Disagreeing agreeably: A Thanksgiving Miracle

Disagreeing agreeably

LEWISTON, Maine (NEWS CENTER) --

Zac Chavaree lives in Rangeley and there’s no question he looks like it.

He’s a member of the NRA, hunts coyotes with an AR-15 and paves roads for a living.

“I am not a politically correct person, I tell it like it is or how I see it anyways,” said Chavaree

He’s also passionate about politics .

This year, in between killing rabbits for dinner and growing potatoes, he spent a lot of time thinking about the presidential election.

“I’m sure people are like, how can you support Hillary Clinton and also be a firearms advocate?.” he mused. “

Yup, this bearded, 260 pound, multi-generation Mainer who lives in the woods, said there was no way he could vote for President-Elect Donald Trump.

“One thing that does make me worry is I have an 11 year-old,” he said. “She’s going to become a young woman during this presidency. The thing on the bus, it was boys talk, it was, he didn’t know he was being filmed but it was what he said, it wasn’t just a derogatory joke.”

Over a hundred miles south of Rangeley in Eliot, there’s a small car garage on a quiet street in sight of New Hampshire.

Most days you’ll find Dan Richards here underneath some kind of car or another.

Dan likes to paint on the side and would rather pay the bills with that than fix cars.

“These automobiles, they redesign them every model year, as soon as you get good at fixing one aspect of it, they change it,” he said.

Dan also likes to watch the news on PBS and keeps up with foreign news.

“I was preaching Brexit like heck and look what happened over there, people who hadn’t voted in decades got off their couches and they went out and voted,” he said.

Dam even thinks President-Elect Trump should watch his tone on social media.

“Someone should take away his Twitter account, that’s going to get him into trouble repeatedly,” he said.

You can see where we’re  going with this right?

The twist is Dan voted for Trump and likes him a lot.

“Some people will say he got a silver spoon you know was given a million dollars and built this empire,” Dan explained. “Plenty of people could have been given a million dollars and end up in a ditch in no time.”

That’s not to say Richards tuned out Hillary Clinton.

He watched her speeches and says her message didn’t resonate with him.

“She wasn’t talking to me at all, she was talking to women and minorities and she had nothing to say to me,” he explained.

Head spinning or blood boiling yet? Good. Dan and Zac want you to feel that way.  

They also have a lot in common and think all Americans can all talk about our differences respectfully.  

That’s what they did when we invited them to Governor’s in Lewiston for dinner and coffee with Dustin Wlodkowski.

Here’s some of what they talked about.

 

DUSTIN: What the heck happened? You both aren’t what people imagine

 

DAN:  I think that’s a huge problem. They’re trying to put us into categories, they’re trying to break us down. These are the educated, these are the college educated voters, these are the Latinos, it’ can’t be broken down that way, it just can’t be.

 

The whole hour they sat and talked  Zac and Dan didn’t yell at each other.

Instead they talked about their differences on issues like political correctness and national security.

 

DAN:  Presidents,  I thought were always tougher.  They weren’t so concerned that what they might say might offend somebody and got things done and I felt our country was safe.

 

ZAC: I agree with, you know, the political correctness thing, that doesn’t bother me. I don’t sugar coat anything, ask anybody that knows me. You don’t know what’s coming out next. But I feel like there’s really a line of politically correct things that might offend people and I don’t care if anyone is offended if the truth is the truth but you can cross that line into you know…derogatory statements.

 

They also agreed on a lot, like Donald Trump’s stance on term limits for legislators.

 

DUSTIN:  How do you get somebody who actually writes the laws to be kind of like you and maybe get themselves out of their own comfort zone?

 

ZAC: Diversity when it comes to the people making the laws. I think that is something good that may come out of it is, some of these term limits.  I think that will be productive change.

 

DAN: Mix up the gene pool here a little bit. You’ve got to  get rid of some of the dead wood and bring in some fresh ideas. You can’t have the same people making the same wrong decisions over and over.

 

One more area of agreement. compromise and  having respectful conversations.

The pair think lawmakers and the rest of us need to do more of both.

 

DUSTIN: How do you two navigate life with people with different opinions? You’re doing it right now but how do you get along with everybody?

 

ZAC: it’s pretty easy to get along. I don’t know what’s hard about it.  If someone has a different viewpoint, that doesn’t make them stupid or any of that.

 

DAN:  If it’s obvious that someone has  real passionate belief and they’re even aggressive about trying to sell you on their belief, you don’t have to engage them.  You can just not say much. It was good talking to you, alright see you around. It’s not hard to do, you don’t have to go flip over someone’s car.


At the end of the evening, Dan and Zac agreed to exchange Christmas cards and said they hope this interview proves Americans can get along after such a divisive election. 

Copyright 2016 WCSH


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