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One Small Step Tampa Bay: NRA Member And 'Extreme Liberal' Find Common Ground

Sep 16, 2019

This week’s story from StoryCorps' One Small Step - Tampa Bay focuses on two people of different generations and different backgrounds.

Former Marine and lifelong NRA member Mike DeWitt, 60, wants people to know that in spite of having a tattoo and looking like he’s “hard to get to know,” he’s an approachable, sensitive man who is willing to cross party lines in order to get to know someone.

Zach Jones is a 32-year-old self-described “extreme liberal, gay Democrat” who wants our country to do more for immigrants.

Even though Zach, a Lutz resident, and Mike, from Dade City, come to One Small Step from different backgrounds, both want what’s best for America, and to listen to each other.

ONE SMALL STEP: WUSF breaks down the boundaries created by politics

Jones, of Tampa, enjoys video games and all things Disney. He also believes everyone has a right to be heard, and that all people should be treated with respect regardless of their circumstances.

“I truly believe that opposing political viewpoints do not have to lead to extreme division,” Jones said.

Mike DeWitt describes himself as an American and believer in personal responsibility and the freedoms set forth in the Bill of Rights. He came to One Small Step in hopes of having a discussion with someone with whom he could find common ground.

“With no name-calling, no disrespect,” DeWitt said. “Just an authentic interest in each other’s ideas and experiences.”

DeWitt works as a healthcare trainer and coach caring for cancer patients.

StoryCorps Tampa Bay airs every Monday on WUSF 89.7 at 8:44 a.m. during Morning Edition and at 5:44 p.m. during All Things Considered through the end of September.