Every 4 years I find myself searching for the words to explain to friends and family why I am setting out for 30 days in advance for the presidential election, alone and in purposefully precarious transportation modes to talk with people across the country.
In 2008, the very historic nature of the election on the backdrop of an unprecedented financial crisis and two wars, I mostly wanted to ride my scooter across country. If along the way, I could capture the thoughts and concerns of the people I would meet, maybe the voices and images that came into my home through the TV and internet might not seem so foreign.
I had always believed that our Democracy required a robust exchange of ideas. But the political discourse of my parents generation had all but disappeared in mine. David Maxfield in the Harvard Business Review captured it well,
“The political dialogue we observe on television and in social media is rarely dialogue at all. Instead, it is mutual monologues—laced with verbal Molotov cocktails designed not to invite reflection but to discredit the other position (or person). These arguments generate far more heat than light. And so they are rightly avoided by most of us”
So my goals are simple. To be open and respectful, and to capture a sense of the people who are willing to share their views with me in the hope of generating a little light