Samantha Bee, “shrill left-wing feminist,” and Glenn Beck, the conservative commentator who once called Obama a racist, reside on very different sides of a divided political landscape.
But on last night’s episode of Full Frontal With Samantha Bee, the festively-dressed pair sat down to acknowledge their common ground because, in the words of Bee, “I think that our future is going to require a broad coalition of nonpartisan decency. It’s not just individual people against Donald Trump, it’s all of us against Trumpism.”
Beck has been showing up in all sorts of unexpected places lately: apologizing in an interview in The New York Times Magazine, “trying out decency” in The New Yorker and sharing his regret for any role he might have played in paving the way for Trump in The Atlantic.
Bee even had a Christmas crisis in realizing she may not be all that different from Beck in rhetorical style, a style which can appear crazy and hyperbolic from outside of one’s own echo chamber.
It’s an important reminder in the lead up to Christmas that not everyone on the other side is an evil, puppy-killing monster: most people working in and around politics think they are working towards the greater good. Trump thrives on division and echo chambers in the same way Obama thrived on unity and hope, so as hard as conversing with political adversaries might be, it’s time to reach out and start bridging some of those aggressive, nation-dividing schisms.
Talking to right-wing idealogues is not a safe space for everyone, and no one should do anything that puts themselves at serious risk. But over Christmas, why not take Bee and Beck’s lead and reach out to that life-long Republican grandma or Gary Johnson-voting uncle. You might find more in common than you expect.
Photo credit: TBS
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