In an election year, there is nothing more powerful than the voices of regular Americans. Their excitement, hope, disappointment, anger, and distress have a greater impact than any politician's words ever could.
Citizens United Productions knows that. For their soon-to-be-released documentary, "The Hope and the Change," producer David N. Bossie and Writer/Director Stephen K. Bannon traveled to the swing states of Colorado, Florida, Iowa, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Virginia to interview forty Democrats and independents who supported Barack Obama in 2008 and will not be backing him in 2012. The film will be screened at the Republican and Democratic conventions before wider distribution begins.
In a recent interview, Writer/Director Stephen K. Bannon told me that with the assistance of Democratic consultants Pat Caddell and Kendra Stewart, "It took a year to plan, locate, and film the voters." Bannon was impressed with the very first focus group, noting that "The way they articulated the angst, fear, and trepidation about their lives, the country, and their children's futures was incredible."
Throughout the documentary, 24 Democrats and sixteen independents recount how the euphoria and optimism they felt about candidate Obama were replaced with disappointment and dissatisfaction with President Obama's policies and their destructive ramifications.
Viewers experience the unfiltered, from-the-heart stories of former Obama supporters, including such 2008 sentiments as "He is just a charismatic individual who I saw as a knight in shining armor" and "Everyone was just so excited for this savior of our nation" to 2012 revelations like "What I see now is not who I saw during his campaign" and "We don't care that you're out at talk shows…I want to see you make this economy better."
From the bailouts to the stimulus to "Cash for Clunkers" to ObamaCare, the 40 outspoken and passionate individuals express a distaste for the direction in which President Obama has led the country.
They reject his overspending, his lack of transparency, ObamaCare's mandates and penalties, his out-of-touch focus on basketball brackets and Hollywood schmoozing, his lavish taxpayer-funded vacations, his embrace of divisive class warfare, the excessive borrowing and printing of money, and his repetitive, unfulfilled promises.
Voices from among the 40 reject bailouts in favor of personal responsibility, reject distractions and lofty rhetoric in favor of solutions and straight-talk, and express "buyer's remorse" for the candidate they were proud to back in 2008.
These voters aren't blind to the foreclosures, the unemployment numbers, the rising food and gasoline prices--because these are unfortunate realities they are living every single day.
Stephen K. Bannon expressed to me that he "wanted to make a film that looked at the central issue of this campaign, voters in the key districts of the key battleground states who put their trust in candidate Obama in 2008 by supporting and voting for him. Only Democrats and Independents--no Republicans, conservatives, Tea Party folks or libertarians." He added, "I wanted to see their journeys and the direction the country took through their eyes."
That is precisely what he accomplished. Their journeys--the struggles, the realizations, and the conclusions--come to life through the power of their very own words.
When it comes to 2012, one interviewee from "The Hope and the Change" reminds us that it is the record, not the rhetoric, that folks will be watching: "I'm sure there will be tons of speeches that say exactly what I want to hear. I'm not interested in what he says anymore. I'm interested in what he's done."
If you care about the 2012 election and value the voices of regular Americans who lost hope in their hope and change candidate, this is one documentary you won't want to miss.
Jedediah Bila is an author, columnist, and TV and radio personality. Her book, "OUTNUMBERED: Chronicles of a Manhattan Conservative," was published in 2011. For more visit Jedediahbila.com.