In support of their current “The Future Is Voting” concert series with My Morning Jacket frontman Jim James, HeadCount co-founders Andy Bernstein and Marc Brownstein (bassist for The Disco Biscuits) recently appeared on the unPhiltered podcast to discuss the upcoming midterm elections and more.
The duo both talk about how HeadCount came to be and how the idea for the voter registration and community engagement nonprofit arose from a desire to stop complaining and start doing something. Bernstein also speaks on the divisive current state of US politics and admits that it has been a challenge to stay true to HeadCount’s mission to stay completely bipartisan throughout the years.
“One of the roles that I try to play is to be the ‘guardian of nonpartisanship,’ and it’s something that I’ve learned a lot of hard lessons on over the years,” Bernstein says. “Because it’s almost impossible to take yourself out of it. You see the world through your own lens, and your own lens is inherently biased. Every once in a while, [someone would comment on] something on our social media, [saying,] ‘This shows your bias.’ And I’d be like, ‘This person is right.’ Over the years—14 years—you get a very good eye for that stuff and you learn tricks to take yourself out of it and be nonpartisan. …The lack of critical thinking is everywhere right now. So many people on the Left will say things about Trump that if somebody said about Obama, you’d say, ‘That person should be in jail.’ There’s this feeling that half of America is evil, and I’m fairly confident that half of America is not evil. …And I don’t think anybody gets anywhere with that viewpoint.”
Brownstein and Bernstein also discuss the process of helping HeadCount volunteers get out and register citizens to vote, along with the “The Future is Voting” slogan and campaign, their partnership with James on tour, the new Cannabis Voter Project initiative and more.
Listen to the full podcast episode below.