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Homegrown Democrat: A Few Plain Thoughts…
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Homegrown Democrat: A Few Plain Thoughts From the Heart of America

av Garrison Keillor

MedlemmarRecensionerPopularitetGenomsnittligt betygOmnämnanden
495936,627 (3.71)18
Both deeply personal and intellectually savvy, Homegrown Democrat is a celebration of liberalism as the "politics of kindness." In his inimitable style, Keillor draws on a lifetime of experience amongst the hardworking, God-fearing people of the Midwest and pays homage to the common code of civic necessities that arose from the left: Protect the social compact. Defend the powerless. Maintain government as a necessary force for good. As Keillor tells it, these are articles of faith that are being attacked by hard-ass Republican tax cutters who believe that human misery is a Dickensian fiction. In a blend of nostalgic reminiscence, humorous meditation, and articulate ire, Keillor asserts the value of his boyhood-the values of Lake Wobegon-that do not square with the ugly narcissistic agenda at work in the country today.… (mer)
Medlem:DAVIDMEAD
Titel:Homegrown Democrat: A Few Plain Thoughts From the Heart of America
Författare:Garrison Keillor
Info:Viking Adult (date?), Hardcover
Samlingar:Ditt bibliotek
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Homegrown Democrat: A Few Plain Thoughts from the Heart of America av Garrison Keillor

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I have mixed feelings about this book which someone left in my own Little Free Library. I had always seen many books by this author but never felt compelled to read any of them. I noticed the word Democrat in the title so I started to browse through it. It seemed interesting enough so I started reading it. Then I got a creepy feeling when I learned that the author was one of those men who was recently accused of sexual harassment. I decided to finish reading the book anyway.

Basically the book glorifies Democrats and bashes Republicans. I was surprised at the hateful rhetoric used in this book against Republicans because this book was published in 2004. The venom is just the same as now (2018) regardless of which side of the fence one stands on. I did not know this partisan hatred had been so deep for so long. I felt depressed after reading this book, not relieved.

One thing that did surprise me, however, was that the author, who is from rural Minnesota, is such a staunch Democrat. So much for stereotypes (although I personally don't believe in them).

I probably would not recommend this book, more because it is dated than anything else. However, I'm glad I had the chance to read it. ( )
  SqueakyChu | Jul 28, 2018 |
So, from now on, when people in the Bible Belt and Southern California ask me how I can possibly be a Democrat (capital 'D'), I will hand them a copy of this book. It does no good for me to tell them simply that I am a Democrat (capital "D') because I went to church and read the bible. When I quote that Jesus instructed us to 1) love God above all else, and 2) love your neighbor as yourself and that 3) these two sum up the teachings of the whole, I get blank stares from righteous, bible-thumping, redneck, blowhards. It doesn't compute. Thank the Lord there is Garrison Keillor who just plain gets me.

"This is Democratic bedrock: we don't let people lie in the ditch and drive past and pretend not to see them dying" (Keillor, 2004, p. 137)...The child's suffering has nothing to do with them. So the kid goes to relatives who also have a history of abuse. It's no skin off the redneck's nose. He's got a giant TV, 99 channels of cable, a snowmobile, a Hummer, a collection of guns, a boat, Jet Skis, he's sitting pretty. The demise of somebody else's kid at the hands of a drunken uncle is nothing but roadkill to him. This is the screw-you philosophy that festers under cover of modern Republicanism" (Keillor, 2004, p. 138).

One reviewer stated that this book is part polemic. I beg to differ. It is a full polemic. Keillor had some things to get off his chest, and being a writer, he took recourse through the gift given him: he wrote a book. What a comfort to see what is rolling around in my head set down in print. Keillor offers gems of sardonic entertainment at the expense of Republicans. But, let's face it, Republicans deserve it. Republicans enjoy the fruits of the government Democrats created...from public education to public roads, from freedom of religion to capitalism, but they refuse to foster the principles and tools that keep these things functioning. I have lived outside the U.S. in places where security is privatized because the local police cannot be trusted...where it's every man for himself and screw you otherwise, where a person lying dying in the road is a curiosity to pass the lunch hour instead of the loss of a precious human life that deserves help and urgency. I do not want America to be that type of place. ((God help us.)) As long as there are people like Keillor and myself...plus a multitude of other fair-minded, hard-working, Democrats (capital 'D')...we just might be able to combat the arrogance, selfishness, dystopian incivility that hallmarks the modern Republican (capital 'R') party. ( )
  Christina_E_Mitchell | Sep 9, 2017 |

I became a Democrat because I was eager and hopeful, not because I was angry. Anger makes for amusing radio shows but it's got a short shelf life. It's a crummy way to live. Your mother was right: forgive and forget. Live in the present and you'll be happier.

So says Garrison Keillor in his 2004 book [Homegrown Democrat]. I bought and read it a dozen years ago. Having just re-read it, I think the book is more relevant than ever. It's part memoir, part civics lesson. And it's couched in that calm, passionate, and compassionate voice of Lake Wobegone's creator. I recommend it highly.

What Keillor does is explain many of the dominant characteristics of Democrats through examples from his life and his home region. He describes the sort of behavior his parents expected of him, the impact of his education in public schools, and his experiences, inside the lecture halls and out, at the University of Minnesota. He describes too the blessings that government programs and services have brought to him and his family. Here are some quotes from the book:

Liberalism is the politics of kindness.

And…

Republi­cans are all about Old Glory and school prayer and the sanctity of marriage and the Fatherhood of God but when it comes to actually needing help from them, you shouldn't get your hopes up. They might send an ambu­lance or they might just send a Get Well card.

And…

Three years ago after I suddenly turned into a wheezy old man who woke up in the night feeling suffocated, Dr. Orczulak at Mayo opened up my thorax and sewed a leaky valve in my heart, a dramatic procedure whose perfection over the past fifty years was heavily subsidized by the taxpaying public….Thank you, America. How could I, whose life has been extended by this largesse, turn into an angry right-winger, a knee-jerk tax cutter, flogging public employees and the very idea of public service?

And…

We
[Democrats] care less about symbolism and enacting our own theology into law...and we care more about the ordinary essentials of life. The New Deal put real people to work. My uncle Don was 18 in Wausau, Wisconsin, a big red-haired football star with no prospects, and got a job with the Civilian Conservation Corps and went off to build paths in national parks, a big experience for him. The Rural Electrification Act extended electric power to farms and villages that couldn't afford the capital investment: good old American socialism. The Keillor farm was one of them. They wired the barn so Uncle Jim had steady light to milk the cows by on winter mornings and a fluorescent light in the kitchen so he could read the Bible at night. Dem­ocrats brought about the school lunch program and the Public Health Service and integrated the armed forces, which then became a model of how Americans can be not so hung up on race. Democrats produced Head Start and food stamps and funded the college buildings to house the wave of boomers in the Seventies. The goal of Democrats has been to make this a nation of the middle class—educated people who own property and have a stake in the community and aren't easily bullied—and the most dramatic program was the GI Bill of Rights, which boosted a whole generation into the ranks of white-collar professionals.

And…

I wish that Republi­cans had a little more genuine love of this country …
   They denounce government as if it had only repressed them and civilization frustrated their no­blest instincts, to which I say: "Wyoming. Go there. Try western North Dakota." Go find a tanktown on the old N.P. line and wrest your living from the dry soil and be as paranoid and angry as you like. It's a big country; the principles of Republicans may work very well on a 5000-acre ranch. But you can't run cities that way and cities are where most people live.

Both thumbs up, sez I.
  weird_O | Jul 19, 2016 |
combination biography and positive diatribe on the virtues (past & present) of Democrats; slightly (but only slightly) marred by some name calling
1 rösta FKarr | Apr 6, 2013 |
I love Garrison Keillor's wry sense of humor. He does an admirable job tempering his disdain for neo-con politics, delivering a very common sense description of his upbringing and why he believes as he does. Hearing his melodic voice in the audio-book was a much calmer experience than watching, say, a Michael Moore film.
I recommend hearing him out on this book. His mid-western honesty is refreshing and encouraging. It renewed my party non-affiliation. While I agreed with his attack on typical Republican politics, I see many of the same errors in Obama's lack of action. He proudly discusses the local coffee shop and does indicate that it is supporting local small business over corporate interests that he holds close to his heart. My viewpoints align very much with his. I guess I would have just tried not to exclude so many readers with the title he chose. ( )
  kpdriscoll | Feb 21, 2010 |
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Both deeply personal and intellectually savvy, Homegrown Democrat is a celebration of liberalism as the "politics of kindness." In his inimitable style, Keillor draws on a lifetime of experience amongst the hardworking, God-fearing people of the Midwest and pays homage to the common code of civic necessities that arose from the left: Protect the social compact. Defend the powerless. Maintain government as a necessary force for good. As Keillor tells it, these are articles of faith that are being attacked by hard-ass Republican tax cutters who believe that human misery is a Dickensian fiction. In a blend of nostalgic reminiscence, humorous meditation, and articulate ire, Keillor asserts the value of his boyhood-the values of Lake Wobegon-that do not square with the ugly narcissistic agenda at work in the country today.

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