Chris Evans is launching a political website to show ‘both sides’

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When we discussed Chris Evans kicking Tom Brady’s MAGA hat to the curb, I mentioned that Chris was developing a political website. He wants to encourage bipartisanship by representing both sides of the aisle on policies and issues. Chris has been increasingly vocal about his politics these past few years. Fortunately for all his fans, he doesn’t just sound off, he also educates himself on the issues. This has led to a larger civic engagement (his words) project that is his website, called A Starting Point, that he’s co-founding with Mark Kassen and Joe Kiani. The idea is to ask the same questions to politicians from different parties and for visitors to weigh both sides of the argument. Last Friday, Chris sent a video to the members of Congress asking them to participate in the project and explained the idea behind the site. Here’s that video:

ASP invite from Chris Evans from Like Minded Entertainment on Vimeo.

Chris’summation of his project from the video:

Hi I’m Chris Evans. If you’re watching this, I hope you’ll consider contributing to my civics engagement project called A Starting Point. It’s a website designed to provide succinct answers to common questions by presenting both the Democratic and Republican points of view on dozens of issues across the political landscape… I want to make it clear that this website has nothing to do with my political opinions. It’s not about my political opinions, this is about yours. This is a chance for you to talk about the issues that matter to you.

Remember that this was made and played for politicians, so the ‘you’ means members of Congress, not you you. Although, he might consider opening it up to us once this thing takes off. We could talk about what matters to us, like if a person should or should not shave off a beard. In all seriousness, this sounds like a well thought out project. It would be a great resource for people who vote the issues. It’s well thought out because Chris repeatedly mentioned they are looking for succinct answers (something that makes every politician he spoke to blanch). I can’t tell you how many times I’ve wanted to know a candidate’s take on an issue only to wade through 12 paragraphs of fluff on their website trying to find it. So one minute answers to questions provided by A Starting Point will get to the heart of the matter. I love it. And he asked them to provide links so if the reader did want more information, they could find it. It’s smart, I’m really impressed. I should mention that all the politicians on the video seem truly supportive and welcome this project as a chance to present their views. But they’re politicians, what else are they going to say publicly?

Websites, no matter how noble, take money so let’s focus on Chris’ day job for a moment. The latest Avengers: Endgame clip is here:

I could write another post on my thoughts on this. I won’t, because I’m sure you’re having them too. So I’m just going to watch it again, and again, and again…

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73 Responses to “Chris Evans is launching a political website to show ‘both sides’”

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  1. ByTheSea says:

    I’m okay with hearing both sides of an argument; after all, we have a two-party system. I just hope it doesn’t provide a platform to white supremacy, bigotry (under the cloak of religious freedom), etc.

    • Nanny to the rescue says:

      As the Idiot-in-Chief would say: “Sounds good, doesn’t work.”

      If you want to include “both sides”, then the radical ends of both sides will accuse the centrists of the other side of crossing the line, and the centrists of the same side will usually agree or turn a blind eye. The moderator will then have to take a stand and show themselves as one or the other. Poof, “equality” gone.

      • Janie says:

        I think its more about presenting the actual opinions and policies of both sides accurately and in one place rather than scattered across varies news outlets and Wikipedia pages. This way they can make sure nobody is lying or misrepresenting things. A site that has an accurate and comprehensive summary of a politician’s opinions and policies would do a hell of a lot combating fake news. People are lazy and hate fact-checking so they’ll read the most convenient thing and believe it.

        This site would make learning the truth about a politician convenient and easy. Endless record correcting hasn’t done much to combat fake news because most people don’t have the time or care enough to constantly refresh Snopes’ twitter page.

        He’s promoting it as “both sides” so right-wing media can’t dismiss it as liberal propaganda or fake news. In theory, it’s an extremely effective way to combat the rise of fake news. You don’t have to keep correcting the record if there’s a definitive and convenient way for people to familiarize themselves with the record. Let’s hope it works in practice.

        Also, it’s super smart that he’s launching this right around Endgame and going in hard on associations between him and Captain America. It’s a lot harder to impugn Captain America than Chris Evans. His PR guy should get a raise.

  2. Chef Grace says:

    What I read in several reports is he has a set of questions and allows them to choose which ones they want to answer. Seems kinda chicken shit to me but jmo. I hope he can sort the b.s. out from it all. And I pray he didn’t get blinded by that racist with the Cap shield glass eye. And he should have cancelled Brady period.

  3. ds says:

    He really took Captain America seriously. But jokes aside, this is great. I like this guy.

  4. Darla says:

    He has taken some heat for this on Twitter, but I don’t think this is both siderism, it’s something different. It’s a way to cut around fake news. To get to the real issues and the conservative and liberal plans to solve them. Cons really did used to have plans, and maybe this will bring thinking back to the Republican party? No? Too big an ask?

    I’m interested in seeing where this goes.

    • WingKingdom says:

      It’s a great concept in a world of politicians with sincere ideas, but in this world… I don’t know, I’ll cross my fingers and hope something nice will come out of this.

      • Darla says:

        I know. It’s so frustrating too, because if we are going to take bold action on climate change (for one obvious and very pressing example) we actually do need a functioning, thinking, republican party. We don’t have one.

      • Kitten says:

        Why we need to abolish the filibuster.

      • Esmom says:

        I agree. I think the only way this could work is with real time fact checking. And if Republicans keep being exposed as liars, the project will be dubbed as “fake news.” I honestly don’t think it’s possible to show both sides when one side can’t be relied on to participate in good faith.

      • Megan says:

        @Kitten agree 100%. We don’t have time to wait for a super majority on climate change. The filibuster needs to go if Senate Democrats are serious about passing bold legislation.

    • Erinn says:

      I’m pretty convinced it’s going to be an absolute shit-show. I don’t know if he has a full grasp on how quickly this could go awry.

      If they’re going to source facts and studies and be absolutely unbiased about presenting things as they are – that’s great. But I suspect they’re going to get hit by both sides pretty hard. It won’t be liberal/progressive enough. But then you’ll have all the neck-beards hacking and doxxing away because it’s not spreading lies.

      IF they can pull this off, I’ll be incredibly impressed. But I suspect he’s overestimating the ‘good’ in the world. I mean – we can’t even have MOVIE REVIEWS escape being attacked. Let’s throw some gas on the fire and see what happens with a political site.

    • sa says:

      I agree, based on the above this doesn’t sound like bothsidesism to me. He’s doesn’t seem to advocating that the sides are equal, simply that these are the options for people to choose between, which they are.

    • Elkie says:

      Hahahahahahahaha!!

      I do love your optimism, but the Republican plan for 2020 is to scream “soshulism!!”, “marxism!!”, “baby killers!!” and “open borders!!” at anyone to the left of Attila the Hun, as the MSM amplify any Democrat misstep whilst normalising the sundowning rotting Jack o’Lantern and (if he isn’t the nominee) the Bernie Bros pout it out again.

      • Darla says:

        I know Elkie. I really agree with your entire post. And I love the way you worded it. But this era has to end somewhere and a new one begin, and we don’t really know where that inflection point will be, and I don’t think we will recognize it as such until later on.

      • Red Snapper says:

        A Democrat and a Republican agree to go out for dinner.

        Dem: How about Italian food?
        Rep: I want tire rims and anthrax.
        Dem: …?… How about Chinese?
        Rep: I want tire rims and anthrax.
        Dem: ….. A steakhouse?
        Rep: WHAT PART OF I WANT TIRE RIMS AND ANTHRAX DO YOU
        NOT UNDERSTAND?

        New York Times: Democrats Refuse To Negotiate!!

      • ItReallyIsYou,NotMe says:

        I am not sure it will work, but I want to see where it goes because at least he’s trying something to get both sides of the story out in a forum that people can digest.

    • Megan says:

      Honestly, I find this absurdly naive. Public policy issues are extremely complicated and nuanced. The idea that there are “simple” answers to how we address urgent and pressing issues is ridiculous. Also, he is going to let site visitors comment, which means the trolls from both ends of the political spectrum will be shouting at each other just like they do everywhere else. Another celebrity dilettante.

  5. ZGB says:

    I think it’s a welcome idea, especially on the focus on succinct answers. The other day, I was watching Meet The Press and there was this official that was interviewed who couldn’t answer with clear views to save his life. He was so transparently diplomatic to the point of spinelessness

  6. Rapunzel says:

    Both sides? Like the lying side and the truth telling side? I’m all for respecting others’ opinions, but that’s become a key factor in destroying truth lately. Your opinion doesn’t deserve respect if it’s flat out inaccurate. This is why measles outbreaks are occurring– cause people think their opinions are fact and that their “side” must be respected. Ugh.

    My point: Evan’s better be careful to not give airtime to lies.

    • Muffy says:

      This is exactly the problem with it. The GOP can say,”I’m for covering everyone and the last bill we introduced would have covered everyone” but in practice, it would have “covered” everyone at a price that most could never afford. It allows the spewing of talking points that have no basis in reality.

    • Esmom says:

      Yes, I said something similar above. They’ll need to have a real time fact checker. Which the lying side will work to discredit. I guess I admire the optimism of these guys but I don’t see how it can work. In what universe would any Republican outline their agenda truthfully?

    • Xi Tang says:

      You’re correct. I like Chris a lot. Not cancelling him. He will forever be my second favourite Chris. But this is bullshit.
      There’s both sides when discussing the budget. But there is no both sides when one party is making laws to ban muslims or deny asylum seekers (or animals, as trump refers to them) from entering the US.

    • Who ARE These People? says:

      Yes, this is the point. There aren’t two ‘sides’ to everything…there is the truth and there are lies. There are facts and there are opinions about those facts. We used to understand this, but commercial and extreme political interests have blurred everything over the past few decades. This risks being one big “advertorial.”

      • adastraperaspera says:

        Bingo. Risks amplifying authoritarian voices in charismatic packages and reinforcing a horseshoe of disinformation. Silences moderates, and at just the time we need them to get out and vote for Democrats. Worries me…

    • Kitten says:

      All of this is why the concept of BI-PARTISAN-ship is bullshit. In order for bipartisanship to work you need BOTH parties committed; BOTH parties acting in good faith. We know that the Republicans are incapable of this.

      Even within the context of 2020, the idea that a moderate candidate could work across the aisle with these nut jobs is not just unrealistic, it’s ludicrous. Obama tried that time and time again. Most notably, with Merrick Garland–a moderate choice for an SCJ that he assumed the Republicans would be ok with–and we know how that turned out.

      You either want a better quality of life for ALL Americans or you want to be friends with Republicans. Only two choices. Because after the last ten years, we know for certain that these two things are mutually exclusive. I want a strategic fighter, not someone who’s going to acquiesce to GOP demands or let these guys continue to hold us hostage while they carry out their unconscionable political agenda. There is too much on the line. Our country is DYING and we need a cohesive plan to fix it, even if it means changing the makeup of the court, abolishing the filibuster or the electoral college. We can’t be afraid to make big changes in order to save our country from peril.

      So yes, I agree that Chris’s idea would work much better if the Republicans were a normal political party and not a group of morally-bereft, power-hungry science-deniers.

      • Who ARE These People? says:

        Sing it, sister!

      • Jerusha says:

        To any Kentuckians: find a candidate NOW and start working to remove McConnell from all our lives. He is one of the most evil persons who has ever held power. He is a major player in the ruination of this country. Please, whatever it takes.

      • Muffy says:

        Jerusha, check out awesome Amy McGrath in Kentucky.

      • Jerusha says:

        Muffy, if she gets the nom we all need to support her, with donations, phone banks, door to door, whatever needed.

      • Kitten says:

        Oh I know, Jerusha. McConnell is the nucleus at the center of this shitstorm. McGrath has an uphill battle but we have to help her climb any way that we can.

      • notthisagain says:

        @ Kitten
        I usually love your commentary but I’m a black woman on the left and there is no way I could support the GOP but lest not pretend that the Dem aren’t money hungry science deniers as well.

        Just last week the Dems powered through a bill that would penalize Rape/DV/Homeless shelters for not allowing fully intact males to bunk , shower and undress with women fleeing male violence on the basis that these males “identify ” as women
        This has been a disaster all around the world where it has been implemented including women and girls being raped in the very place they are seeking refuge

        I hold no brief with trans people they too need protection BUT not at the expense of women and girls and denying biological reality, the propensity of people born male to violence and the physical vulnerability of women is peak science denial

        I personally know a woman who went to a shelter where she was forced to share a room with a burly 200 lb bearded ” woman” and was told by the shelter there is nothing they can do as the person says they are a woman so if she doesnt like it she can leave
        She and the other female roommate ended up taking turns sleeping as said “woman” kept staring and asking them questions about thier breasts, she left the next day .The bodily privacy , dignity safety of women and girls are being sacrificed by all of this .

        The man on the right think that a woman’s body is HIS property whilst the man on the left think that a woman’s body is EVERYBODY’S property
        I’m only voting Dem to get rid of Trump but they are betraying women and girls under guise of progressiveness.

        https://abc30.com/homeless-women-harassed-in-shower-lawsuit-says/3514544/

      • Kitten says:

        First of all, thank you for the reply, notthisagain, and thank you for that link.

        I’m not certain but I’m guessing that you are referring to the Violence Against Women Act?

        I think that bill has a LOT of good thing in it: it allows U.S. citizens to be tried in tribal courts for crimes of domestic/dating violence committed by non-native perpetrators on native lands; a provision to create a pathway for an “alternative justice response” as a form of mediation between victims and abusers; and the expansion of existing protections to include transgender victims. It would also close the “boyfriend loophole” to expand existing firearm prohibitions to include dating partners convicted of abuse or stalking charges.

        Those are all good things to me. The transgender issue that you reference is….VERY complicated. I’m not sure I have a good solution for your concerns and I agree that it must be addressed.

        In regards to the problems within the Democratic party, I’m fairly certain you and I would agree about a lot of things. I’m a registered independent for a reason. I’ve never believed that the Democratic party could or would ever successfully address all the issues I care about. And I agree that there have undoubtedly been failures on the left, but I have great hope that things are changing for the better. Just look at the mid-terms and how successful we were with bringing in new faces and voices to represent the big tent that is the Left.

        I feel your frustration though, and that’s why I’m really pushing for change on every level.

  7. Ader says:

    But will they fact check these politicians?

    I don’t know. We’ll have to wait and see, but this feels like just another opportunity for spin. It’s like political video Twitter. Only short answers?

    Sure, fluff is no good. But short answers give them an opportunity to design effective-but-inaccurate sound bytes that people latch on to.

    • lucy2 says:

      That’s it for me – if they fact check and call the politicians on it, fine, but otherwise, I don’t see the point.

  8. Lightpurple says:

    Love the blast of Boston accents at the start.

    Evans is no novice at this. His uncle Mike Capuano represented parts of Boston in Congress for a decade and he worked on his uncle’s campaigns and learned a lot from him. So, no, he is not likely to be blindsided by any one. We used to have a government in which opposite sides would come together to form legislation that helped the people. Ted Kennedy was a master at that. Someone has to find the common ground to move things forward. That’s what this is about.

    • Kitten says:

      It’s how I feel every time I hear Ed Markey talk on the senate floor. Sounds like home :)

      Capuano is such a good dude. I ended up voting for Ayanna Pressley and I don’t regret it but man, it wasn’t an easy choice. Capuano is definitely stronger on foreign policy.
      I wish he’d run for governor… I think he would actually have a decent chance of beating Baker.
      (maybe)

      • Lightpurple says:

        I’m hoping he runs for governor too. He did a great job as mayor of Somerville, turning the city around, so he has executive experience too. Although that probably will be a crowded race when the Democrats decide Baker is finally vulnerable

    • Cady says:

      LMFAO the Chris Evans stans are trying really, really hard at this.

  9. Jenns says:

    Yeah…no.

    The Republican party supports Trump and all of his policies. That’s all I need to know. And I don’t need to hear a bunch of white dudes answer these questions using terms like “Financial responsibility, personal responsibility, keeping our boarders safe” when they really mean “racism, f**k the poor and racism.”

  10. Jerusha says:

    This sounds similar to what my local newspaper does-presents a set of questions to the candidates and they respond in a few sentences. Interested to see how this works out.

    • Who ARE These People? says:

      Does your paper then substantiate the facts behind their statements? Without that, it isn’t as helpful to voters as it ought to be. Journalism is (supposed to be) all about accountability.

      • Jerusha says:

        Our opinion page columnists will chime in(they actually lean liberal), but down here in Alabama the Rs own every. single. statewide. office! They can be quite open and truthful about their intention to outlaw abortion in every circumstance or their intent to not expand Medicaid. No need to sugarcoat. Some, like current governor Kay Ivey, run and hide and refuse to answer questions or debate, but if your name is in the R column, so what. We have a massively stupid population here. People without a pot to piss in will vote for a plutocrat if (s)he’s Republican.

  11. SKF says:

    Good for him!

    This clip excites me!

  12. Incredulous says:

    Hi, I’m perfectly okay with separating children from parents, putting them in cages and denying them basic needs because they are not white. Please consider my thoughts on the economy, my white paper if you will, it’s pretty short at only 1,488 words long.

    • Elkie says:

      Well, if Chris is willing to dress up as Captain America and fact check with his fists, I am not opposed to him inviting a few white nationalists on. In the interests of balance…

  13. Mia4s says:

    Oh I don’t see this ending well at all! I think he means well (I really do) but there are 15 million ways this goes horribly wrong.

    I assume he wants to run for office some day? That’s the scent this gives off. Hell, he could be president. The last few years have clearly shown you don’t need education, experience, or even human decency to get elected as American President. He seems decent at least. Wearing spandex and fighting CGI monsters will only be an asset to his campaign.

  14. Kealeen says:

    Let’s see if he offers Ayanna Pressley a chance to submit her opinions.

  15. Cady says:

    Considering Evans was buddying up with the extremely racist eye-patch Republican guy, I have no hope for this.

  16. Lala11_7 says:

    One political party has existed….for DECADES on racism and sexism and fascism….and greed for the wealthy

    There can NEVER been a two sided argument when one party has BUILT their political platform on those inhumane planks…and I for one am tired of everyone being complicit regarding that fact…

    The Republican Party needs to go the way of the Whigs…PERIOD!

  17. Valiantly Varnished says:

    I was ready to bash him with that “both sides” bs but this is actually a decent idea. The structure of it is great for hopefully getting to the heart of where a politician stands on an issue.

    • Raven says:

      I think its pretty clear of the where the politicians stand on issues.

      • Who ARE These People? says:

        Yah. It might be more useful to build a user-friendly portal linking to all of
        the candidate policy pages on campaign websites. I’d like one-stop shopping without having to “X for president” and “Y for America.” People are lazy.

        One page for Candidates on Climate Change links, one page for Candidates on Voting Rights links, one page for Candidates on the Economy links, and so on.

  18. Vizia says:

    I love to read mediabiasfactcheck.com. They rate various websites for factual content and left/right leanings, including parody and scientific sites. Sometimes reading the different headlines about the same topics from different sources cracks me up.

  19. ShockandAwwww says:

    Cool. Where’s the website that includes all of the other sides? The libertarian side? The socialist side? The communist side? There is a glaringly obvious reason why 50% of eligible voters don’t participate: Two parties is not cutting it.

    Where is the website that addresses voter suppression? Gerrymandering? A consistent history of political b.s.? Lack of transparency? Accountability? Direct representation?

    K

    • Kitten says:

      Here’s a website that addresses all the issues you mentioned: https://elizabethwarren.com/issues/

      She wants to BAN gerrymandering and make sure corrupt CEOs serve prison time. C.A.R.E for the opiate crisis, the Accountable Capitalism Act to tackle Wall Street corruption and large corporate monopolies, Right to Repair law to allow consumers to fight back against Big Agro, and on and on.
      ACTUAL policies, not just shallow promises, standard rhetoric, and vague platitudes.

    • Cady says:

      “There is a glaringly obvious reason why 50% of eligible voters don’t participate”

      No, it’s mostly because they are apathetic and have no sense of civic duty and wouldn’t care even if there were 23057025823058 political parties in this country.

  20. Scal says:

    It’s easy to be about ‘both sides!’ when you don’t have skin in the game. And lets be honest, Chris Evans wouldn’t feel any impact from either policy position. As a rich person (and a rich white male to boot) he’s insulated from any lasting impact which is why he has the privilege to look at all issues from a neutral zone. It’s the same thing with Susan Sarandon and her whole Hilary would have been just as bad as Trump argument.

    It’s a faulty reasoning that somehow there are always only 2 sides to any issue, and that both sides are EQUALLY valid. Some positions are just invalid. To me there isn’t two valid sides of a debate when one side wants to put children in cages, close a legal border, regulate my uterus, suppress the rights of POC/LGBTQ/women, and demands that everyone be quiet while we strip away health care and civil/reproductive rights while ignoring climate change and gun violence. But we’ll explain this all to you in less than a minute, but only the questions that we can cherry pick from your list. I’m sure Steve Miller can explain his new immigration policies in less than a minute-that doesn’t make them acceptable.

    This is a hard NO from me. Sorry-there’s to much at stake.

    • Kitten says:

      Right. Science VS Non-Science isn’t a “debate”.
      You start with TRUTH first then you form your differing opinions from there. But if both parties don’t have a basic agreement about what is real and what is not, then there’s no discussion to be had.

  21. Darla says:

    I hope everyone who dissing this is going to be out there on the ground this summer! trump is about to start ripping babies from their parents again, and we need boots on the ground. To me this here could be useful in the future as some small turning point or building block, I don’t know. I don’t like to dismiss people who are trying to help out of hand, and I can wait and see. Also, I would like to keep some small little hope in my heart, if that’s okay with you! In the meantime, I will be out on the ground fighting for babies against nazis, hope to see you there!

  22. Eve says:

    Has he really he kicked Tom Brady to the curb? Or he was just paying lip service to those who pointed out his hypocricy?

    Anyway, I don’t like this “project”. There are no good faith sides when one of them is certified horrible.

  23. Miss M says:

    Well intentioned project. Not sure if the execution will hold up. Good luck, Evans!

  24. Lilly (with the double-L) says:

    Oh good, the hero we’ve been waiting for…

  25. Wood Dragon says:

    Sounds worthy. Not sure if he can find any sensible Republicans who won’t double talk him though.

  26. Alyse says:

    As a non-American… this seems like a great concept to me?

    Encourages people to hear both sides – and use that as a starting point to figure out which side they really do identify with, and what issues they want to learn more about etc.

    As an outsider, I’ve seen the US’s massive bipartisanship as one of your most obvious problems for getting stuff done. This seems like a way to start shifting the mood to be more amicable, if nothing else.

    But really, it’s crazy to me that a nation that big and diverse is under one 2 party system….
    I’m from tiny NZ and we have MMP voting, which brings quite a few more voices into the house of Parliament (even if there’s really only 2 parties in the running for PM)
    Not that our system is perfect either, but I do like that aspect of things.