 

Ricky:  Oh, it's... The gap’s always close. It’s - just roughly, 42% is gonna vote Republican no matter who's the nominee and 42% is gonna vote Democrat no matter who's the nominee, and then you're fighting for that last 16% of undecided voters. I just don't understand why we don't just go by what the polls are saying, instead of all this pendulum swinging. 

 

Samia:  There's reasons beyond the effectiveness or noneffectiveness of the messaging on either side that can speak to that. If we use the popular vote for example, Hilary Clinton would have won the last election, Al Gore would have won that one election against Bush. We would've had two liberal presidents in place at crucial times in our recent history, if we were going by the popular vote.

 

Ricky:  I'd be fine with the popular vote. I think the electoral college is a way to stifle the power of the people. 

 

Samia:  I agree with you. I think it's a really screwed up system and also, there's been the issue of Republican gerrymandering, a strategy that they have been very successful with and a strategy that Democrats have not at all tried to fight back with, because it seems unfair and wrong. I'm showing my bias here, obviously, but what do you guys think of that as far as being a factor in why liberals aren't getting their policies through, and their candidates elected, as another factor besides just the messaging?

 

Ricky:  Do you want me to take this one?

 

Bradley: Go ahead.

 

Ricky: Liberals, not the politicians, the voters, are harder to please, for one. So they're harder to deal with. They've got wide ranging voices that you have to represent. You know, you got to win the Iowa Caucus, you go to win New Hampshire, you got to win South Carolina, and to do that as a Republican, you can say the same thing every campaign stop, but liberals aren't on that same page. They don't have a concise message. I kind of got lost on that. What was the question again?

 

Samia:  Well, you brought up an interesting other point, which made me think about what you were saying before about tribalism. I was asking you about whether you think that gerrymandering and the electoral college system, which can obviously defeat the popular vote, the will of the people, the polls, showing all these people support jliberal policies and yet the election's not showing that unless you look at the popular vote. I was asking if you think that's as big of a factor, or possibly more of a factor than the messaging itself, but then you talked about liberals having more of a problem speaking to all the many different communities of people that they're trying to please, and liberals in general being harder to please. That's interesting 'cause it connects to the tribalism of it. Liberals are trying to unite Americans, but they don't pay any attention to evangelicals and the Christian right, because they think they're a lost cause, and that group tends to be pretty racially, ethnically homogenous, whereas liberal circles include a lot more minorities. Do you think that that is part of it, too? That tribalism and the difficulty in uniting people who identify in different ways, might be part of the problem for liberals, part of the challenge?

 

Ricky:  Yeah. I'll start with the gerrymandering and the electoral college. I think it's a check and balance that the government just doesn't trust the people to do what the people want to do. It's just like the superdelegates. It's another check and balance. They're checking our power to get what we want done. I think we gotta get rid of the gerrymandering. That's a horrible, horrible way to go about an election. As far as the tribalism-

 

Bradley:  Let's just say it. Let's say it. A lot of white people are afraid of losing their white America, plain and simple. The majority of conservatives that I know are scared of brown people, Mexicans, black people. They are truly afraid of losing white America and I'm just gonna say it. I have no problem saying it, but the people that I talk to, there's two things that really push them towards the conservative side. That's guns, and immigration, and things like that. 

 

Ricky:  That's another thing. I don't know, man. There's a lot of racism, but I think when the left talks about Trump's slogan, "Make America Great Again,” right? The first thing out of their mouth is, "Oh, when we had separate water fountains? You know, is that the time you want?" No. 

 

Bradley:  And I totally agree with that. What point of America are we talking about that was so great that we want to go back to?

 

Ricky:  The World War II generation had its flaws. I don't think... Other than those alt-right jokers, I don't think anybody wants to go back to segregation, maybe a small percentage, but not the majority. When they say “Make America Great Again,” there was a time when the worst thing you could be in this country was a coward. Everybody got drafted, went up, and it was the time when we were most definitely on the... We were the good guys, and the clearcut bad guys were Germany and Japan, and that is an America that we love. We're definitely the good guys, people still see us as the good guys to this day, when they think fondly back at that time.

 

Samia:  United against a common foreign enemy.

 

Ricky:  Right. The worst thing you can be now is insensitive, and that's when the left-wing starts hurling those…calling you a bigot, calling you, "Oh, well you're just racist. Oh, well you're just a bigot," and belittling your stance. You might have a legitimate difference, but they try to sweep out your platform by calling you a racist, and then shutting, shouting you down, so you not only have to defend your stance or something you believe in, but you also have to say, "No, I'm not racist, I just like [insert topic].” So, yeah, you're not going to be calling everybody racist and getting them to come over to your side, and the “Make America Great Again,” I don't think they're really calling back to a time of racism, they're calling back to a time-

 

Bradley:  So it could be bringing back the great parts of America, instead of “Make America Great Again,” let's go back and get the stuff that was good and bring it back.

 

Ricky:  Yeah, we've romanticized the Greatest Generation, right? That's our greatest generation from Normandy to the moon landing, right? “Make America Great Again” is that time period, and yeah, there's a lot of negative, but I really don't think the majority of conservatives are saying segre... They don't even think about black people in their normal thought process. They're not saying-

 

Bradley:  Exactly. That's the point.

 

Ricky:  They're not saying, "Oh, this was good, that was good, everybody went off and we won the war and it was all good, when we landed on the moon we achieved great accomplishments, Oh, and we subjugated an entire people. Oh man, that was great, too." No, they're not looking back to Jim Crow fondly. Come on.

 

Bradley:  Right, but still yet you're leaving a portion of Americans out of it. That’s, once again, they're ignoring that side of America. Like you said they don't think about how bad it was for African Americans, and they're not thinking about them now. 

 

Ricky:  That's true, I'll give you that. They don't... It's not part of the thought process. But to attack your “Make America Great Again” concept with “Oh, you're a racist,” it doesn't make sense. It's like, "I'm not racist, I'm saying America did all this in this time and now we don't." That's what they're looking back fondly on. And again, calling them racists and saying, “Hey bigots, come on over here and vote for us,” ain't going to work.

 

Samia:  You know, I agree with that part of what you're saying, that just calling someone racist - even if it is fully justified, because I think there are plenty of people, the conservatives you're talking about who don't even think about black people as part of their thought process, there is a great racism there, and a lot of liberals, including myself, get frustrated with that, because it's like, "How do you not see that that's a problem?" But instead of communicating in a way that can be heard, we communicate with hostility and with insults that directly attack a person's character, and that's not an effective way to get your message across.

 

Bradley:  I'm probably guilty of that myself, discrimination is something that I just can't tolerate, and I'm the first one to jump up and say you're a racist.

 

Ricky:  Well, nobody's pointed it out. I've heard the left say “Make America Great Again,” what do you want, separate bathrooms? That kind of thing. Conservatives aren't good at responding. They're conservative by nature, I guess. I don't know, they're horrible at debating, so their response is incoherent sometimes, you know, they don't have a response. When you point out, "Oh they're not considering the black part of the history," I would assume, I'm hoping, that if they pointed that, that they would say, "That's not what we're talking about when we say ‘Make America Great Again.’” I think most people would agree that one of the biggest... We won the war, World War II, and we landed on the moon in that time frame. Everybody is proud to be an American when you're talking about those two events. We haven't had anything similar, and a similar event to be proud of in a long time. We've been fighting each other and we've done a lot of things that we shouldn't be proud of, but Make America Great Again, that is what I think the concept is.

 

Samia:  Bradley, I'd love to hear your response to all of this.

 

Bradley:  I think I'm pretty much in step with Ricky on this. There are parts of America, but things are different today, it's a much more difficult time, there aren't enemies that stand up with their army to fight your army anymore, okay, it's blurred lines as to who the enemy is, and if they're actually an enemy at all. So for us to return to that, it's just not going to happen, it's a day gone by. But unifying the country is something that's achievable. I think that we can get on the same page again, I don't pretend to know the answers, but...

 

Ricky:  It looks bad because what we're exposed to, the sensational news, the memes on Facebook, they're just little clips. Whatever gets your attention just for a second, but if you look at it, it doesn't feel better, but daggonit, it's better. It's better than when I was growing up in the 80s, as far as racism and so... You know, when you go out into your neighborhood, things are better. There's examples left and right of how these things have improved. The social stigma of an interracial relationship in West Virginia in the 80s to now is just one example. You walk outside and that's not a problem, you know, they're not being verbally attacked in the street and all this malfeasance, acts of malfeasance.

 

Bradley:  Or physically attacked, that was...

 

Ricky:  And if they are, daggone, it's prosecuted. 

 

Bradley:  It's a hate crime.

 

Ricky:  They take that serious now, so that's... It is getting better.

 

Bradley:  Yes.

 

Ricky:  But it doesn't feel like it's getting better, because of what we're exposed to. We've never been exposed to something like social media before, you know.

 

Bradley:  Right, so…

 

Ricky:  We had the local news, that was our source of what's a going on.

 

Bradley:  So modern day social media, it does make you feel bad. I've noticed myself, you sit and scroll through Facebook for a while and after a while you're just like, you feel terrible.

 

Ricky:  You're depressed.

 

Bradley:  Yeah.

 

Ricky:  This is depressing.

 

Bradley:  Yeah.

 

Samia:  It's a scientifically proven fact that content that makes you angry gets way more clicks than content that makes you feel good.

 

Bradley:  Yes.

 

Samia:  So we've got this echo chamber online and in the media amplifying all the things that make people angrier.

 

Ricky:  So the answer is more cat videos.

 

Samia:  You know, we're going to wrap this up soon, but I think that the answer is more compassionate messaging designed to reach the ears of people who do not already agree, from both sides. In the course of making this podcast, I've heard conservatives say things that I've never heard before. I had a conservative recently talking about abortion, saying, "I wish the people on the left would at least say that they care about life." Of course the people on the left care about life, but it's true. In speeches and debates about abortion, people on the left never say, "Of course I value human life," or very rarely. At least not in what gets amplified in the echo chamber of social media and the news media, and I never thought about that before. The guest on my very first episode said, "You know, progressives call themselves progressive, and that implies that all of us who aren't progressive are regressive, and that feels really bad to me." I get that, I get it, I get feeling excluded, which I feel like the conservative population of the United States feels like. Like the cool coastal elites are excluding us. I wouldn't feel very good in that position either. So what do you guys think, as a solution, could it be that if everybody started employing more kind messaging, that perhaps we could approach these problems from a place of actually having a chance to fix some of them?

 

Ricky:  Yeah, I would say just start doing the news, for one thing, start… Stop worrying about ratings when you're doing news and try to convey facts, I think if a news station actually started doing that, they'd probably get ratings, because they would be unique in this environment. 

 

Bradley:  I personally think we just need to be teaching critical thinking skills in this country and to school-age children, and help them understand how to tell what is good and what's not good and the difference.

 

Samia:  But a lot of people out there consider themselves to be really good people, while backing policies that would disproportionately hurt marginalized members of our community, of our national community, and they have no awareness that that's what they're backing and they don't see it that way. And when liberals come along with their current way of speaking to conservatives, it just makes them feel personally attacked, instead of making them think about it. So how do we get past that aspect of human psychology?

 

Bradley:  Find what we have in common and build from there. Yes, we differ on many subjects, but we agree on many subjects, too. And until we start coming together on these many subjects and understanding, “Hey, we're not so different here,” they're going to continue to feel the media pulling them apart as to this side over here believes this and get it pounded down their throat to the point that they're defensive.

 

Ricky:  Yeah, I'd agree, being in the heart of the coal fields, probably your go-to reference for red state base, they're not that different than... You know, we’re all still Americans, you get overseas, and the first thing you notice are your differences, but before you know it, you've got tons of things in common. We're still from the same country, we speak the same language, for the most part. Before you know it, you know, you start to notice the similarities, and the next thing you know, you're getting each other's sense of humor, and the next thing you know, you're seeing eye to eye on this topic or at least this portion of it. So yeah, that's exactly what we got to do, we've got to stop the confrontational method, both sides need to stop the confrontational methods in which they address each other. It would help if the example of the professional journalists and pundits would follow - give us an example of what you're supposed to do when you're trying to resolve issues, instead of screaming at each other and getting muted. Maybe that would help, but since they're not doing that, we'll have to take it upon ourselves to start. I think you're doing a good job with this podcast. It's a great idea.

 

Bradley:  It's the type of thing we need more of.

 

Samia:  Thank you both very much, we're going to wrap this up. I want to give you the opportunity for any final thoughts, if there's anything else that either of you would like to say.

 

Ricky:  I'm jealous of you, you're in Seoul. I love Seoul. It's the first thought that came to my head. 

 

Samia:  All right, well, that's a good enough final thought. Bradley, did you have anything else that you wanted to add?

 

Bradley:  No, I think I pretty well covered everything.

 

Samia:  Ricky and Bradley, thank you so much for being on Make America Relate Again.

 

Bradley:  I hope we didn't change relate to regret on this.

 

Samia:  No, no. You know, actually, I have a final thought. I think this is the answer, these kinds of conversations between normal Americans, and a call to our politicians, to our news media, to our political pundits, to engage in the same kinds of productive, calm, respectful dialogues, instead of stoking fears in order to get people worked up enough to vote for whatever candidate you're supporting. Instead of stoking fears, we should be finding our common ground and working together towards solutions, and the only way to do that is through respecting each other and being kind to each other. That's how you communicate effectively, and you guys both did such a great job of illustrating why that's important. So thank you both very much for being on the show, it's been a pleasure.

 

MUSIC

 

Samia:  After the session, Ricky messaged me saying, “I thought about it. And I couldn’t get this thought out, but my overarching point is that a lot of Americans agree with the liberal platform, but they don’t buy into the liberal philosophy. I’m more at home drinking beer at a bonfire than drinking espresso in a coffee shop.”

 

His comments confirm a thought I’ve had for a while. We all know how cliques can form in high school, where the cool kids exclude and look down on everyone else. Do we have a macrocosmic version of this in our country, where the liberal “cool kids,” especially the ones in big cities on the coasts, are looking down on and excluding all the Americans who don’t live in urban areas, who don’t sip espresso, who don’t listen to NPR, and whose daily lives don’t revolve around art, culture, politics, and the like? In my experience, I’ve definitely seen this and been guilty of that mindset myself. So liberals, what can we do to stop the high-school bullshit? I, for one, would like to see kinder messaging from both parties, messaging that strives to communicate with people who don’t already agree. And I’d love to hear your thoughts. Leave your comments on social media or on the Episode 8 page at makeamericarelatepodast.com.

 

On the show website, you’ll also find a transcript of this episode, and for more information on Better Angels, check out better-angels.org.

 

If you’re getting something useful out of this podcast, please take a moment to leave us a 5-star review on iTunes, and share on social media! All new reviews and shares will get a personal shout-out on the show. Just remember to tag Make America Relate Again on Facebook and @RelatePodcast on Twitter.

 

Many thanks to Dan Green of Amerisound Studios in Columbus, Ohio, for recording this conversation,  Cheonjae Media in Seoul for recording my intro and outro segments, Dani Valdizan for creating the theme music, and Christopher Gilroy for mixing and editing this episode.

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This is Make America Relate Again. See you next week.