Garrison Keillor Speaks at the National Press Club

“15 Things That Need to Change Right Away”

Minnesota native, Garrison Keillor, spoke last night at the National Press Club in Minnesota and let his feelings shine through as he gave his take on “15 things that need to happen tomorrow.”

Before getting to the points, Keillor pointed his inspiration for the current speech. In his life, he has only gotten generic compliments. Thinking about this made him feel that his forty years in radio were nothing but a “comforting baritone presence” and that tonight he would give a speech that is more specific.

Starting off with a common theme in the night; humor, Keillor started the list with things like changing the names on street signs, laying off the “now-required” flag pins, and putting a cease and desist order on unnecessary airport announcements.

Moving into a more serious topic, Keillor suggested a rearrangement of seating in the house and senate into a “checkerboard fashion” in order to make more progress.

He then transitioned into the pressing topic of increasing the minimum wage. The room got quiet as Keillor explained that it makes no sense that people who work hard cannot support themselves. “If you work hard . . . you’re gonna be ok. But you just can’t do that with the minimum wage. L.A. did something about it last week and the rest of us need to do something about it tomorrow.”

Positive reactions were received from the audience as Keillor went into currently discussed topics such as gay rights, diversity, and woman’s rights. Keillor believes that the government needs to come along with the acceptance of different sexualities. Branching off from this, Keillor said that the United States needs to give the word diversity a rest. “We are diverse . . . minorities are not trophies, they are people.”

Lastly, Keillor recognized that there are some changes that cannot be made, but putting the face of a woman on the twenty-dollar bill is not one of them. His suggestion being Emily Dickenson.

From the smallest to the biggest issues that were discussed in Keillor’s 15 changes, the audience reacted in compliance and stayed engaged well through Keillor’s consistent use of humor and sarcasm.

After taking a few questions regarding mostly things that did not have to do with his speech, Keillor closed the night by singing “Let Freedom Ring.”

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