I voted for Hillary Clinton. That means I am an elitist, out of touch, Hollywood libtard. I abuse my platform to preach my unrealistic, ultra-leftist political agenda without doing the proper research to backup my claims. I am grossly out of touch with the American everyman. I spend my time whining about the results of the election. I am “butt hurt” because I “lost” and I refuse to give Trump a chance.
You voted for Donald Trump. That means you are a racist, misogynistic, closed-minded xenophobe. You have zero empathy for the rights of the under-represented in this country. You are enabling, if not directly supporting, an “alt-right” movement that is paving the way for a neo-Nazi era in our country. You spend your time gloating because you “won” and refuse to listen to “idiot snowflake libtards” across the aisle.
I would love to say that all of these generalizations are false. But I can’t. Admittedly, I do sometimes preach ideals that are less than fully researched. And I don’t truly understand what it means to raise a family on the median American salary. On the flip side, I have also received so many shocking and hateful comments from some of my conservative Twitter followers that I can’t outright discount some of the gross generalizations being made about Trump supporters.
But I think we can all agree that the larger story is much more complex. And that we all reside much more in the gray zone than social media would have us believe. For instance, this libtard grew up in a middle class Republican household. My parents were conservatives who appreciated tax breaks so they could spend that money as they saw fit, believing they knew better than the government where to put it. I have carried this philosophy with me, and that very fiscal conservatism has been the model upon which I have made independent films and built my entire career.
“We all reside much more in the gray zone than social media would have us believe.”
Conversely, I recently met a Trump voter who gives 10 percent of everything she makes to her church. She believes in her pastor, who has direct connections with the members of her community, to dole out the charitable gifts to deserving families who need help with food, clothing and rent. She, essentially, believes in “taxing” those with more and handing it out to the poor who arguably need it most.
I am a fiscally conservative libtard.
She is an empathetic Trump supporter.
And in these slivers of crossover I can’t help but think... is there a chance for us?
So, I recently tried something with a group of friends. For my 40th birthday this year, I was feeling pressure to throw a big party. But I am straight up cheap so I decided to throw a small, bare bones beans and rice dinner at our house and instead donate to a charitable cause what I might have spent on a lavish party. I asked my friends to come over and forego any potential gifts. We all sat around my living room that night, a mixed group of mostly liberals but some conservatives, and we tried to find a cause that we could all agree upon. After some awkwardness (and some disagreement that led to some arguing) we all agreed that children, hunger, and clean water were causes that nearly everyone could get behind. So, my friends cobbled together what they normally would have spent buying me gifts I don’t need. My wife Katie and I matched that very amount (we had saved a ton by not throwing an expensive party). Then we launched a fundraiser online. My amazing fans (a true mix of liberals and conservatives) came together and collectively matched that amount. Then, we found a corporate sponsor at the Children’s Defense Fund to match that amount and we brought the total number to $16,400.
We didn’t save the world. But we did something.
Perhaps more important is the model we discovered. We were a group with disparate beliefs who came together and found a sliver of common ground in the charitable space that we could all support and feel good about. We reached across the aisle and it wasn’t that difficult. Simple discoveries such as “we all believe that innocent children, born into unfortunate situations, deserve a boost.” And, “we all agree that we should hand out fishing poles instead of fish, so that those we are trying to help can ultimately become sustainable without our help.” And, “the eradication of world hunger through education and cheap, sustainable farming and clean water systems is an empirically great thing.”
Bottom line is, we may disagree on 98 percent of what will improve the world and how to go about it. But what if we sift through the 98 percent of what we disagree on and find that 2 percent of common ground? You might say “well, that’s just lowest common denominator thinking.” And, you’re right. But I also believe that the spirit of giving and support is contagious. That if we start with the 2 percent we share, that number will grow on its own. That once this energy starts, its positivity spirals out of control like a virus. In short, that if we start with what we agree on, instead of arguing about what we don’t agree on, we might be able to grow that seed from the ground up into something big.
So that’s my plan. Finding charitable causes that we can all agree upon. And launching campaigns to help those causes. Together.
Call me a libtard. Call me unrealistic. But I think this is doable.
The first campaign is for GiveDirectly.org because they are not only hyper-efficient but you can also track where your money goes and how it is helping. I’ll start with a $10,000 personal donation. I’m asking those interested to match me with $1 donations to bring that number up to $20,000. Google has promised to match that $20,000 for this campaign. We’ll raise $40,000 in a few days if we do this right.