A self-described Liberal man has been posting fliers around the streets of New York City in the hopes that it will bring fresh conservative perspectives into his life. Alex Reinoso, 33, is one of many Americans that feels caught in an echo chamber of all-too similar-ideas and perspectives on his social media news feeds. He is taking an old-fashioned approach to bring new and challenging ideas into his life; a friendly face-to-face conversation over a warm beverage.
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“Hi, I’m Alex. I’m a liberal. All of my friends are liberal,” the flier reads. “My newsfeed is one-sided. Are you conservative and dealing with the same issue? If so I’d like to talk. We’ll take things slow at first and see where it goes from there.”
Reinoso says that the fliers have been a great success, despite being contacted by several people that “want to yell at me.” He says that he has already met, and had wonderful conversations with, two people and spoke with a third man on the phone who drove from Omaha, Nebraska to help his daughter move to New York City.
The issues they discussed ranged from health care reform to “a little bit of Trump,” according to Reinoso. He says that, regardless of political ideas, they were all able to find common ground on one topic: ethics in journalism and the proliferation of fake news.
Reinoso and the people he spoke with agreed that it’s too easy to ignore or block out opposing viewpoints in today’s digital world. They agreed that this leads to a more divisive America where issues aren’t discussed, because the ability to literally block out opposing views and perspectives means the issues are never acknowledged. He says that the face-to-face conversations prevent name-calling and personal attacks that are seemingly inevitable in online debates.
Reinoso says he plans to keep the project going for Trump’s first 100 days in office. He claims to have no political agenda and simply wants to be able to hear the other side of the conversation in a civil and friendly manner.
“I kind of didn’t want to have a complete agenda. I just wanted to listen and have an engaging conversation,” Reinoso told DNAinfo New York. “It’s kind of like getting to know our neighbor. I believe in that community, having opposing views but [being] able to talk it out… Its been nice to listen.”