A Prairie Home Companion’s 50th Anniversary Tour comes to Akron, OH with Heather Masse, Christine DiGiallonardo, Rich Dworsky, Sue Scott, Fred Newman and Tim Russell.
New Philadelphia, OH
Garrison Keillor brings his solo show to Kent State University. Poetry, Limericks, Sing-Along and the News from Lake Wobegon.
A Prairie Home Companion’s 50th Anniversary Tour comes to the Grand 1894 Opera House in Galveston, TX with our favorite regulars, Rich Dworsky, Sue Scott, Tim Russell and Fred Newman. Additional guests to be announced.
A Prairie Home Companion’s 50th Anniversary Tour comes to the McCain Auditorium in Manhattan, Kansas with our favorite regulars, Rich Dworsky, Sue Scott, Tim Russell and Fred Newman. Additional guests to be announced.
A Prairie Home Companion’s 50th Anniversary Tour comes to Nashville with Heather Masse, Christine DiGiallonardo, Rich Dworsky, Sam Bush, Stuart Duncan, Sue Scott, Fred Newman and Tim Russell.
My mom admired FDR and Eleanor because they cared about the poor. My dad felt there was no such thing as a Depression, that anyone who wanted work could find it, that the WPA was relief for the lazy, We Poke Along. He maintained this view even after we pointed out that his first real job came from his uncle Lew who owned the Pure Oil station in town. Their difference of opinion never got in the way of their love for each other. Politics was far away; real life was up close and was all about family. Sometimes I’d find her sitting in his lap, the parents of six kissing. He was a little sheepish, she was not.
Sometimes I envy my parents’ close-up life. I sit every morning, a hard-hearted man scanning my email inbox, fending off the pitiful pleas of political candidates in tight races, falling behind with the fate of democracy itself in the balance, the future of the planet, but we’re losing (unthinkable!) to a weird opponent who believes COVID is a covert conspiracy of drug companies and is financed by tycoons who plan to relocate on Mars, the good candidate is only asking for a $10 contribution, he pleads, and I snip them off one by one, along with the fabulous 50% OFF THIS WEEK ONLY offers, and an African orphanage asking me to buy a $500 Apple gift certificate and forward it to this address to save kids from starvation. Out they go.
I’ve donated to candidates and so my name has been furnished to other candidates of similar stripe and soon I’m getting appeals from city council candidates in Candle Creek, Colorado. But now and again I detect a human voice in the appeal that touches me and I check the $50 box and move on.
It’s rare that elections can be bought. Two years ago, Democrats found an articulate female Marine combat pilot to run against the despised McConnell in Kentucky and she milked angry Democrats for $94 million and he beat her easily. Money down the drain.
What were they thinking?
Two-thirds of the voters ignore the campaigns and simply vote as they’ve always voted and among the third who are capable of switching, there is powerful sales resistance, a built-in bushwa detector. Everything candidates spend in the last month is wasted: minds are made up, the audience is sick of the whole shebang, they’ve left the building. Money helps imprint your name in the popular subconscious but it does very little for your message. What counts is militant organization and also a rare quality among candidates — you see them and you realize that they actually LIKE campaigning. Hubert Humphrey had that joie de campaign and so did Paul Wellstone and Al Franken. People voted for them who didn’t exactly agree with them. So if you have that ebullient drive and you have some dough in the bank and you’re willing to say the same stuff over and over for a whole year and you don’t have an angry girlfriend in the closet or a 90-day sentence for abusing your sheepdog or a video of you speaking admiringly of Richard Nixon, you stand a chance. But a truckload of money isn’t going to rescue a sinking ship.
The biggest Election Night for my mother was 2008. She was 93. Dad was gone. We sat up late, TV on, looking at the big empty stage at Grant Park in Chicago, and then there was a roar from the crowd and Barack and Michelle and the two little girls walked out and Mother put her hands to her eyes, overwhelmed. With the appearance of that little family came the feeling that the country had cut loose from our dark racial past.
But it was too good to be true. The man set out to reform our wasteful, inefficient, infuriating health care system and he was expertly parried by McConnell and held to a draw and in 2016 Democrats nominated a woman for whom campaigning was a miserable chore and so in came the casino man who won reelection but was cheated out of it, despite what the courts said, and now we have Republican candidates refusing to say they will accept the results in November if they go the other way. This is the point at which we break with reality. Next stop is Happy Acres where we listen to the buzzing of the bees in the cigarette trees by a great big soda fountain. I’m not prepared to go there yet.