“What you guys are doing is inspiring.” — Danny Lyon

Danny’s a distinguished photographer, journalist, and film maker with award-winning work dating back to the 1960s civil rights struggle. He picks me up at camp in a battered old Volvo and we drive to the adobe house where he and his wife, Nancy, have lived for 38 years. “Most of this house was built by a single illegal Mexican worker named Eddie,” Danny says proudly. “And I like that it’s biodegradable. Someday, it’ll just be a big heap of mud.” Continue Reading →

The power of nonviolent action

The Race to Save the World challenges us to get involved with our whole person — our bodies and our minds — through creative actions, risking arrest, crazy-long marches, and disrupting business-as-usual for oil companies, banks, and lackluster politicians.

Ultimately, ending the climate crisis will involve major legislative initiatives. Perhaps we’re seeing the front edge of that with the Biden administration’s climate-action proposals. Even so, it’s time for a global mobilization on an unprecedented scale. Perhaps The Race to Save the World can inspire that. Continue Reading →

The Race to Save the World

Gantz’s documentary crew were embedded with the Climate March during our entire journey. The crew’s presence validated the importance of our purpose and mission, although being constantly trailed by cameras for eight months made it feel as if we were living in a reality TV show. The physical exhaustion of marching coupled with the rigors of outdoor living added a surreal element to the experience. Continue Reading →

C what I did here?

Even as more and more of us get vaccinated and the danger of dying from COVID-19 shrinks, many Americans are stuck in survival mode, obsessing over the risks. That’s not to say we’re out of the woods and should abandon reasonable safety measures, but let’s put it in perspective: today, around 100 Americans will die in an automobile accident. Also today, somewhere between zero and one vaccinated American will die from COVID-19. Continue Reading →

Trump vs Baseball

Also on Trump’s list of boycottable corporations: Major League Baseball (MLB).

That’s right. Baseball. One of the cornerstone symbols of the American experience — the others being apple pie, the automobile, and hot dogs. No president has ever issued a more unpatriotic call-to-action than boycotting baseball.

So, what specifically did MLB do to incur the ex-president’s wrath? In response to Georgia’s new voting law, MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred announced that the 2021 All-Star Game would be moved from Atlanta to Denver saying, “Major League Baseball fundamentally supports voting rights for all Americans and opposes restrictions to the ballot box.” Continue Reading →

What I’ve learned talking with Trump voters

Most Trump voters are not racist, misogynist, or stupid. Many I spoke with were critical of Trump’s more divisive statements. One voter creatively said he wished Trump didn’t have thumbs — a reference to the former President’s propensity to binge-tweet late-night crazy talk. …

When I asked if there were any Democrats running for president in 2020 they liked, nearly every Trump voter said they would have considered supporting Tulsi Gabbard. That says volumes: a progressive-populist Democrat who supported Bernie Sanders for president in 2016 appeals to nearly all thirteen Trump voters I spoke with. Continue Reading →

Pat Bertroche: Retired Psychiatrist, Trump voter

I appreciate Pat’s expertise on mental health. He also speaks from his professional perspective about the importance of taking COVID-19 seriously — a position that puts him at odds with many Trump voters I’ve interviewed.

So, when our conversation rolls around to the climate emergency, I’m mystified at Pat’s rejection of the consensus supported by 97 percent of all climate scientists. Continue Reading →

Justin Brady: Communications Professional, Non-Biden vote

Most of my Trump voter conversations cover a lot of ground. With fellow podcaster and radio dude, Justin Brady, we focus on partisan politics. And I promise, Justin’s not at all as angry as he looks in that photo. (Really, Justin, you couldn’t have sent me a pic of you smiling while playing with a cute kitten?) Continue Reading →

Dave Murillo: Retired Police Sergeant, Trump voter

But first, to kick things off, my “Trump Voter” interview this week is with Dave Murillo, a first-generation Mexican-American and retired Sergeant with the Des Moines Police Department.

I learn that (1) Dave’s grandmother made the best tortillas, which Kathy and I will one day get to sample (slathered with butter, Dave promised) and, (2) “Congress is as crooked as a dog’s hind leg.” That’s now one of my new favorite insane metaphors, which I may use if I can verify that a dog’s hind leg is indeed crooked. Continue Reading →

Dave Funk: Retired Northwest Airlines Captain, Trump voter

By several metrics, my interviews with Iowa Trump voters have gone well. The dialogue is good. We’re finding common ground. We’re dispelling the false notion that Trump voters are stupid. And on some fronts, I’m having my own views challenged.

What’s not coming together is clarity on the climate emergency. Take my conversation with Dave Funk. What to me are solid, irrefutable facts are, to Dave, either up for discussion or simply false. While I respect that, I also find it frustrating. Continue Reading →