John Vander, Pol John, Twitter discussed on The Daily Beans
Please welcome john vander. Pol john welcome. Thank you l. Great to be here. Yeah it's really great to talk to you and put a face to the name. I know everyone's just listening to audio. But it's a great to connect. The twitter community has been one of the things. That's kept me sane. In the last four years i think and so it's really nice to have you know done podcast like this or actually met in person you know before kobe and other things with with a bunch of people. It's it's been special to meet people and be part of that. Yeah it is quite a community and a very powerful and welcoming one as well so. I'm glad to have you here today. And i wanted to talk to you about this documentary That was brought to my attention on twitter and again it's called american times. Tell us a little bit about what this documentary is about. And what prompted you to create it. So i've always been a political junkie news junkie my whole life. I remember election night. Nineteen eighty when. I was seven years old. You know i mean obviously. I didn't have much context but i remember seeing the returns and all that and just kind of intrigued by it and you know through most of my life you know through some good times and bad times or whatever it still seem like it was able to sort of keep the train on the tracks you know and then like a lot of people in twenty sixteen it just i mean i i. It's not really hyperbole exaggeration to say i almost had a mental breakdown. I mean i just lost it. I was just not even election day. I before that. I don't know i just had a gut feeling that he was gonna win. And that indian. Just even if he hadn't won it was just such a bitter. You know just such a broken times you know. It has been for five years now. And so i needed to do something with that And and as a documentary filmmaker. Oh and then let me let me back up to You know the truth. Is that probably on the back of a napkin mass here. I don't know for sure. But i would probably eighty percent of the people on blood related to you know my aunts uncles cousins Voted for trump. You know. I come to western farm family. You know And i would. I would hazard a guess in the eighty percent range of the people that i'm related to voted for him so then there was that too. I was furious. I'd anyone wanna see him anymore. For just you know beside myself. I think a lot of people can empathize and relate to that too and so i decided while you know. I have this ability to make documentaries and passion for it and and so this seems like What i should do the way to work through it at my own process and hopefully you know others can see it and you know get something from it too. And so that's what i did. Yeah and it's it's really interesting. Because i've noticed i had the same thing right when one twenty sixteen happened. I have to do something. I kind of felt the historic nature of the moment and then especially when the special counsel was appointed which is why we started the podcast about the muller investigation. It's like a purpose right. Because i've always been a news junkie too. I remember nineteen eighty. And if i remember correctly i was same age as you if i remember correctly back then the on the electoral map the democrats were read. If i if. I'm remembering that correctly. I think you might be right. I don't remember that that part. But i think you you might be nothing there. Yeah i could be totally wrong. I want one of the listeners of this program will send me a correction if i am but i remember there being a flip somewhere like it's blue now. Okay but you know. We needed to do something i needed to do. Something i needed purpose and it seems like you had that too and i've noticed that in our community that we were talking about at the top When we first started having this discussion just a mere minutes ago. Which in this time can seem like years In this community we have so many people who have relatives that are trump supporters. And don't quite know how to cope with that or grieve. It's almost a grieving process Because you know we have this chosen family that we've picked up along the way and this community of support but you you know you still have your family family and a lot of people are dealing with that and and i think that that's something that's you know why it's so important that you had decided to make this film a documentary because you know. How do we cope with that. How do we bridge those gaps. How do we have those conversations. So can you talk a little bit about sort of what this documentary looks like and what people can expect from it. Yeah so not just Blood relatives of course. That's really deep people that have known us your whole life and you've known them but i i have friends that live in very progressive places right california places and they say well. I don't even know any trump voters. And i say you know what i bet you of your kids. Favorite teachers are your kids favorite soccer coach piano teacher or something you you do. You just don't know like we all love people who voted for trump. I think there's very few people who silo is so complete that they don't have people that they deeply care about that voted for trump and that hurts And so how do we deal with that. And so So that's i. I started by the way i'm an only child. I'm i'm an emt j. type personality. So i can be very night. You and i have a lot in common. a ha- only two percent of americans are emt jays. just the least common myers briggs personality type. And that's probably good. Because i am. I am one of them We are the field. Marshal's we are the leaders of leaders. And we're very pushy and stubborn and steve jobs e. So i'm i'm pretty exactly and they're in the downside of it there's upsides to of course ooh but i'm very acutely where the downside where you sort of can just sort of impulsivity. Just bring down the hammer right end. Just start tell people exactly why and where they're wrong and at end up hurting people right and it's So there was a lot of that you know for me in two thousand sixteen and beyond where the fuhrer the fury just came out. You know In unproductive ways for myself and others And so So what i did initially was. Go talk to some some people who are real masters of sort of Non violent communication. Or you know difficult conversations. We're having with people where there's a real disagreements. Um so the very first interview i did was with. Daryl davis He's the black man who has over last thirty forty years as befriended dozens of members of the kkk. And got him to leave an amazing story so again whenever anybody says to me oh forget it can't be done you know you're wasting your time like it's just a waste at point on. I say look if he can do it. I mean we all can't we're not he's exceptional human being. He's a master of this. We're all you know. Vast majority of us are never gonna get close to where he's at but it's something to it know that it's possible to get beyond this You know These deep divisions and the way he does it is he just shows up and and has one on one conversations and he shows them empathy and respect and it's almost like a trick in a way where they don't they're they're just human nature is if somebody shows you one on one kindness and empathy and respect you. Kind of just reciprocate. It takes a really really broken person not to kind of just instinctively reciprocate that and then so then they these kkk members. Start to you know. realize hey this guy's a good guy he's our that's the thing is ultimately it is based on ignorance. And he's showing them. Hey you know just just through his humanity power example. Kind of you know Bringing down the walls of that ignorance though so he was amazing And then i went and talked with robert gonzales who.