Unlocking Political Peace When Love Is Not The Answer With Scott Mackey


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Episode Overview:

"Unlocking Political Peace When Love Is Not The Answer" delves into the complexities of navigating political differences in a world where traditional notions of love and understanding may not always be sufficient. The podcast explores pragmatic strategies and practical approaches to fostering political peace, emphasizing the importance of dialogue, empathy, and critical thinking. Drawing from his extensive experience, Mackey offers insights into effective communication, conflict resolution, and building bridges between individuals with divergent political perspectives. The podcast provides listeners with a thoughtful guide to transcending ideological divides and promoting a more harmonious political discourse, offering a timely and insightful perspective on the challenges of our contemporary political landscape.

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Skot Waldron (00:01.142)
What's up Scott? It's good to see you, man.

Scott Mackey (00:02.652)
Well, yeah, how's it going Scott with the K?

Skot Waldron (00:05.358)
Scott with a C, yes, yes. So not to get people too confused. So when you say my name, you need to say Scott, like pronounce the K so people don't get messed up, like think we're talking to each other. So no, this is really cool talking to you. We were introduced through a mutual connection. You were on D Copenhagen's show. And he was like, Scott, Scott. He's like, you've got to have.

Scott Mackey (00:18.64)
All right.

Skot Waldron (00:34.998)
this dude on your show, like he was such a good interview and you really gotta, you know, you gotta talk to him cause his brain is awesome. So that's why you're on my show because Deke said you should be on my show and Deke's awesome. And so I assume you're awesome.

Scott Mackey (00:50.04)
Yeah, well, one, thank you, and two, Deke is just the man in every way. Like an incredibly kind and thoughtful human, so I appreciate him introducing you as well, because he has very good things to do.

Skot Waldron (01:01.758)
Yeah. Very cool. That's super nice of him. Hey, I want to, I want to talk about your bio real quick. Like you have this, uh, the, the first line, like I loved it. I read it and I highlighted it. Cause I was just going, what? Scott is a fun loving fairly. And you put fairly in quotes. Yeah. Fairly eccentric author, community builder, entrepreneur working at the nexus of spirituality, politics, and social change. I don't read.

I don't read bios that look like that, man. So where, what's that about?

Scott Mackey (01:34.1)
Yeah. Yeah, well, thank you, I think. And you can thank the fairly eccentric part for my, well, that was from my fiance who was trying to capture some of my, I'll just, well, weirdness for lack of a better word in an acceptable way. Yeah, I've had, I don't know, feels normal to me, but maybe an odd background in the grand scheme of things. So I grew up initially like as a missionary kid, so parents who had truly committed their life to the faith and to service.

But that path brought them to rural East Texas. So I grew up in a town of, you know, 2000 people halfway between Dallas and Shreveport. So like one, you know, those people are my people when it comes down to it. And two, you know, really maintained a lot of relationships and connections with folks in that world, even as my politics changed dramatically. So, you know, grew up a Republican kid in rural East Texas, no shock there.

But you know by the time I was graduating college, I was obsessed with Barack Obama as a lot of 22 year olds were in 2008 and I was on his campaign all of that year And you know so that in a lot of ways there's a dichotomy that exists there between growing up Conservative rural and Christian and then for me was you know, I left the faith for many years But you know then have this entire piece of life that was politics Washington DC working in foreign policy spending time in Afghanistan

And eventually, you know, really because I didn't necessarily like who I was becoming when I looked in the mirror in my early 30s You know rediscovering God and discovering one like, you know, I really like spirit led Faith and relationship there but to also the power that you know, any person has and it like certainly changed my life to

like a therapy-like approach to understanding our emotions, beginning to understand how our psyche works, the connection between our conscious and subconscious mind, and how not only like we can heal and change, but also how those same principles can be applied more broadly to society, to politics, and I think to any organization as well.

Scott Mackey (03:40.124)
How's that?

Skot Waldron (03:40.398)
Okay, so that's pretty good. That's pretty good. Just to make sure that Republicans don't immediately hang up on this call, right? Like that they don't stop this thing all the way and be like, this dude's a traitor. This guy was part of the faith and now he went to Barack Obama's side? No, we lost one. Like, you know, for fear of every Republican having that reaction and turning this tape off right now, why should they keep listening to what we're about to say?

Scott Mackey (03:52.965)

Scott Mackey (04:10.64)
Few quick answers. One, during my second stint in Washington, D.C., I was, so this will be like, don't turn it off right when I say this, but I was hired by the Open Society Foundation, so that's George Soros' org, to build an organization for them. But it was a very odd, it was a very odd project for them, and that's why they chose me in the end, is that it was a bipartisan or nonpartisan effort focused on Afghanistan policy. So I, you know, from 20...

13 through 15 found myself in this very odd position where one day I might be going up to Congress or Capitol Hill with Center for American Progress and the Feminist Majority Foundation, very liberal organizations. But then the next day I might be doing the exact same thing with the Heritage Foundation and American Enterprise Institute, very conservative organizations many of your listeners might be familiar with.

And so, you know, my unique background, which was coming from rural Texas before getting plugged into the wild liberal world of Barack Obama, really in the end has just allowed me to see, to understand, and to be able to humanize individuals who sit in both political parties and maybe sit on different sides of what right now often feels like an insurmountable divide. But what I think is important for me, and probably for a lot of us in this country is, you know.

when we start talking to each other and we get past the labels we give ourselves or the labels we give those we disagree with or we might think are the enemy, we find that there's a human sitting underneath and we all not only have a lot of similarities but are very similar when it comes down to it. And so that sort of idea, and for me, that often looks like it's a lot of work that I've done, but learning to live from a place of love and compassion as consistently as often as possible.

I think lets me be not the enemy to your Republican listeners if they're still here.

Skot Waldron (06:11.318)
I'm sure they are. Um, and that's what I think I love about my listeners is that they, they do come from all different aspects of life. Um, and politics and viewpoints, uh, and my own personal experience. I too grew up in a very conservative household. Um, you know, Rush Limbaugh was on the radio all the time. Um, Sean Hannity Fox news was, was it was.

part of our daily gospel, right? And that's how we rode that train. And family still does, and totally fine. And I can agree and feel that there's pieces of that I can hold onto. In about 2002 slash three, we moved up to Chicago. I got a job up there to work at a global design firm. And so I worked up there. And...

in the midst of the art community in which I was part of, not very conservative for the most part, pretty liberal in many aspects of the way they did things and thought about things as artists tend to be. And so in the creative field that I was, I was around a lot of liberal ideas and talking about those ideas and bringing my conservative background to the conversation.

where I was immediately labeled as a Bush lover. Like, oh, here comes Scott, the Bush lover. Like, and I was like, no, I don't necessarily love Bush. I'm just throwing out an idea. Like, what about this, you know? And then, oh, I would go home for Christmas or Thanksgiving. And all of a sudden I'm labeled as an Obama lover. Like, it was the, I couldn't, I couldn't win.

I don't know whether I was in Chicago or whether I was in Atlanta. I could not win. I was labeled as this just because I'm arguing the other side. Were you ever in that boat? Were you ever kind of like, you trader, like, what are you doing? Who, what side are you on here, Scott? Like, I don't know who you are anymore. Like what's going on?

Scott Mackey (08:28.568)
I've gotten that in so many different ways over the years. Just like starting at home with my dad to a strong degree. Although, when I went and worked for president, well, wasn't president yet, but like Obama the first time in 2008. My dad and I had come to loggerheads over enough issues at that point where it probably wasn't an enormous shock. But he was very confused to find he had his oldest son now working for Barack Obama. And when his friends in Van, Texas,

asked him what Scott was up to, he had to deliver that news. It was miserable for him. But you know, like immediately after the campaign, I went home and I, you know, I didn't feel like I had, I was naive, right? I didn't feel like I had done anything that extreme, but I found that a lot of my friends or you know, teachers or older individuals who were family friends that I knew, like did not know what to make of me anymore. And I really, you know, I had to, I put in a lot of time.

call it rebuilding relationships or recalibrating relationships to kind of reestablish it. Hey, I am the same guy. My values or my view of the world might be different than what it was growing up or the view that you have right now and the view you assume that I have or had, but still here. And there's different versions of that. When the, in 2010 in DC,

when all things like right wing were blowing up, like tea party stuff, I often found myself in a very similar position to you where people were saying all these terrible things about tea party members and right wingers this and right wingers that. And I felt a lot of that politically, like frustration. But at the same time, those were my friends and the people I grew up with who they were talking about. And I knew those individuals and I knew their heart. And even if things that they did might infuriate me.

and beliefs that they had, I often would believe, were entirely wrong, I still knew those humans and thought they were great people. And so I would end up in very similar situations where with all of my very liberal kind of Obama campaign friends would be defending Tea Party members and it was always a very odd thing. In 2016, I thought Donald Trump was gonna win and really pissed a lot of my friends off. And then he did and it was like, oh, why did you think that?

Scott Mackey (10:51.408)
So yeah, interesting conversations.

Skot Waldron (10:53.598)
It is, it is. Let's, uh, let's talk a little bit about, you know, 2024. It's a political year. Um, well, a lot of years are political years, uh, election year, I guess. I'll, I'll label it that to be more specific. Um, and for some, it feels a bit dark and gloomy. It feels a bit like, uh, though I don't know whether it's the political process that people feel dark and gloomy about, or I'm now going to start getting text messages from.

people that I don't want to get text messages from or whatever it is, or maybe just the outlook of what, what's going to happen in the future. Cause they don't feel a lot of hope here or a lot of hope there, whatever side of the aisle you are on. Is it just about politics? You think is there something else there? Like boiling at the surface? Like what, what's the deal?

Scott Mackey (11:47.28)
Yeah, it's a great question. So when I was like really started grappling with these questions a couple years ago, not knowing an answer to these questions, I, there's like very specific ways that this happened. Like I ended up writing a book about it. I was like, I'm going to try to fictionalize a response. Just how I've ended up writing a novel called Love is Not the Answer, which we might get into later, but it's a humorous allegory trying to explain the environment that we find ourselves in right now.

But more to the point, I think one, it is politics. It's a huge part of why we all feel so bad, why there's this immense frustration that exists in both political parties and across the country. But I don't think the problem is how we frame it oftentimes. So I think one enormous issue is that from top to bottom of our society, people have this strong sense that they don't necessarily know what to do with, but they feel our systems are not working for us anymore.

that our systems are built to serve themselves. And that is true whether people are thinking about our political systems, are thinking about how our political systems are bought and paid for by corporate money. If you're talking with folks on the right, it's my former funder, George Soros. And if you're talking to folks on the left, it's corporations and the Koch brothers. But we all believe our systems are bought and paid for. So if you look at our economic systems, inequality as measured has been increasing since the 80s, but it's skyrocketed over the last several years.

People feel that when you see some winning, but most folks aren't. You stop feeling like you're in the same boat and pulling together. And so one problem is that we've lost trust or faith in the systems that we feel dictating our lives and we don't know what to do with them. And so that's one purpose in my book and writing a book that is in a lot of ways an allegory is to try and help explain exactly how these large.

business and economic, or business and political and media systems are working together and not necessarily for us, like for you, Scott with a K or for me, Scott with a C. But then I think the second piece of that puzzle is we don't have a great story about ourselves as America or the American people right now. And so you do a lot of work, I think, with individuals working on their purpose.

Scott Mackey (14:06.176)
And I think we have this enormous challenge as a nation right now. It's like, what is our purpose? Are we the good guys or are we the bad guys? What are we pulling for? Why are we here? And short of having a uniting narrative that we can gather and pull around, or we can gather and organize around, we are left pursuing our own ends, or like flailing in a lot of ways, trying to figure out what it is that we're for.

And so we have this like discontent and a lack of faith in our systems that we think aren't working for us. We don't know what we're doing to a larger degree. So we don't know how to organize and relate to our neighbors, which then creates a scenario of just enormous discontent. And the way our political systems are built and the way politicians are incentivized, we wanna capitalize on that discontent by like riling people up so we can raise money and dividing folks and like putting them against each other so that we can win elections.

And so we have this really negative dark soup right now that we need to figure out what to do with or how to make sense of.

Skot Waldron (15:13.758)
It is dark and I'll reference our mutual friend, D. Copenhaver, who is not a dark individual whatsoever. I mean, winning elections off of positivity and hope as opposed to smear campaigns and negative ads and all kinds of like, he didn't run any of that stuff. And one, you know.

his elections that way. And so, you know, talking to people like that, I do get some hope. You know, I sit there and go, so there are people out there that can do it differently in a way that is helping bridge it a little bit better. And if you, you know, the statistics all say and the polls all say that people want more bipartisan agreement and collaboration.

Scott Mackey (15:49.084)
All right.

Skot Waldron (16:12.406)
But it wouldn't seem that way when you look at it, you know?

Scott Mackey (16:16.632)
It only feels that way if you look at the polls. It never feels that way if you're looking at, you know, a political debate on TV or listening to politicians talk about themselves or certainly reading anything you see on social media. But like a couple quick points. One, this is not the first time the US has been in what feels like a very dark place. So this is not necessarily a unique moment from a historic perspective. Two, I think there's an enormous number of reasons for hope.

And the hope that I find for the most part is in people. It's in the conversations you and I have. It's in the conversations I have with friends when I do go back to East Texas and I'm like, oh yeah, we really disagree and we still really like each other. It's in an enormous number of conversations and organizations that are working on these issues that you just talked about right now. But when it comes down to it and what gives me the most hope.

is that we have found ourselves in what I feel to be a place where we have become very separated. We often find ourselves, we're separated from ourselves because we're perhaps not given the emotional skills or expertise to really understand our own experience of life and how we can take control of it. We end up then feeling the same way towards our neighbors. Maybe feel the same way towards the natural earth that we're a part of. We feel very separated. So there's then an answer on the other end, which is...

connection and I think so much of that connection can happen one through individual efforts. So the work you do to help someone in business find their purpose and have a better sense of themselves then enables that individual to be better to themselves, to their family and their community around them. And I think there's this enormous raising awareness of sometimes shows up as therapeutic language beginning to understand how and why we are.

sometimes we'll show up in spiritual language understanding how and why we are. But anyone who gets on that path becomes a person that is better able to not just relate to themselves, but better able to relate to the world around them from a compassionate perspective as well. And I see that happening everywhere in my life and have been so pleasantly surprised as this book is beginning to come out, the relationships I'm able to build having those sorts of conversations. But the second piece is there's so much discontent.

Scott Mackey (18:40.212)
in the nation. It shows up as anger and disrespect in public discourse a lot of times, which feels really poor. But that's also an opportunity for a leader or a set of leaders or for a movement to walk into that discontent, to tell a new story, to inspire in a new sort of way, and to help people walk in a different direction. Right? So there's, it's almost impossible to attribute this because

but we become what we fight. So right now we are in this like win or take all victory or defeat perspective within society and what we largely are doing are we're fighting each other. But even if you win a battle when you're fighting within the energy of our systems as they exist, you still lose because we've taken on the energy of these systems that are pitting us against each other to win and so in the end, even if you win, you lose. I think what's beautiful and what's exciting is

of all these leaders that are actively beginning to try and create alternatives. So let's, like my whole thing is like, I don't want to fight the systems or the people that exist. I want to work towards a different or a new kind of future by creating alternatives that people can opt into. So I'm not against the Democrats, I'm not against the Republicans, I'm for this. I'm for us, I'm for you, I'm for this different type of like political or electoral solution set.

And that takes this energy of being against and feeling helpless, and then it lets any individual or us collectively take responsibility and begin to think that we're in control. There is an enormous amount of power in choosing to be in control and choosing to take responsibility. And that's true in an individual life or an individual person's life. I don't like my existence. I'm gonna take control of finding solutions so that I experience reality differently. Anyone can heal or change or grow by making that decision, and that's also true for us collectively. We just have to figure out how to do it.

Skot Waldron (20:36.894)
Love is not the answer is interesting to me. Cause I'm looking at it at the book cover itself. And by the time this episode is out, it will have launched. Um, so everybody can get their copy. Um, but it's got less like melting hard on the cover, right? It's like this, you know, and I will say that, you know, the, the liberals get.

get labeled as the bleeding hearts, you know, of the political space and, you know, try to do everything for everybody and give to this and give it. And so when you take this standpoint and it's, I want to talk about how you wrote the book because it's not just like a commentary on politics. Like it is literally this idea of, um, it's like a fable. I don't know if it's just like the story with these characters in it that are, are taught

Can you introduce us to the characters in this thing? Cause you set them up at the beginning of the book and they all have these like, you kind of introduce them kind of punchy at the beginning. They're all going through different experiences and we're getting a wide spectrum of individuals here. So I wanna know from my standpoint, reading the intro pages that I have, I wanna know why you pick those characters. Like what was it about them?

Scott Mackey (22:00.892)
All right, so I'll set the book up with an incredibly brief synopsis. So the book is called Love Is Not the Answer, and the tagline is when the power of love threatens to reform the two-party political system, the war on love begins. So give nothing away of the book itself, but it is an interesting and unusual read. So the characters themselves. So my main protagonist is an aging mystic named Julia Connor.

Gardens, she's a beekeeper. She opted out of the real world years ago because she wanted to create an alternative for herself and her community, which for her looked like moving to a farm, praying a lot, keeping bees, et cetera. And then, you know, she's a love-obsessed mystic as well, and an author who mostly writes poetry and books about the heart. She also is, call it a pioneer, using Sila Silvan, so magic mushrooms.

to work with and treat veterans who have PTSD. So she has this deep grounding working with some of the most wounded individuals on earth and helping them to heal. And not healing them herself, but by giving them the tools to see themselves in a different way and then understanding that if you go back into your past and your deepest wounds and the deepest part of your trauma, that it's actually by going back and experiencing it, by loving this thing that's been stuck inside of you and had nowhere to go, that you release it and let it leave.

So like Julia's a little bit of a saint and she's really the only saint in this entire novel when it comes down to it. So it's Julia, her veterans, and then they get discovered by a TikTok influencer who's kind of one of those like kind of angry, angsty kids who's like burning people on TikTok and social media, although we call the platform beep in the book. So she initially tries to like embarrass Julia around Julia's new book, which is called Love and Compassion, a call for spiritual and political revival. But.

Instead of burning her, she kind of becomes obsessed with Julia and these like gruff, super emotionally in tune veterans, right? So they become the heart of what in the book is the love vote. Then on the other side, you have individuals who are working within different large systems. So the Republican story is largely told through a character named Luke Lockwood, who's the campaign manager for the Republican presidential candidate. Luke is an evangelical Christian and the protege of the pastor of the largest megachurch in the nation.

Scott Mackey (24:27.16)
The Democratic side, it's told through the campaign manager for the Democratic candidate. His name is Bradley Bischoff. Apparently I had to alliterate. And both of them, what you find out as you're going through the story, are really good people. But they also, because of the incentives that exist within our political system, are forced to do things or make decisions or act in a way that...

we might look at from the outside and think is like bad or wrong. But it's really making this case, and a larger case, that I think we're a nation, to a large degree, of really good people responding to the incentives in our systems that encourage us to behave poorly or disrespectfully or similar. There are quite a few other characters as well. That might be enough of a setup.

Skot Waldron (25:21.982)
No, it is. And, uh, at the beginning, they all get into it really, really early on. I mean, you can tell, um, uh, is it Mel P is that, is that who it is? Mel P yeah. Mel P is definitely, uh, trying to ruffle the feathers, you know, in there a bit. And, uh, but when you, when you get the, some of the first comments right out of the gate from, from Julia saying things like.

Scott Mackey (25:33.892)
Mel P.

Skot Waldron (25:50.71)
Hey, we just need some more love. We need some more compassion. And the male piece, like, what is that? And just kind of throwing it in the garbage. And just like, so you're setting it up that way, but then love is not the answer. Tell us like, why did you write it? Like, why is that the emphasis of, hey, let's throw out, we have this woman that's all about this love, compassion, self-service of.

Who am I deep down and how do we bridge these gaps? And then you have these, this angst, angsty teenager that has taken this other side and then your book's called Love Is Not The Answer. So what is it?

Scott Mackey (26:33.084)
These are great questions, Scott. So love is not the answer because that eventually in the book becomes the rallying cry of those who oppose Julia Connor and the love vote. But also because I thought it would get people's attention on the cover of the book itself and at least earn a second look. That's the entirety of the logic there.

Scott Mackey (26:58.384)
So, I'm gonna define a few terms really quickly. So, love is one word in the English language that means an enormous number of different things. I will avoid trying to define what my love for you, because you're a human that I like, versus my love for a friend I've had since birth, versus my love for my fiancee, versus the love I have for my parents, versus the love one has when you feel like divine love coursing through you.

Those are all radically different things. So maybe we just define love as the force or power that calls us to a highest or a best version of ourself. Then healing is also talked a lot about in the novel. And we'll just define healing as any person's, potentially any society as well, but any person's ability to heal the wounds that lurk in their heart, where they've been hurt pieces of their past that are still within them, and cause them to

act or to experience reality right now in a way that they wish was not so. So there's love, there's healing. I was like, well, how does that apply to politics? And it may or may not be obvious, but my sense is that politics, the systems of a nation, politics reflects society and society reflect people within it.

So I think to a large degree, we live in a society where ideas about healing, where the practical powerful applications of love to ourself or in our community or to the nation are ignored. And so we're going to have politics in a political system that also does not reflect those highest powers or the highest version of ourself. So in a book, like I talk a lot about love.

There is the evangelical church's conception of love. There is a new age conception of love. There are romantic conceptions of love. We use love all these different ways, but what love always is, is powerful. And I think we live at a time where we don't think about love as having much real world application. One of my arguments would be that love or compassion or concepts of healing actually have enormous real world applications because if we learn how to channel those things and facilitate

Scott Mackey (29:19.012)
you know, like the active existence of those in our own life, that will then by default change how we begin communicating with and interacting with each other as well.

Skot Waldron (29:32.421)
Is politics really a place for that?

Scott Mackey (29:38.796)
I don't know, I would answer yes, certainly. So like here's the thing, politics is a fight, right? So like if politics is collective decision making, politics is an amazing apparatus that when we disagree with a neighbor or the next village over or the next state over, instead of marching over with pitchforks or in modern parlance, maybe our AR-15s, we have these mechanisms that we can solve our problems. So politics is always going to be about how we solve conflict and disagreements.

But we can have conflict or we can disagree in so many different ways. And if we live from a place where we, you know, one, learn to actually have love and acceptance for ourself and we maintain the ability to see the same thing in our neighbors or in those we disagree with, how we do conflict and how we disagree can look very, very different than it does right now. And so if we can change our own lives or we can change how we relate to a neighbor,

We can also change how we govern our nation.

Skot Waldron (30:44.95)
So you're saying it starts with me. It starts with my own deep understanding of who I am, what I'm about, my ability to love myself and appreciate who I am and the things I bring, the things, the value that I have here. And from that, and if we reverse engineer what you were saying, that the people in it, the more love and self-acceptance and appreciation for who we are builds.

Scott Mackey (30:47.088)
start the deal.

Skot Waldron (31:14.722)
that reflects in society, which then impacts politics.

Scott Mackey (31:22.748)
Absolutely, and I do some work that is similar to yours in that I have a variety of, call it like clients, that I call it like facilitated inner work, right? But as you know, when you get beneath the surface we have, we have so many doubts, we have such negative self-talk, we are often so unable to self-facilitate or generate the love that we need, which we then go seeking outside in.

a job title or in success or things that we need from our romantic partner. So that really limits our own personal ability, right? Our own personal capacity to exist in the world in the way we wish we could. But a second related point is, yeah, like there is a piece of personal responsibility for ourselves, also for our nation. But the book, you know, like I worked in politics for a long time. I have this real practical angle.

as well. So like, yeah, like our systems reflect society, but we can also make systemic changes that are going to incentivize different types of behavior. And so that's a point I really try to make throughout the book, it's fictional, but that we have to reform our systems as they exist. And my contention is that it's not actually that hard. Like there's already an enormous amount of public support for changing our electoral systems.

for creating space for independent, call it like third party voices that don't reflect either of the, I think very limiting party lines that exist right now. And there's two ways that we can do that. One is through a version of campaign finance reform, but how we fund our politics right now is legalized corruption in every way. How our politicians make money when they leave office is legalized corruption in every way.

And you can give unlimited donations to a PAC or super PAC that might be anonymous publicly, but that the elected official who that PAC is working on behalf of will always know about with a wink-wink deal, that is corruption. We have a presidential candidate right now who was our ambassador to the United Nations. She and her family had financial troubles. We've all been there.

Scott Mackey (33:39.92)
She leaves office for several years, makes eight or $10 million sitting on corporate boards and giving paid speeches, and then comes back to run for office again. Right, like the question with any of us is like, we work for who cuts our checks. It's really clear how the system that we've set up incentivizes our politicians from both parties, not to work for you or for me or for your listeners, but to work for themselves and for those who cut their checks, right? So there's like a campaign finance piece, and then,

I think the second important piece is we have a two party system in this. Our broader electoral system is set up to maintain this duopoly. So I think it's very important that we decide as a people that we're going to break that. And there are a variety of ways to do it. One is through open primaries and others through rank choice voting. I think term limits are important. My favorite is something called proportional representation. But right now we have a winner take all system of elections.

Proportional representation basically says instead of having one congressional district where you're voting for two candidates, let's link together, call it 10 congressional districts. So if you have one congressional district and I'm running as an independent or I'm trying to start a third party, and I get 20% of the vote, that's really impressive. But if I get 20% of the vote in one congressional district, that's gonna leave me with 0% representation in Washington, D.C. With proportional representation,

If I get 20% of the vote over this like 10 seat congressional district then, I'm going to have two of those 10 seats. So for the 20% of public opinion that is behind my values and what I'm representing, I'm going to then get 20% of the voice in our federal system. For me that...

is brilliant and that solves so many of our problems. And so if you intentionally try to get money out of politics and then you make it a lot harder within our electoral laws for corporate voices or wealthy voices or special interests to effectively buy these systems that we're within, we do so much to disincentivize the really bad behavior that we see from our elected officials right now.

Skot Waldron (35:53.27)
And another thing that's quite ridiculous is that we have put the power of changing those rules into the hands of the people whom it would not serve to have that type of system. Yeah. Part of the problem. Um, I love that idea. Like I've never heard of that. I think that that's, uh, that's really smart. Um, this book.

Scott Mackey (36:07.344)

out of the problem.

Skot Waldron (36:21.214)
What's, what do you want the main thing to be that people take away from your book?

Scott Mackey (36:28.636)
So I come from a political, public policy, and then business background. So I was very like, I wanna be right, like a serious person. And I always found that very limiting. So in this, I wrote a novel, and writing that novel freed me in a lot of ways. But one thing that I was very particular about as I wrote this was that I obviously wrote this novel to make a point, a set of points. But...

That was not my purpose when writing. I wrote this to entertain. So the one thing I want people to come away from this novel with is like, that was fun. I can't believe I just read 320 pages that fast. When I take a break from the book, I'm thinking about it. That is, that is my number one goal. That is what I hope. This in the end is art towards public service and I want that art to stand. Beyond that, I really just hope people think.

Like I hope that some of their assumptions are challenged. I hope that part of this or how some of the characters are represented might piss them off. And if neither of those things happen, if they just read the book and they're nodding the entire time, I hope that they feel inspired and empowered to be able to go out and be part of creating new political alternatives that can be the solutions for the discontent we all feel right now.

Skot Waldron (37:57.87)
Beautifully said, man. That is so good. Who's it for? Who's going to, who should pick this book up?

Scott Mackey (38:08.028)
people with a pulse. No, I, you know, this is the other thing, it's like I wrote this book in the end trying to just let me be me. I didn't wanna try to be anything, I didn't wanna try and write it in a certain way. So I did not write the book with a specific audience in mind. We will see who the audience ends up being. But I hope the audience is anybody who one likes being entertained.

Skot Waldron (38:10.198)
Good. Yes, yes, okay.

Scott Mackey (38:36.068)
But two, when they look around, they're just like, I feel that things are broken. I don't feel good about reality right now. Maybe you are really anxious or really angry. Maybe you just have this sense of things being wrong and don't know what to do with it. I hope after reading the book, or I hope from an audience perspective, that people who feel that way can read the book. And at the end of it go, oh, I understand. And I have a sense of what I might be able to do about it.

And I'll also say this, I love Hunter S. Thompson. When I started trying to write a novel several years ago, I was like, I'm gonna be Hunter S. Thompson, but maybe with a heart. The best feedback that I've gotten so far has been great, because I've had, you know, 30 year old men who drink beer, and all others have like really enjoyed reading this. But the folks who are somewhat obsessed with the novel in a way that's caught me off guard are, I'm gonna call it women over the age of 50 or 55.

So I set out maybe trying to be Hunter S. Thompson and I think I'm instead of poor man's version of Barbara King's solver. But grateful for that as well.

Skot Waldron (39:43.918)
Well, you could always go into the Danielle Steele era as well and just rock that. I mean, I don't know if there's any of the steamy stuff in there, but you could go there.

Scott Mackey (39:54.508)
There's not. And if anybody buys the book in the end, and people will, but I will just be so grateful. And it is such a treat to have anyone choose to read 90,000 words to something you wrote. So I approach all of this with a lot of humility in that sense.

Skot Waldron (40:11.842)
That you are Scott, you've always been so, uh, I mean, just of our initial conversations, just so warm and open to converse and talk and to share ideas. And, um, you just seem like a bright, a bright spot, you know, um, I hope people gravitate towards, I hope, you know, and when you're reading the book, you're going to get some of that kind of idea out of this. I think that you're trying to be that here. Um, and that's coming out of you through the.

book. So yeah, you're going to feel these different characters. You're going to, you're going to know these characters because you probably either are one or you know, somebody that is one of these characters. Um, so it's going to be, it's very relatable. I mean, seriously, just the initial pages that, you know, you'll start to go, Oh yeah, yeah. You know, you started to connect and so well done from the writing perspective, um, doing that. Um,

I appreciate you, man, for being on the show and I appreciate your viewpoint. I appreciate you talking about something that is very important to all of us. Uh, that, that have a pulse that we really need to be, you know, talking and ruminating about these things and discussing them a bit more so, um, people can get the book now. Um, again, by the time this is out, it will be launched. And so, um, people can get it on Amazon. Yeah. Anywhere else?

They get books just.

Scott Mackey (41:37.532)
It's on Amazon and the book's website is love It'll be available there as well. And.

Skot Waldron (41:47.018)
Cool. Where, where do people connect with you? I mean, if they want to just kind of shoot the breeze with you, which you're very open to, I'm just going to say that because of the person you are. People just want to like talk to you and kind of share ideas and like, where do people find

Scott Mackey (42:03.124)
So I'm on TikTok and Instagram, it's just at Scott Mackie Writer. And then my personal website is scottmackie.me. So, scottmackie.me. Yeah.

Skot Waldron (42:16.686)
Cool. Awesome, man. Well, I wish you all the best. Like this is exciting for you. I just recently launched my own book. Um, and I'm excited to see what you do with yours so that I can learn from my mistakes, but also see, ah, that's that word. That was great. So, um, I'm excited for you and what you got going on here. So hopefully you make an impact and, uh, you know, keep doing the stuff you're doing, man.

Scott Mackey (42:24.932)
Yeah, we will.

Scott Mackey (42:45.68)
Yeah, thank you so much and I'm grateful for the opportunity, the platform, and how you show up in the world as well. You're very pleasant to be around and that's because you try to see people in a really beautiful way. So, thank you.

Skot Waldron (42:57.954)
Well, thanks. Hopefully when my mom listens to this, she will feel proud. So appreciate you, man.

Scott Mackey (43:04.064)
Moms feel proud, that's what they do.

Skot Waldron (43:07.126)
That is what they do. So, all right, buddy. Thanks, man.

Scott Mackey (43:10.304)
Have a good one. Take care.


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