This is the first episode of hearingUS. (Listen to episode 1.)
I’m your host, Bert Phillips. I’m not an expert on politics, and I don’t want to talk to experts on politics.
But I do want to talk.
In the wake of the 2016 Presidential election, I think everyone sort of… woke up. It doesn’t matter who you voted for. We can all agree on one thing: We stand not as brothers and sisters but as a nation divided.
We looked around and saw… there is no… US.
For my part: I want to start building an US. And that starts with listening. hearingUS is a place where we can set aside our polemics and persuasion for 50 minutes and listen. It’s a place to hear the human stories behind our divided nation.
I’m excited for you to join me.
For the first episode of hearingUS, I’m starting with the most basic civil unit: family.
I’m talking to Claire Coward. Claire’s a writer and an English teacher at a private school in Atlanta.
She’s also my cousin.
Claire grew up in in the Appalachian mountains of North Carolina, where she was raised by a hardworking upper-middle class family in a conservative community.
I don’t want to go so far as to say indoctrination… but I do remember inventing the word Demoncraps and being really, really celebrated.
As a student at Clemson University, she was exposed to new ideas. Her beliefs about topics like sexuality, religion and politics were challenged by professors, classes and other students.
For Claire, politics carry weight, but they aren’t what’s important to her.
I think it’s important to know what’s going on in the world, but I think it’s also important to realize that we have real human beings right in front of us who matter so much more than what they believe, and who need other people to help them, and we can help them regardless of what kind of taxes we pay – and I can choose to help someone any day of the week.
When Claire was making her choice about who to vote for – a choice she kept secret for months – she based her decision on which candidate valued human life more.
To Claire, the most shocking thing on the morning after the 2016 presidential election was the hate. The night before, people were With Her and Making America Great Against – the next morning, there was no unity.
I really think that we had an opportunity as a nation to put those feelings to the test. We want to help all people and we want to unify America – but the next day we can’t even be friends with people we were friends with.
listen to episode 1
Production & Development for hearingUS by Podcast Masters