Sketch Comedy Podcast Show
Ed Wynn | Author Trying to MAKE POLITICAL DISCUSSIONS GREAT AGAIN
October 1, 2020
Ed Wynn is the author of "We The People" a book about improving political discourse in general and specifically for you. He also rides his bike more than you do.
ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Remember back to all of those really civil, insightful, and mind-expanding political discussions at Thanksgiving dinner? No? Because they don’t exist—at least not yet. 

Ed Wynn has spent the last 3 decades trying to help governments and companies find fixes to their problems. He is qualified to do so too, because he is really smart. Ed graduated summa cum laude at the University of Illinois and magna cum laude in law at Georgetown. Throw in the fact that he is a Truman Presidential Scholar and you can see why people are so interested in having him find  solutions!

The one thing Ed is not is a political insider, and his new book, “We The People” is his attempt to fix political discourse in America by laying out the blueprint to having discussions with your family during Thanksgiving. It’s worth the read just to be able to get through the evening not trying to strangle your uncle! On a personal note, I think this is the gateway to having some real discussions about heavy subjects without anyone blowing a gasket, and the book even includes TL;DR sections at the very beginning for those of us who want to be more enlightened, but also have a fantasy football team to manage.

My one regret… I should have asked him more about his biking adventure. If you would like to hear more about it, please let me know. I am certain Ed would be willing to go more in-depth with that. (I really do feel bad that I didn’t go more into that, I was so excited to talk about talking)

This week’s sketch: “Master Debaters”

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MORE ABOUT THE GUEST

For more than three decades, H. Edward Wynn has helped governments and companies discover and implement solutions to complex, often divisive, issues. He's worked in all branches and levels of government, and with both Republicans and Democrats. A Truman Presidential Scholar, Ed has a political science degree, summa cum laude, from the University of Illinois and a law degree, magna cum laude, from Georgetown. Most importantly, Ed's not a political insider, and he's willing to call out any side on its BS.

Links
Book

TRANSCRIPT

[00:00:00] spk_1: in this episode, Author Edwin and I came up with a few sketches. What happens if you take uh like have a debate or you just have a political conversation with people known to be curious like a cat or curious George everybody coming up with stupid ideas to solve a problem. But somehow all of these stupid ideas work out to a actual solution in the very end having a presidential debate. But just going for the most ridiculous name calling and then that's the entire debate. That last one might be a little too close to the mark. Which one did we pick? You'll find out on this episode of it's a sketch comedy podcast show. Welcome to sketch comedy podcast show though, one of a kind show where I Stewart rice invite interesting people to have intriguing conversations and then improvise a comedy sketch based on what was talked about this week. I invite Author Edwin onto the show and let me tell you why? Because remember all of those really civil, insightful and mind expanding political discussions at thanksgiving dinner that you've had. No because they don't exist. Well, at least not yet. Edwin has spent the last three decades trying to help governments and companies find fixes to their problems. He is qualified to do so too because he is really smart. Ed graduated summa cum laude at the university of Illinois and magna cum laude in law at Georgetown, throw in the fact that he is a Truman presidential scholar and you can see why people are so interested in having him find solutions. The one thing Ed is not is a political insider and his new book, We The People is his attempt to fix political discourse in America by laying out the blueprint for having discussions with your family during thanksgiving. It's worth the read just to be able to get through the evening. Not trying to strangle your uncle. On a personal note. I think this is the gateway to having some real discussions about heavy subjects with anyone without blowing a gasket. And the book even includes T. L. D. R. Sections at the very beginning for those of us who want to be more enlightened but also have a fantasy football team to manage. And now my conversation with Edwin author trying to make political discussions great again and I've got a question for

[00:02:45] spk_0: you Sure,

[00:02:47] spk_1: what makes you interesting?

[00:02:49] spk_0: I think what makes me interesting is I am a very creative problem solver. So most of my friends and colleagues come to me when they have a tough problem and I can usually by talking it through with them figure out a good range of solutions that we might not have thought of at the beginning. And the title of the book is that's kind of the theme which is we need to work together and have a good conversation uh and be creative in our problem solving to solve some of the very pressing issues we face in our country today.

[00:03:27] spk_1: So you are a problem solver? How did you find out that that was something that you were really good

[00:03:33] spk_0: at? Well, I think how I found out that I was really good at that is people said, wow, that's really a good solution or when we work in a team, so we came up with a good solution and it was successful and I think the key to that is seeking to understand not to be understood and to be curious, I think curiosity of everything is the most important thing to be a good problem, so

[00:03:59] spk_1: I completely agree and being open to um in those conversations, being open to other people's suggestions as well. And then I have always looked at myself as an incredibly good editor and a terrible writer. Um I can usually take someone else's ideas and enhance them and I think that that's really important, but I think that um do you have like a methodology that you use something that you realized early on

[00:04:30] spk_0: that? Yeah, it's funny, it's similar to the methodology in the book is sometimes people get stuck in trying to solve a problem because they haven't first define the problem they're trying to solve. And so I think that's the first step is to figure out what is it that we really are trying to do here and then to make sure you have marshaled enough facts that can inform that decision and then have a discussion and explore different things. Even if they might At 1st sound wacky or bizarre. Getting those out there is important because it gives you a broader range of solutions that you can decide from. So I think that's important in life in general, but I also think it's very important for our political discussions as well.

[00:05:17] spk_1: Awesome. Well, that's a good start to start talking about your book that you wrote. So you did write a book, you're not just a problem solver, you're also a person that put words on a page to help other people solve problems and you solve a very specific problems. So I'm gonna actually mm he wrote a book called We The People And um what got you to write this book? What was it about this book that this information and what is the book about?

[00:05:45] spk_0: Yeah, so let me talk briefly about how the idea for the book came about and then I'll tell you what the book is, give a very brief summary. So, back four years ago, during a similar time in the presidential election cycle. I was fortunate enough to uh, cycle across the US from off the coast of Oregon to maine and you

[00:06:08] spk_1: wrote a bicycle from one side of the country to the other.

[00:06:11] spk_0: I did 3750 miles in 40 days. So, yes, that was an amazing experience. And what was Interesting about that is the ride went through many of the states that turned out to be battleground states in 2016 and that I suspect will be battleground states in 2020. By that, I mean, the states that will decide the electoral vote. And what I observed, literally on the ground was that there was a lot of divisiveness in our country and a lot of mean spiritedness around people's selection or promotion of a certain candidate and that I really viewed as unfortunate. And one of the things that I think caused it, and obviously had a lot of time each day to reflect as I was writing is that people felt they had been silence and that their viewpoints hadn't been Part of the debate. And so that naturally builds up frustration. Uh, and that is what I saw in 2016. So the idea of the book was how do we make this different? And so in the intervening past four years, I've thought about that more and came up with the idea. And there's the book, the book really has three parts. The first part is a what I call a civics lesson, but don't be bored by that. It really focuses not on everything in civics, but the most important things we need to know in each category, 5-7 things that we need to know that most of us were never taught, but they're really crucial in terms of us participating in the political process and understanding the second part of the book talks about what I've defined as the six reasons we do not have civility in political discourse, And then, correspondingly the six things that we all can do to improve that discourse and make it more civil. And then the last section of the book is I put my money where my mouth is and I use that paradigm and the principles that I've set out in the first part of the book to actually take on some of the most divisive, significant issues that we face as a nation today, and use the framework at two, propose a range of solutions to each of those issues.

[00:08:34] spk_1: Uh, so what I didn't understand about the book, and I'm gonna be completely honest is it seems like it's really well thought in its layout and it's uh it's logical and it makes sense. Um I wait, does logic and order and um rationale, What does that have to do with american politics?

[00:08:58] spk_0: Well, unfortunately, it doesn't have much to do with american politics right now, but it should and it has in the past. And so the book is trying to get us back to that paradise. I mean, we can we could turn on any of the major national news stations right now and we wouldn't see a lot of logic, we would see a lot of emotion, we'd see a lot of personal attacks. We'd see a lot of one sidedness, We wouldn't see much curiosity. And so this is seeking to return us to a place or get us to a place where we can have those rational discussions based on identifying a common problem, bringing facts, real facts to that debate, keeping the emotion out of it, and then discussing creatively a range of solutions that quite frankly most of us would agree with. The problem also is what we see is we see the political debates in our country dominated by the extremes, the far left or the far right, and those of us, which I think are the majority are in the middle. And we really want to see unifying solutions. We don't want this all or nothing, take no prisoners kind of debate. We want to look for the solutions that will be meaningful. We want that unity.

[00:10:19] spk_1: What what happened when when did it happen? What happened? When did it become so divisive now? I mean, some people have said like it's always been that way. It's always there's always been this level of, you know, nobody going hi, everybody going low for since the, you know, almost since the very birth of our nation. But what what do you believe is the correct answer? What do you believe feels right to you as far as why did why did political discourse becomes so uh subjective?

[00:10:56] spk_0: Yeah, it's really uh it's a good question, but it's a difficult one in this sense. I don't think there's one point in time that I've been able to identify where this was the point in which it occurred. I think it happened gradually, and that's important to know for this reason. If we tolerate this lack of civility in our political discourse in one regard, it is only going to get worse. And so the way to reverse it is when we hear people making personal attacks, When we hear dehumanizing speech, when we hear all those things that lead to divisiveness, we have to call that out. We can't just be by standards to that and let that happen. It's a gradual situation. But unfortunately, the tenor of that when it's unstoppable gets worse and worse. Could I point to individual things that have happened? Of course I could the name calling that occurred in the presidential debates in 2016 and unfortunately, continues in this round of the presidential election. I could point to the lack of willingness to hear respectful but opposing viewpoints, even in colleges and universities where you want to encourage that there are so many different things that have contributed to it, but no single one of those is the only fact

[00:12:22] spk_1: you mentioned something that has come up time and time again in conversations I've had as the college campuses and the it's this cancel culture, the cancel culture that goes along with it. And what I mean by that is, and I'm not trying to, I know I certainly don't want to convey a political standing for myself or for you if you don't feel comfortable for that. But one of the biggest complaints is that certain sides are specifically targeted as unable to do anything on a college campus because of the cancel culture. Um, uh, it just so happens to be the side, I don't necessarily agree with, but they get a point and when they do say those things and, and it's, I'll just, it's the right or the conservative or Republican viewpoint in a college campus, it's difficult to get in and make some sort of a speech, some sort of statement because it does get protested and it does get knocked down. Is that part of the problem? Or do you feel like that's that's protest happening as it should happen?

[00:13:37] spk_0: It's I guess I define the problem slightly differently. I use college campuses as an example, but I do think it goes both ways. And so when I hear for example, president trump saying the cancel culture is associated with the left. I cringe because that's the same time that he's saying that the right is during the cancel culture. I think he even maybe called for it. I can't remember a major tire manufacturer. I can't remember which one because he didn't like something that they said and basically said boycott them. So my position on that is not confined to one political party. It's confined to anyone on the extremes that isn't willing to listen to a respectful opposing opinion. Now, name calling is not a respectful opposing opinion, Threatening violence on someone is not a respectful opposing opinion. But having a civil discussion is and that's where we really need to go and going back to what I said at the beginning. I think us not having those discussions and taking sites and going to our polarized extremes, that's what in fact led to the extreme divisiveness and mean spiritedness that we saw in the 2016 election.

[00:14:51] spk_1: Do you? Okay. So I've got my own opinion is going to my own bias is going to come out. Do you think that that is? Uh and I have a feeling I know what your answer is. Do you feel like that is because there is a lack of interest in actual politics and in speaking kindly to one another and disagreeing kindly. And do you feel that that stems from people maybe not knowing how to do it?

[00:15:17] spk_0: I think it's could be that. But I think the major reason is, and this is another thesis of the book is that the extremes have silenced the moderates. They've disciplined us like a bully would if you don't join one of our sides or the other, you just need to shut up. And if you don't, we're going to commit verbal violence. In fact, sometimes even physical violence on you and that's just wrong. And so I think the vast majority of us, it's not that we're not interested. It's not that we don't have viewpoints, it's not that we don't care about the country. The problem is we feel were silenced and we've been disciplined in many cases to be in that silenced state. And that's what I'm hoping the book can change.

[00:15:59] spk_1: Well, Ed, I think you're a jerk and this is over.

[00:16:03] spk_0: I'm sorry. I'm sorry. You feel that way stir?

[00:16:06] spk_1: No, I'm just kidding. I'm just kidding. Um Yes, I agree. I agree wholeheartedly with you. This is, it's like I told you at the very beginning this is gonna be a softball because I haven't agreed with most, if not everything that you're saying. And

[00:16:20] spk_0: can I go back to what you just did?

[00:16:22] spk_1: You just think about

[00:16:23] spk_0: that And I can talk about in my own case. And I had that's why you heard a pause, if somebody says start to name calling, what happens just physiologically in your reaction. You get on the defensive, you tense up. If you said, let's have a discussion about uh, this position. I'm not sure. I agree. But let's talk about it. The defenses go down that really isn't a perfect example of the should not and the should in terms of how we should do political discourse.

[00:16:52] spk_1: Yeah. And I think it's okay to disagree. I totally think it's okay to disagree. And I also agree that we just need to give people in general. I think people just want to be heard, right? Like that's the number one thing. And the hardest thing is when you hear something that is off of what you believe, it starts to challenge you on an individual level. Like are my beliefs right? And as soon as that starts to happen, that's when the feelings pop up, and it's, you know, I might, you know, I might disagree with someone about this, happens with movies too. Like even even things like as benign as what's the best christmas movie. And if someone answers other than elf, someone else is going to get upset about it, right? And it's like, let's have a discussion why is uh Miracle on 34th Street a better movie than uh, it's a wonderful life. Like we can have those discussions may become a good points. We're not even close to christmas. I don't know why I'm bringing up christmas movies, but that happens almost universally with anything anymore. And it's um, is that, is that something new? Is that the, the challenge to our personal likes and dislikes? You know, the fanboys versus the other fanboys or whatever it is?

[00:18:11] spk_0: I think when people feel and I do talk about this in the book, I think when people feel that they have been silenced, that's when I must defend my turf, that defensiveness, those walls come up and that really is poor. And part of that is caused by the extreme polarization. They basically say you're either with me or against me and if you're against me, you're the enemy and you deserve the ultimate punishment. Up to sometimes including death, which is ridiculous when you step back and think about it. But so many of our debates are there. I mean, I was terribly disappointed when I learned that Dr Fauci has to have security because he expresses his scientific opinion, and a segment of the population disagrees with that and have sent him death threats. I mean, I think that type of thing is absolutely ridiculous. We can all have different opinions and viewpoints and not have to kill each other.

[00:19:07] spk_1: All right, So how does one get to a point where they can start to listen to other people's stupid goddamn opinions? Like, how do we how do we get to that point?

[00:19:19] spk_0: I think the first thing and you hinted to it in your question which is we have to start with the right mindset, which is we have to be open to listen to others. It's kind of the classic Freij seek to understand not to be understood. And I think you first start with what is the common objective that we're trying to solve? So if it's something like health care, what is the issue that we're trying to solve? And we might all agree that the cost of health care is too high, that we want people to have affordable health care. There's probably three or four of those things, not the ultimate positions, but the objective that we're trying to get that we could all agree on and then we can say something like, okay, given that we agree on these objectives, what facts do we need to know to be able to figure this problem out and then go and get those facts, real facts, not spin or opinions. And then from that, say, what are the potential ways to solve this and do it in a non judging away. This is kind of like brainstorming that you do in the corporate environment where you just write up ideas and you don't judge them, but then you go back and you analyze and assess them and oftentimes and I've done this thousands of times is you often find almost always find that none of the ideas that were put up there are the, the final one, but it's some blending of those are some entirely new idea that came about as a result of that brainstorming and that's the type of discussions that we have to have.

[00:20:45] spk_1: Yes, I yeah, almost take the person completely take the personality out of

[00:20:52] spk_0: it. Absolutely

[00:20:52] spk_1: at, you know, it's so funny because like most of the time you're talking to someone and you don't agree with them politically, but in the end, if you really kind of dig down deep, it's the goal is the same for anybody. It's what's gonna be the best for everybody and everybody thinks they have an opinion. Their opinion is the best solution for everything. And most of the time, uh, it's not, it's it's a nice mix of ideas and uh and those types of things

[00:21:20] spk_0: where where can

[00:21:21] spk_1: we have the most influence to get people to start having these conversations in a way that or where can someone start? I mean, besides your book, but mainly your book, what's a good way to get people down that path to start talking like that?

[00:21:35] spk_0: Yeah, I think that there are a couple pass, I'll describe them because they're in different realms, but one of the first passes start at home. So many of us have those discussions in our own homes or with our friends or family and we start into this personal attack kind of stuff. And I think just at that level, let's work on that and see if we can't get that to be better. I think also doing it in your local government, which are very important. They influence a lot of things in our daily lives, I think could be really important. And then I think the other way is to make sure you're getting a balanced set of facts. And so I do talk about that in the book as well. You know, I think we do have media biases and let me just make a quick point to demonstrate that if we ask everyone, we picked 100 people off the street and we said, tell us the point of view of CNN MSNBC and Fox News, probably 99% of the people could tell us which one ranks on the political scale in that way. Well, these are supposed to be objective news reporters. They're not supposed to have a point of view. The fact that each of us knows that they have a point of view and that's how they deliver so called news test. That should be troubling. So I would look for less biased news sources, there's some tools that can be used to help us with that one that I like is all sides dot com. They rank all of the major media, in fact, even at the local and state level in terms of what is their bias and they take input from all of us, which I think is very good. So getting the facts and then starting those civil debates and not personalizing things. Starting of course with what is the issue we're trying to solve. That's how we can do that. And I think uh continue to make our discourse better.

[00:23:30] spk_1: That's a I did not know about that website, that's pretty spectacular. Um, so let's take a look at how you've written this book, because I think you've taken a different approach and um you don't don't take offense that you don't look like a millennial, but you wrote this book so that the Reddit crowd can really, really key in on it. So let's, I just want to take a look at, well, just look at this uh, this first chapter and I think what's great is uh it is really a three stage book in that it makes sense the way you read it, understanding the political process and all of those types of things. But here this is the part that I love is that you did, you did not take the hubris that everybody is going to read every word in your book and you really wanted to convey, hey, I just want you to be informed. So you created A. T. L. D. Are too long. Didn't read section for every chapter. Um, if someone goes through your book and they only read the T. L. D. R. S how much better off are they going to be?

[00:24:39] spk_0: I think they're going to be significantly better off and thank you for the compliment. Uh No, I am not a millennial quite to the contrary, but I do believe that politics is not the domain exclusively of the baby boomers or any other generation. It's all of us, it's all of our country and so we need to do it. So I tried to be cognizant in writing the book so that it would have appeal to all generations and everyone and so the T. L. D. R. Boxes is really to convey the main point. One of the reasons. And I think you could get a lot of it a lot of the discussion in the book just from reading the tl DRS. What they try to do is summarize the takeaways from each chapter, but at the beginning so that you can decide women already know about the Electoral College. I don't know if I need to read this. Uh, but if you look at that and you say, I don't think that's right. What I've done is provided the backup with extensive endnotes I think almost 200. So that you can say oh yeah there's facts in real data that supports his physicians and maybe I need to think about that a little bit more which is the goal.

[00:25:52] spk_1: Yeah. Um it does it makes for a very uh, relaxing read, especially something that's a political book, but it does make it much easier. So you can read that. It's sort of like someone telling you before you walk into the movie theater. Hey, this is what this movie is about. It gives a nice little overview and then you could go in and just enjoy the actual acting and it's the same sort of thing here. Um, as far as I want to kind of get a little bit, uh, deeper into certain certain things. And the uh, the chapters I think are going to, in my opinion, are going to help people. The most are the chapters about the hold on, let me get, let me get to there. The different types of, uh, not logical fallacies, but the things that are, are people used to the dehumanization and

[00:26:50] spk_0: yes,

[00:26:52] spk_1: let's talk about the six principal causes of lack of civility in political discourse. And and uh if you don't mind, let's I just want to give an overview for for everybody it's individual individualism. And give me the twitter response that the old school twitter the 144 character

[00:27:10] spk_0: response to

[00:27:12] spk_1: Yeah, individualism. Why is it a bad thing?

[00:27:15] spk_0: Individualism is you make up your own facts, everybody's entitled to their own opinion, but you're not entitled to your own facts.

[00:27:23] spk_1: Good supremacy.

[00:27:25] spk_0: My facts are the only ones that matter and yours Iran

[00:27:31] spk_1: polarization, absolute absolutism.

[00:27:35] spk_0: It's either all or nothing my way or the highway. You're a friend or you're a death sworn enemy

[00:27:42] spk_1: and anonymity

[00:27:45] spk_0: I can hide behind uh anonymity to not take responsibility for what I say and do

[00:27:55] spk_1: victimization.

[00:27:57] spk_0: Oh this is my favorite of the group in every situation, there's a victim and I'm usually that person and therefore there has to be a villain and that person is to be hated and despised

[00:28:12] spk_1: dehumanization.

[00:28:14] spk_0: Speaking to someone in terms that do not recognize them as a human being as something subhuman are inhuman.

[00:28:25] spk_1: Yeah. And we can see all of those if you know I used the twitter uh moniker there for a reason obviously because you can see that in tweets from certain very specific people and it's it's shocking when you see that the potus twitter account is loaded with all of these. These are all things that we see coming directly from the leader of the free world and I'm not making a statement one way or the other again about if I support that individual or don't support that individual, but it's concerning when we see that from our leadership, isn't it?

[00:29:09] spk_0: It really is. And so in the book I list on both sides, republican democrat everything in between statements like that that our leaders have made. And it's so very disappointing, we can have a debate of the issues without calling people animals are filthy dogs, or vermouth are all that stuff. It doesn't add anything to the debate, it only further up further polarizes and divides us

[00:29:36] spk_1: very much agreed. Um Yeah, so if you had um if you had a magic wand and you were able to swing your magic wand, would it be, would you fix the way media presents the facts, would it be uh finding a way to make it impossible for keyboards to work as they start to do these terrible things that they do online? What would be the thing that you could do if you could do one thing, what would it be to help discourse in a political arena?

[00:30:15] spk_0: I think it would be uh the next relaxed chapter of my book, which is called switching it up, which is to cause people to consider uh their own viewpoints from the opposite side. And so what that chapter is about, in essence, is taking real life situations with the real actors getting people to either align with that or hate it and then switch it up and give the opposite actor and see if people's views change. I think when any of us can consider uh a particular issue from the opposite side of view and ask ourselves why do they have that position? Let me understand that that is automatically going to make for a better political discourse. And quite frankly, it's gonna make for better media and news reporting, because so often it's all one sided and they don't consider that the other side may have a legitimate point that that needs to be considered.

[00:31:11] spk_1: I um I tried a number of years ago, I was trying to take news reports and take the name, the pro proper names, gender identity and all all of the different signifiers that would other than the title of the of the person. That was the only way I was referring to them. I called it that person in the White House. And it was just to remove all of that. And what was interesting was there was one particular article where I took all the names out, took all the genders out uh you know, he or she said, but what was really interesting was I did read an article because I'm not a trump supporter. All right, there amounted. But uh it was an article about something that trump did that. I was like, oh I kind of agree with what what happened there. It was about Social Security and I was really interested that I agreed with. Whereas normally I don't think I would the bias would have come up and everything he touches I think turns into bad stuff. So it was really an interesting exercise just for myself to kind of go, oh man, even even as much as I think I am not biased, I am biased like he's very heavily

[00:32:22] spk_0: and I think that's something we all have to watch. But taking the personalities out of it and focusing on the positions and the facts, that's how we get out of it. Mhm.

[00:32:32] spk_1: Yeah. And you do list some really, you know, these are subjects that are super controversial, abortion, health care. I don't know why health care is such a touch to touch on a topic. Everybody needs a uh, but you hit up all of these really important things, um, guns and individual rights and those types of things. But your approach is very much as you stated, its explain what the problem is and then how do we work backwards from there without using absolutes, which is well, if we do and the logical fallacies off, we do this, then everything's gonna, you know, if we take guns away from known criminals, then the next thing, you know, the government is going to be knocking on your door and taking all your guns and ammo and it's like, whoa, where did that come from? Like how did this happen that we're drawing these ridiculous conclusions from this? What are the safeguards for for people in these, these kind of in having these conversations like where what's the risk if a conservative who is very much about give me my guns? What's the risk for them to listen?

[00:33:50] spk_0: I don't think there is really any risk. I think we the only risk that I think we've had goes back to something we've discussed Stewart and that is, people have to feel safe going into a conversation like that and to feel safe, you have to feel like you're going to be listened to. So I think starting, if there is any as any risk to those conversations, starting it out by saying, we're going to listen to everyone's ideas, no idea is better than another. The way we'll distinguish them is based on the facts, so everyone is free to do it and we're not going to judge And we'll judge based on the facts, not you as a person. And I think we need to have more of those discussions. And in fact, there have been a couple groups, I can't think of the names right now they're in the book, but they've tried that with a group of 500, uh, citizens across the board and they've got them together for a weekend and, and talk about one of these controversial issues. And it's amazing when they do that in that small group under a certain paradigm very similar to the paradigm that's in the book. They not only go in, go from hating each other, that's on the other side to seeing their point of view and becoming friends and also figuring out here's a range of solutions we can all agree on that we want to get to our elected officials. Now I'll make one pitch that I think is really important, particularly now, the most important thing, the most important thing That we can do as Americans right now is to vote. One of the things that continues to discourage me is the significant percentage of people, usually about 40 that don't vote in a presidential election and it's even lower in local and state elections. So we all need to vote when I hear people complain about a politician are a leader, I say, did you vote? And if they say no, then maybe you should do that first before you rail about this. And I think particularly now with all the controversy, which I would say is false about male and voting. I think to the extent that each of us has early voting in our states, Let's try to get to the polls in person safely and cast our vote because I think we're we all have to admit at this point, so close to the election, less than 60 days, there are going to be issues with mail and vote voting. And I think we need to make sure that every one of our votes count. And in particular, given some of the rhetoric about the results, it is going to be better. The more of us that can vote in person safely, either by doing it early, doing it at times where the polls may not be crowded. I think that's gonna be important. What I urge all the voting officials throughout our country to do Is instead of what happened, for example, in the Wisconsin primary, where the polls in Milwaukee went from 152, 582 5, we need to have more polls so that the crowds are dispersed and that you can do it safely. So I'd encourage them, we know how to open a polling place. We've done that for centuries. So let's have more polling places and try to make the voting safe. And of course let's make it so that there's not fraud or challenges to it to the greatest extent that we can so vote. Please vote.

[00:37:15] spk_1: I think that's great advice. I uh there's the pushback is of course, a lot of people say, um, I don't know, I don't know. I don't know how to get um educated on these things and I don't have the time. Uh, it's a poor excuse. There are some really great resources. This book is a great place to start to start to change your perspective on how to process that information. Um, I, you know, this new website that you just gave me that I'm going to spend far too much time on all sides. That uh that's a great place. And um and you'll get those booklets right? If you register, you get the booklet, they spend a lot of money putting those booklets out, just fan through them and just kind of read and and see how to see how you feel about those things. Right?

[00:38:06] spk_0: Absolutely. I would give one piece of advice. It's my personal advice. So that's all it is. But something for people to consider. I think in our elections now we focus too much, excuse me, on individual positions of the candidates take. And if I support them on one issue, and that's an important issue for me, I'm going to vote for them, no matter what. And I think that's not the right decision to make right now. I think the are at any time I would say, I think the right one question thing that you can ask yourself right now, that can help you decide between candidates and you can do this based on hearing them speak or what they write or what they put on their websites. Is are they unifying us or are they dividing us? And if they're dividing us, I can't vote for anyone that's a divider because that is not advancing we the people of the United States, even if I don't entirely agree with the unifier, I'd rather vote for a unifier than a divider because right now we need that more than anything and I'd focus more on their approach to how they handle issues. Are they the only one that has the answers and they're not willing to listen to the other sides? Are are they willing to listen to the other side and come up with a unifying solution and Stewart on that? I'm not saying that to say there's one party that owns one side of that debate and one that owns the other. I think you have to look at it. Each individual race. Yeah.

[00:39:45] spk_1: Yes. Um, yeah. In fact, we actually had a comment. So let's see. Yeah. You hit the nail on the head listening versus debating. Yeah. And I think that I think that that's the disarming thing about that is when you do invite someone to give their opinion and to get

[00:40:08] spk_0: their version

[00:40:10] spk_1: of the facts and you actually give that those words some importance. People tend to stop and they listen to you.

[00:40:17] spk_0: Absolutely, absolutely, definitely happens.

[00:40:19] spk_1: Well, Ed were at that time it's been about a half hour. It's been a very good discussion. Um, but this show is called sketch comedy podcast cast. So now we have to come up with the sketch. I honestly cannot wait to have my next political discussion. No, that is not an invitation to the internet. My one regret with this entire conversation. I should have asked him more about his biking adventure. If you would like to hear more about it, please let me know. I'm certain Ed would be willing to go more in depth with that. I really do feel bad that I didn't go more into it. I was just so excited about talking about talking. Do you mind explaining to everybody one more time why they should buy a copy of We the people.

[00:41:10] spk_0: I think anyone that's interested in improving the state of political discourse or how we are as a nation, they should read this book. It's succinct, it gives the main points, it doesn't have a partisan view and I think it will improve not only our political discourse, but it will improve us as individuals and as a people.

[00:41:32] spk_1: Ed. That's great. Besides clicking on the link in the show notes, where else can people find the book

[00:41:38] spk_0: on amazon? It's also available in other booksellers as well, the major ones, but on Amazon it is available with the title We The People. And if you type in my last name when W Y and then it will come right up

[00:41:50] spk_1: outstanding. Ed, any last words or bits of advice that you could give me and my listeners,

[00:41:58] spk_0: please vote. That's the most important thing. And if you can do it in person safely, please please do that. And that's particularly true. If you're in one of the battleground States, please please do that.

[00:42:10] spk_1: There you go folks vote. Read this book and get prepared to listen to this week's sketch master debaters with my friend and author Edwin in three two. Mhm. Okay. Welcome to the presidential debates between Edwin and alexander Lincoln, mm mm Post food is Dimitri franklin and he is about to ask the first question right now. Yeah, candidate Edwin, there has been a lot of controversy with Internet services in the United States and privacy concerns. What is your opinion on the ticktock situation that is currently happening in America right now?

[00:43:08] spk_0: Tick tock is awful. Ticktock used to refer to clocks now, we've got people dancing, they're probably all liberals and you know, the chinese are all over that. They're taking it over there, taking our information. We're no longer going to be America. It's just something that has to be stopped. It's un american. I don't know how all these young people can go on there knowing they're giving away their Social Security numbers, their futures to this debate, It must be stopped. It is evil. And my opponent, I can't believe how stupid he is and how gullible he is

[00:43:45] spk_1: alexander Lincoln. Do you mind giving us your rebuttal to this? To this statement about Ticktock? Yes. Let me explain my position on Tiktok in 2018 when taxes were raised, I realized we had a major problem. We want to make sure that people are represented properly and that

[00:44:07] spk_0: alexander were sleeping over here. This is so boring. I thought this was supposed to be about Tiktok not taxes. Who wants taxes?

[00:44:15] spk_1: Listen here, you decrepit old fool. I am trying to convey why it is important that we understand discourse that are you taking a nap again?

[00:44:26] spk_0: You're just putting me out with your boring junk about taxes. Who cares? We're not even talking about taxes. This is about Tiktok and dancing. Oh my gosh, you're senile.

[00:44:40] spk_1: Now. I take a lot of offense at that. And I honestly, I wish people would turn off their volume when they were listening to your manby pamby baloney that you continue to spout?

[00:44:51] spk_0: Are you telling the american people that you support the chinese over them? Really? You're that stupid.

[00:44:59] spk_1: I know you don't understand a lot of things. You probably use tick tock as an educational channel. We need to make sure that we understand exactly what Tiktok is all about. And honestly, I'm not even sure you know how to turn your phone on.

[00:45:14] spk_0: Oh please. And just because we don't understand, it doesn't mean we can't figure out it comes from the chinese and they are taking our personal data and information. Really? I thought you were smarter than that alexander.

[00:45:29] spk_1: Well, I'm definitely smarter than your wife who somehow has married you. This is what? Your 14th wife.

[00:45:35] spk_0: Oh my gosh! Going there. You have little room to talk over there. Mr with your immoral life.

[00:45:43] spk_1: Listen here you incredible putts, I know that you don't understand what we're trying to do in America which is free ourselves from the tyranny of old senile fools like yourself

[00:45:55] spk_0: alexander, it's called experience something you clearly don't have,

[00:45:59] spk_1: that's not what your mom said last night,

[00:46:01] spk_0: just proving my point the lack of morals that you have as a person who would ever vote for someone like

[00:46:09] spk_1: that. Once again, I will point towards your mom

[00:46:13] spk_0: alexander. There he goes again with his ignorant responses.

[00:46:19] spk_1: I absolutely not an ignorant person yet. You are such an idiot that you just my mother and how things work and you don't understand how America America is just spend all of your time. I'm sorry, I'm sorry, I'm sorry, I'm gonna have to I'm going to have to shut off your microphones. We're running out of time with this particular question. And quite honestly, both of you are such idiots. We're going to have to find some spongebob cartoons to play for the remainder of the debate because that makes more sense than what's going on right now. Thank you for joining us for the debates. Have a good evening. Are you already kids? I captain. I can't hear you. Thank you for listening to sketch comedy podcast show. Would you believe that that sketch was actually recorded almost a month before the first biden trump debate? I know it's uncanny. Sketch comedy podcast show is recorded under a creative commons attribution, non derivative four point oh, international license. I know it's a mouthful, but it protects us legally. If you would like to be on the show, if you would like to learn more about the show, subscribe and all those types of things. My suggestion head to sketch comedy, podcast show dot com. I know it's a lot of letters to write down, but it makes sense because it's the name of the show sketch comedy podcast show dot com and you can get all sorts of great stuff there. Thank you so much for listening. We had a blast making this and we hope that you're willing to join us again on our next episode. I will be talking to a local mayoral candidate about local elections. I cannot wait to share that conversation with you see you next time.