The music of civility amid the street din

Republican Zac Mayo and Democrat Lucy perform a bipartisan duet after their debate in a small Vermont House district. (PHOTO: Screenshot from CBS Evening News)

The backlog of topics I’d like to write about keeps growing. News in the mining and steel industry. News for the upcoming election. Some exciting news about my MN-8 campaign coverage (stay tuned next week). Yet, I’m under the gun writing a script for the Great Northern Radio Show this week, so all that’s on hold.

That can’t stop me from sharing this, however, because I think it’s related to all of the above.

I pitched the Great Northern Radio Show at a very specific time in my life. Stuck in a personal and spiritual hole, I was futzing around with politics, writing and blogging. But for what firm purpose? I wanted to use the skills I had built to lift people up. And yes, while I held lingering hope that the show would catapult me to a national audience in the wake of Garrison Keillor’s retirement, it was sheer joy of *doing the show* that kept me going at that time in my life. Even as the show settles into its almost-but-not-quite-famous groove, I’m still excited about every one.

It’s not that writing about politics isn’t important. That’s as important as ever. It’s just that when politics becomes dominated by emotion we must tend to people’s emotional well-being first, before arguments over policy can ever be considered fruitful. There’s something at the heart of all our yearning and worrying, something that really does bring us together as humans.

Steve Hartman of CBS News found this story in a hotly contested Vermont State House of Representatives race. It’s well worth watching and I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

This so perfectly captured what I feel when I put together the Great Northern Radio Show. Small towns coming together. Music as salve. Pure earnestness celebrated alongside wit and intelligence.

So, yes, get ready to vote on Nov. 6. But I’d sure appreciate it if you joined us at the Hibbing High School auditorium on Nov. 17 as well. Tickets are available now.

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