Episode 21
E21
Burning Man Live | Episode 21 | 10|21|2020

Vote Hard with The Voter Party

Guests: Mark Rosenberg aka Winkel

The U.S. trails most developed countries in voter turnout. The thought that your vote doesn’t matter, or that there’s no good choice – some say that thought is manufactured or perpetuated to prevent people from exercising their power. Some say voting is not fun. Stuart and Logan discuss voter apathy, voter ho-hum, and creative solutions to election spectators. 

They talk with Mark Rosenberg, aka Winkel, from The Voter Party. Inspired by the participatory culture of Burning Man, TheVoterParty.org teaches individuals how to use art, music, and costuming to get out the vote in their communities. Creative canvassing, fun friendbanking, polling place performances, and the option for de-escalation should the need arise.

TheVoterParty.org

Our guests

Mark Rosenberg (aka Winkel) is the CEO and co-founder of The Voter Party, a non-profit get out the vote organization. Since 2000, he has operated Winkel Studio, a film, photo and event loft in DUMBO, Brooklyn. He co-founded The Lunatarium, an underground warehouse venue in DUMBO Brooklyn.

Transcript

STUART: Welcome back everyone. To another episode of the thing we call Burning Man LIVE. Yes, it is election season here in the United snakes of America. I’m Stuart Mangrum. I’m here with my friend Logan Mirto.

LOGAN: Hey everybody. Hey Stuart. How you doing?

STUART: I’m doing okay. But, uh, well actually, no, I’m full of anxiety right now.
With the looming decision, 2020 on top of everything else. So I think it is appropriate that we do a show about voting, right?

LOGAN: Yeah, we’re getting bombarded in every direction, these days with stuff about the election. And why should we be the exception to that? You turned into some Burning Man podcast and you, you should hear about what’s going on in the world, cause it’s going on in our world.

Right? It’s all part of the thing.

STUART: Right. Our world’s here in the US, so apologies in advance to our international audience. And we know that a lot of you out there last time I checked, it was about one in four. You may have read, this is kind of an important election for us here in the US maybe not so much for you, but come to think of it, maybe for you too.

I want to also apologize in advance for anybody who thinks they’re going to be getting the official Burning Man approved voting guide, because that’s not what this is about.

LOGAN: And yeah, it would be something. If we had one of those, that’s something I actually go look for every year because I, as involved as I have become over the years, I find that I’m still always seeking out some sort of last minute education on the best decisions I can make, you know, and I haven’t always been honestly, all that involved.

I haven’t always been too keen to get involved with voting. That’s what made me interested in doing an episode about this is because my interest in it and my enthusiasm for it is relatively fresh.

STUART: So not a lifelong voter. You missed a few.

LOGAN: I missed a few. And in fact, I, and this is a weird confession to make, but I honestly just used to outsource my voting to people that I thought when knew what was going on.

I would go to friends of mine and say, Hey, show me what you would do here. And just. So that I was still getting it counted. I wasn’t wasting my vote. I was just kind of adding to theirs and letting them have the voice because, you know, honestly for a long time I couldn’t be bothered and it’s a discouraging process and it is, it’s been traditionally hard to be enthusiastic about it at different points in my life.

So for me, you know, this election in particular, I am enthusiastic and I’m more motivated than ever before. And I think that may be the case for a lot of people.

STUART: Well, I grew up in a family where voting was considered, not just a, a right, but a duty. My parents, God bless them were at opposite poles of the political spectrum.

They voted and proudly canceled out each other’s votes every year, but they voted every year. So I, I finished the, not miss one in 18, but I know it’s tough. Right? It’s tough not to get jaded, cynical to think that your vote doesn’t matter. Uh, I mean, you just look at voter turnout in 2008 to 2016. I think it went from 70% to like 55%.

A lot of people decided to, I don’t know what they decided, but if that happens again, uh, I think we’re in trouble, but as a burner, is there anything in the burner, ethos that you think has to do with politics or getting involved in public policy?

LOGAN: Well it certainly can. Right. I mean, try to look at this through the lens of the 10 Principles.

I was thinking about this. There’s Radical Inclusion from the perspective of parties and doesn’t pick a side, nonpartisan, public facing entities. So, and we’re that way, not only because there’s no one position or voice that speaks for everyone in Burning Man or everyone at Black Rock City, but also because being radically inclusive means including other points of view, not their positions.

And so that’s, that was the thing that really stood out for me. And Participation, of course, you know, because myself slowly over time learning to garner my own enthusiasm towards participating in the process was something, my head went straight to civic responsibility, and I would thought that was the thing.

But when I actually looked at the principle of Civic Responsibility and read through the language, I found it interesting that it speaks more about the community organization. The language of the civic responsibility of the 10 principles says we value civil society, community members who organize events should presume responsibility for public welfare and endeavor to communicate civic responsibilities to participants.

They must also assume responsibility for conducting events in accordance with local state and federal laws. That is not as. Well, you should be civically responsible as I would have been expecting. And there isn’t a lot of impetus for us to take the notion of civic responsibility out of black rock city and back into the world, which I found a little surprising, but.

Just the bare hand of Civic Responsibility or the time to the title, rather of Civic Responsibility does stand out for me as something important. And so I thought that was an interesting reflection on our own ethos and how that part of it doesn’t exactly translate into the world in the way that one of my thinking does.

STUART: Yeah, it’s interesting. I always keep in mind, the principles were written back in 2004 when our whole world was Black Rock City and it was still. We’re going to write the first half of that as much more about taking care of each other in the sense that we sort of became our own civic authority. And the second part of it is about, you know, lawful behavior, but there’s no law that you have to vote in the United States of America,

LOGAN: But there certainly isn’t and

STUART: The Australians have pretty good luck with it. They get voter turnout close to 80% and it’s just a piddly fine. I think it’s 20 bucks or 50 bucks if you don’t show up to an election, but they treated us. Like I said it was a duty in addition to just being right.

LOGAN: Yeah. As an actual civic responsibility, instead of something that you can opt into. And I think that’s an interesting approach, you know, I’m never one for more governmental fines, but I like the idea of reminding people in some manner that this is part of democracy and that voting is how democracy works and that works best when everyone is able to participate.

STUART: Well, I agree. It is a little draconian, but to me it seems a little bit more in the civic interest than intentionally driving people away from the polls, which happens in some authoritarian systems.

LOGAN: So yeah. I keep seeing things that say, if your vote wasn’t important, they wouldn’t try so hard to suppress it.

Right. The biggest tell right there is that there is so much effort being put into discouraging people and getting people to lean into that apathy that. It obviously has value that we should be paying attention to.

STUART: Yeah. Speaking of blurry, I went back and I remember that he actually did take a stand on a few local elections in say the San Francisco mayoral race.

And I read a speech that he gave back then. And there’s just a paragraph I just want to share because of that gets really germane to our role as citizens and as burners. Larry wrote, you don’t have to feel co-opted. You don’t have to say that things have got too big. That money talks. You don’t have to hide in a subculture and not speak to your neighbors.

Big money. Doesn’t have the power to co-opt us. We can collectively express ourselves. It’s time for people to do what we do every year at Burning Man, don’t be a spectator. Get out there, connect like crazy with people. You don’t even know, tell them that they must participate. And above all, please welcome them home.

And that’s sweet.

LOGAN: That’s fantastic. And that quote actually leads right into our guests today and the efforts that he’s making in the world today, I’m really happy to bring on a gentleman named Mark Rosenberg. AKA Winkel was a long time burner, and he’s going to be talking to us about his project, which is called the voter party and their mission to harness spectacle and enthusiasm to increase voter turnout.

STUART: Cool using some of the methods of the burner in that forum is fantastic. That sounds great. But first. I believe we have a brief word from our sponsor here at Burning Man LIVE. We are huge fans of science. Not that any of us are scientists, unless you count the social sciences, which let’s be honest, are just slightly more scientific than ancient astronaut theory.

SPONSOR: ROUND EARTH SOCIETY

STUART: All right. Let’s see the show. Logan. Let’s talk about our guest

LOGAN: Sounds fantastic. The Voter Party is a nonprofit, get out the vote organization that was formed this year. Their mission is to empower individuals to participate in novel, fun, and engaging voter initiatives or voting initiatives. And operations in their communities.

We try to feature costumes, art, music, gifts, and performances. Voter parties are imbued with the spirit creativity and the generosity of burning men and quote directly from their training videos.

LOGAN: What made you get engaged with dealing with voter turnout and trying to encourage voter turnout? What made you get involved with something like the voter party?

WINKEL: I’ve always been civically engaged back to elementary school, middle school. One thing was definitely the existential dread of the idea of authoritarianism in our country.

But just generally speaking, you guys probably know in 2000 1600 million, 100 million people in this country of voting age did not vote. And whether or not our authoritarianism was online, that’s really bad. Civic engagement is such an important part of the burning man experience. I’ve always been interested in civic engagement and getting communities to engage with one another and forming communities.

I come from an event production background, which is obviously community organizing. I remember. So my first year at burning man, which I think was 2002, I was just completely blown away by the community and the engagement that people had with one another. And the fact that people come together for this beautiful ephemeral experience and everybody works together, and everybody has a shared goal of beauty and creating arts and creating community.

I was completely blown away by that. And then 2004, there were lots of protests going on in New York city. There was the RNC, which was 2004

STUART: Republican National Convention

WINKEL: And there were anti-war protests against Bush. And I really wanted to get Burners involved politically and, you know, regardless of their politics, I just thought it was really important for people to get civically engaged outside of Burning Man producing art play and making protests fun and engaging, which there are lots of people who do that.

And there are lots of Burners. who do the thing and are civically engaged. And they’re awesome. I found was as a general rule, and this is probably more on the East coast than it is on the West coast, but it was really hard to get people engaged in politics and in civics and. You guys were saying this earlier about one of the 10 principles is it was really difficult to get people civically engaged.

And I had this thought of, Oh, well I would have changed the world, but I had to work on my art car. So it’s always been a dream of mine to figure out how to mobilize burners and artists and creative people and getting them engaged to make the world a better place.

LOGAN: So, this has been a really long time coming for you. I didn’t realize that when we were discussing this earlier this week, that’s fantastic. So tell me how your project works. As I understand it, your voter party project is working as an activator, and it’s not that you guys are throwing events. It’s a, you are serving as a touchstone or as an activator for other people who are interested in bringing up their level of engagement and encouraging others.

So if I want to, I approach your organization, cause I want to get more involved.

WINKEL: A touchstone I’ve never. Wow. I feel so important.

STUART: Do you feel, do you feel touched. Or stoned?

LOGAN: One or the other.

WINKEL: The way that it works is somebody signs up. We get in touch with them. We go through the process to figure out what their engagement is going to be.

Are they going to bring a ukulele to the polls? Are they going to bring hula hoops? Are they going to bring an art car? They’re going to bring a fire breathing dragon. So yeah, we have a call with them. Then we put together, we’re trying to create. And this is all going to depend on how many people I get involved.

If it’s too many, it’s going to be a little bit difficult to scale, but it’s very important to us that people go to polling places where they’re going to make a difference. So we’re going to be sending people to the polling places where it makes sense for them to go.

But we’re also, we’re looking to make little pods, pods and people pods.

People pod parts and having folks go in these pods. So they’ll actually meet other people. So it’s like a nice little community thing.

There’s organizations that are actually putting together calendars of all of the places where people are going to be, because there is nationwide efforts. There are many other really wonderful organizations that are doing similar things.

So there’s going to be calendars that will show people where everybody’s going. And we want to put together a little pods of people. And say, okay, for two hours, you’re going to this polling place for two hours. You’re going to go to this polling place. So we’re gonna swap people out. So it’s not 10 hours of somebody doing it, recorders solo.

Um, by the way, anybody, if you play recorder, uh, Please don’t sign up. Nobody likes recorder.

STUART: Come on, come on. Radical Inclusion.

WINKEL: What I meant.

STUART: Was it came from my recorder. Then they came from my accordion. They came from my ballpark, but when bull horns are outlawed, only Outlaws will have bull horns.

LOGAN: So what I’m hearing is that you guys aren’t doing outreach.

You guys are not directly trying to act that other people. People contact you. If they are wanting to up their game, if they’re wanting to bring a bigger presence or a more collective presence, or they want to bring more energy or enthusiasm to the thing, they can come to you. You’ve got a rule set.

You’ve got connections with other groups that are doing this and you can connect them with a larger body of people that are bringing enthusiasm and bringing a little more organization to the experience. Is that correct?

WINKEL: Yeah, we’re, we’re definitely doing outreach. We’re doing focused, paid outreach in, especially in swing States.

That’s where we really need to focus our, our attentions. Yeah. People are definitely reaching out to us, but we want this to be a movement. We want this to be something that goes beyond this election, because yes, this election may be an existential threat, but it’s always been my dream to make something like this happen.

So yeah, we, we’re not stopping. We’re going, we’re going all the way. We’re going to stop in 2030 though, that’s it.

LOGAN: 10 years.

STUART: So if we back up a little bit, you talked about having people decide which polls to go to. So are you saying that going to my local polling place is not necessarily the best thing for me to do?

Where do you think people can have the most impact doing this kind of work?

WINKEL: If your polling place is the only place that you can go. By all means do that. Obviously there’s a lot of locations, especially in neighborhoods that are particularly high in people of color, their efforts to stifle votes and long lines.

I mean, there’s long lines everywhere right now, but especially in neighborhoods where there’s predominantly people of color.

We’re definitely trying to focus on polling places where it will make a difference because there’s going to be long lines. But again, that being said, the whole idea is just to make voting fun.

That’s our goal here is to make voting fun. So if, if you want to go to your polling place and you want to make voting fun there, that’s awesome. Also, you can do this while you’re going to vote, right. Go to your polling place, where costume, bring your ukulele, bring your dog in a costume, bring the Philharmonic, whatever it is, go somewhere, make it fun.

But we are trying to focus attention on polling places where it will actually make a difference. Even if there’s not long lines, just the idea that there’s fun, celebration entertainment. And I hate the term Instagramable and I hate the term buzz-worthy, but the Instagramable nature of it and the fun environment, people are going to put it up on social media and other people that aren’t even there that may not have been planning on voting.

It’s very likely that they’ll actually come out and vote because they want to see the fire breathing dragon, or they want to see. The a seven year old, you know, recorder, a concerto. Uh, nobody wants to see that

LOGAN: A hundred million people sitting out the last presidential election is a really staggering statistic.

And so I like that you’re focused on making it fun, but what I’m hearing is not just fun, right? I’m hearing in places where the lines are hours long. You’re talking about making it not as exhausting in places where perhaps there are. Bits of resistance or bits of agitation or people who are there to actively threaten or discourage and it’s illegal, actively threatened, but for people whose presence is discouraging, what you’re talking about is bringing.

In enthusiasm to the table, it’s being fun to the table. It’s bringing something to combat the exhaustion, something to combat the negativity that is kind of attached to this, whether it’s from yourself with your own apathy or through the tone of where you’re voting places located. I’m hearing a lot of energy towards combating that, which keeps us from doing this important thing.

WINKEL: Yeah. Actually our, our slogan is. Fighting fascism with fun. You know, a mockery, you know, it goes all the way back, mocking the King. There’s something very empowering about play and creating these environments where it’s really difficult for a month saying, listen, anything can happen, but it’s a lot more difficult or the people who are waiting, being in line, if there’s really long lines, Tempers flare people are bored.

They start getting angry and frustrated

LOGAN: Or God forbid they start talking about politics.

WINKEL: Absolutely. So the fun engaging atmosphere is going to make it a lot more pleasant for them. A lot less likely that they’re going to become aggravated right. Except for that recorder thing. I know radical inclusion, but I am, I can’t get off that.

STUART: Yeah. You and your ukuleles, but go on.

WINKEL: So that’s the first thing is, making it safe for, by cooling tempers from people in line, right. The second thing is if everybody’s having fun, it’s going to make it way more difficult for potential agitators to get in there and cause problems.

LOGAN: Sure. It changes the vibe, right?

I mean, anything you’re bringing to the table is going to change the tone of the experience. And I was always that guy even coming through college, you know, I didn’t want to just go to a party. I. I would make myself do something ridiculous. I’d make myself put on like a polar bear outfit to go to the party so that at the very least I could go to a party where there was a guy in a polar bear outfit.

There was something changing the tone, altering the space just a little bit and making it unique or interesting.

WINKEL: Do you know about this? Um, Burning Man? It sounds like,

LOGAN: Yeah. I discovered it a while back. It seemed to be just my flavor.

STUART: Tell me more. Well, one thing is Burners generally have something in the closet, not necessarily a polar bear onesie, but something that might spice up somebody’s life a little bit at a polling station.

WINKEL: That’s right. We’re also mobilizing some Black Rock Rangers and other people who are professional mediators too if things should happen because you know, all the polar bears in the world. Can’t really stop. Uh, if somebody is intent on causing problems. So we want to have professionals at polling places who actually know how to bring down the temperature.

LOGAN: Sure. Active deescalation of these things is, you know, I’m sure it’s going to show up in a lot of places and people who can actively deescalate situations are going to be really, really important. So you have your organization and you’ve been activating people that you’ve been outreaching to, or that have been coming to you.

How has that been? Have you been getting high numbers? Have you found that you’re getting into a lot of contacts? Are you running into the standard apathy or any other kinds of resistance? What was that?

WINKEL: All of the above, I’m really happy with the number of people that have been reaching out
I think we’ve done 22 activations. we’re focusing on polling places, but before We were getting people to go out and do canvassing

STUART: Another shift that I know that you made along the way was you started out as more partisan, correct? Listen to it originally.

WINKEL: That is correct. We were a 501-C4, and Steven Raspa is just a wonderful, wonderful human being. He recommended that it may be in our best interests to remove partisan language from what we were doing, it would just allow a lot more organizations to be part of what we’re doing. He was definitely right.

LOGAN: If activating voter turnout is the goal and you come at with a partisan slant, you’re immediately inviting. You’re inviting argument. You’re inviting people to come and, and, and stick with you on your beliefs. Instead of the simple principle of no more people should be participating in this process, no matter what your opinion is, no matter what your take is on the current situation, everyone should be exercising their rights here and making this process more robust.

STUART: So in this crazy world that we’re in, this is the weirdest election ever because of the pandemic.

It’s got to put a lot of, uh, had a lot of impact on your work and on your plans and just voter turnout in general. How have you been, have you been coping with that?

WINKEL: Absolutely. Not only has it made it way more difficult to get people involved, but. There have been, you know, numerous how dare you. It’s dangerous.

All of our activations. So we have a guidebook that teaches people. I mean, everybody knows COVID safety, but it’s guidebook on COVID safety. Staying safe, keeping your crews safe, keeping other people safe, how to deal with other people if they’re not wearing masks, but yes, you’re spot on it.

It’s definitely been a bit of a barrier to entry for a lot of people because yeah, they’re afraid to go interacting with people in public. We actually do have things that people can do from home. There’s lots of ways, just generally speaking, not just with our organization, but there is so many ways that people can participate from home.

We are getting people to do friend banking, friend banking is the same as text or phone banking, but you get in touch with your friends and we have all of these Instagram filters and Facebook. Frames and stuff that you can convince your friends to put up telling other people why they think voting is so important this time around or why they think voting is so important in general, there are volunteer opportunities and we’re also for artists and creative people.

We’re inviting them to create voter party and voting propaganda. If you are not interested in going out. And creating these fun environments out in public, there are still lots of ways that you can, uh, you can help to get other people to vote as well.

LOGAN: That’s really great to hear. Yeah. I know that people, you know, we all do for the most part.

You know, people do know how to stay COVID safe these days, but it’s also true that you get out into a situation that’s familiar or even just, you get out into the world and people forget themselves. And I think you see it happen all the time. So it’s great that you guys are. That you have protocols directly around that for your, uh, for your activations.

That’s really good to hear. Yeah. We’re big fans.

WINKEL: The Earth is Round and COVID is real.

STUART: We were actually sponsored a while back by the Round Earth Society, uh, big fans of the earth being round up. COVID safety for a lot of people. I mean, staying home and not going to like a school or a church or someplace with a bunch of people in it.

Right. I mean, I have been a male in voter for years and I, I already voted like a couple of weeks ago, so it’s good to hear that there are some things that I can do cause I’m concerned about. People getting those ballots out of their mailboxes and back into their mailboxes or uptaken into a polling place, if they’re concerned about their vote counted.

So how do we, how do we whip people up more to actually do the thing. If they’re apathetic, COVID burned out afraid of going outside and all that. Are there any, any other tips you can give me for how to wrangle my friends into actually doing the thing?

WINKEL: Yeah. We are inviting artists to create. Voter party and voting propaganda that they can make from home that they can post up on social media, whether yeah, it’s a song or a beautiful crochet or a painting.

People have made some really nice, um, drawings, and that’s definitely something that people can do. That’s creative, fun way of getting involved. Use your talents, whatever your talents are. Use your talents, show people how important voting is, what I’ve been asking of friends and people that I know pitching two hours a week, volunteer two hours a week.

If we can’t find two hours we’re in big trouble.

LOGAN: And the reality is that MOST people can find two hours. They don’t choose to, and you can always find time to do the things that you choose to make important and getting yourself to choose, to make this important, to make that choice, to engage with the government as it is, to engage with the processes that we have.

That’s the first step of making all of this better, no matter what your beliefs are.

WINKEL: And you know, a lot of people are really disappointed. With the options that they’ve been presented

STUART: It’s not just this election. I mean, I’ve been hearing this particular strain of apathy from, you know, from my friends actually for years and years now, they’re just, doesn’t matter.

I think we’re past the, they’re both the same point now. Um, but that notion that my vote doesn’t matter and the whole voting process doesn’t matter. How do we get people past. That, uh, with the recorders. Oh, I guess.

Fx: recorder played poorly with person saying ‘ooohhhh’ ironically

LOGAN: Okay. Next question. Obviously the election coming up in November of next month is extremely important because the ideology along party lines has become so vastly different, but what are your plans to keep up? Momentum for civic engagement.

After these elections, after November 3rd, where does your teams or your project’s focus shift in terms of sort of responsible

WINKEL: After November 3rd? We definitely shift by sleeping for about a year. I’ve never worked this hard on anything in my entire life, and it’s been 16 hour days, seven days a week. You know, between the fact that I’m really going to need a nap. I think there’s going to be a natural lull. I always call it postpartum depression. You have this like, right, this amazing dopamine, and epinephrine just going through your body.

And then all of a sudden the emails stop and all of the excitement stops. So naturally there’s going to be a lull. So it’s going to be a long nap. And then we’ll probably pick back up. We’ll stay engaged with all of the people that produce voter parties, and we’re going to be issue driven every election cycle.

We will mobilize people to do the thing, and it’s going to be a lot more challenging in years to come because people may not be as motivated as they are this year. But I also expect that the movement. Will progress and more people will come on board

LOGAN: Surprise too, because speaking for myself, you know, I was not particularly civically engaged.

And the more time that goes by and the higher the stakes get, the more I find myself involved. And I don’t plan on backing off of my current level of engagement. And so I think that. People are being catalyzed in charge to get more involved now. And so you may, you may have more hangers on to that, you know, once they have their feet in the pool, you know, they may, they may just stick with it more than you think.

WINKEL: Yeah. Hopefully, you know, once they got their feet in the pool, they’ll still really jump in and who doesn’t like swimming. I mean, there’s some people,

LOGAN: Engagement is one of the hardest things, especially now. This year has been exhausting for such a variety of reasons. And if you can be engaged now under all of this pressure and fight through all of the inertia that life is serving up for a lot of us, then.

I feel like, you know, motivating now is more important than ever towards whatever you think is important because you have to fight that apathy and you have to fight that inertia with whatever you’ve got, because the world is going to continually just be serving things up good and bad, and you have to rise to meet what’s important at every opportunity.

WINKEL: That was beautiful. I really appreciate that. You’re so spot on with that. Yeah. Apathy is death. The big problem. That we have right now is people are depressed. It’s not just apathy. It’s also hopelessness. Okay. You’re giving me this opportunity. It’s not going to matter. Right. And you know what it is going to matter.

Irrespective of the outcome for me, the impetus of why I’m doing this. You know, for the past four years I was not apathetic, but I felt hopeless. I had this recurring thought of what it must’ve been like in Germany, in the forties. And to think to yourself, in the thirties, I could have done something.

I could’ve made a difference. I could have done anything. And it doesn’t mean that you would have prevented what happened. But just the knowing that you did everything that you could. And so that on November 4th, when we wake up, you know, December, eleventy teens, when the numbers finally come in, you, you wake up and God forbid, bad stuff happens.

You know, that you did everything that you could. Even if you didn’t do everything that you could, and it was just two hours a week, you did something. And if you don’t do something, you’re going to regret it. this is the moment. And the way that we respond is absolute. This is going to be our legacy.

So whatever it is, even if it’s just taking an hour a week and texting your friends and saying, Hey, go out and vote. And if people who are not going to vote, and this is not vote shaming, I get it. I understand the apathy. I understand the feeling. I think people are going to regret it.

LOGAN: I totally hear that. And you know that the hopelessness you speak of, you know, the thing that helps me fight that off is to remember that that hopelessness in a lot of cases in the world is by design. The quote that I mentioned earlier, it was like, you know, if your vote didn’t matter, they wouldn’t work so hard to suppress it.

Right. They wouldn’t discourage you from doing it. And that hopelessness is to a certain degree is manufactured. It is unfortunately brought on by the current loops of the media. And often people in power want to retain that power. And they want to convince you that nothing you can do is going to change the way that the world is because that’s in their best interest to retain the power they have.

So. I keep those things in mind. And that is largely what motivates me to action when I’m feeling that helplessness. So thank you for calling that out.

WINKEL: Yeah. And the 2016 election was won or lost depending on your side by margins of thousands. You know,

LOGAN: Which is crazy when a hundred million people opted out of trying to make a difference in either direction.

WINKEL: Right so was versus Gore. It was not a lot of people. And what you said about, if your vote didn’t count, why do they fight? Like hell to keep you from doing it? We have that up on the website. It’s so true. Voting does make a difference in the same way. That if, if stewardship of the environment and it’s like, leave no trace, right?

If you throw that cigarette on the ground, is it going to really change anything? No, but you do it multiple times. Other people see do it. It it’s, it just multiply. It’s like you leave one dish in the sink. Is it really a big deal? But then it multiplies, this is, this is the world’s worst analogy. And I apologize.

LOGAN: No, I get what you’re saying though. It’s a drop in the ocean, but the oceans made a drops and that’s how the whole thing works. Sorry, what were you saying?

STUART: I was going to say, a lot of us are in our homes with dishes piling up through being too busy. I know so many people who are desperately trying to keep their jobs going, take care of their kids, all that.

So I just want to acknowledge that not everybody may have that hour or two a week to volunteer and not everybody may have. I have an uncle Sam suit, which actually I think I do to put on and take down for the polling place and play, not my recorder, but maybe my Fife through a Bullhorn, but everybody does have the power of the ballot.

And if you can’t find the five or 10 minutes to fill that thing out, at least put it in a mailbox or take it to a drop station or take it to your polling place. That to me is, is really where the rubber hits the road.

LOGAN: What I was saying earlier about like how everyone can make time. I wasn’t trying to say that everyone can make time to carve out two hours of their week to throw to political motivations.

What I was trying to say rather it was that we choose what’s important to us so we can choose to elevate the things that we prioritize. The bandwidth that we have for that is variable, depending on what your life is like and what circumstances you’ve got.

STUART: Just get out there. Winkle. Thank you so much.

You’ve given us a lot of, a lot of ideas and a lot of techniques. And I think our listeners, a few of them might’ve been tipped over the edge and to helping get out the vote, they find out more@thevoterparty.org is where all the resources are right?

WINKEL: Tinder slash Winkle.

STUART: The voter party.org is what he just said. Yes. Thanks again for coming on the program, we really appreciated having you here.

LOGAN: Yeah, many. Thanks Mark Rosenberg mingle. If you’d like to know more like Stuart said, the voter potty.org or the voter party, all one word on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram is where you can find out more or if you would like to get involved, seek them out there and reach.

WINKEL: Thanks guys.

STUART: Alright. Citizens of the world.

Fx: Star Spangled Banner on recorder, mediocre performance

STUART: Thank you for showing up. That’s our show today. Please remember to follow us like us, review us and subscribe. Our website is live dot burning man.org. And we’re on all the socials as burning that live.

Fx: BML outro music

STUART: This show has been a production of the philosophical center of burning man project. Our executive producer is Darrel van Ray.

Is that true? Uh, our producers are Andy Grace, Logan Mirto, our technical producer and story editor is Michael Vav. Our liaison to the digits is debit from the internet. Our graphical gurus Tanner Boeger. Our intro theme was cooked up by Jay Kanizzle. And our correspondence could be you send us your show ideas, your letters, your suggestions, your picks, and pans to live@burningman.org.

While you’re there, maybe throw a nickel in the tip jar to donate to Burning Man. That’s all we got. Thanks Larry.


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