Kristi Kendall on Filmmaking and Documenting Our Divisions

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Kristi Kendall with Juliette Sellgren

February 22, 2024
Kristi Kendall is the director of the documentary Undivide Us, about the toxic polarization in America and practical steps to solving it through deep, face to face conversations in our communities.

Today, we talk about the production of the documentary and how to communicate ideas through film. She tells us about how her career led her to directing the documentary and why she did it, all while explaining the roles in the filmmaking industry to us.

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Read the Transcript.

Juliette Sellgren 
Science is the great antidote to the poison of enthusiasm and superstition. Hi, I'm Juliet Sellgren and this is my podcast, the Great Antidote named for Adam Smith, brought to you by Liberty Fund. To learn more, visit www Adam Smith 

Welcome back. A little while ago we had Ben Klutsey on the podcast to talk about Undivide Us, a brilliant documentary about affective polarization in America and practical steps towards fixing it, steps that any individual or organization can use to have deep, thoughtful conversations about current events and policy and things that matter in America and to ourselves that aren't argumentative or friendship ending today on January 13th, 2024. 

I'm excited to welcome Kristi Kendall onto the podcast. You heard already another mastermind behind this documentary. She's the director of the film, so I'm really excited to get into this today. Welcome to the podcast.

Kristi Kendall 
Thank you so much for having me.

Juliette Sellgren 
So this is the question I ask everyone, so I'm excited to see what you have to say. What is the most important thing that people my age or in my generation should know that we don't?

Kristi Kendall (1.37)
I mean, I think the most important thing that you should know that you don't is that the media narrative around toxic polarization is really overblown and that you, actually that because I think people your age have a lot of fear around talking about controversial issues with people on the other side of issues. And so I think the most important thing you can know is that everybody feels that way and most people are normal and want to have conversations, even if they disagree with you.

Juliette Sellgren (2.15)
You call it toxic polarization, but Ben says affective polarization, but then there's also regular polarization. What do you mean when you say that?

Kristi Kendall (2.25)
I mean the same thing as Ben does. I just think effective is a highfalutin word, and I think toxic is more, people know what I'm saying when I say toxic polarization. So I love Ben, so don't get me wrong. He's amazing, but he's super smart. I'm just regular smart, so I'll let him use the big words. And I always say toxic polarization because I actually think regular polarization is fine. Polarization just means we view things differently On the poll, some people are pro-gun, some people are anti-gun and most of us are somewhere in between. And most issues are like that in America, and that's fine to me. And I think what Ben means by this too is the toxic polarization means the kind of polarization where you actually look at people on the other side of the issue and you think that they're unworthy of the benefits of citizenship.

You think that they're stupid, that they just shouldn't even be involved and that they should be silenced. And that kind of toxic polarization is the polarization is the kind of polarization that I'm worried about. Regular polarization, I'm fine with. We've been disagreeing as Americans since our founding; Thomas Jefferson and Alexander Hamilton pretty much hated each other's guts, but that was okay. They wanted there to be a democracy. They could deal with that kind of disagreement. And mostly through our history, with the exception of the Civil War, we've achieved that pretty well. I just think right now there's a real narrative in American politics that we are more polarized than ever, and that narrative can make us shut up and not talk to one another. And then it just becomes this vicious cycle of sadness where we think we can't speak up and that's not good.

Juliette Sellgren (4.31)
And we're going to get more into this and how real this is as a reality if we really need this divide, which obviously given the title Undivide Us, maybe we don't, but can you give us, I know I gave a shoddy explanation of what the film is about, but can you explain to us what it's about, what you were trying to do, how you did it?

Kristi Kendall (5.01)
Totally. So the film is, it's a full length documentary. It's about 72 or three minutes. It basically takes you on a journey. Ben is one of the guides, this other guy named Tony Woodlief who wrote a book called I, Citizen, is kind of your other intrepid explorer of this polarized landscape. And they go on a journey where we do focus groups in three American cities on the craziest, hardest topics we could think of, immigration, guns, abortion, whether we have fair elections in this country, the environment and policing. We talk about all these things with regular Americans who feel strongly about the issue on one side or the other. And what we actually find is that people can and do have these conversations. We had no fist fights anywhere in all the tapings of all these focus groups. And one of the crazy things that we found is that afterwards people just wanted to keep talking. They had almost had a cathartic experience. We were surprised by that. We weren't expecting to find that. And it was so hopeful and inspiring. I was really excited that that's where we landed and that that's what we got to share with in the movie. But going in, we didn't know that's what we were going to find. We had a theory, but we weren't sure.

Juliette Sellgren 
So a lot of questions stemming from were you optimistic at the beginning but unsure and then became more optimistic?

Kristi Kendall (6.58)
Yeah. How did it change? Definitely. I got more bullish on how strongly I felt after the first one, but going into the first one, our first focus groups were in Atlanta, and they were having, we were going to talk about policing and they were having incredible protests in Atlanta at that time around policing. There were firebombing, they called it Police City in Atlanta, the focus group company. Actually, we called an emergency meeting about 48 hours before shooting the first focus group because they were nervous and rightly so. I mean, we're not immune to these media narratives either. And if what we're seeing and they're sending articles around, did you see this? Did you see this? And they're like, should we cancel? And of course, I have an obligation to the folks who are working on the film. I take their concerns seriously. And so I looked into it and talked to people on the ground about what they were actually seeing, what was really happening. And I made the call that we're going to just move forward. We're going to go forward as planned. And it always a hundred percent fine, but the anxiety going into it, I mean, we experienced that firsthand that was real. And I think it's kind of a metaphor for the film, actually.

Juliette Sellgren 
And I think honestly, the results, I don't want to say proved you're wrong, but prove you're wrong in the good, best way, maybe.

Kristi Kendall (8.48)
Yeah, yeah, totally. If we had canceled it, I mean, it would've been the wrong call in terms of the practicality of what was actually happening on the ground. We literally would've fallen prey to the same thing that we're trying to warn people about in the film, which is that when you look around at the real people around you, the communities on the ground, your neighbors, your friends with you, they're still human beings. They have a reason for thinking what they think. And they're not bad people if they disagree with you, they just might have a different way of going about something or all the things that we know when we think about our actual relationships with actual human beings.

Juliette Sellgren 
If the results of the focus groups and this experiment is the way Ben refers to it. And I think that that's kind of a lovely way to talk about it. If it had gone differently, would you still have published the movie and maybe how would it have changed the resulting production?

Kristi Kendall (10.06)
I mean, you have to think, okay, so let's say one of the focus groups had exploded because there were a few people in there that really were not capable of recognizing the humanity of people on the other side of an issue, let's say that had happened. I mean, I think what I would've done is I would've wanted to investigate that more thoroughly if there was a person who really made that happen. Why did they feel that way? Because I think, I don't believe most human beings have things happen in isolation. For someone to be that angry, to dehumanize someone on the other side of an issue, I think there's probably usually a story. There's some kind of pain behind that, some kind of something to uncover. I know I sound like I'm so Pollyanna issue, but I'm legitimately curious about human beings and what goes on underneath and behind them that I would've probably just wanted to investigate more. It would've definitely made it into the documentary and probably just been an interesting turn because I just think I come at this from this perspective that we can learn from our fellow human beings, from our pain, from our life experiences, from our journeys that have brought us to where we are and our hopes for where we want to go. I'm just legitimately curious about the human experience.

Juliette Sellgren 
And now I want to take this in so many different directions, but I have an order that I think will be chronologically, but I'm going to pursue all of them at once. You sound, you sound like such a journalist, which is maybe me planting this word here on

Kristi Kendall 
Purpose. That is a fair critique. That is a fair…

Juliette Sellgren (12.17)
Not in a bad way. And so I'm going to now ask you in the way that I asked Ben, and you've seen in the movie the way that Ben kind of came to these questions and came to see that this was important, but how did you get drawn to this issue? How did it become such an important issue in your life that it's the response to your first question or to my first question to you and that you make a movie about it. I don't know if you want to separate it or if you want to put it all together, but what is the career path that led you here? And also I guess the political philosophical journey? I think they're all kind of related, but yeah, a little autobiography moment.

Kristi Kendall (13.03)
So my background was I was a producer at ABC News 20/20 for many, many years. And then I was John Stossel’s, executive producer at Fox News and Fox Business where I ran his weekly show and also did dozens of documentary hours that would run on both channels, both for stale and other folks. And then I did some movie stuff in the narrative space, but I always had this real love of true human stories and how we, we could connect a story to some intellectual facts that actually, so let's say there's a trend, any trend that we want to talk about or think about is going to be more moving to an audience. If you can connect a human story so that emotionally you can actually see and feel what it is that trend. And I feel that that's kind of the responsibility of journalists is to actually try to make sure that what we're reflecting in terms of how we're trying to move people emotionally and connect people to human stories are actually, I think part of our responsibility is to make sure it's reflective of actual trends that exist.

So I mean, that was how I approached, so I'm in that world, I'm doing this kind of thing, but wait, so I was doing that. I have my own little company where I do video projects and I do a lot of communications trainings, and I do things like that. And I was observing this political polarization, this I wouldn't even call it. I wasn't even thinking about it as toxic polarization. I was just viewing it as this screaming that was happening all over my Facebook page with my own family where people weren't talking to one another, where people were like, if you voted for this person, please unfriend me on my Facebook page. And I was like, what is going on? And then I ran into Tracie Sharp, who is the president of the State Policy Network, and she told me about the book that Tony Woodlief, because I think you're going to be shocked at some of the data that Tony presents. And so I was like, okay, you got to read a book. And so I read Tony's book, and the most incredible thing I took away from it is he has all this great data and studies, but he points out that there is this perception amongst Americans that we are tactically polarized. And it's interesting, we put this in the focus group as well. I think it's around Americans. Over 50% of Americans think that Americans believe, regular Americans believe that over 50% of people are toxically polarized, which is totally not true. It's much closer to 20%.

But because we have this perception that the majority of people are toxically, polarized is defined as not able to talk to people with whom they disagree, then if you believe that about your fellow citizens, you aren't going to engage in local citizenship in the way that we want people to in order to have robust democratic institutions. So reading this book, but I was struck by this fact and I was like, well, wait. So basically we're all suffering from this collective delusion basically around how toxically polarized we are. Why don't we tell and show people the truth? I mean, I love Tony's book, but I don't think people are going to read a book and have their minds changed. I mean, I don't even think they're going to see a movie, but I do think movies are more viral and can spur more conversations. Honestly, I don't think any one thing is going to fix it all, but I just think we need to do whatever we can to get this out there that no, no, no, we're not as all angry and willing to jump down our throats, the throats of our fellow citizen as the media might have you think. And so that was what brought me to this movie. That was a really long answer, Juliette. No, that was wonderful. That was the journey you wanted.

Juliette Sellgren 
That was wonderful. And while you were doing that, my cat came and took a nice little seat on my lap and is also listening to You wait,.

Kristi Kendall 
A little cat or the big cat?

Juliette Sellgren 
The little cat.

Kristi Kendall
Oh my God, so cute. They were hunting for something under your refrigerator last time I was there.

Juliette Sellgren 
Yeah, whatever it is is still there. We're not quite sure what it is they think is under there. Either it's not gone or it has a family or something, but it hasn't left. 

Kristi Kendall 
So we'll see. I hope, whatever it's is very clean and tidy.

Juliette Sellgren 
Yeah, I mean, it seems to be, at least it doesn't smell. 

Kristi Kendall 
So it doesn't smell and it doesn't leave little poop pellets. I think you're okay.

Juliette Sellgren 
Yeah, so it hasn't died and it isn't hoarding or discarding things. That's good. I think then it's allowed to stay under the fridge, especially if it entertains the cats which entertain us.

Kristi Kendall 
You guys have the non-aggression principle going on. I like it.

Juliette Sellgren (19.04)
Yeah. While you were telling your story and giving us this overview of how you got here, you mentioned a lot of different titles and aspects of filmmaking and to get into more what your role was in the production, I kind of want to draw some clear lines or definitions between the different roles and if you could tell us what you did in this capacity.

Kristi Kendall (19.34)
Totally. So I mean, a director is really the person who is responsible for the whole vision of the film from soup to nuts. What are the issues that are going to be addressed? Who are we going to talk to? What's the look going to be? Although, I mean, I rely really heavily on Casey Kirby, who is the director of photography. So he's the lead camera person on everything. And then Casey also, he's just an incredible human. He also edited the film, and I really like that division of labor because a lot of times in my experience, you could have someone in the field who would shoot something, I mean film something, and then it would be like you get back to the edit room and the editor's like, well, why'd you do it like this? So it kind of makes it so the same person is responsible, and Casey is, I'm just really fortunate to have him because he is so talented on both of those things.

In terms of the production, a producer is responsible for really everything from helping with the bookings, helping with the locations, helping make sure all the contracts are in order to the fundraising side of things, which is a tough slog of things to all the hundred million different details that need to get the, i's that need to get dotted and the T's that need to get crossed in order to have a documentary actually make it. And so I was a producer on this film too because kind of my background at being super detail oriented, but then Morgan Twist Garvey and Carrie Conko were the other two producers. And basically without any of the four of us, me and Casey and Morgan and Carrie, this movie would not have gotten made. It's just so much work. I mean, Tony and Ben, they were amazing talent and incredible, but they don't have to do all the work of making sure that everything goes well.

They're just like, oh, okay, I'm going to show up and I'll put my magic in it. I mean, that's how I divide the labor for a film. And there were many other people who contributed to the film just through feedback or through the music, or there's so many jobs that go into making a movie. That's why I had told that actually I had thought I would never make a documentary because it is so much work. But this documentary and the team around me were so wonderful. I actually, I think I might even do another one. It It's great. It was great.

Juliette Sellgren
Do you have any ideas for what you would do next?

Kristi Kendall 
No, I mean I do. I have some, but I'm going to keep those close for now because you never know. You never know. I don't want to jinx anything.

Juliette Sellgren 
That makes sense. So when you're starting this sort of production, how are the decisions made for how a certain scene or aspect of the film is going to be portrayed trade? How thoughtful do you have to be about the reception and who the audience is and how you want to communicate a certain idea?

Kristi Kendall (23.09)
Yeah, I mean, I think it's an imperfect process of constant editing it one way, seeing how that lands. Then also seeing, okay, what does that if try that with, if I let a few other people watch it, are they walking around? Are they walking away with the right impression of what was said? I mean, we probably shot hundreds of hours of footage for this documentary, and what you see is 72 to 73 minutes. And it's actually really, really important to me from a journalistic standpoint that what is reflected on the screen is an accurate portrayal of what actually happened. If you watch more now, watching focus groups is not something that I would recommend to most people. It's pretty boring, but when you watch it edited for the most salient parts and the best takeaways, then suddenly it becomes more interesting. I also try to put it into context with some great subject matter experts that we had for this film.

And I leaned heavily on Ben and his expertise at the Center for Pluralism. He really knows who are the most interesting folks. And there were a few people who we probably could have talked to even a few more people, but then we would've had to include everyone in the documentary, and then you would've gone to sleep in the middle of it because you would've been all the subject matter experts. But I think that the folks who we did end up talking to, they all kind of lend different nuggets of expertise into the film, and they've all seen the film and they're all pretty excited about it.

Juliette Sellgren 
So about the focus groups. How were the people chosen to participate, right? I don't know.

Kristi Kendall (25.17)
Well, so we actually tried to keep folks out who we would define as toxically polarized. And the way that we defined that is we asked them two questions in specific around, and we asked them to rate from zero to 10 whether they thought they could be friends with someone who disagreed with them about an issue, for example, and if they rated that as a nine or a 10. And then the other question had to do it was a similar question along those lines, if they rated both of those questions as nines or tens, we didn't include them in the focus group because if you can't even imagine being friends with somebody who disagrees with you about something, that's kind of not a great sign, I think, in terms of whether you're going to be able to have a productive conversation.

So that was part of it. We also looked for people, we tried to look for people who were reflective of the communities we were going to be in, and we were in largely purple communities, meaning that they were neither strong Republican or Democrat communities, and they were all places where they had had election controversy in the past year, Phoenix, Atlanta, and Pittsburgh. And so we looked for people who you don't want six people who all are going to say, oh, well, we agree about everything. We looked for people who had relatively strong views on the topics we were going to talk about, and we looked for diversity of races, genders, political parties, all those things. We were trying to have folks look and feel like regular people you would meet.

Juliette Sellgren (27.20)
And something I've been wondering about since I watched the movie is this question of why were the interactions portrayed the ones that were chosen? So if there were so many hours of footage, how did you pick those ones? And especially there were some of the interactions where it wasn't that there wasn't disagreement, but the disagreement wasn't as extreme as I thought it could have been. Right? If you picked two random people in America, and I think there's value there, but I'm kind of curious as to why you chose to even portray those moments instead of maybe more extreme moments. In some cases,

Kristi Kendall (28.00)
There really weren't a lot of really extreme moments. So partially because of the way that we were, these were facilitated conversations, and you're at a table, there's cameras everywhere. It's not set up so that people are going to, so the people coming in were super nervous. I'll just say that. They all thought that there was going to be, one lady said she thought Jerry Springer was going to jump out of the bushes. But I think that there's a lot of lessons here that we can take about what constitutes people who are going to be extreme. I think on cable news, there's an incentive structure where people will invite you back on, you get good ratings, you generate more tweets, and there's a cycle of that. If you say something extreme, people being reasonable doesn't sell generally on Twitter. Although I was talking to Matt Kibbe the other day and he was like, well, that is all I'm trying to do on Twitter. Yes, it makes it harder, but I actually feel like I have integrity. I was like, okay, that's awesome. I am super for that. I know it's not called Twitter anymore, it's called X whatever. I feel like, yeah, go ahead.

Juliette Sellgren 
On a past podcast episode, I don't remember who I was talking to, but I think we decided that X is the derogatory term for Twitter, and so everyone to it as Twitter, unless they're kind of making fun of it or annoyed.

Kristi Kendall (29.45)
I know, it's so funny, I even get those emails every once. It's like, here's happening on X, and I'm like, it feels like a joke. So all right, that's like a whole other conversation. So I think that we see that, but when you actually have to be sitting at a table with another human being and look at them in the eye, it just changes the temperature. It brings the temperature down, and then the facilitators ask people to use this technique called tactic illumination, which is basically, I don't know, Caleb Brown actually calls it the Turing test, basically, where you try to put yourself in the other person's shoes and can you actually articulate what their position would be or why a reasonable person would have that position, the position that's opposite of the one that you agree with. Can you imagine why a reasonable? And when you have to do that as a human being, you automatically, you humanize the other person.

You don't change your mind, interestingly enough, which is funny because you would assume, oh, well, maybe people in your focus groups change their minds about things. No, nobody changes their minds about anything. I mean, I thought that was really interesting. But what they do is they change their mind about how they feel about the people on the other side of the issue. They suddenly have more of a face and a name, and most human beings don't want to be jerks. Most people want to be nice and be part of civil society. We're kind of hardwired like that, right? As human beings. And so I just think we have to give more light to our better angels and do that. I mean, that's what I learned through these focus groups. And so you would think what you're asking, were there more angry moments and you just didn't include them there really. I tried to include the moments that the gun conversation, for example, I wanted to include that because it really showed how, I mean, that could have been a hot mess. It was four on one, four people all were like, yeah, we don't think guns are good. And one guy in the middle standing stepping up and saying, I think guns do more good than harm. That could have been a mass, but it ended up in a good place. And I swear I didn't make that up. It really happened that way.

Juliette Sellgren (32.39)
I think honestly, there's something about that moment where even though I don't remember what the woman's name is, that she, Felicia Matt, they're engaging on this front. And first she says that she does have a gun, even though she's kind of against gun ownership in an ideal order.

Kristi Kendall 
She's ownership for stupid people is what she said.

Juliette Sellgren 
Yeah, it's interesting because I think the first time I saw it and my gut impulse was like, oh, well this is interesting because she owns a gun. But then also kind of thinking about it in the greater context of the conversation, I don't think I would go into that sort of conversation expecting there to be so many people, maybe against my viewpoint and the other people being respectful enough not to jump in. I think that's honestly part of the most shocking. The thing is the conversation was so respectful that you almost don't even notice how weird it is. If you would put yourself in going into that conversation, I would expect the other people to jump in and be like, no, screw you, you're wrong. But the other three people were just sitting there listening. And that to me right now is really surprisingly for some reason, surprising in a good way.

Kristi Kendall 
Again, I just think that we are capable of more than maybe are the bubbles that we're all living in would lead us to believe we're more capable of goodness than maybe the media would have us believe.

Juliette Sellgren (34.26)
Yeah. And so I guess you said earlier that there was part of your reluctance to do a full length documentary was that it involves so much work, and that is not just the actual creation of the documentary, but everything that happens to get it out there and to promote it. So what else have you been doing and what else does that involve other than creating the documentary itself?

Kristi Kendall 
Yeah, so we have a whole impact campaign. We're hosting screenings all over the country, go to Juliette. I fully expect you to be hosting a screening at UVA go to.

Juliette Sellgren 
I already am on that.

Kristi Kendall (35.07)
Sweet, sweet. So people go to undivided, they can sign up to host a screening. We actually just launched this respect pledge for respect that we're trying to get people to sign onto because people were saying, Hey, is there more that I can do to kind of show this on social media, show that I want to be part of this kind of respectful civil dialogue? Which I'm like, okay, yeah, let's come up with something. We're going to film festivals. We've got five different film festivals coming up, and we're hearing from more all the time, which is awesome. And then we have a distributor who's working to get it available on streaming, hopefully by late summer so that more people can see this. So all those things are like a job in terms of the work of getting a documentary out. But I mean, the good news is that, I mean, I've been, when you're making something in an edit room, when you're watching the cuts a million times, you never know what people are going to think afterwards. And it has been one of the joys of my life, other than my two children, my husband and those kinds of things. But it's been a joy to see how this has affected people in a really positive way and help them have hope about our country, which I'm super bullish on America. I think we can do this. Yeah, I'm too, yeah.

Juliette Sellgren (36.57)
So hold on. I feel like I just lost my train of thought. Oh, okay. So I kind of asked this question to Ben. You're good. And I want to ask you a kind of different equivalent of this question. I asked him about what should the relationship be and what has this taught him, especially how the role that the media and social media has played in this toxic polarization, how does that define for him the relationship between liberalism and technology and what does that mean? What has this taught him? But I kind of want to ask you the same thing, but not necessarily just liberalism, but communication and showing people ideas through media because that's what you've been doing, that's your career. And so how has this kind of affected the way that you see your job? Obviously part of it is that you created this documentary. So it might be a little bit of a silly question, but I feel like it's an important one.

Kristi Kendall (38.01)
Well, I mean, in terms of the media writ large, I think that we all have a responsibility to be curious and to ask questions. I don't think anything is all good or all bad. I wouldn't be like, just get rid of all your social media. No, social media is awesome. Think about how great it is to connect with people or share ideas or share the things you care about. That's lovely. And it's not even that you shouldn't share about politics. I think politics are great, but I think we want to keep, and this is a line I'm going to steal straight from Ben. I mean, we want to be responsible. We need to keep politics in our place, politics in its place, you want to make sure that you aren't just sitting in front of a computer screen on your phone all the time because that's a way that you can kind of lose track of the things that really matter in life.

It's interesting. The other thing I do wish people would think about vis-a-vis like journalism is to be thoughtful consumers of journalism. I was kind of brought up in this journalistic way where it's like I was challenged constantly at 20/20 to make sure that the stories that I was reflecting actually were reflecting broader trends or were accurate reflections, or if they weren't that we qualify them in that way as an outlier. And I feel like that kind of journalistic responsibility has been a little bit muddied. And so I think just thinking about who does the writing and what they're saying and how do they respect their audience is something that I hope consumers of media are thinking about.

Juliette Sellgren 
Yeah, that's great. I wish we could talk about this for forever.

Kristi Kendall 
You can have me back on Juliette.

Juliette Sellgren (40.27)
Yeah, no, I would love to. But I have one question for you right now. Left. What is one thing that you believed at one time in your life that you later changed your position on, and why? Other than the fact that you might never produce a documentary,

Kristi Kendall (40.45)
What is one thing that I believed in my life that I changed my position on? Well, I mean, when I was younger, I would say I more believed that I more believed that compromise was a cop out. And now I actually believe that compromise is part of this human process that we go through where we actually get the best from each other and generally end up with something better at the end of the day. And that's something I learned from thinkers on both sides of the aisle. Actually. As a libertarian, you can think like, oh, if only everyone would listen to me, then the world would be perfect actually. I don't think that that's really the way forward anymore. Not that I don't think that having principles and having ideas don't matter. I do. I just think that the marketplace of ideas exists because markets actually involve inherently people a give and take. And that's kind of the beauty of the whole. That's definitely something that I have changed my position on over the years.

Juliette Sellgren 
Yeah, it is beautiful. I guess I lied. I kind of have another question, but it's related, so it's okay.

Kristi Kendall 
You're good.

Juliette Sellgren (42.34)
So you said it's still important for us to have our principles, but is that because in a way, the world and the society we live in is kind of this aggregation of all of us? So is it kind of that it's not a community built thing or a representative thing if we each have our way? Well, I mean, I guess it's not possible for all of us to have our way, or to me there's a level of, maybe I'm not entirely right. I think I'm right, but there's a level of humility there. So I don't know where does it come from for you? 

Kristi Kendall 
Yeah, I mean, to me, the principles that I'm talking about are principles of liberalism, really principles around me. Having the right to say to experience free speech means I have to have a high degree of tolerance for what other people are going to say. That's a liberal value in my view. Me believing that other people really can do whatever they want so long as they don't hurt people and don't take their stuff. That's a liberal principle that I adhere to. Although sometimes I could probably be convinced that there are situations where we need to think about compromise there too. I dunno. That's what I mean by principles. Wait, what was the other part? So do I think we all exist in this big cacophony of No, you, of humanity? Yeah. And I think that that's kind of our journey is then how do we all embrace that with, and I think humility, that word in your question is exactly the right thinking. How do have the curiosity to know that we don't know everything and the bravery to truly listen to people and consider, and we can still end up where we want to end up, but to really consider other people's viewpoints. I think the power in that cannot be overstated. And I think if we as individuals and are willing to really engage with other fellow people in our community on that level, I mean, I actually think the goodness we could create in the world can't be underestimated.

Juliette Sellgren 
Once again, I'd like to thank my guests for their time and insight. I'd also like to thank you for listening to The Great Antidote Podcast means a lot. The Great Antidote is sound engineered by Rich Goyette. If you have any questions, any guests or topic recommendations, please feel free to reach out to me at great Thank you.