Left & Right Can Be Friends: Searching for Truth with Pantsuit Politics’ Beth & Sarah - Jen Hatmaker

Left & Right Can Be Friends: Searching for Truth with Pantsuit Politics’ Beth & Sarah

Episode 01

In the immortal words of Jack Nicholson, can you handle the truth? We think you can, and we’re excited to start a new series that dives into the murky world of truth-telling in our culture today: For the Love of Finding the Truth! Skewing the truth is nothing new—bias exists everywhere—but in the pre-social media era, it was a smidge easier to parse through what was real and what wasn’t. With the massive growth of online communities, there are more ways to get information than ever before—and more organizations looking to feed the information they want us to have (#fakenews). Kicking off the series are two women dedicated to sifting through the mountains of information hurled at us each day and understanding it from differing perspectives. Sarah Stewart Holland and Beth Silvers (who go by “Sarah from the left” and “Beth from the right”) stand a few feet from each other on the political spectrum, but are still actually good friends. And they’re leading the way on how to have grace-filled political conversations, which they do each week on their highly acclaimed podcast Pantsuit Politics. Lucky for us, they wrote a whole book called I Think You’re Wrong (But I’m Listening) about another topic we discuss: relationship is always more important than being right. Plus, Sarah and Beth answer some burning political questions like: how does the Electoral College work and why is everyone in a twist about it? Gerrymandering—why should I care? And what’s gonna happen in 2020?? The Pantsuit ladies break it all down and give us thoughtful explanations and opinions, showing us how truth can be revealed through knowledge wherever you stand.

Episode Transcript

Narrator:  Hi everybody, my name is Remy. Welcome to the For the Love Podcast, with your host Jen Hatmaker, my mom. She writes books and speaks to crowds. But she mostly loves talking to amazing people every week on this podcast. Thanks for listening! We hope you enjoy the show.

Jen:  Hey, everybody. Jen Hatmaker here. I am your happy host of the For the Love Podcast. Welcome. Welcome. Welcome. Thanks for being here.

So this episode is the first in a brand-new series that me and the whole team are really excited about, and it’s called For the Love of Finding the Truth. Okay? Just a little topic none of us have been thinking about over the past couple of years. It’s just an interesting time to be alive and finding the truth has probably never been a bigger deal to me, and I wonder if a lot of you feel the same way.

Just over the last couple of years, it feels like ideas and ideals and people that we have held in very high esteem in a number of areas have just crumbled away or disappointed us or even betrayed us. I mean, skewing one direction, never in our lives have we heard the words “fake news” more than we have since 2016, right? I mean, I’m just more determined than ever to make sure that I am listening to people and sources who are credible, who are trustworthy, who are telling it like it really is.

In this series, I want to talk to people who are on the same quest as me, who are finding the truth in a reasonable and credible way, full of integrity, and living it in their work and in their lives. That’s what you’re going to get in this whole series.

I am the biggest fan of my next guests, and you know this if you’ve been around me at all. Not only did I have them on the podcast last fall, in fact, this is our second repeat guest ever. They were on a bonus episode to debrief about my interview about Beto O’Rourke and talk about midterms. But we also teased their brand new book, which I’m still excited about and endorsed it. You’ll see why in a minute.

Today we have the brilliant minds behind the podcast Pantsuit Politics. Tons of you listen to Pantsuit and for good reason. If you don’t know about it, it’s a bipartisan show that has these very grace-filled intellectual political conversations, and it’s hosted by two working moms. It’s Sarah from the left, and Beth from the right, and their mantra is “no shouting, no insults, plenty of nuance,” right? Exactly like what we see in the news cycle, except opposite. Every Tuesday and Friday, Sarah and Beth hash out what’s going on in the news, and they concentrate on listening to the other host first, and then talking politics second because they believe that people come before politics. I mean, these girls are the greatest.

I’m not the only person who’s in love with them. The Guardian named Pantsuit Politics one of the best podcasts of 2017. They’ve been featured everywhere, from like Morning Joe, Bloomberg News, Elle, Bustle, tons more. Like I said, their new book, I Think You’re Wrong (But I’m Listening) is such a useful tool for us right now in this political climate.

Sarah and Beth are real life friends, and they aren’t afraid to talk about hard things, which you’ll see. I mean, we’re going to unpack all sorts of things. We’re going to talk about gerrymandering and voter ID laws. We’re going to talk about their predictions for the 2020 election. We are going to talk about the Electoral College, and they have some differing ideas on a lot of this, and it’s all in this episode.

They’re both super smart. Sarah served a term on the city commission in Paducah, Kentucky, and Beth is a lawyer who has her own life and business coaching practice near Cincinnati. They love their families. They love their communities. They love America. And they love each other, and they agree and disagree with each other. I know. Is that possible? It’s possible. Wait until you see.

If you have not had a good example put in front of you of how to love and respect your fellow friend and citizen who thinks differently than you, then this episode is going to sound like a relief to you, the tone of it, the nature of it, the humility inside of it, the kindness. There’s a reason I subscribe to these girls.

I’m so pleased to share my conversation, again, with the smart and fierce ladies of Pantsuit Politics. 

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Jen: All right. Welcome back to two of my favorite girls. Hello to Beth and Sarah, welcome back.

Beth: Hello, thank you for having us.

Sarah: Thank you for having us. We always do that in stereo.  We don’t plan it. It just works out that way every time.

Jen: You guys know how I feel about you. I’m just a huge fan. I admire you both, respect you so much, and I like you.

So for all my listeners who didn’t hear my interview with you two the first time around, and we’ll link to that, listeners, because the girls and I had a fantastic conversation sometime last year, and it was a really popular episode.

So right now, just imagining that a lot of my listeners are new to you, can you guys talk just a little bit more about each of your own personal selves? I am an obvious huge fan of Pantsuit Politics and what you do and how you’re creating smart and important and thoughtful dialogue in the world.

And so tell everybody a little bit what’s your deal, each of you. What’s your deal? How did you guys get together and then ultimately decide, “This is a thing that we need, this is something the world needs, and we’re going to do it together”?

Beth: I love the question, “What’s your deal?” So here my deal.

Jen: Okay, this is Beth everybody, just as you’re starting to learn voices.

Beth: This is Beth. I grew up on a dairy farm in Western Kentucky. And as soon as 24-hour news was a thing, it was on in my home. My parents really cared a lot about what’s going on in the world around them. They read the newspaper every morning, like, the physical newspaper that you unfold and has all the pages, you know?

Jen: I remember.

Beth: And I remember every moment of Clarence Thomas’s confirmation hearings on our television and OJ’s. That is what my home was like. It was non-partisan. My parents never cared a lot about the politics of it as much as just what is happening, and what should we be learning about it, and what’s our role and understanding it? I’m so grateful for that growing up.

I also learned living on a dairy farm, as anybody who’s done any kind of farming knows, that you can work super, super hard and still not get it done sometimes. You can plant the crops and tend them, and it still doesn’t rain enough or it rains too much, or the prices are bad this year, or whatever.

That’s kind of how I grew up viewing the world. That you work really, really hard, but then there’s also an element of the chips are going to fall, and we just need to figure out the world and understand it the best we can.

So I went to college then law school, I hated being a lawyer, every single minute of it. I did it for six years. And then I became an HR executive within the law firm industry. And that was better, but still not my jam. And while I was on parental leave, I reached out to Sarah and thus begins the Pantsuit Politics origin story, which Sarah is the official teller of.

Jen: Okay, perfect.

Sarah: And so everything Beth said, basically take that, flip it and reverse it. Because I grew up in a family, we didn’t watch a lot of news. The news wasn’t sort of the central narrative, but there was a lot of political talk.

I grew up in a very conservative, political, evangelical church. And so I grew up . . . By the time I was in high school, I was conservative and strongly evangelical, thought I had it all figured out, my politics.

Literally, when I went to college, I had not heard the term “third world,” never heard it in my life. And I really did a 180 on my politics.

The 2000 presidential race was our freshman year in college, fun fact. Sort of a baptism by fire, I would say, and had totally switched my political affiliation. I was hardcore democrat, and I was a political science major. Then I went to Washington, DC, where I went to law school. I worked for Hillary Clinton’s 2007 presidential campaign, worked for Senator Bob Menendez from New Jersey and was just . . . I was all in.

And then in 2009, I looked at my husband and said, “Hey, would you like to take a two-thirds pay cut and move back to my hometown of Paducah, Kentucky to raise our kids?”

Jen: I mean, who wouldn’t?

Sarah: Right, exactly. And he was like, “That’s an interesting idea. I think I’m a no.”

And I was like, “Okay, well, me and the baby are going to go to, and you’re welcome to join us.”

He says it wasn’t quite like that, that’s how I remember it.

So we moved back to Kentucky in 2009, and in short order had three sons. I was barred, but I wasn’t practicing because of aforementioned three sons I had in very short order. And then I started doing parenting blogging. Once I got my personal blog, I started with a two-person blog and then moved to my own personal space. I would do a post on stroller reviews. Next post [would be], “This is what I think about the Civil War.” Like, I did not care. I would just do it, like, it’s my space, right?

Jen: Totally.

Sarah: So when I was writing those posts, Beth was on parental leave. And she reached out and said, “Hey, would you be interested in, like, a guest post from another perspective?” And I’m like, “Yeah!”

She wrote this really beautiful post called “Nuance” that, at the time, we were all fighting about Cecil the Lion. God bless our sweet, sweet hearts.

Jen: It was a more innocent time.

Sarah: It was, but people were riled up about Cecil the Lion.

Jen: True, they were.

Sarah: And she said, “Hey, we don’t have to do it this way. We don’t have to ascribe our entire identity to the number-one social media controversy in this moment. Like, we could not is what we could do instead.”

And everybody loved it. It went really well. And I had been batting around the idea of a podcast because my husband was like, “Start a podcast, start a podcast, you should start a podcast.”

I thought I would interview all my female friends in politics. I knew Hillary was probably going to run again. And I thought, Okay, well, this will be good. I can do some really fun women who work in politics spaces.

But I like to answer questions, not to ask them—it is important to know this. And so I didn’t want it to just kind of sit there. And then when Beth wrote that post, I thought, Oh, hold on a second. And I was like, “Okay, well, what if we did a podcast?”

So she said, what’s a podcast? And I said, “Don’t worry! We got that part figured out.”

And so we did a test call, I’ll never forget it. We talked, I said, “Let’s just get on the phone and talk about politics and see how it goes.” And like an hour in, and I said, “We’re not going to talk anymore unless we’re recording it.” We had really good chemistry from the beginning. We just have very complementary personalities and approaches. And so it’s interesting.

But what’s so important to point out is when we had that phone call, when we did this, yes, we were sorority sisters, and we had gone to college. But we had not seen each other in 13 years. We were not best friends. We built this friendship [by] talking about politics several hours a week. And that’s what I really always want people to know is that it wasn’t we had this big basis of trust, but we wanted to build a relationship together, so we prioritized. We were careful with one another when we talked about these hard things. And that’s how we built that relationship over time. And the podcast, which other people wanted to listen to, which was so awesome.

Jen: It was awesome, and a lot of people want to listen to it. That is why you set an example kind of in every way and in every layer at what was possible, when all we’re really seeing is kind of this binary option. It’s all or nothing in here, and you guys are showing us this third way without either one of you sacrificing your ideology or your convictions. And I mean, it is rare. You’re like a unicorn right now. And I think this is why you are getting so much attention.

So all right, girls, thank you for that background. I’m excited that you told the origin story here because I want everybody listening right now to know that both of you have done what everyone else is saying is impossible, which is we do not have to leave our humanity behind, even when we disagree with each other politically. And so that is the tone of your work, and it’s definitely the tone of this episode.

So obviously 2020 is fast approaching, which means, well, I mean, not only is the political machine cranking up again, it’s been cranked. I feel like we’ve been in campaign season for a year and a half.

So I’m curious, what’s the chatter around Pantsuit Politics lately? What are you guys talking about? What does your audience seem most concerned about? What button are you putting your fingers on?

Beth: I think there are two buttons. And you’re not wrong. We’ve been in campaign season for a year and a half now, so—

Jen: Thank you.

Beth: So part of it is that is 2020.

And not just the presidential race, there are really important senate congressional races in 2020. They’re important gubernatorial races. So we’re trying to talk about all that, and we’re going to do some of that on the ground. We’re going to Iowa for the caucuses. We’re going to New Hampshire, for the first-in-the-nation primary. We’re going to the conventions.

The other thing that people want us to talk about is immigration. Our audience cares about the border, and they want to hear what’s going on and how they can help. And they want to cull through all the noise and understand what’s real, and so those are the two places that we’re spending most of our time right now.

Jen: Can you high-level your thoughts on immigration right now?

Sarah: For me, when I have these conversations with our audience outside in my real life, what I realized what’s really brought into stark relief it’s a book I talked about. It’s a book by Jonathan Haidt called The Righteous Mind, and it just talks about how we’re motivated by different values. It’s not that they’re bad or wrong, or one’s better than the other.

When I have conversations, especially about the crisis at the border, I hear a conflict between care, which is predominantly a left value, and respect for authority, which is a predominantly right value. And it’s like we’re just talking past each other. You need both—you do need both.

I know if you’re a person who’s motivated by care, there’s this instinct of like, “Why not? Why can’t we just care for everybody?” But that doesn’t work. And you do need the people who have respect for authority and loyalty to the group. Those are important values inside of a government, and particularly in a nation.

And so I just hear that we are speaking different languages. And because we will not, you know . . . I always say that the currency we’re dealing in is sort of giving each other the benefit of the doubt, because we cannot give each other the benefit of the doubt that, “I don’t actually think you hate children.”

“And I don’t really think that you want to just let everyone flood in here.”

It just feels like we’re butting heads. And as often is the case.

Children get caught in the middle. Whenever we’re at an impasse like that because they don’t have power, they don’t have the ability to advocate for themselves. They don’t have that currency that so often runs in a system like ours, they get caught. And as a mother, that’s what we hear from our listeners. That’s definitely how both of us feel, it’s just . . . it’s brutal. It’s brutal to have children those ages and see what’s happening. It’s just brutal. And it’s frustrating as someone who thinks a lot about political identity and why we can’t listen to one another, to hear us just screen pass each other over and over and over again, when we have these big problems to address and solve.

Jen: Absolutely. I think that so many of us feel just hamstrung watching it and wondering, Gosh, what is our path through going to be that is reasonable, and that isn’t all this or all that?

And I’m looking for that voice in the world. It’s so hard to find right now. I appreciate you dissecting that a little bit for us.

Beth: Anytime you try to have a conversation about this, somebody goes to, “Well this administration did it,” or, “That administration.” And that does not solve the problem.

Jen: That’s right.

Beth: And whatever terms you’re framing this in, we’re letting each other off the hook by letting representatives tell us, “Comprehensive immigration reform is necessary, and it’s hard.” Right? But right now, today, there are people flooding into this country in totally unsafe conditions. And we don’t have a better answer for them. And it’s preventing us, I think, from getting creative.

Why are we administering our border at the border between the United States and Mexico, when the crisis is happening in the Northern Triangle? Let’s go over there and start talking about where are people going. Let’s cooperate with other nations, and help those nations come together and, like, have a place where if you’re going to be a refugee leaving this country, this is your first stop. And we help figure out where you can go.

We are stuck, and we don’t have to be stuck. You know, if we can just stop pointing fingers at each other, there are ways to solve this problem, and we know how to do it. Just no one is leading on it right now.

Jen: That’s great. Thank you for that, Beth. That’s a great perspective.

Let me ask you guys this. So the two of you are incredibly dialed into, arguably, the two biggest reserves of information that the average American citizen has, which is Washington and the media. And so this matters, and I am really anxious to hear your thoughts on this, because is anybody in either of these spaces coming out of DC, coming out of the media—is telling the truth?

I mean, obviously we understand that nobody can be 100% objective. That’s a real challenge. I mean, I know that’s the goal. Most of us understand the struggles with objectivity. But if the people want to take responsibility for the information we take in, I mean, never, ever has this been more important, to make sure that we are setting ourselves up to make well rounded decisions based on facts and not spin. How do we start doing that? This matters so much always but definitely in election cycle.

Beth: The thing that we talked to people about a lot in this category is not having an expectation that you’re going to hear something that’s objective, but having an expectation of transparency. So if you’re reading a source that is more left leaning, you’d identify it as such and know that. And if you’re reading a sources more right leaning, you identify it as such and know that.

But that doesn’t mean there’s nothing valuable there. It’s okay to have bias, you can still hear information. And then you just want to read from a couple of different sources and see if you’re getting a theme that’s coming across.

I always tell people, if you see something on Twitter, or Facebook and it’s only coming from one place, then you need to just hit “pause” and wait to see if other places pick it up. There is not a scoop here in 2019 that lasts for more than 10 seconds. If it’s real, if it’s legitimate you’re going to see it across the board, and so look for that.

And the other thing that’s important to me—Sarah has some really good things to say about this—is that I think we have to take responsibility for how we’re listening. It’s really easy to be mad at how the information’s being delivered. But a lot of us are listening for a conclusion. And that’s not all our responsibility as citizens. Our responsibility is to listen for questions.

Jen: That’s good.

Beth: I think it’s true whether you’re talking about faith, or parenting, news and politics. If you end something feeling really certain about what you’ve just taken in, then you’re probably missing something really big and important. And so the more you’re able to just read a new story and think, What questions do I have at the end of this? then I think you’re doing it right.

Jen: That’s great. I like that. What do you think, Sarah?

Sarah: Well, and I think it’s really hard because there are different news habits on each side, right? Really interesting data that says people on the left trust a wide variety of sources and people on the right, for the most part, trust one, which is Fox News. Now look, there’s nothing wrong necessarily with reading Fox News in a wide variety of media diet. But if you’re only trusting one source, to me that’s the problem because in 2019, Walter Cronkite’s been dead for a long time. It’s not going to go back to that, because I think that we live in a global environment. And also, not only is the flow of information coming in, but when one person is sorting it, then you really don’t have a lot of transparency. You really have . . . well, you’re just taking in one perspective.

And I think there is a growing understanding that people need help sorting all that information. And by that, I don’t mean one source, but where they feel like they can sort of see the landscape in one kind of swift look.

And there are a lot of really good startups, I think, trying to address this concern. So there’s a great website called AllSides. So you can see they’ll identify left sources, right sources, and moderate sources. You can see what their top stories are, which I always think is so interesting and helpful.

Jen: Totally.

Sarah: Just see what their top headlines are.

There’s also a new email—I love getting my news via email, big fan of that. So there’s a new email service called The New Paper. And they’re literally, like, number one, one sentence, two additional sentences. Like they’re just trying to break it down and say, “This is the big stuff happening.” They’re not giving you a lot of detail, because that’s where you can start to see the perspective come through is their thesis, basically. But they’ll let you link to other stories outside of that.

And of course, I do a news brief every morning on our Instagram channel, where I try to cover . . . I look across all those sources and say what’s bubbling up over and over again, across all these places. And I think if there are people out there that understand, nobody has time if you don’t work in media, or politics to go to all these different sources and sort them out. So let’s see if we can put together a summary of what’s going on quickly, without people worrying that we’re inserting all this different perspective.

I think to me, though, what’s troubling is that even if there is a perspective, that again, it’s that benefit of the doubt. “Well, if it’s a perspective I disagree with, then everything they say is a lie.” And that to me is the problem. They’re American citizens who work for both Fox News and The New York Times. I mean, I know that’s shocking. And so they care about their country, they’re doing the best. They can they have a perspective you disagree with, they can have a slant you disagree with. The idea that there’s this mass conspiracy to lie to everyone, to me, is like the troubling line we crossed recently.

Beth: I think the thing that’s hard about this too, Walter Cronkite centered one type of experience. So when we said, “We had trust in the news,” it was through the lens of the white middle class, you know, upper middle class, male . . .

So part of the reason news is so confusing right now is because more voices are bringing perspectives to it. And that’s great. We just have to handle the downside of the challenge.

Yes, it’s confusing, it’s harder. Sometimes, you read something that hurts to read, or that is just really difficult to get through, but that’s good work that you’re doing. And I don’t think we need to categorize everything that’s happening as fake or, as Sarah said, a conspiracy, when a lot of it is just bringing to light perspectives that we have not done a good job considering.

Jen: That’s great. I couldn’t agree more.

I think there is a real deterrent right now in media consumption, which is that discomfort must be discredited. And that is how we find ourselves in our silos. That’s how we cannot bridge the divide. And so, I appreciate your consistent counsel, that feeling a little bit uncomfortable with a different perspective is okay. That should be normal because there is no one way through any political landscape in any conceivable format where all of this is right and all of this is wrong.

Sarah: Nobody has a monopoly. Nobody has a monopoly on being right.

Jen: No!

Sarah: You shouldn’t in politics or news. If you’re always comfortable, I’m concerned.

Jen: Yes, exactly.

Sarah: I’m concerned if you’re always comfortable. I’ll be honest with you: if you’re never bumping up against your own biases, your own prejudice, where your own misunderstanding, where you didn’t have all the facts—this has happened for me over and over and over again.


Beth: When we do this podcast, because I adopted a party line and I brought the zeal of the converted, and over and over again, I have to bump up and, Wait, why do I care about this so strongly?

Jen: Totally, 100%.

BethI think I totally misunderstood this. I did not have any experience with this, so I just adopted the party line. And that led to some really backwards thinking on my part.

Jen: I appreciate that humility.

Beth: That’s hard work. But it’s so important.

Jen: It is. I mean, I honestly think this is the linchpin right there. Like, that is the place where if we are willing to sort of humbly and generously approach our own politics and convictions and listen with, I’m going to believe the best in you at first, just would change everything.

Jen:  You guys are a brain trust for me and your listeners on all things political. So there’s a few things I’d like to talk to you about. Because sometimes these things are confusing or complicated. And obviously, these are things that the country is going to start talking about, again, a lot frequently—and they matter, they’re important—really soon in this cycle.

So here’s the first one. Can you talk to us a little bit about the Electoral College? Why is it still around? And because there’s some buzz around the Electoral College right now. And why does voting even matter in a world that has the Electoral College where it’s not “each vote counts”?

Beth: So this is fun news for a lot of Americans. Our constitution does not give us the right to vote as individuals. The constitution says that our president gets elected by states, and states get to decide how they’re going to award their Electoral College votes. And most states have decided to do that through a popular vote, where they either take the results of the popular vote and give all of their Electoral College votes to that person, or where they award them proportionately—a couple of states do that. So if 56% voted for this candidate, and 44& voted for the other candidate, that’s how they’re going to apportion their Electoral College votes.

And so that happens because we’re a republic. That’s why it’s still around, that we still believe in that state structure.

Sarah and I have some disagreement—we see the Electoral College a little bit differently. But we did talk about this recently, and we came to a compromise. Sarah, you want to tell her about the compromise?

Sarah: Yeah, I definitely feel differently. I’m just going to throw back to previously when I said my first presidential election was 2000.

Jen: Okay, right.

Sarah: So I’ve voted in five presidential elections. I’ve voted with the popular vote winner four times, and I’ve seen my candidate serve twice. So that’s frustrating, and it can feel very disempowering.

So for me, the importance of voting even in this system is because I want to participate in the system, even if I feel like it needs to have systematic change. And the systematic change can come in a lot of different ways. And so when we started thinking about this, I knew we’d disagree. And so I was really interested that we came to this compromise.

So there’s a movement right now called the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact. And what that is is states can individually pass legislation that says, “Once enough states sign on to this compact—” and I’ve heard a number Beth, you remember the number?

Beth: I don’t.

Sarah: It’s like 218. I don’t know the exact number of electoral votes. But once enough states get to this threshold, then we all pledge our electoral votes to the popular vote winner. So it’s a really interesting concept, right?

Jen: Kind of a hybrid, almost?

Sarah: Yeah, it is because it’s, and I think what appeals about this to Beth is that it’s the states making the decision. It’s not the federal government coming in and saying, “We’re not going to use Electoral College anymore.” It’s states saying, “We’re going to use it. We’re going to participate in it a different way, and every state is deciding.”

And so once they get to that certain threshold, then it would basically be a popular vote, because enough states would have signed on that said, “We’re going to go with the popular vote.” So you wouldn’t see what happened in 2016, where you have giant states and the margin is so thin, where the votes were, you know these swing states, the vote margin was thin when it wouldn’t really matter, because they would be going with the popular vote if they’d signed on to this compact, no matter what.

So they’ve taken off in the last, not surprisingly, since 2016, a lot more states have signed on. Interestingly enough, Nevada, I think. was about to push them over, and the Democratic governor of Nevada vetoed the legislation.

Jen: Interesting.

Sarah: Yeah, I don’t know if they’re going to override it. But I mean, I think that’s a good . . . If we’re concerned about states and the states are making the decision but eventually we get to a popular vote situation, which is very much what I want.
Jen: And how do you feel about that sort of proposal, Beth?

Beth: I do like it, because states are making the decision. I think it’s important to preserve states and the rights of states and the interests of states. And I think that abolishing the Electoral College walks away from some realities that were important to the compromise that led to all of our states coming together in one nation.

But I also understand why people feel so frustrated and so disempowered. And so I think this is a way to say that the national popular vote matters, and what our neighbors care about matters to us. And so we’re going to voluntarily band together this kind of really rings a lot of bells for me because I like action that is voluntary, not coerced. And so to me, this is saying, “We’re going to voluntarily care what our neighbors think, and enter into this pact to have our Electoral College votes reflect the national popular vote.”

Jen: So staying in this vein, a couple of months ago, the Supreme Court made a pretty big ruling on gerrymandering, which is kind of a big deal. And so I wonder if you can explain what is gerrymandering? Like, what is it? Why does it matter so much? Why do people care about this right now? And what do you see as solutions?

Beth: Gerrymandering has been around since the 1800s. There was a newspaper that saw a district shaped like a salamander. And that’s why we call it “gerrymandering.”

Jen: That’s right.

Beth: There are three kinds of gerrymandering that the Supreme Court has taken up in recent years, and two of them the court says it has an ability to help with and one it doesn’t.

So, one type of gerrymandering is racial gerrymandering, where legislators have looked at a state and tried to pack districts or dilute districts based on race. And the Supreme Court says, “That is not allowed under our constitution. That violates your equal protection rights under the 14th amendment.”

Another type is where legislators manipulate the numbers in districts based on, like, really outdated census data, for example. And the way they apportion the districts deprives people of their vote mattering as much as their neighbors, not in terms of who they vote for and who actually gets elected, but in terms of actually how they’re represented in the district. And the supreme court also says, “That’s a no and federal courts can come in and say so.”

The third kind is where the Supreme Court has said, “We can’t do this.” And that is pure partisan gerrymandering, where people are frustrated, because the number of legislators or representatives from their states don’t match the breakdown of partisan sentiment in this state, right? Where actual votes for parties don’t produce proportional representation. And the Supreme Court says, “Sorry, guys. That is just pure politics, and we don’t have jurisdiction to interfere.”

And the opinion in this is really interesting to follow. It’s been widely criticized, lots of discussion about it. It was a 5-4 decision on what we think of as party lines. But the court talked about how, like, “The question here is fairness, and here are five versions of what might be fair. And that’s why we as a court aren’t good at these kinds of decisions. We really need citizens and legislators to get it together on this front.”

Sarah: It’s really interesting because as someone who wanted a different decision, I mean, you will see where we’re getting into “one person, one vote.” You’re seeing cities where you have . . . Like, it’s basically a majority-minority state. So the majority of voters in the state by pure numbers are Democrats, but the majority of representatives are Republicans or vice versa. And it’s really frustrating.

And I think what’s frustrating about this decision is what had been preventing the Supreme Court from getting involved—and I get it—is, “How are we going to do this where it’s not political, we’re just not handing the advantage back to the other side?” But with the advent of computers, there had been a lot of really interesting ways to do this. Like, just let a computer do it. We had algorithms and geographic insurance that we could just let a computer and so a lot of people thought, “Okay, well, they’ll have an out. They’ll say, ‘Okay, well, now we found a way.’”

This was something, Justice Kennedy, before he left the court, seemed to be leaning towards, like, “If you can show me a fair way to do this where it’s not courts drawing the line, I might be interested.” And so there was this, “Let’s let computers draw the line.” Alas, it didn’t happen.

Jen: Mm-hmm. What do you see as next steps here? I was watching a segment on gerrymandering history on CBS Sunday Morning, because apparently I’m 69 years old.

Sarah: That show is fantastic!

Jen: Thank you!

Sarah: I’ve been watching it since I was a kid. No way, that’s the best.

Jen: Okay same. Brandon’s like, “Explain to me the set design.”

I’m like, “Brandon, don’t mess with CBS Sunday Morning.”

Sarah: It’s soothing!

Jen: Thank you. It’s soothing, literally the word I said. It’s soothing.

Anyway, I was watching a segment on gerrymandering. I just turned to Brandon and went, “How did this ever happen? Like, who ever decided, ‘We are going to engineer the most wonky, ridiculous district lining to get what we want?’” I honestly can’t believe it was ever approved in the first place. It feels so anti-democratic.

Do you think this will move into a new phase of its reform? Do you think this is what the Supreme Court has handed down? Is this now settled? Or do you see this rolling forward into a new space kind of with a different idea, maybe?

Sarah: What you’re seeing with gerrymandering, what you’re seeing with the Electoral College, what you’re seeing with a lot of things is that the system is trying to protect itself and the status quo, which for better or for worse, was set up and has been used for a long time to protect certain power-owning groups.

I mean, don’t forget, use to the Senate was elected by states, like, the state senate and state houses. I can’t remember—it’s one or the other. But people weren’t electing their senator—it was the state bodies. And we had a big progressive movement when the Industrial Age came along, and people were like, “You know what? I’ve got some more power than I thought I did. And this doesn’t work for me anymore.”

And so I think what you’re seeing is that another phase of that. We don’t like the way this works, and we have more of an ability to organize because of the internet and to assert our opinion, say, “I don’t like this, and it doesn’t seem very democratic to me, and I want it to change.”

So I think you’ll see this is a setback, for sure. But I think you’ll see that surge of interest in state legislation like the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact, where we’ll say, “Okay, well, fine. We’ll just get it done another way.”

Beth: Just real quick, I see it a little bit differently. I don’t see this decision as a set back as much as a call to action. Because the truth about gerrymandering, whether it’s been done by Democrats or Republicans, is that it protects incumbents.

Jen: Yes. Right.

Beth: And [when] we all understand that, the better we can exercise our power at the voting booth. And I also think that voter registration is the way to deal with this.

So few people vote that gerrymandering is pretty easy. You look at historic data, and the same people are reliably voting—that’s why they’re able to predict these districts so accurately. If we had 10–15%, more people voting every year, I think we’ll see different results. I think we’ll dilute the effect of gerrymandering, and I think we’ll take some of the power back.

Jen: That’s interesting.

Speaking of that, that’s a great segue because another big topic on the books right now is voter ID laws. And so I wonder if you can talk to us, both of you about which states are making waves right now by changing their laws, kicking people off the polls. What’s going on here? I’d like to hear your take on this. And then just as an addendum, how do we check if we are still registered to vote because people might be surprised.

Sarah: Well, you definitely want to go to your local secretary of state’s website. The ease of use definitely varies by state. But all states have a website that you can go on and check and see where you’re registered, and to check the requirements, and whether you’re meeting the requirements, polling places and all that very, very important information.

There’s also a lot of just national websites where you can plug that and then find it as well.

Beth: You just want to be careful about those national websites because your secretary of state is going to have the most accurate information. And if they don’t give you data, call the office. Some states don’t make this easy on the websites, but call the office. It’s their job to let you know if you’re registered, when’s the deadline to change your party registration—which is really important if you’re in a state with closed primaries, you need to find out that too. Can I vote in this primary if I want to or not? And how far in advance do I have to make that decision? So this is one to do very far in advance of an election.

Jen: Yeah, absolutely.

Talk to me a little bit about voter ID laws that are being either reversed or introduced that have a real effect on voters. Why are they happening? I wonder if you could just speak frankly about it? And what do you suggest is our entry point for engagement here?

Sarah: So I love the way the ACLU put this, which is, “Voter ID requirements are a solution in search of a problem.” The idea that we have in-person voter fraud, and it’s this massive epidemic, it’s just there’s—

Jen: There’s no data.

Sarah: No data to back it. None. It says a recent study in 2000 found out there were 31 credible allegations of voter impersonation. I mean, do you know a lot of people who have time to go pretend they’re somebody else and risk a felony to cast a vote? Just not a thing. But what [voter ID laws] are is, they’re a form of intimidation. They’re a form of voter suppression.

And I think this is very, very difficult to think about if you don’t have experience outside, particularly of a white middle-class experience. If you’ve never had run ins with government authorities that left you feeling intimidated, left you arrested, left you, like . . . It’s a hard thing to say, if you’ve always trusted the government, and you’ve never had run ins with the government or the police to say, “What’s the big deal with presenting your ID?”

Not to mention that a lot of people don’t have IDs. A lot of people don’t have the right photo identification, or IDs cost money.

Beth: They don’t have an address.

Jen: An address, right.

Sarah: They don’t even have an address. This is one where we have to step a little bit out of our own experiences a lot to understand why this is intimidating, and why it’s problematic. It’s why you see in minority districts, signs go up that say, “They’ll get you for back child support if you show up to vote,” or, “They’ll get you for this fee if you show up to vote.” It’s just intimidation, and it’s a form of protecting the status quo, and to keep historically suppressed populations out of the system, and to keep them from participating.

Jen: Mm-hmm, yep. Any thoughts, Beth?

Beth: I think that’s right. And I think if you care about this, and want to know what you can do, there are lots of things you can do. Your church or nonprofit organization or business could say, “Hey, if you don’t have an address, you can use ours.”

You can work with indigenous groups that are trying to make sure that tribal citizens have the ID that they need to vote because this issue has very seriously impacted Native Americans.

There are lots of ways that you can get involved. Again, this is a thing that cannot wait till the election. So if this issue speaks to your heart and feels like your work, I would start googling “voter outreach efforts” in your state now, so that you can help make a difference for people in time for them to be able to vote. You could just check with your secretary of state or your local clerk’s office and say, “Is there a fund for people who can’t pay fees to get these IDs? I’d like to contribute to it.” There are lots of ways to help.

Jen: Yeah, those are great solutions. Thank you. I hadn’t thought of half those.

Jen: So last time, when you were on the podcast last fall, we talked a little bit about your then-upcoming book, I Think You’re Wrong (But I’m Listening). You know that I love, well, all of it. I love the title, brilliant. Love the book, specifically, now that I have read it from cover to cover, endorsed it, all of it, love it.

So talk for just a minute about the book, and what you are hoping that your readers are walking away with when they close the last page.

Sarah: Well, a prior warning to everyone is always if you say, “I know just who needs that book,” it’s you. You need the book—spoiler.

Jen: That’s great.

Sarah: It’s not a guideline to convince the family member you’re always fighting with to believe just like you do. It’s not what the book is.

The first half of the book it says start with you. You have to start with your inner work. You have to think through your values, you have to do what I was talking about earlier, which is say, Okay, wait, where did I just put on the jersey, adopt the party line and not think through where my experience is lacking? Or, I don’t understand what I’m talking about, or, I don’t understand the history.

And that’s really, really hard. We say, “It’s not complicated. It’s just hard. It’s simple. It’s just not easy.” And it’s a practice. I mean, you just have to do it over and over and over again and keep engaging.

It’s a long game. We’re not going to have one conversation—one grace-filled conversation, even—and say, “We fixed it. We’re good.” This is something that you have to do. Because you have to stumble, you have to get mad and yell and realize, Oh wait, that didn’t help me. It hurt the relationship. And then try get up the next day and do it again. You have to misspeak and realize you’ve hurt somebody else, or that your perspective was lacking and face that vulnerability and understand, Okay, I did it, the sun came up, let me try again.

Jen: That’s good.

Sarah: That’s what we really are trying to get at, that this can be . . . When we say we built a friendship around politics, that’s what we’re trying to convey. But also, that politics, talking about politics, particularly with people in your life who you love and trust who disagree with you, can be a path to self growth. It doesn’t have to be this oppressive experience in which we all leave a little less than where we started.

That’s not what we do on Pantsuit Politics. That’s not been my experience over the last three years. It has been that I engage with someone who is different from me, and I understand her better, I understand myself better, I understand the world better, and that I’m a better, more empathetic, more vulnerable, more engaged citizen because of that.

Jen: It’s great. I mean, that’s perfect. That’s exactly how I experienced the both of you, and the shared work that you put out into the world. And it’s just so refreshing to hear you say that because, I mean, there’s just a trope out there that goes along with complicated political conversations, which is that it is unequivocally a dumpster fire.
And so even just hearing you say, “There’s another possibility, there is a possibility for like human connection, for empathy and for personal growth.” I mean, it’s just a completely different storyline than what we have around politics. And I appreciate it so much this hard work that you have both done and continue to do. It’s such a good example for the rest of us.

So dialing into that just a little bit, into sort of the ethos of the way that you connect and talk in front of all of us, do you have some specific tips for how the rest of us can talk to somebody that we disagree with, even vehemently? I mean, even passionately alongside and either side of an issue. How do we explain our perspective? And then more importantly, how do we listen without just our heads like blowing off of our shoulders, right? And then finally, on the end of that, is there a time just to walk away from it? I’d love to hear your thoughts on that.

Beth: You know our book is about approaching politics from a relational perspective, instead of a transactional perspective. Everything politically is transactional. “If you say the thing I like, then I’ll vote for you. If you do this compromise in this legislation we’ll give you that.” Even in our personal relationships, “I’m going to talk to you because I want you to ultimately walk away and agree with me, I want to persuade you.”

And what we’re saying is, “Let’s just walk back and change the goal. Let’s make the goal to learn and to be closer to one another.”

And if you will just change the goal and walk into [a political] conversation not to persuade, but to grow, you’re going to have a completely different discussion.

It’s not always easy. And there are times when you have to walk away if you feel threatened, if your identity is being disrespected. Sometimes we just know like, “I’m not capable of growing right now. I’m too emotionally invested.” That’s all right, we’re all human, then walk away, but then commit to coming back and doing it again, if it’s with a person, who does uphold your identity, and from whom you can learn something and grow.

Sarah: And I want to say, I want to add one thing, and Beth’s been so good at articulating this and helping me think through this: there are people who are called to be uncomfortable so that other people can feel safe.

I have a lot of privilege in my identity. And there are a lot of people who I say . . . you know, we went on a radio show, and we were talking about this, and this one woman was furious. “Children are at risk at the border and people are at risk, and you want me to be nice?” No, I’m not calling on anybody who feels threatened by those issues to engage in a conversation with someone who is fundamentally disrespecting their identity.

But for me, I have a privilege that I can walk into some spaces, and I have some relatives who if I do not disrupt that narrative, nobody will. They will engage with media that agrees with them, they will engage with people who agree with them. And I’m not even trying to change their mind. But if I don’t show up and say, “That’s not my experience. I don’t see it that way,” they don’t ever hear that.

And to me, that is so important to just disrupt them in a way. Just to say, “Hey, I love you and you know I don’t hate America and I don’t see it that way.” And to me, like, that’s just really important work that we just decided it’s too hard, everybody gets mad. And so we let it go. And we ceded that territory.

I see it with my own father who has very, very different political opinions. And the longer I go without engaging with him, the angrier he gets.

Jen: Hmm, interesting.

Sarah: If I talk to him regularly, we have better conversations. The longer I go, and then we pick it back up, the stakes are higher, he’s madder. I can just feel the shift in him. When I wasn’t there going, “Uh-uh. Uh-uh. Uh-uh,” and I just . . . That’s so important.

Jen: I appreciate you saying that. And I appreciate you bringing in the notion of privilege, because in so many ways, the way that we are able to engage politically is a function of our privilege. Whether how close or distant we can be, how objective or not we can be, especially as both of you just mentioned, when it’s deeply related into identity. So I thank you for just saying that out loud, that some of us by nature of just how and where and who we were born to have a greater degree of responsibility to be uncomfortable.

The onus is on us when it comes to policies that affect lives and human people and where power is unevenly distributed. So I thank you for saying that.

And I know you’ve just spent a whole lot of time saying that this is not what you do. And this is not why you do it. However, have either of you ever successfully changed someone’s mind on an issue? Or has somebody changed yours? Like, have you engaged something with somebody from a different sort of ideological space and you went, You know what, I think I’ve switched on this?

Beth: Every conversation I have with Sarah changes me, every single one. There is not a time when I get up from the microphone after we talk about something seeing the issue we started on in exactly the same way.

There are big shifts that I can identify, things like coming to understand that just the data doesn’t support trickle down economics as a theory. We tried, it didn’t work. Okay, I can move on from that. I’m not going to live and die on that hill.

So there are big changes like that I can identify. But I think the bigger thing is constantly coming to understand that Sarah loves America too. And Sarah loves freedom too, and liberty. Her interest in fairness comes from a lot of the same places that my interest in fairness comes from.

The fact that we view what fair means differently sometimes or view what freedom means differently sometimes, that’s good, and that’s healthy, and it’s helpful. And I think she just teaches me to listen to a lot of different perspectives other than my own, and come to see that what I believe is enabling most people to have the greatest opportunity isn’t always true, because I don’t fully understand how that opportunity comes to people who are different than me. And I think Sarah has just been a really important teacher for me on that issue.

Jen: It’s great. I love that answer.

Sarah: And I would say absolutely the same. Let me put a disclaimer out here. Okay, I’m an Enneagram One. I want to feel self-righteous.

Jen: Sure.

Sarah: I want there to be two choices, and one of them will be correct. Okay?

Jen: I love it.

Sarah: And it’s not only that, but it’s my personal obligation sure to convince and to fix it.

Jen: Sure.

What are you Beth, by the way?

Beth: I’m a two.

Jen: Yeah, of course. That’s exactly what I was going to say.

Sarah: Beth, pretty early in the podcast, she identified this shockingly brilliant metaphor for the left and the right. Not shockingly, because it was brilliant from her just like it’s just so . . . How come anybody hasn’t identified and illustrated this way? Because it’s just so good.

She said that depending on what we’re talking about, whether it’s the government or the corporation, or like the market, I’m the gas and she’s the brakes or vice versa. So when it comes to the government, I’m the gas. And she’s the brakes. I’m like, “Okay, if a government can do it, let’s do it. Let’s bring the power of the federal government to every problem we got. I’m ready. Let’s do it.” And she’s the brakes going, “Yeah, but how would you feel . . .”

The other day, she said, “How would you feel about government run-health care under a Trump administration?” And I can’t stop thinking about that question.

Jen: That’s great. Yeah.

Sarah: So it’s gas and breaks. But if it’s the market, she’s like, “Gas, let’s do it. Let’s let the market dry.” And I’m like, “Remember Facebook? That didn’t go so great.” So let’s think about some brakes here. And then what I love about the gas and the brakes is there’s not one perfect answer every time.

You can’t drive a car with all gas or with all brakes, you’ve got to have both. And when we think about each other like that, as pushing and balancing each other, as opposed to, “I need to be in charge 100% of the time because I have a monopoly on the right approach,” or “They are the enemy and they absolutely should never be in charge, which is just not realistic in a democracy,” then it helps me orient myself.

Jen: So one more question, then we’ll sort of wrap it up. Obviously, 2020 elections coming up. I’d love to hear your predictions. What do you think is going to happen? I know it’s early. We’re early in the season. Everything’s just a guess, really. But I’m curious [about] your predictions and what you hope to see from both candidates and from voters?

Sarah: Oh, Lord, we were so wrong last time, Beth.

Jen: Well, everyone was. So . . .

Sarah: That’s true.

Beth: Well, I think my first prediction is that people are going to start running out of money. And so some of this energy on the Democratic side is going to have to consolidate. It’s just not sustainable to have this many people who want to be the President of these United States.

Jen: I’m overwhelmed.

Beth: So people are going to run out of money.

I think what would be great for America is to emerge with kind of a representative of each lane in the Democratic primary. You know, the Republican Party has so martialed the support of the president to the point of even disbanding its debate committee. I had hoped so long for a Republican challenger to the president. I don’t think that’s going to happen.

So I think it would be great in the Democratic field if you sort of had one candidate who is just leading-edge progressive. I think that’s Elizabeth Warren, but you know, the Bernie [Sanders] people will disagree with me, but I think that’s her. I think it would be great to have one like Barack Obama-esque inspirational figure for me. That’s Pete Buttigieg.

I think one sort of moderate person, whether it’s [Joe] Biden or [Amy] Klobuchar or somebody like John Delaney—I don’t think he’ll get enough steam to be that person. But one sort of moderate person. And then the person who feels like they could really take the fight to Trump. For me, that’s Kamala Harris.

And if the field could kind of whittle down to those options where people could see them in starker relief, and really hear from them and think through, Who is best to represent this party in the next election? I think that would be a great, robust conversation for the country to have.

Jen: Hmm, that’s awesome. I love that. What do you think?

Sarah: I was just listening to a podcast. And the host was saying that he often feels like demographic change is driving so much, but that the culture is like 10 years in front of that demographic change, and the politics is about 10 years behind that demographic change because of the way people vote based on their age.

And I think that we’re just in this really intense period where, for better or for worse, America is dealing with a lot of big demographic changes. The first black president, first female Speaker of the House. But in other countries, they really tear it apart. And on a note of grace, that doesn’t seem to happen here. It feels like it sometimes. But we are still functioning.

Jen: That’s right.

Sarah: So I think we have to give ourselves some grace and to say there’s a lot going on in America: demographically, technologically, on a global level, with our economy, with our education. All our institutions are standing on this very, very shaky ground that’s shifting in big, big ways.

And as we’re thinking through all these questions and big changes, what does it mean to be an American? What does an American look like? But I think as we’re looking at all these things as Americans to give ourselves some grace for what we’re facing, and that what we’re trying to tackle. We’ve always had the best tools and for better or for worse, we’re in it together. We’re in it together.

Jen: Okay, three just quickies, right off the top. Just whatever comes to mind. Zippy answers here we go. I want to hear from both of you. And we’ll start with you, Beth.

So who’s a truth teller that you admire? Anyone? Like it can be from history or someone current, someone modern.

BethRepresentative Justin Amash.

Jen: Hmm. And quickly why?

Beth: Because he is the only Republican member of Congress who has been willing to say, “I read the Muller report and troubled by it. I think Congress has a responsibility to take some action.”

Jen: That’s great. What about you, Sarah?

Sarah: I think every day about the note . . . I’m going to get teary. The note over Rachel Held Evans’ desk. It said “tell the truth.” I think about her dedication to telling the truth almost every day.

Jen: Oh, I do love that so much. Same. Driving force for me also.

Okay, how about this. Who’s one of the most insightful thinkers right now to you? Someone who is speaking and you’re like, “When you’re talking, I’m listening.”

Beth: For me, it’s Megan Garber at The Atlantic. She writes so thoughtfully, particularly about the #MeToo movement and everything tangential to it. And I think she’s really good at saying, “This is hard. It is challenging. Every situation is not the same.” I think she does so well at getting past sort of “call out” culture and into what’s really going on, so I want to read everything she writes.

Jen: Fabulous. Sarah?

Sarah: I should give credit to the podcast host I was just talking about Ezra Klein, that’s who. I think he’s having some of the deepest conversations about some of the changes in our culture, in our politics. He is not perfect. Beth kind of rolls her eyes when I say that—

Beth: Not kind of, I do, a lot.

Jen: Just like all the way roll, uh huh.

Sarah: I listen to him and I feel him pushing people and saying, “This part doesn’t make sense to me. This is what I’m thinking about.” And you know in his last podcast, he did use the word “grace,” which you don’t hear a lot in political punditry. So I’ll listen to every conversation on his podcast. I like him a lot.

Jen: Awesome. All right, last question. You guys have answered this for me before. What is saving your life right now?

Beth: Okay, listen, this is an eye-rolly answer.

Jen: That’s fine.

Beth: But it’s calligraphy.

Jen: Did you say calligraphy?

Beth: Yes. I’m learning how to write.

Jen: You have to tell us more. Are you?

Beth: Yes. And the reason is, there’s something very meditative about it. Hot yoga is like this. Like, when you’re doing hot yoga, you cannot think about anything else. You’re just surviving. I needed a low-intensity version of hot yoga.

Jen: I see what you’re saying.

Beth: So when you’re doing calligraphy, like, those really thin strokes, you just can’t be thinking about anything else, or it’s not going to happen. And it’s just this really nice, contained, beautiful Zen practice for me.

Jen: Oh my gosh, that is so fabulous. That’s so old fashioned and lovely. That’s a great answer.

Okay, how about you, Sarah?

Sarah: So I have not worn a swimsuit in probably four or five years.

Jen: Sarah!

Sarah: I wear a rash guard and swim leggings, hat, long sleeves, pants. So it literally might be saving my life from cancer. I think “literally” is applicable.

Here’s what I realized: the amount of energy I spend trying not to get sunburned—I’m very pale—was massive. Well, just taking it off my plate is huge.

And here’s something else I realized that I think is even almost more important than the whole skin cancer aspect. Okay, I’m 37 years old. I’ve had three nine-pound babies, and I’m never getting the bikini wax again as long as I live, okay?

Jen: Yeah.

Sarah: And so with the swim leggings, like, I can get in and out of the inner tube at the waterpark. I can climb in and out of a pontoon boat worry free. I’m just worry free. It is the truest expression of freedom.

Jen: Just the greatness.

Sarah: I cannot even tell you. Get on board, people. Swimsuits are a lie. They’re the worst! The worst things.

Jen: That’ll never be repeated. Like, nobody else is ever going to say that to the answer to that question for the rest of this podcast life.

Please tell me you have a picture of yourself in your full garb to send that we can put on the transcript page for this podcast?

Sarah: Absolutely I do. Absolutely. You know it.

Jen: It’s just so you, like, you are just doing you at the local pool.

Sarah: It’s amazing. I’m free!

Jen: You’re free. Love it.

And I love both of you guys. I thank you so much for who you are and how you are and your work in the world right now. It matters more than ever, ever, ever. I, with absolutely no reserve and no chill, send everybody to you. Like, all my listeners, no matter where they are on the spectrum, no matter what their ideology is, I’m like, “Please tell me you are listening to Sarah and Beth.” And I just find you such trustworthy guides right now.

And that matters to me. It matters that I’m putting leaders like you in front of my community. And so you’re just stuck with me, sorry not sorry. That’s just what it is.

Sarah: We cannot adore you more. Let’s not forget about the major therapy session we had when you came on our podcast the first time, where Sarah cried, like, a lot.
Jen: It’s fine.

I appreciate you guys. Thanks for coming on again as my second only repeat episode since the podcast’s beginning. It’s just not going to be the end. We’ll have you on again.

Sarah: We adore you.

Jen: Thank you, guys.

Beth: Thank you, Jen.

Jen: What a good conversation. I cannot tell you how much I learn from those girls. I mean, like deep in my soul, I listen to them. And something in my inner workings just reroutes. I appreciate them so much for their example, for their counsel.

Anyway. Go over to their podcast, for heaven’s sake, and subscribe.

Their book, what a fabulous tool. Like, this is just good for us right now. As we’re looking around at the nation and going, “We are so fractured. How are we ever, ever going to find a path forward?” I think their example and their leadership is one way. And so always proud to put leaders like them in front of you. And grateful for them.

More to come in this series like this. I promise you that this series is meant to be a third way. And how do we become responsible listeners? How do we develop media literacy? How do we move forward in a way where we are not being manipulated, but rather, we are driving our own ships? This is my goal for this series. And I’m telling you that the guests are absolutely going to deliver.

So you’re not going to want to miss any of these episodes in this entire series. We are so excited about it and proud of it.

So subscribe, you guys, if you haven’t already. It’ll take you 12 seconds to subscribe to the podcast, and it’ll just show up for you. You don’t do any work for that at all, and you’ll have me and my guests right there in your device week after week without having to do any work. And we appreciate all of you who have reviewed and rated us. You’re the greatest listening community.

So thanks for being here week in and week out, and for being such supporters of the show. My entire team is grateful. So on behalf of Laura and her entire team, and Amanda and I, we love to bring this to you we can week in and week out and we thank you for your loyalty.

See you next week, guys.

Narrator: That’s it for today’s show. Hope you enjoyed this chat. Be sure to subscribe to my mom’s podcast and give it a “thumbs up” rating if you like it. From the whole Hatmaker family, hope you have a great week and see you next time!

connect with beth silvers:


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connect with pantsuit politics:


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