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Local podcast discusses partisanship, politics and polarization


Red or blue?  Donkey or elephant? Democrat or Republican? A new podcast explores the “purple” middle ground, focusing on the idea of partisanship and how it affects many aspects of daily life, not limited to situations involving politics. 

Self-described as “objective, fact-based, and non-partisan,” The Purple Principle is “a podcast for independent-minded Americans.” It is produced locally by Robert Pease, the founder of Fluent Knowledge.  

The Purple Principle team is made up of Pease, the creator and producer, Sarah Holtz, producer and senior editor, Emily Crocetti, reporter and researcher, Janice Murphy, director of marketing and senior editor and Kevin Kline, the sound engineer. 

The podcast launched this summer with several episodes available so far including “Heard from the Herd: Psychology and Partisanship” and “A Blind Date with Dividends: Dr Elliot Smith on Polarizing Algorithms.” 

Guests on the podcast include Jason Altmire, “a former three-term Centrist Congressman from Western Pennsylvania,” John Opdycke from the organization Open Primaries, Myq Kaplan, a stand-up comedian and Dr. Charles Wheelan, the founder of Unite America. 

“The people with power in this country are benefitting from politicizing everything they can so that they can fire up their constituents and maintain their power, but in the process, it’s really breaking down our society in a social way,” reporter and researcher Crocetti said in an interview with The New Hampshire.  

She graduated from Dartmouth College with a degree in neuroscience and a minor in philosophy, which has helped her provide insight to the podcast. In college, she found a passion in media production and telling stories. She found she could still apply her studies of neuroscience and philosophy in the lens of politics and socio-politics, at which she believes the human brain is the center. 

“A truth for all of this is that perception is reality… how people live their lives in this modern day society, mixed with this positive feedback loop of polarization, people getting more and more separated in their beliefs, plays into this degradation of shared reality and a shared sense of truth,” she said.  

Crocetti’s role includes conducting interviews, voicework, giving feedback on different musical or artistic choices, marketing and social media, making videos, promoting episodes, background research and fact-checking and working on new topics for episodes. 

Crocetti is particularly interested in starting a conversation about “what factors – psychological, sociological, technological –  what factors have caused the two political parties to become so polarized that they focus more on competing and defeating each other than they do on working together to actually solve problems.”  

She sees some of the goals of The Purple Principle to be starting a dialogue about what it means to be an independent or unaffiliated voter, including what to do when someone does not identify with one of the “extreme partisan groups.” She thinks these conversations do not happen often enough. 

The Purple Principle is available on SpotifyAppleGoogleStitcher, and Pandora. Their website has a section to “share your purple tale,” talk about a political compromise, share experiences as a “purple peacemaker,” and more. Crocetti said any inquiry, comment, or story is welcomed and the team will get back to anyone who reaches out. 

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