Andrew W.K. wrote a viral column for the Village Voice last week, advising a son who wrote in to complain about his “right-wing” father that he needs to re-evaluate his outlook and start thinking of his dad as a person first. The column’s themes of love and unity struck a chord with Glenn, who invited him onto his TV show to talk more about how people could come together see one another as people rather than enemies on the opposite sides of the political aisle.
To start, the two discussed the need for people to cast off the cynicism and anger that often infects politics.
Andrew said, “The confusion that we feel in trying to decide what we think, what we believe – that’s natural. I think it’s actually very healthy to dive as deep as we can into beliefs and ideas and opinions, and allow them to make us passionate and to inflame us at times. But to never let them replace who we are deep down, which is a person. And the worst we lose sight that other people when they feel different than us, they aren’t people. And when I’ve felt that way it is frightening.”
During the conversation, Glenn admitted his own words in the past tended to inflame the partisan divide in the country. While he still believes all the things he said in that past, he has been trying to change his language and approach so that the message connects with even more people and results in an America united around core principles and values.
“I do believe in freedom and justice and mercy and all those things, and that’s what I felt like I was fighting for, but I got lost in being a part of the problem. But people will tell me ‘you can’t give up’, but I’m not giving up. I still believe those things, I don’t believe in the way we were trying to obtain those things or defend those things,” Glenn explained.
“To be humbled occasionally doesn’t mean you’re a weak person,” Andrew explained. “To be weak in terms of being open-minded and open-hearted isn’t a flaw. In fact, to be too proud to have moments of being humbled, that’s more flawed than anything. it’s a way to hold onto what you are without letting it cut you off from the rest of humanity.”
Andrew explained that his outlook comes from a positive place that he calls the “philosophy of partying”. He said it comes from “celebrating being alive” and connecting with inner joy.
“It is OK to be happy in life. Even through all the strife, maybe especially during times of great pain and suffering. We still have to be able to stay close to that joy because we can’t save the world in a bad mood.”