Here’s To Talking

The point: I’d like your help to spread an important and timely society-healing message by sharing or performing one of two songs. This is the conservative song of the pair. You can listen to the song on Spotify or other streaming services (search for ReliaSolve) or preview a copy by clicking on the image or on this link

The details: I’m trying to help reverse the polarization of society into opposing groups that consider each other to be irredeemably flawed and to be fought rather than reasoned with. My twenty five years of experience as a professor and VP developing nanotechnology, virtual reality, and medical diagnostics offers no help so I’m trying a community approach.

It seems that many people draw much of their world view and approach to social engagement from media sources (Facebook, YouTube, podcasts, music, etc.) and that these media are also becoming polarized and unforgiving of real dialog. A shift of this media to give permission to talk and to provide an example of how it might work could help encourage improvement. This would not provide a full solution to the problem, but it will provide a shifting of the landscape to make it more acceptable.

To that end, I wrote a pair of songs — one aimed at moderate conservatives and one at moderate liberals — that incorporate the concept of active listening into their choruses and express the notion that we might respond to what seem like ridiculous views by engagement rather than, well, ridicule. They admit the large rifts between our initial positions and they express the full outrage that we enter the conversation with, but they offer an alternative outcome.

Working with Curtis Stith (a talented singer-songwriter that I know) over the course of several months and dozens of rewrites, the songs were reduced in length and radically reworked and improved. They were then reviewed by family and friends from both the liberal and conservative camps. Finally, they were reviewed by colleagues and strangers and further refined and produced to a level that shows their potential.

I then worked with David Spencer (an established producer and songwriter in Nashville) over several months to rework the songs again, refining them to the level where they could be released and hiring vocalists to produce polished versions.

To have maximum impact, they would be performed by popular artists in concert and on various media outlets (radio and web-based distribution sites). In one optimal case, two artists from different viewpoints would perform at a shared concert as a further expression of permission to engage each other as people rather than simply foes.

At this point, I’m seeking artists who want to engage with this issue and to help pull everyone back into the same family. These songs could be useful to you as vehicles to carry that message. The styles and melodies would need to be adapted and the lyrics further revised to match your style, but the current forms convey the message in a voice that matches each camp and is well received by many listeners.  If you’re interested, send email to

In the meantime, if you want to help: share a link to this page, share the songs on playlists, and spread the word!


I Hate everything that you just said, can’t even wrap it round my head
so man… how ‘bout a beer?
Maybe we can hash it out / I’ll try my hardest not to shout
So you can speak your mind and try to make it clear
[verse close]
I’ll bite my tongue and still my heart / to keep the horse before the cart
and open up the door for what you’ve got to say.
I won’t agree, I won’t attack / but in my own words say it back.
So here’s to to talkin’; let’s try to find a way.
[pre chorus]
I’m not divine, you’re not the devil.
We’ve both got somethin’ we gotta hear.
Let’s give it a try – keep it on the level
We’ve got the start of something good right here.
Keep it real with me … start to heal with me…
Let’s stop building up the fencin’ … just tell me what you’re feelin’
Keep it real with me … start to heal with me…
We’ve got the start of something good right here.
Stick to your guns, I stick to mine / It usually ends up in a fight
But that won’t get us anywhere.
However much we disagree / however hard it is to see
I will not kick or bite, or even pull your hair.
[verse close] Change: So let’s keep talking; there’s gotta be a way
[pre chorus]

Why’s it so hard for me to see
That you’re a person just like me?
You say it’s hard as hell for you
to see me as a person too…
[pre chorus]