Village SquareCast

Respect, Rebel, Repeat: Subversive Friendships for Divided Times

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Episode notes

Back in the day, many political foes were friends in real life—hanging out for a beer after a tough legislative floor fight, attending their kids’ weddings over the weekends. It’s a sure sign of the times when any across-the-aisle friends that still exist out there in the wild tend to keep their friendship on the down low, in case they’d be accused of fraternizing with “the enemy.” From the halls of Congress to our hometown, this makes becoming or staying bipartisan friends an act of straight up rebellion against the toxic and divided culture we find ourselves in.

We chat with one such pair of fantastically dissimilar friends, Dr. Jacob Hess (who has been an influential force for The Village Square) and Village Square Founder Liz Joyner. Jacob and Liz have been rebelling together for about a decade now, and they’re not only convinced liberals and conservatives are better together but they are obstinately bound and determined to buck the stultifying groupthink and start a trend.

Jacob is the co-author of “You’re Not as Crazy as I thought (but you’re still wrong).” Dr. Hess works at a tech company that makes apps to overcome pornography addiction, chemical dependency, and depression, and is Editor-in-Chief at Public Square Magazine and writes for the Deseret News on the peace-building beat.

Funding for this program was provided through a grant from Florida Humanities with funds from the National Endowment for the Humanities.