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#3DVU A return to decency. Episode 13

#3DVU A return to decency. Episode 1324 min read

The 2020 United States presidential elections were filled with divisiveness, divisiveness born from suppressed ideas and philosophies that have been sitting idle for many years. In this episode we discuss how we can approach those conversations and start the healing process the world needs.

Transcript of Episode 13

LaMondre Pough: Welcome to 3DVU one conversation, three different perspectives. I’m LaMondre Pough.

David Pérez: I am David Perez.

Richard Streitz: And I’m Richard Streitz. Thank you for joining us.

David Pérez: The past few days have been incredibly tense for most of the world because we were waiting to see what would happen with the US election.

There were a lot of electoral votes still up in the air and we didn’t have an answer. So everyone was sort of looking firmly at the US and I say that being from Costa Rica, we spent days watching the news and just waiting to see what would happen.

And the reason that we were waiting to see what would happen is because we in general, most countries around the world did not want Trump to win a second term. And the reason for that is because as it was very well put by, by John L. Micek on an article that was published by several sources, Pennsylvania Capital Star being one of them, cruelty became part of Trump’s brand and his calling card, everything he could do to polarize people he would do. And with the, the appointment of a new president, who probably is not going to be perfect.

What we were seeing around the world was a return to decency. And I am sure that most of our listeners heard that over the news.

At some point, during the past few weeks, there’s a return to decency. So that’s what we want to talk about. Decency as a catalyst for change and better outcomes for all people instead of dividing and trying to conquer by dividing.

LaMondre Pough: Yeah, this is a, an incredible topic and absolutely seeing the outpouring of, of joy that took place in many major cities throughout the US and I’m not even talking about just because of a specific political party, one, but just the sense of, there’s a, a fresh air. There’s fresh air, that’s coming into the room now.

There is, there is a sense of hope. There is a sense of, of we’re better. We’re better. And, and we’re going to get better. And I think that that transcends more than just a political thing. It’s almost like we, it’s just like what you said, David, the return of decency, the return of kindness, the return of listening, the return of empathy, the return of accountability, all of these things, all of these things strung together in that one moment when it was declared that Joe Biden had won the US election. And let me say this Joe Biden and Kamala Harris had won the US election. There was a sense of return to those kinds of things. And did that mean that all the problems that we face were gone in an instant? No. Did that mean that we had a clear path to how we would fix all the things that are wrong?

Not only in the US, but also throughout the world? No, but what it does say is that we have hope and an agenda to do that. We have hope and an agenda to make things better. We have hope and an agenda that tomorrow is in deed brighter. So absolutely the return of decency. Absolutely. The return of hope.

Richard Streitz: Yeah. You know, I think the, I think to a degree, a large swath of the population of the world is really just gotten tired of, of where we were in regard to the rhetoric. The extreme rhetoric, rhetoric is, is a, is, is a tool of politics. It’s always going to be there. And it always has been there at some level or another. It’s just one of the, one of the tools in that tool chest, but the way it was being used and the way it’s been shoved down, I think all of our throats for the past number of years, has raised the level of angst, um, and, uh, and decivilly, uh, decivility to, uh, amongst the people that I think it, it, you know, people have just, we’re tired of it.

And, and, and, you know, for everything that you just said LaMondre, when they, um, when, uh, president elect and, and vice-president elect, um, Biden and Harris were, um, were nominated, uh, or won the election. They, uh, the euphoria, I think it was just a genuine outpouring, globally. Um, and that was pretty powerful.

It only goes to show, it only goes to show the vacuum,

um, that existed, that, uh, that, that infer, that, that, the news needed to fill. Um, so, so desperately. Um, and, and with that, like you said, it’s not going to happen. This is, this, isn’t like a switch that’s turned on, but I think it points us all in a direction that I think we, everyone feels comfortable getting behind and moving forward with. Um, because I think that our natural tendency is to be good and decent to one another. Um, and, and so I think that, uh, everyone, everyone must genuinely be thrilled with the idea of that.

David Pérez: Yeah. And in that article that I cited earlier, it says that ‘I took a deep breath and exhaled.

And in that moment, the tensions of the last four years seem to go with them. There was a sense, however, briefly that after four years of chaos division and just plain mean spiritedness at the very top of our government, that maybe we were finally going to be allright’. And that I think that feeling is something we all got.

Across the world and, and we needed something like that. Given that we’ve been dealing with such a hard year, everyone needed the possibility of change.

Richard Streitz: Yes.

David Pérez: It’s not that change is going to happen automatically or magically, just because half of the US voted for Joe Biden. No, it’s that decency opens the door or opens bridges.

That now can be walked through and start having those conversations to try to make the world a better place. So that’s, that’s what I think we’re talking about when we talk about the return to decency, because that, that polarization, that we felt that everything had to be black and white. Every, you were either pro or against things all the time might start to go away into conversations into actually building things together into actually building a better world. That’s what we’ve been trying to do for, forever.

Richard Streitz: Yeah. You know, moving away from a digital conversation versus an analog conversation, you know, there was no middle ground it seemed. And, and, uh, no one would tolerate a middle ground opinion, uh, which is even worse.

Um, um, and, and so I think people would force individuals into either being all one or all the other. Um, and, uh, um, and so, yeah, I think it’s really, it’s really important that there is, um, a much broader platform to have much more open dialogue and reaching easier levels of understanding in that area in between, which is where most, as it turns out, most people lay in between that sort of areas of, of one extreme or another.

Um, and, and, and that is really important. The, you know, the other thing also is, is about the, um, the, the timing of this in the sense that,


what, what Biden represents, um, isn’t, I mean, I think a lot of people had issue with him being, you know, taking us back to, to the Obama era and, and that can’t happen.

I mean, this isn’t just going back to what was, because that can never be where we’re going. There’s no going back to the pre COVID pre-Trump era. Um, you know, we’re in a completely different universe as a result of that. And, and there is no going back to that. So, um, I, and I think the tools that Biden has and, and, and, and Harris has, and, and the administration that’s going to be put together are going to be individuals that are moving forward into a, post COVID, post Trump era, um, which is not going to be what it was previously, because there is, there is no we’re in a completely different world now, uh, from that era.

Um, and as a result, their approach is going to be rooted and grounded, but really looking forward to what we can build into the future.

LaMondre Pough: Yeah. I agree with that. And as you said, there is no going back to a world that once was because the world has completely changed. Different issues facing us in a different way.

Uh, things are much more global now. Um, then they were just even 12 years ago. So the, the sense of a newness a new day, uh, is, is, is what’s upon us. And it’s kind of scary. It’s kind of scary, but still yet very hopeful and something that you said that, that stood out to me, Richard, you said, you know, we’re moving from a digital to more of an analog, uh, connection.

And that’s so important because here’s the thing that I think. Sometimes we get lost in that, whenever things are clearly black and white, that means there is an incredible tension that happens in the margins. So much so that systems break, if you do not have that, that, that middle ground, if you do not allow that middle voice to speak.

Things will explode, things, if you don’t relieve that tension, that stress, that pressure, that steam, the truth is again, things blow up. And I think what we’ve seen over the past few years has been things blowing up. I live in Columbia, South Carolina, and, um, a few years ago after the, um, after the Emanuel 9, uh, massacre, massacre that was perpetrated by Dylann Roof, um, South Carolina, the governor, the legislature decided to take the confederate battle flag off of the state house grounds.

And you know, it was the right thing to do in terms of just legally the state. Why would you have a flag of a treasonous nation flying in your state’s Capitol? So it was decided that that would be taken down. And what had happened was, folks who really support, um, the sons and daughters of the Confederacy and all that kind of stuff.

The KKK, the Klu Klux Klansmen, they decided to have a rally at our state house surrounding this flag. And here’s what was interesting. So you, someone in their infinite wisdom decided to also permit a counter protest to protest at the exact same time that the KKK were going to be in Columbia. And this is what’s and I’m telling the story because there’s one particular photograph, uh, that stood out that made national news.

Black man confronting KKK Protesters

Um, it was a picture of a sea of people with Confederate flags. A sea of people with Confederate flags and one black man standing against them shirt off muscles rippling. And what was so interesting about that photograph? You could literally see fear in the eyes of the sea of people. And it made, I think it was the cover of the New York Times.

And that signaled to me that this is a different time that we’re living in. This is when tensions can get so high to where you can have all of these people with these different views, but no one in the middle really talking about what was going on. But that particular photograph said times are different, times are different.

You know, it, it, it said so much and it spoke so much. And if you get a chance to see this photograph, if I can find it. I’m going to post and perhaps we can tie it to, to this particular episode.

Richard Streitz: Put a link to it.

LaMondre Pough: Yeah, absolutely powerful. But it sent a message. It sent a message to people who look like me, but I’m sure it sent a message to people who didn’t.

And so now we’re at this place where times are different, things have changed. And so how do we not only embrace this fresh wind that has come in, but how do we move that forward? Even beyond politics? I mean, I’m talking about repairing the relationships and families that this stuff broke. This stuff has broken relationships and families.

How do we repair the breach that we have with our, our, our allies, people who were once friend of, friends of ours. But now that there has been a schism that has been put there, how do we move forward beyond that?

David Pérez: And I have an interesting story surrounding that, that the fact that US politics are US politics, but they affect the whole world.

I have family here in Costa Rica and I have family in Colombia. And in both cases I have family members that were extremely pro-Trump. Which might might be mind boggling to most people listening to this, because we know that Trump really doesn’t like Latinos. He hasn’t actually been very kind in his rhetoric to, to Latinos.

Richard Streitz: Less partial.

David Pérez: Yeah. But the, the, the, the broken relationships have happened all around the world because of this polarization of the media. Of course, the US controls the media. Basically around the world, everything we see in movies and television and books we read, everything has to do with the US so it’s pretty clear why there, the rhetoric of the US ends up translating into, into our lives here in, in the middle of the, of the continent basically.

But those conversations that we’ve had with them, trying to understand where they’re coming from. It’s really hard. I can tell you. It’s really hard to try to understand why they would prefer someone like Trump. Rather than anyone else to be governing the US just because he’s against abortion, for example, it’s, it’s completely, as LaMondre was saying black and white for them.

And it’s, they’re not open to conversation about the topic because that’s what has been sold to them. You don’t have to be open to conversation right now. You just have to stand your ground. They’re trying to change who you are. Change is good, people. Change is good. It has been for the history of humankind.

If we didn’t change, we wouldn’t be where we are and all, and we wouldn’t have the rights that we have right now. So change is important and it’s part of the process. Richard you want to say something?

Richard Streitz: Yeah, not only change, but evolution more specifically. Uh, evolution, um, of, of thought processes of politics, of government, of, of, of industry.

Um, it’s the constant evolution and change as a result of, of that evolutional process. And, and one of the things I think it’s probably interesting is that evolution process is not a straight line. It’s not a straight arc, you know, that that, that is constantly climbing. Sometimes it’s got false branches that you have to have to backtrack and then keep going maybe in a slightly different direction.

And maybe this is a period of time where. At a, at a governmental level, we’ve, we’ve experienced that where we kind of went down this road and you know what, it didn’t really work at all for anyone. Um, for some maybe, but, but, uh, for the greater good, uh, um, you know, not only just of the US but I think the greater good of the, of the, of the world with other countries as well, our, our, our, our partners and, and, uh, allies, it, it really just didn’t work at all.

And so we’re having to kind of backtrack a little bit and, and move forward in a slightly different path that is probably more consistent with the overall arc. Of our evolutional process. Um, not only just as a, as a, as a civic peoples and, and society, but as a country. Um, and, uh, you know, I think that’s one of the things that’s, that’s that we’ve gone through in this period of time.

David Pérez: Yeah. And, and one thing that I would add to that is that there’s no evolution or way forward in, sustainable way forward, if you do not include people in all levels of society. If you’re doing things for just the aristocracy, I don’t know how to say that in English, but for the people that have more, you’re, you’re going to end up poor.

And that, that has happened across the world in many different countries,

Richard Streitz: France is a perfect example of that.

David Pérez: Exactly. But African countries are a great example of that, where elites, political elites take control of the government and start feeding into corruption, just because they want to have more themselves. And they leave out the development of their countries and they end up being some of the poorest countries in the world.

So what’s the use of being the biggest dog in one of the poorest countries in the world. Right. So the thing is, sustainable development only comes from including everyone and to, to bring that down to other levels of society, there is no way to create inclusion in our houses, in our schools, in our businesses.

If we do not open ourselves to conversations and start exercising a thing that has, that seems to be lost. That’s empathy. Put yourself in the other person’s shoes, understand where they’re coming from and try to, to understand why they’re here, why they are, they got to that point in life where they are being so intransigent let’s let’s say, and with that conversation started, you can start to build a relationship with them. And that relationship is going to help you create inclusion for them because they are feeling excluded. And that’s something that we don’t take into consideration, right? Because usually they don’t form part of the excluded group of the, the more disenfranchised groups of society, but they are feeling excluded.

So how do we include your thoughts into our building of a better world, world without hurting you. And so that you understand that you can also benefit and others can benefit and everyone will be better.

LaMondre Pough: Right. I, I agree with that. And I think there’s something that we have to remember is that in the US, there was still 60, somewhat million people.

That voted on the other side. And that group is not a monolith. It was different people from different walks of life, from different perspectives who made that vote because of certain convictions that they had. And while, people like myself celebrate, those people are on a different side of it, but it’s important that we talk, it’s important that we do our best to try and understand that perspective. Honestly, I think, and this is not 100% the reason, but that’s one of the reasons that I think we saw the rise of, of, of Trumpism, you know, because people felt heard.

Richard Streitz: He gave voice to them.

LaMondre Pough: Exactly. Because some people felt unheard.

Now, granted, um, much of the voice that was given. That many of those people began to, to, to, to champion were voices of racism, were voice of separatism were voice of voices, of, of exceptionalism and all of those kinds of things that were not necessarily good for the furtherment of humanity. But nonetheless, I hear you.

I hear you. And we really, really, really need to take a strong look. And, and, and really try to understand as David, just so eloquently put it, um, that, you know, we may not see it the same way, but let’s look and see what we do have in common and see if we can work towards a building a building from that foundation, because the truth is most people really want the same thing. You know?

Richard Streitz: Fundamentaly

LaMondre Pough: You know? Yeah. Some people agree and some people want more, uh, than anybody else, but the truth is when you boil it down to it, basically we’re good. Basically people are good. And I think that if we appeal to that, even though people have done some really nasty and crazy and ridiculous things, I think that we still need to hear and, and try to build a bridge.

Um, try to build a bridge to, to, to a brighter tomorrow.

Richard Streitz: I think we all have to allow our, give ourselves permission. To have a middle ground position, um, you know, uh, to, to listen and, and it’s okay to not fully agree, but to agree on some things. Um, and, and, you know, and again, that speaks to all, all the things that you guys were saying about empathy and understanding and, and listening.

There are, you know, it’s, it’s a cliche, but it’s so true. There are, we, we all have more things in common than not. Um, It’s that the news cycles and, and, you know, and, and the rhetoric diminishes that and, and, um, and exasperates and exaggerates the extremes where we may not necessarily agree, um, um, our, our opinions on and, and that’s, what’s, um, that’s what creates the heated environment.

If we allow ourselves be able to realize that there is a middle ground, that we can all be part of. That ends up being just from a pure math statistical standpoint, the middle of the curve, right. Is always the single largest part of the group. And, and, and that’s not by accident. So I guess we all just have to give ourselves, um, the chance to be able to, uh, to do that and, and say, you know what, it’s okay to not necessarily agree a hundred percent, but to agree on this area where yeah.

You know, let’s work, let’s work together and, and, and, and figure it out.

David Pérez: Yeah, let’s work towards progress, right. Let’s work towards making the world better for everyone.

Richard Streitz: To a prosperous future, right? I mean, because everything we do is for the future generation, um, it’s selfish, uh, and, and, and. Well, societies and civilizations have failed because they become so, um, single generation centric without creating a sustainable future.

That’s, you know, that’s why you have major empires that have fallen in, in, in history, historical times. Um, but yeah, it’s so important to be thinking in a future that’s sustainable for the future generations.

David Pérez: Yeah. And I absolutely agree with you guys that extremes have been, have been bad and it has been bad throughout history.

It’s not something that started happening now. I know that for a fact, because Costa Rica is slightly more developed than the rest of central American countries. And that’s mainly because Costa Rican politics has, have always been pretty much center, a little bit of left, a little bit of right. Trying to do things, ‘a la tica’, is what we call them. So basically ‘like Costa Ricans’, we have socialism like Costa Ricans. We have liberalism like Costa Ricans and, and that has always granted us the opportunity to look at things from, from a middle ground. Right. You cannot be completely pro market and, and leave healthcare to the companies because we know that doesn’t work.

So we have free health care. So it’s that balance, that middle ground that has enabled Costa Rica to be one of the most developed countries in central America. Having that balance has also been what has pushed the United States to be one of the world leaders. Right. The fact that we have such vivid conversations about the topics that we have discussed here that are either black or white are stopping the progress completely. Because they don’t allow room for other conversations to happen for other bridges to be built for other things too, to start, just start progressing. We don’t have the answer to everything.

Like we’re not saying that we have a handbook of, of this is how you should govern. This is how you should do things in your company. That’s not it. What we’re saying is that if you start opening up for conversation, you can start doing things better for more people. And there’s no way that’s going to backfire.

There’s absolutely no way that that’s going to come back and bite you in the butt. You, you’re creating a better society for you, for your children. For everyone, if you just start listening and including and making, making better decisions in terms of not being completely, either pro or against, maybe you can be in the middle.

Maybe you can do a little bit of this, do a little bit of that and start getting some of what you also hold very dear and close to your heart by helping the others get some things that they hold very dear and close to their hearts. That’s, that’s the, the, the main aspect that democracy was supposed to be about: conversation and trying to get people heard.

It’s not about not listening to those 71 million people that voted for president Trump. It’s not about that. It’s about getting every single person into a better, more progressive, more inclusive United States. In four years, it’s it’s about not excluding anyone and to use the word stuff UNESCO, it’s about not leaving anyone behind.

LaMondre Pough: Right. Right. You know, man, I, I think of this as, you know, the last few years, and this was before Trump, this was before president Trump. Many of the political situations that we looked at, um, it was looked at as a war. Everything was couched in the war of this or the battle against that. And it was this, these terms and the truth is.

Wars and battles left no room for gray and left no room for gray at all. I believe that the perspective shift is that it’s more of a dance. Everybody wants to get twirled. Everybody wants to have a good time, but we have to figure out how can we do that with our partner? We have to figure out how do I have a good time and how do you have a good time?

So let’s stop fighting. Let’s stop the battle. Let’s stop the war and let’s start the music, let’s dance. And I believe that that’s what, uh, this last week was, it was about starting the music. It was about starting the dance. So let’s dance.

David Pérez: Absolutely. I think that that’s a great way to end the episode. I know it’s a shorter one, but we really want it to tackle a very broad topic in simple terms that would really help us understand how to move forward from, from these four years of, of craziness. Thank you for listening.

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