DISPATCH OF THE DAY — June 14, 2012 – Kurt Bills and expanding my horizons
Last night I attended the 48 Hour Film Project. It’s a competition in which various film making teams are given 48 hours to complete a 3.5 to 7 minute film within a certain set of parameters (they must use certain character names, certain props, etc.). Kurt Bills campaign for US Senate competed as one of the teams of filmmakers.
Now, by way of full disclaimer, my wife Bridget works for the media company (Polidemic) that produced the Bills entry. So frankly, if she had not invited me I would not have attended. I am glad I did. Not only was the Bills entry one of the better received entries (kudos to Bridget and the team at Polidemic), but I was exposed to a whole host of interesting short films from aspiring Twin Cities films makers. It made me realize, to my horror, that as a comfortable suburbanite that I might actually benefit culturally by attending other similar such functions in the urban core in the future.
I also admired Kurt Bills campaign for taking a little bit of a risk. The conventional wisdom crowd in politics abhors risk. The problem with that is risk averse politicians produce risk averse leaders, which in turn produces analysis paralysis and gridlock where nothing gets done (welcome to modern American politics Captain Obvious). We also all know that against Amy Klobuchar a conventional campaign is going to get beat like a drum, therefore I suspect taking unconventional risks is a part of the campaign plan for the Bills team. So in the heart of Minneapolis, surrounded by hundreds of people attending a film festival (not the most conservative of audiences) Kurt Bills put a stake in the ground in a very creative way touting his principles and beliefs – reaching out to people who Republicans would never normally reach out to.
So maybe, just maybe, this little film project tells us something about Kurt Bills and the kind of candidate and leader he might be — the kind of leader that embraces new ideas and new approaches, the kind of leader not afraid to reach out to people who might not agree with him, the kind of leader that knows we are all going to have to step out of our comfort zone to solves the problems of this nation.
Only time will tell, but last night this jaded old political hack felt my horizons expand a bit and some of my old idealism return.