Flyover from MPR News focuses on issues of American identity and the changing American dream as they are lived and experienced in the cities, towns and rural areas that lie beyond the media spotlight. This podcast is an unedited hour of live radio with award-winning host Kerri Miller. Season Three, starting January 2020, focuses on the counties that flipped party loyalties from one presidential election to the next. Season Two, which aired the summer of 2018, focused on the Mississippi River. Season One, which aired in the fall of 2017, examined issues that sometimes divide us as a nation.
Women in politics
Only one woman, U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, remains in the Democratic race for president. But that picture doesn’t tell the whole story. Across the country, more women are running for office than ever before. The 2018 election was widely hailed as the Year of the Woman, as women ran for office and voted in record numbers – many of them Democrats galvanized by the election of President Trump.
“This is so much larger than a political reaction,” says Stephanie Schriock, president of Emily’s List. “[It’s] a cultural change. So many women are saying, ‘I need to serve, I have something to offer, I can do this.’ That’s not gonna go away when Trump’s out of office.”
On Flyover 2020, we took a closer look at this new wave of women entering politics. What motivates them to get in the ring, knowing they will face discrimination and attacks?
Dianne Bystrom, director emerita of the Carrie Chapman Catt Center for Women and Politics at Iowa State University.
Erin Vilardi, founder and CEO of Vote Run Lead.
Flyover 2020: Farmer identity
In the Upper Midwest, farming maintains a wholesome glow. Red barns, picket fences and photos of kittens weaving among jugs of frothy milk loom large in our collective psyche.
But reality is more stark. Farm bankruptcies are up. Thousands of farms have simply closed. Farm debt is at an all-time high. Add in a trade war, severe weather and tanking crop prices, and it’s not hard to understand why health workers are worried about a spike in suicide and depression.
At the same time, new farmers – usually young and passionate about regenerative practices and helping others – are entering the field.
Thursday, for our Flyover 2020, we talk about the changing farming identity, and what it means to be a farmer today.
Jenni Patnode, whose blog post “The Last Milking” went viral after the sale of her and her husband’s fourth-generation Wisconsin dairy farm
Hannah Breckbill, co-owner of the Humble Hands Harvest farm outside Decorah, Iowa
Flyover 2020: What does patriotism mean?
The Upper Midwest is patriotic. But how that word is defined varies, depending on where you are standing and to whom you are talking.
Thursday on Flyover 2020, we delve into the concept of patriotism and the role that the urban/rural divide plays in how the value is expressed – and how people vote.
Francesco Duina, sociology professor at Bates College in Maine and author of the book “Broke and Patriotic: Why Poor Americans Love Their Country”
Arlie Hochschild, sociology professor emeritus at University of California Berkeley and author of the book “Strangers in their Own Land”
They Believed: Maya Angelou’s ‘On the Pulse of Morning’
When Maya Angelou stepped to the podium on a cold January day in 1993, she became the first African-American and the first woman to offer an inaugural poem. And what a poem it was. “On the Pulse of Morning” garnered immediate praise for its sweeping portrait of American history and wisdom.
Elizabeth Alexander remembers that moment – and contrasts it with her own time on the same stage – on MPR News with Kerri Miller, in the first installment of an occasional series, “They Believed.” At this pivotal moment in U.S. history, we want to look back at the words of America’s firebrands, visionaries and truth-tellers. What do they reveal about who we were then – and who we are now?
Guest: Elizabeth Alexander is a poet and scholar. She currently leads The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
The Upper Midwest is one of the most unpredictable places in politics right now. Voters in more than 50 counties in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, Illinois and Michigan flipped from President Obama in 2012 to President Trump in 2016. And so-called identity politics played a role in that, for better or worse.
Today on Flyover 2020, we talk about how both political parties try to activate specific segments of voters – and whether that practice is leaving us even more fractured. We also talk with a conservative pastor from a small town in Iowa who defies some of those labels.
Khalilah Brown-Dean, political science professor at Quinnipiac University and the author of the new book “Identity Politics in the United States”
Rev. John Lee, Bethel Christian Reformed Church, Sioux Center, Iowa
Flyover 2020: Rural America’s brain gain
It’s a surprise to many: Rural America is more politically diverse, more educated and more economically optimistic than stereotypes lead us to believe.
Maybe most encouraging to the Upper Midwest: Many small towns are reversing the so-called brain drain and showing a brain gain. Young people who left their hometowns to go to college are increasingly likely to move back in their 30s and 40s, bringing with them college degrees, new businesses and families.
On this episode, we look at the changing demographics and misunderstood labels of rural America. It’s the next installment in our Flyover 2020 series, which examines the issues that matter to the Upper Midwest and the 50 or so flipped counties in our region.
Ben Winchester, University of Minnesota researcher documenting the rural brain gain
A Star is Born
Kerri Miller is a thoughtful and erudite host, walking a fine political line each episode and showing respect to everyone’s point of view. I hope folks of all political stripes can find a way to listen to Flyover.
What a gem
Found this podcast while browsing around. Loved the topics, the civil discussion, and none of the melodramatics. I think the show can move more center. But honestly, this is currently as center as can be a show that I can find.
This is my favorite political podcast of the moment. The professional/academic/journalistic guests are insightful and respectful of opinions. The guests call in from across the country and represent overlooked portions of the US. As a former Midwesterner I find these perspectives invaluable. My only gripe is that the show (and host) tends to lean liberal. I would prefer a more centrist/objective perspective. Aside from that, this show is essential listening.