Placeholder Image

Subtitles section Play video

  • - Hey, I'm Savannah.

  • I'm 25 years old.

  • I am an ex-Republican and now Democrat.

  • - Hi, my name is Kat.

  • I'm 27 years old

  • And I am an ex-Democrat,

  • who now identifies as an Independent,

  • with more conservative leanings.

  • (soft music)

  • - Where did you grow up?

  • I grew up in Northern Indiana, on the outskirts of a city,

  • I was basically in Elkhart, Indiana.

  • 30 minutes away from the Amish, from Shipshewana.

  • My house was at the end of cornfield,

  • in the middle of the woods,

  • so I grew up in a small town in the Midwest.

  • - So I grew up an island north of Seattle,

  • called Whidbey Island.

  • Yeah, it was super small,

  • our main town, Langley, is about two streets.

  • And I grew up without television,

  • so I have a little bit different background.

  • I grew up with lots of nature and the radio station.

  • When did you first learn what politics were?

  • - I think I first learned about politics

  • from my dad when I was like six or seven years old,

  • because he would make jokes.

  • He would make like, the little one line, punch line jokes,

  • about other political parties.

  • And I started learning like, oh, this will be funny,

  • and that's side's bad, and this side's good.

  • Like, my dad would never say it that plainly,

  • but you could tell from reading between the lines.

  • I actually remember being like,

  • maybe eight years old and 9/11 had just happened,

  • and I was driving with my mom,

  • we were stopping off at a fast food place,

  • and we walk in, and there was a news reporter there.

  • And they were like, "How do you feel about this?"

  • And I remember smiling,

  • 'cause my dad had made a joke about Cuba.

  • And I was like, "Yeah, I think it's good

  • "that the president is going to invade Iraq.

  • "I think he should do Cuba next."

  • 'Cause I thought it would be funny,

  • and I had no idea, I was like eight years old.

  • And so of course, they put my picture and that quote,

  • and the fact that I was eight years old,

  • on the front page of our local newspaper.

  • - So when I was younger, I really enjoyed

  • going up into my grandmother's attic

  • and totally digging through all of her artifacts.

  • Her pins, buttons, travel items, all sorts of things.

  • I noticed there was a lot

  • of conservative buttons, paraphernalia.

  • And it got me thinking,

  • how could my loving, wonderful, artistic grandmother,

  • be such a conservative supporter?

  • And on an island half-full of hippies,

  • it feels like you would be absolutely alienated

  • if you were conservative.

  • It was that little inkling when I was younger,

  • that now has blossomed into what I know now.

  • Which is that, there's something very different

  • then what we've been told.

  • - What was your political affiliation growing up?

  • My political affiliation growing up

  • was completely right-wing conservative.

  • I would say up until the age of 12, I had this strong...

  • I felt like my identity was like,

  • Christian, home-schooled, in Indiana.

  • I remember slapping campaign stickers

  • for the McCain-Palin election, all over my notebooks.

  • And just posting about it on Facebook.

  • Everyone around me where I was growing up,

  • was right-leaning.

  • Whether that be, hardcore conservative

  • or Republican libertarian.

  • That was the spectrum.

  • - So I was surrounded by Democrats,

  • my family was not too active,

  • so we were all kind of like, in that middle zone,

  • where you think everyone's a Democrat.

  • Like, that's the right thing to be,

  • and we're fed all these things by the media

  • about Republicans, so it feels not cool to be that way.

  • What made you change your mind?

  • - I think it took a few years.

  • I think that I changed my mind through teenage years

  • into early adulthood.

  • I think it really took growing up

  • and seeing other parts of the world,

  • maturing, getting out of my bubble, college moving.

  • But I think I remember the biggest thing

  • that took me out of my bubble,

  • and it was more so like, a moral standpoint.

  • Is that I started doing musical theater

  • around age 12 or 13.

  • And that started exposing me to

  • a broader sense of the community.

  • And I remember I had tons of friends who were gay, LGBTQIA.

  • It must have been the first Obama election

  • into the second election,

  • that people kept talking about marriage.

  • Marriage and civil rights with LGBT,

  • and I remember that being such a hot topic,

  • and people around me in the community,

  • were saying stuff like,

  • "Well, you can have a union, but you can't have a marriage."

  • And I was like, wait.

  • Even being like 16, I'm like,

  • that is the definition of being prejudice.

  • The political landscape around that time

  • with marriage equality and LGBT,

  • with a lot of laws being passed from the other side,

  • to suppress it, really, really, really pushed me

  • into a different direction and a different path.

  • - In the first election that I got to be a part of

  • as a voter, I really got to think about politics

  • for the first time.

  • So this was around the time when Facebook

  • was starting to really take off,

  • and I was seeing a lot of libertarian forums,

  • and different perspectives,

  • and I wondered, am I an anarchist?

  • Why do I feel like what's going politically

  • with the Democrats is not making enough change?

  • Why do I feel like there's a discordance there?

  • And so I started to explore more groups,

  • and I discovered the Green Party.

  • Which was a little bit anarchist and a little bit pro Earth,

  • and then a little bit of worker's rights,

  • which is the main thing that I'm not supporting

  • is the working class.

  • The first time I got to vote,

  • I voted for Jill Stein as a Green Party candidate,

  • when it was Mitt Romney versus Obama,

  • and I got a lot of flack for it,

  • like why would you vote Green Party?

  • What is your vote gonna do?

  • But I truly believe and I still believe

  • that your vote needs to be a vote of conscience.

  • - What does your family think about your beliefs?

  • My family definitely knows.

  • I would say take those angsty teen years,

  • when I was 17 or 18 and then when I was like,

  • I'm gonna break free from Amish town.

  • I definitely used that as a way

  • to poke and jab at my parents.

  • I would love to sit down with my family

  • and have a more mature, older conversation,

  • but being in my younger years,

  • I feel like, I've directly been told things like,

  • oh, I remember when I went to college

  • and thought I was a liberal too,

  • and then I grew up and I learned.

  • And it's like, it's so demeaning.

  • I think the older I get, and the more healed I get myself,

  • that I realize a lot of people's reflectiona

  • are projections of their own understanding.

  • - In the beginning, my family has been kind of

  • individualistic when it comes to politics.

  • Like, it's your personal matter,

  • we don't really wanna talk about it too much,

  • because it does get a little heated.

  • I think even on Facebook,

  • when I would make a lot of political posts,

  • I would have family members, who I love very dearly,

  • reach out to me and say,

  • are you sure you wanna talk about this?

  • And that's when I'm like,

  • should I even be treading on people's toes?

  • Do I wanna make my family feel like,

  • maybe I don't agree with them.

  • But yeah, overtime the shift has been

  • from me being able to express how I feel,