On October 5, when I posted that I was going to be taking a short sabbatical from the podcast, I promised on my November 2 return to bring you a bigger, badder, even less politically correct version of Grassroots Radio Colorado, “the best, most honest talk you’ll hear about the Second American Revolution.”
Instead, I am bringing you a whole new show. “The Kristina Cook Show.” This isn’t just a revamped version of what I was doing before. This is going to be so much better.
It was time to retire the “Grassroots Radio Colorado” franchise. Ken Clark and Jason Worley gloriously made that show into the activism juggernaut it was when I took over in June of 2014, and I believe I also put my own stamp on it, finding my passion in the process. A passion for the art and craft of radio, and a passion for the possibilities the medium presents. We discussed the “how” of politics, and I believe that we were privileged to play a role in making a big difference in Colorado. I know that many of you tuned in to hear that inside-baseball perspective, and even after I left KLZ, I appreciate the time you spent with me on my podcast, continuing that same perspective.
More and more over the past few months, though, I’ve found myself dissatisfied with looking at the “how” piece of partisan politics. Throughout the course of several scandals (and they have been legion lately), it began to feel like I was rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic. Hanging new curtains while the basement flooded. Replacing the tires and never checking the oil. I could probably find some other analogies, but you get the idea.
What I finally realized is that I’ve ignored the political equivalent of the iceberg/drainage issues/stuff that makes engines run – our culture. I’m not alone in this. I was following the templates established for me by pretty much every talk show host in the country: find stuff to be outraged about, pound the desk and yell a lot with the belief that it will change our future. It’s a fine format, and a very successful one for those with a natural inclination to be outraged desk pounders.
But I ain’t that chick.
Here’s the chick I am: In college, my friends and I used to regularly camp out at the Denny’s near our dorm, feasting on fries (the cheapest thing on the menu) and discussing political philosophy until 2:00 a.m. or until they kicked us out, whichever came first.
I don’t know that I completely understood it at the time, but we were discussing the “why.” Why politics matters at all, and why it’s part of the human landscape.
And this is what political conversations used to be about, before Big Media and Big Hollywood and Big Education decided to sow the seeds of our discontent by focusing the national attention on what divides us, on our political process, on which groups we are supposed to hate and distance ourselves from. It used to be about ideas. Now we’ve focused so long on the daily battles that we’ve forgotten what the war is about.
The war is a war for the soul of America. The idea of America. The Why of America. This revolution – this Second American Revolution – will be fought in our classrooms, around our dinner tables, in front of our televisions, and in our movie theaters. The enemy we are fighting is a national amnesia, an insidious forgetting of who we are as a nation. That forgetting will result in the loss of our identity, who we are as Americans, unless we fight against it and learn to remember who we are.
And WHY we are.
I won’t pretend that I am the final arbiter on these matters. My job is to explore our national consciousness and its effects on our daily lives, as I see them, in the most concrete way possible. What I hope I can bring you is a recalibration of how you think about this idea that is America, and help to spread it. To help Americans find their faith in themselves again. To help them find faith in their fellow citizens. And to help them find faith in the future of this country.
I hope you’ll join me on this new journey.