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Good morning, John.

So a couple of months ago  I posted a video of me making Hanklerfish art for Project for Awesome donors.  And there were a bunch of people helping me. Right here, this person is Monica Tranel.

The reason she's there is that she's running for Congress and I wanted to  maybe talk to her if I could. And so I emailed her and she said,  "let's have coffee" and I said, "eh, let's make fish!"  So that was the first time I met Monica Tranel but over the last few months,  I've met her a few more times. Mostly because I said "I would like to  rent out some rooms and interview you in them publicly." Time for some honesty, I don't know how to be a person with a big audience, who also doesn't like the way that the world is.  Obviously different people have different views on the way that the world should be,  but I have mine.

I don't like a lot of the way things are. And we've had an audience of some kind for a long time  I remember celebrating the election of Barack Obama with you.  Like, the first one. While we were on tour, I think!?

We've been doing this for a while! And most of what we've done over the years has been pretty nationally focused.  Which makes a lot of sense because our audience is--  isn't even national; it's international. So focusing on local, like,  very few people here are gonna have the opportunity to vote for Monica Tranel.

Some of you though! And you better. Cause she's great.

But, in general, I've started to feel like the relentless focus on the biggest  possible scope of all conversations, that always being national,  isn't good. I live in Montana, a state that Trump won by 16% in 2020 and by 20% in 2016. But in 2016, we also elected a democratic governor  and we have a democratic senator, John Tester, who is amazing.

I don't think any body would expect that I think most people don't know that  Because it doesn't fit into  the national narrative.  We are a very red state that does a lot of pretty blue things We can only really tell ourselves simple stories when we don't let a lot of data in.  Now I understand not letting a lot of data in, it's very complicated and  we want to tell simple stories so that people will believe the thing, but  these simple stories are starting to rend... rend! So when Joe Biden's team emailed me and they were like, "Do you want to come to the  White House to hangout with the President?" I was like, "Yeah... I do" But I really only have so much time this year.

I'm focusing a lot on what's going on  in my community; I wanna think about that. I wanna be aware of that.  I wanna know how amazing Monica Tranel is. And she is amazing!

And if she doesn't win, it's going to be because of focus on national politics.  Like, her opponent isn't very popular, but democrats are unpopular. She's put, like, 50 thousand miles on her minivan traveling across what is  one of the largest districts in America, talking to people in 16 counties  and 2 tribal nations. And she keeps telling me,  every chance she gets that she just wishes that I, and everybody else,  could see the America that she sees when she goes out there to listen to people.

What those conversations are telling her is that people are a lot more complex  than they get credit for. And that seems wrong to me. But her perspective is actually  backed up by the research,  which shows that people see themselves as being pretty 60/40 on stuff  but they see their opponents as being very 100/0 on everything.

But, in fact, there's a lot of stuff that doesn't fit into broader narratives.  And because it doesn't,  we just don't ever think about it or talk about it. That true fact feels unintuitive to me, But it feels intuitive to Monica,  because she's the one out there doing the work! That is why we hire other people to be our leaders.  Because they get to know more  about this than we ever will so that we can focus on doing the other thing!

The problems are very vague but this country is messy and it is  led in a lot of different ways. And the ballot that I get,  is a local ballot with local things on it. So this election, with the time that I had, I decided to go local  and I feel really good about it.

John, I'll see you on Tuesday. And if you can vote in this election, you're gonna go local, too.  If you aren't sure how to vote where you are or whether you're registered, etc.  You can check out  and I will tell you everything you need to know.