Sunday, February 25, 2024

Gregory T. Simmons and the Staunch Moderates Movement: Bridging Divides for a More Moderate, Peaceful, and Loving Society

Gregory T. Simmons
Photo Credited to: Gregory T. Simmons

I was brought up primarily in a 12-step household on my mother’s side, who passed with 53 years of sobriety. In this environment, one is taught to take accountability for their actions, listen to one’s story without interruption, give back, be comfortable making amends, and embody other mindful characteristics. From my father’s side, divorced from my mother when I was five, he was a creative entrepreneur businessman with conservative values. I am personally a moderate conservative, striving to maintain a bipartisan perspective, valuing reaching across the aisle to achieve compromise and keep things moving forward.

Greg T. Simmons brings an entrepreneurial perspective to the Staunch Movement® . He was born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area, where he learned much from his father’s entrepreneurial successes. Greg earned a business degree at the University of Colorado, Boulder. While at Boulder, Greg was inspired to pursue a career in real estate development. He successfully built a portfolio of properties in Boulder, Vail, and Aspen, and also participated in developing and building restaurants and other projects in California

Greg’s other work on theatrical productions in college inspired him to become a patron of the HBO U.S. Comedy Arts Festival, which took place for a decade in Aspen during the turn of the century. Eventually, he shifted from real estate development to the entertainment industry, developing A$PEN THE SERIES®, a sitcom takeoff on the reality TV genre, along with its companion show within the show Sneak-a-Peak. The process of going through the creative and marketing efforts of A$PEN THE SERIES® for almost two decades led Greg to founding of the Staunch Moderates, as its producer, promoter, and one of its philosophers. Given the political incorrectness of his A$PEN THE SERIES® and the many considerations involved in developing, financing, producing, and distributing a television show both domestically and internationally, it’s from this experience that gave Greg the mindset to birth the Staunch Moderates Movement.

Greg T. has a grown daughter, and his passion takes him to many parts of the world, where he has gained an appreciation of working with differences.

How did you come up with the idea of the movement?

I was talking politics with friends, and we were joking around, making fun of extremists. One of us said, “I know, let’s start a new political party, ‘Staunch Moderates.’” It got a laugh but then fell into an interesting conversation. I had many more of these kinds of conversations throughout the 2019 year. 

On 12/03/19, we filed for the Staunch Moderates® collective trademark and then got to work: 1) building a website, 2) writing original documents, and 3) campaigning in the primaries with vital societal issue forums to build our movement and brand.

What is the reason for the involvement of Bigfoot?

Bigfoot Staunch kind of just happened to us. I first bought a Bigfoot mask off the Gas House Restaurant wall in Edwards, CO, driving home in a winter blizzard coming back from watching the Super Bowl with my family. I then had the mask in my house, and it was Super Tuesday. We were producing a podcast while campaigning in the primaries, and my favorite comedian, Bill Dawes, was in town. I invited him to walk the mask onto the set. I hung the mask on the wall because it looked cool as part of the set, so Bigfoot “Staunch” became more and more the mascot of our movement. He’s a good fit in many ways: 1) Bigfoot, the symbol of our country, represents all moderates, like 80 or 90% if you think about it, 2) we are in the paradigm-shifting business from the most popular and terrifying folklore character to the coolest being on the planet, “Bigfoot Staunch,” 3) paradigm-shifting business also equals moving away from extremism partisanship, vitriol, and hate into a more moderate, peaceful, and loving society.

 

What are the future plans for Staunch Moderates®?

More music, more editions of our documentary series, and the Staunch Moderates Experience:

  1. Spend 30 minutes (preferably an hour) on Staunch Moderates’ robust website. 
  2. Watch the Staunch Moderates’ “Mission Peace” feature documentary.
  3. Listen to each of the 3 Staunch Moderates multi-genre hip-hop albums: The First Realm, Mission Peace & 2023, each without multitasking or interruption.
  4. Optional: Watch any of Staunch Moderates’ 15 music videos.
  5. Optional: Listen to any of Staunch Moderates’ 18 one-hour radio shows.

One might ask why. Our answer is to retrain our brains and society away from the extremism, partisanship, vitriol, and hate we are experiencing, significantly created by the advancement in technology and social media, into a more moderate, peaceful, and loving society.

We feel this, along with 1) a debate section of our course where peers (the class) judge each contestant based on how they handle themselves (i.e., how to disagree politely, respectfully, and even lovingly!); 2) each student will then write a report on what they’ve learned and how they feel about it. This should be a required course at many levels: perhaps grade school, junior high, high school, and college, again directing our students into a more moderate, peaceful, and listening mindset.

If you could involve a celebrity, who would that be and why?

I would choose Arnold Schwarzenegger because I’ve heard him speak extensively, and he was right on point in a bipartisan manner.

Lou Ferrigno, because I’ve interviewed him & heard him speak. He supports us all in stopping the vitriol & hate and working together, which is significantly what our movement is all about.

Harrison Ford would also be great because he’s a spokesperson for the No Labels Movement. Grant it, we Staunch Moderates® are philosophical & not political. No Labels Movement is political, as it looks like they are running a 2024 candidate as a third party. If we were political, No Labels Centrist ideology would be the closest to the Staunch Moderates ideology of, “setting our differences aside, reaching across the aisle, finding common middle ground, evaluating, negotiating, compromising and deciding into the most equitable solutions humanly possible.

What else would you like to share with the readers?

This is not a “cum by ya” moment. What Staunch Moderates® is proposing is not easy and will be lots of work. If we work at it: having our disagreements respectfully, accepting that everyone isn’t like we are, accountability, and other good values, we will get better & better at it, much like an athlete gets better and stronger, the more they work out.

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