With his clean-cut good looks, Chris Evans seems destined to be a movie star. But now that he’s (allegedly) hanging up his shield as Captain America, Chris is more interested in politics.
No, he’s not running for office–at least not yet. But he is starting up a new project called “A Starting Point.” The website will feature American politicians from both sides of the aisle to debate the issues.
Although Chris had been hinting at a new, post-Avengers project for a while, most people assumed it’d be a new movie role. Maybe he’d even step back behind the camera to write and direct another film. Instead, CNN “obtained” a video where Captain America pitched A Starting Point to US Congressmen.
“I hope you’ll consider contributing to my new civics engagement project called A Starting Point,” said to the camera, his face framed by a perfectly manicured beard. “It’s a website designed to provide succinct answers to common questions by presenting both the Democratic and Republican point of view on dozens of issues across the political landscape.”
The idea behind A Starting Point is that Chris Evans wanted to “get both sides of an issue in a succinct way that [he] can trust.” He sent out a video of himself pitching his idea to US Congressmen. He wants one-minute soundbites on some of the most complicated political issues facing us today.
Chris clarified that this is not a liberal or conservative project, and that his personal political views aren’t a factor. He simply wants a literal starting point for average people to learn about hot topics in Washington.
A Starting Point isn’t a news organization. Instead, it’s a “civics engagement project.” Chris didn’t mention the media in his promotional video, but it seems like he felt the American public wasn’t getting a chance to see both sides of policy arguments.
How much can you learn in 2 minutes of videos from opposing politicians? Probably not a lot of substance. That’s why Chris encouraged the participants to include 2-3 links for people to learn more. The politicians can also choose not to answer questions or re-record their answers if they want.
Although he publicly lambasted the Trump administration for their immigration policies, he told Esquire in 2017 that he felt the middle ground was getting lost in the shouting match between Republicans and Democrats.
“There are a lot of people in that middle,” he said. “If you’re trying to change minds, by spewing too much rhetoric you can easily become white noise.”
Is A Starting Point the first step in Chris Evans’ own road to public office? Or does he legitimately just want to open people’s minds to other perspectives?
One problem with his approach is that it assumes all Republicans or Democrats think alike and agree on issues. That seems more partisan, not less. It also reinforces the idea that there are two equally valid sides to every argument. Maybe that’s true in less volatile times, but Chris is getting some flak from liberal-leaning commentators for his “both sides” approach.
As a handsome, wealthy movie star, most of these issues don’t affect him personally. Maybe that makes it easier for him to calmly listen to both sides of a debate. For many other people in America, those issues are literally life-and-death.
We’ll have to wait to see if A Starting Point will be a revolutionary new way for us to learn about political policies–or just another place where the issues are boiled down to soundbites.