Ask Jesse Episode 33: (Anti) Trusting Tech

Click here to listen to full episode on YouTube

Show Notes by Victoria Lynn Hall

“I want the left to have…the strategy, the ruthlessness, the clarity to actually win these battles and be ruthless with institutions and then I want us to learn how to be really kind to each other.”

Michael Brooks, “Soul Of The Democratic Party” Panel at Harvard

Almost every time something happens relating to the 2020 election, I lose one or more friends, or they become lost to me, at least temporarily. Most of the time that is not my choice but just something that happens as a result of sticking to my principles.

I won’t deny that I have changed. I have learned, grown and evolved. But my principles have remained the same and they guide me always. Among them are truth and kindness.

I was listening to a song by Carole King the other day, “Child of Mine“, and the line, “I know you will be honest if you can’t always be kind” gave me pause because to me honesty and kindness are the same.

I think this also relates to what Jesse talked about; how quick fixes are not solutions to our long term problems and in fact, make things worse. This is also how I feel about those little white lies people say to each other in the name of “kindness”. Most of the time, those lies aren’t told to make the other person feel better but to make ourselves feel less uncomfortable and it ultimately only leads to resentment, misunderstanding and conflict – in other words, the very discomfort we were trying to avoid in the first place. I would rather have my discomfort up front than have the sting of being lied to added to it down the road, thank you very much.

I see this playing out politically now. Our “political media industrial complex” (the very fact that such a term is necessary is a problem), is lying to the American public. It is claiming that it is protecting us when actually it is protecting its own interests. By de-platforming Trump and many of his followers, they are seeing to their own comfort by doing what is best for their business while giving many citizens a false sense of comfort. This has not solved a problem and represents many more.

I don’t believe that Donald Trump has the power or the will to be a fascist dictator, nor do I see his supporters as a “threat to Democracy”. However, whatever threat they do pose, it is not mitigated by de-platforming Trump from social media. If anything, that only spurs them on more. What’s more, the way that some are cheering this and making ugly accusations against those who aren’t, further proves to me how little we understand what the late Michael Brooks was talking about in the quote I shared above:

“Be ruthless with institutions…be really kind to each other.”

The fact that a friend and ally accused me this past week of “defending treason” because I disagreed that Trump should have been de-platformed just illustrates how, as Jesse said in this episode, “we are doing the complete opposite and that’s exactly by design.”

To understand better how being nice and polite as a way of avoiding tough conversations is unkind, I recommend this short blog post by Brené Brown: Clear Is Kind. Unclear Is Unkind.

I mentioned Caitlin Johnstone as I often do. I highly recommend following her on Twitter, subscribing to her newsletter and reading as much of her prolific and profound work as you can.

Jesse mentioned this interview with Thomas Frank on The Zero Hour with RJ Eskow in which he acknowledges that Trump and his movement needs to be defeated but that, “the way you beat them isn’t by suppressing their voices, it’s by winning the argument.”

Jesse also mentioned this clip with Glenn Greenwald on the Bad Faith podcast where he discusses historic Supreme Court rulings in cases involving the charge of “inciting violence”.

Greenwald also talks about this and more in this article: Violence in the Capitol, Dangers in the Aftermath

I mentioned this interview with Dylan Ratigan on the Marianne Williamson podcast where he talks about the need to form coalitions specific to policy.

Jesse mentioned Benjamin Studebaker does really good work and I agree. We both suggest following him on Twitter and checking out his blog.

Watch/listen to our full episode below or on YouTube  and please show support by subscribing to the Amplifire Project YouTube Channel and sharing our content on your social media pages. Have a question for Jesse you want us to answer during the podcast? E-mail it to us at

Jesse Crall

A Los Angeles native, Jesse Crall graduated from UCLA’s English Department before working as a copywriter, script reader and project manager for an engineering firm.

A self taught artist and creative entrepreneur, Victoria Lynn Hall lives in the Kansas City area with 4 spoiled cats. She believes in art and the magic of kindness.

Published by amplifireproject

Creative Coordinator of Amplifire Project.

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