“We don’t know how it’s going to end. There is no ending”
Liberal or conservative, pro-Trump or Antifa, Lea Thau is here to burst your bubble. The Peabody award-winning producer and storyteller, who is openly critical of Trump, has just wrapped up months of road tripping with his supporters.
“I’m exhausted from having these conversations,” Thau says at the end the first episode Lea in Trumpland” a special three-part miniseries of “Strangers,” her popular radio series and podcast, which debuted April 29.
The journey of exploring Trump’s America was a departure for Thau and her show, which typically showcases extraordinary stories of humanity. Each episode, as described on its page, is an empathy shot in your arm, “featuring true stories about the people we meet, the connections we make, the heartbreaks we suffer, the kindnesses we encounter, and those frightful moments when we discover that we aren’t even who we thought we were.”
But after the election, Thau wanted to take the show and “explore the beauty and limits of human connection,” she tells GOOD. So, just one day after the election, she took to Facebook and shared with her listeners the deep pain and sorrow that she felt over the results. To her surprise, she had more than a few conservatives and Trump voters as listeners who were willing to share their own feelings as well.
“When you’re in your own little liberal cocoon, you think that they are hateful people and that they don't care one bit that we hate them, because they hate us too, and I was surprised that there were so many of them who were like, ‘I don’t hate my liberal friends. Why can’t we all just get along,’” Thau says.
So Thau’s journey with Trump supporters began. In the series, Thau not only sleeps over at a Trump supporter’s home, but she also went road tripping, smoked weed, and drank a little with them. “I tried to move the conversations to a different place,” Thau says.
The stories aren’t about finding common ground, or even agreeing to disagree. They are simply about opening up and conversing about Trump, about life, really about anything.
“My sole objective is to tell their story from their subjective point of view as honestly and beautifully as I can,” Thau explains.
She isn’t quite sure just how the series will end. “There are things that I don’t have answers for either,” she says. But without question it’s worth a listen—if not for the lesson in caring for one another, but at least for the entertainment value alone. And like America, the series could go on forever. “We don’t know how it’s going to end,” she says, “there is no ending.”