Julie Ganey's attempts to reconcile with her Trump-supporter father aren't Good Enough | Theater Review | Chicago Reader

Julie Ganey's attempts to reconcile with her Trump-supporter father aren't Good Enough 

She ignores that some people don't have the luxury of civility.

About midway through Julie Ganey's one-woman show, the author-star describes trying to make her Trump-supporting father change his views. Her dad, she repeatedly tells the audience, taught logic and philosophy and instilled in his children the importance of objectivity and critical thinking. Ganey describes spending hours trying to use these techniques on her father.

They don't work. When the Ferguson riots come up, Ganey's father says of Michael Brown, who was shot and killed by a police officer, "That kid in Ferguson wasn't a good kid." The Kavanaugh hearings inspire a similar argument. The father adheres to the boys-will-be-boys argument, recalling that time he got drunk and passed out in a bathtub. At this point, Ganey stops being civil. Momentarily. Eventually, she absolves her father by saying he's a product of the era he was raised in. In other words, he just can't help it.

Ganey makes her counterarguments. But as directed by Megan Shuchman, Good Enough isn't about police brutality, Trump-era nationalism, homelessness or gentrification—all topics Ganey touches on. It's about how uncomfortable these issues make Ganey feel. Ganey advocates for civil discourse ("You see blue and I see red, let's sit down and have dinner together"), never considering that civility is both a luxury people under attack cannot afford and a weapon used to keep them from speaking up. Good Enough ends with a reminder that we should care and listen to each other, no matter our differences. Try telling that to a mother separated from her child at the border. Or a black man suffocating under a pile of cops.   v

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