Nick Offerman is perfect for telling tales. BuzzFeed sat down with him at The Village Studios in West Los Angeles, where he was recording the audiobook to his second book Gumption: Relighting the Torch of Freedom with America's Gutsiest Troublemakers, and he spoke in his trademark deep, methodical voice. His latest humor book consists of 21 chapters, each devoted to a different American that Nick thinks have made an impact on our country. These aren't your typical, cherry tree-chopping white dudes from your history books — in addition to George Washington, he also includes people such as Frederick Douglass, Eleanor Roosevelt, Yoko Ono, Conan O'Brien, and Willie Nelson.
According to Offerman, he's completely unlike Ron Swanson, the man America might have imagined him to be: "I love steak, I love scotch, I love woodworking, I love women that look like Tammy 2 (a character on Parks and Rec portrayed by Megan Mullally), and I am taciturn at times – but I'm just a normal sloppy human like everyone else. In my normal life, I'm very little like Ron Swanson, for better or for worse." And that's a good thing, because it's Offerman, not Ron Swanson, who has written your new guide to creating a better America.
1. Get your ass off social media 24/7.
"The thing I despise about Twitter is its pull, I tried it for a couple of months, it was fun, I tweeted some funny tweets, got some followers," Offerman told BuzzFeed. "But pretty quickly, reading all of the Twitter feed, the people that correspond with me, it immediately occurred to me that whenever my attention dropped, whenever there was a lull in my day, a switch went off, let me see what's going on in Twitter land. After a couple of weeks of that, I realized I'd burned all this time reading what amounts to nothing. Then I got mad. Budget your use of social media so it's not controlling your spare time."
2. Don't be a jerk.
Offerman recently canceled a show appearance in Indiana.
"I would hate for the nation to think of Indiana herself [like they do Mike Pence], or the people of Indiana. It's a very specific group that happens to be affecting the state of Indiana. But probably, hopefully, a majority of Hoosiers are decent," Offerman told BuzzFeed. "Trying to impose an antiquated religious discrimination on government is so nefarious and horrible. It's anti-American to try and impose your religious beliefs on legislation and it's also unholy. What I'm trying to foment, specifically with this book, is an idea of open-minded acceptance. We're all the same."
3. Enough about old white dudes.
"White dudes wrote the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence," Offerman told BuzzFeed. "So let's just bear that in mind, we're still coming from white men get all the advantages. And it's interesting because my dad, who's like a fantastic Midwesterner, has bristled a little bit. He's read the book and gotten defensive in a bit of a John Wayne way — 'Let's not forget this is the greatest country, etc.' And I'm saying, well that's my point.
I think it is the greatest country but here's how we can be even greater."