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The University of North Carolina presents American Adventure a study of man in the New World. His values and his characteristics who he is what he believes what he lives by. American Adventure is written by Johnny Lee directed by John Clayton and is produced and recorded by the University of North Carolina communication center. Earlier when Director unlike most American adventure programs Tonight's story is fictional. We call it the demagogue. It's five o'clock in the afternoon. We're sitting in the bleachers at the baseball stadium. And on the field is the platform from which the candidate for the Senate has just finished a powerful speech. We're standing applauding a man next to you says he's a great candidate isn't he a great speaker. You know I used to be a college professor but he's a real man of the people. WALLACE Not again noticed that the candidate and his wife were waving to the crowd and you see another emacs pression in his eyes and arise smile on his face
sitting on the platform and the whole stadium. He's the only man who does not stand. He alone does not applause. It's strange about the one man. I like to think of my speech tonight I thought everyone seemed to like it all right. I noticed you Charlie you didn't stand like the others I have flat feet you know that you didn't even apply sprain a wrist watch I lay off what you show. Forget a man. Is that right. I worry on the Last Night of the campaign and more speech. It's All Over Now here's the way it shapes up for the rest of the evening Matt if the train gets to the Capitol on time we arrive at 8 0 5 of a short press conference in the car outside the compartment here and you get
in the car the lead waiting with police escort will take you to the city auditorium right. The radio and television programs are due to begin an 8:30 fine road a few additional comments for tonight's speech. When you started writing that speech is when you stop making the people stand up and clap in the snow. Look man no arguments please not tonight tomorrow night when I am elected you two can have a fist fight for all I care but not now not on the last night. Surely you've noticed Johnny that the people respond more now that I'm helping Matt outline his thoughts now not his own I'll take care of that child I don't usually get up that is afternoon at the stadium mat and it seemed like you were trying to run on a combat veterans record. You ever see any action overseas Matt. Well I believe I went out on a patrol mission once or twice. But Seth thought it added to the sincerity of the thing your sure seemed like you changed your mind on internal security too. Charlie that's not I did worry about this country was going to fall because of some verses unless you were elected. Well you don't think they're subversives in the government. I expect there are set I spec there always have been don't
you. You think that's good. I think it's dangerous. I think something smart should be done about it. But I also think as Matt did when we started this cannot speak for myself John when you start talking about national security you'd have your facts straight. And by confusing people and smearing every honest champion of economic justice as a communist would be cloud the issue and hide the real subversion and where did you get this boo Matt. Forget it both of you I don't want to hear anymore we're running well gentlemen. I'm gaining votes I'm going to win tomorrow and I just don't want to hear any more. What do you want to do is ask more questions like why did Senator Blake become a director in Americans for Peace communist infiltrated organization. All right. Put it in an answer to your question Blake became a director of Americans for peace because he believed in peace. After the Communist communist infiltrate every or worthwhile organization they can including the US government. By your logic sense this would mean that only a collaborator of the commies would run for the Senate. And that's what Matt is running for.
I was thinking about you while you were eating Charlie I was wondering if maybe you were a pink or even a rebel. Cut that out where you said what did you decide. I didn't reach any decision. How would you go about deciding what is a communist. You mean who is a calm I mean what is one. Well he's not American Neither is Churchill. He's a snake so was punch just pilot. Well I'll tell you this when I see a communist I know it said. You wouldn't know a communist if one came to you with a red flag on his chest and his party membership card taped to his pardon. The chances are you'd like him pretty well because he's accustomed to the same tactics. Now look here Charlie. Shut up. Get out is what going on outside I want to talk to Charlie. Sure. This is terribly hard. I'll make it as easy as I can that if you want me to no longer run my science course I want you around but I'm trying to tell you is that it's hard to do what I have to do to win. Some people can't understand about winning but I've always had to win
chartering and we debated together back in high school. You remember we lost only two debates I remember I just had to get away after we lost those today. Yes I noticed. You know why I never understood that I was I was afraid I was going to break down and cry. I can't lose Charlie. I love the fight I love to win I want to pull if I can't be laughed at you see. Perhaps it's best. Can I do 10 years ago I started getting ready to run for the Senate taking reporters to dinner picking up the checks phoning political leaders when I went through a town making contributions at the right time to the right people making news and getting it printed OK Matal then the campaign started and I got you to help me with the speeches they were good. I was doing well. All the editors were pleased I was saying significant things but I wasn't women. You see Charlie I was way behind Senator Blake has made a great record and I have perhaps he did have. You're looking at the man right now. Hands down no questions asked between him no matter
what I've done I am winning. I. Don't. To see Charlie I have a right to fight hard to win don't I. When I go to Washington I'm going to change. Going to be the kind of senator you thought I'd be but but I have to win first don't I Charlie. Matt you know tonight you can get much of what you said in the last several days I will not be able to change your view because it will come back in a dozen ways every Morse says because of there will be more times you have to win the bad way. Maybe you can still win it. Maybe you can win honestly. Maybe I could Charlie but I can't take the chance. It's 7:40 and we're already 10 minutes behind schedule and haven't cancelled a press conference at the Capitol. Right there are a couple reporters on the train now you might talk to. Think I should
have seen from there two people in the car outside who want to see what about contribution. Now we don't make a report on contributions left the voting said they want to make a contribution and calm down. Will you send a man I'll talk to them then to the reporters right here worth Charlie who knows Matt who cares. Come on into the compartment please Mr Ms. This is Mr. Matthews Mr. Simson. How do you do. My pleasure sir. This is my wife. How do you do. Want to sit down. Take only a moment. We heard you on the train and we decided to take this opportunity to give you a gift in your fight against communism once you get to Washington. Well time for some years I've opposed communism. I was a Lutheran minister in Czechoslovakia for seven years one of two I see and my wife and I are both happy to find a man of your background and
enthusiasm to step forward in leading this fight. I appreciate all that. Here is our checks air time. Thank you sir for this country. Thousand dollars is quite a large amount for preachers and yes it is. You who do hate communists don't you. I don't hate her as best I can I am a Christians or I know they are wrong. I know that they does neither the existence of God and denying that they destroy the fundamental dignity of man. Please use the money wisely. Good nights are provided. Hey Seth. Yeah what's the matter. Keep people like that out of here. You make me nervous. How about when it's ok quieting down Clinton down one of the time when
I do go first or do you think your campaign has been a fair one Mr Matthews. Your reporters know that it has been I've had the uncomfortable task of exposing Senator Blake for what his record shows him to be and what is that sir. Well inconsistent shall we say. If you always dealt honestly with that record I don't care to answer questions like that. I don't think he's suing me as his secretary is now has it. You said the secretary was a communist. I never said anything of the kind he reported only two days ago I believe I said I don't think Senator Blake secretary is at the moment a card carrying member of the Communist Party. Yes. Don't you see I'm saying the secretary is not a communist member. But aren't you also trying to imply that he once was or that he is a communist though not a member. I'm trying to make a simple statement should we print a retraction make no retraction. I thought you just said he wasn't a commie. I don't know whether he is or not I don't have contacts within the Communist Party. Why don't you ask Senator Blake do you think Senator Blake has any contact within the Communist Party. If Senator Blake doesn't wish to try to clear his own secretary why should I.
But don't you think that so far as you know his secretary is a loyal and honorable sir. I wouldn't care to say as to that. You realize you're smearing a man's reputation Mr. Matthew I realize only that I've made a few simple statements which I hope are not misinterpreted but which are easily misinterpreted I've had a difficult task in this campaign something many people evidently some of you and others on the train don't understand. I've had to reveal Senator Blake to be something other than the angel everybody thought he was. Now for that I expect to be smeared by Saddam. There are always those in politics who play with mud balls when they run out of arguments when they have no defenses. But my position is clear your position is totally unknown Mr. Matthew Noah. What's your stand on the requests I have taken a stand against every kind of scenario you are running against in Mr Matthews we know what your stand on foreign aid. What time is it so what's your feeling about farm supports Mr Matthew how about the UN Mr Mackey said. I'm sorry gentlemen Mr. Matthews would like to answer all these questions but in 20 minutes he has to speak over a state network so that when you answer the questions in your speech tonight Mr. Man that's all man I'll move out of the
compartment please. Let's go. Well let me congratulate you Mr. Matthews on winning of my head didn't think you liked me. I don't but the publishers of my newspaper did. Pull him into the station mad and there's the band out there. Wonderful. Ready. We got to hurry. Sure they were Susan. You got a picture of Susan. We got off the train she's sick I mean sick John. She's not going this time that's all. Where is she. In a compartment. You then go ahead and join the motor. Look at Matt Matt you don't have much. Susan. Hey Susan. What do you want met the motorcade waiting there. I'm not going. To let me get this mask. I don't need any aspirin. Charlie said you had a headache I do a sharp one in my mind Nat.. Aspirin doesn't soothe the mind. What do you mean
Matt. Please go on please let me alone. Susan do you and I have come a very long way together. You know that don't you. All the way fight and you beside me please go on that are and I'll be a United States senator elect and you have to be beside me. Think what it would mean if you weren't. You mean what would it mean politically if I wasn't. What. What would it mean to me and to you and to the children and to my parents they are very fond of you. Please Matt Go on go on make your speech I know I've broken one of two rules I explain that to Charlie but tomorrow night I'll be a senator elect in spite of everything in spite of everything I get. You mean it. Don't you see. Yes Susan I'd give up the election for you. Is that what you want to say something will you. You're the talker in that you say something. All right. All right I'll say this. When I go to Washington as I am I'm taking Ann and Tommi with
me. You know how anxious they are to go Oh how glad they are that I'm to be a senator. If you think you can. And leave me Susan and take the children with you. You're wrong no matter what. Come on Susan. We have only a few minutes to get to the auditorium. That's a nice looking state phlegmatic. What do you think of that. Are there many people I looked at a minute ago it's packed. It's good. Nervous. Yeah I don't know if you've got a light Charlie. Or Susan. She's over there sitting down in a dressing room I brought her some coffee. Charlie I don't know what I'd do without you. You would get along. I just told her I'm mad and I'm telling you I don't know what I'm nervous now. I don't pull anything. I'm sorry about that but I'm telling you this. If you go out there and add to the already muddy series of speeches you've made of late I'm pulling out the only way to morrow for all but I can't wait
until tomorrow tomorrow is the election. I've got a speech prepared What do you want me to do that speech you have there is probably all demagoguery works it shouldn't tell the people they clap they applaud I don't do manage still broadcast Stand by stand by me. Look Matt I have another speech right here. I rode on the train a while ago. Thanks Charlie. Thanks I know you mean well Matt Listen please. The people trust you. They don't understand that Professor Colby did. Let's go now to the sting. No no man I got it planned differently this time. Yeah you go out after we're on the air. First there's an announcement then you come in from the wings here and the people give an ovation right. Sounds all right when you think about that Charlie. You wear a string around your neck are not one minute broadcast. What about the TV cameras while they take pictures up if I'm not out there. I got one camera shooting the audience while the announcement is on then camera to shoot them to pretty much they're than camera one thinks up the wings here just as you come out from pans left with you as you walk onto the stage. Then
the other camel pick up the crowd going crazy so yeah I got a group picked out for the cameraman up there. Sounds effective to me. Thirty seconds to broadcast here is Susan. She's right there. Hey Susan Susan get ready to go out. Although I'd met. You later Charlie. I hope so. Oh yeah here's a pencil mantel needed as a prop in the speech remember oh yeah I remember Thanks stand by I hope you realize out there you're one of the American flag the quiet of Washington Madison Monroe Jefferson and my flag of Lincoln. Good evening ladies and gentleman from the main auditorium of the state capitol where several thousand people have gathered to get a final campaign speech of the next senator from the greatest of state. OK match ready. Matthews was which will last was not right. Come on she was who was you from. With the threat of a gentleman thing
and I realize that this is only one tiny fraction. Of the bus through which to morrow would go to the polls and all for a new government to represent this is made in Washington. I I do you like. With Paul before I go into the last issue which perplexed this nation I want to continue what we have maintained through all of this kind of thing I would like to introduce to you. My constant companion for the news. I'm at work. As you probably know.
If you do. That in a quiet place. But the kind of day. Represent a great state in the most important legislative body in the world in a time of crisis when a hundred problems perplex us when our nation is be set with strange tides of power from many directions when we are hurled toward world leadership from the myriad of isolationism. I hope your choice will be thoughtfully and prayerfully made think you don't. Sometimes when I hear my wife's job faces when
she regards me your problems are heading for this country or one to yours we do for you all those will you want to live as I have a victim of this campaign it really bothered me a bit. Because I know you all seem confident this country describing your posts but I think I would say you've been saying I am a bit of my loyalty and my success in Washington but my opponent from his record has no right to be who was my promise. But whatever subtle Washington I would go with refer only to the sense that loyalty to a basic principle for a moment you want something to represent I will represent you honest if we end up American history who were trying to do well they destroyed it and there are problems
there are problems as my wife would say it is the basics. And that is one of the problems all of us followers of all your mothers. And that of course as you would say yourself if I ask you is a problem. Virgin ended up as a veteran what planet fears for America. I cannot help but be concerned about the possibility of making DD fall I mean I saw I can remember crawling into what would temper a foxhole and buy yourself off like handle or small gentle I still carry that I'm still here it is. Let me move over here and I've got a couple different cameras photographing all the folks back home. Did you get it every man. Yes or you know really matters. That wasn't even in the script about the TV camera and I see this event as a live scroll all the letters to the parents of the man you know what I thought they
died for this country. How can a dollar my boy Rick you own. I've been down for more than anybody would walk over the graves of dead veterans and walk over anything that they are leaving town you're raising a good boy and will it matter where you go and I don't know. I'm going off my mare and I think I'll come out to break him up after you when's it was on it. He likes you old time frequent vice you're crazy to walk on and you know that he's going to be elected you could get a good job in Washington evacuations that you do think he's going to win don't you. I think the people out there they're. Still listening on that day. Yes sir. We give him the devil in there sir that is the devil and then Mr..
American Adventure is written by Johnny Ley directed by John Clayton and is produced by the communication center of the University of North Carolina. The series is made possible by grants in aid from the fund for adult education received through the National Association of educational broadcasters. Appearing in tonight's play the demagogue where Charles Kuralt as the candidate Phil Johnston is Charlie buzz sems as Seth and June Nash while or as the wife. Then mast speaking. The story just presented was fictional. No
similarity to actual individuals was intended. We were dealing with the problem itself. All cast members in American Adventure are students. Townspeople are faculty members of the University of North Carolina an American Adventure is produced in the studios of the department of radio television and motion pictures on the campus at Chapel Hill. NBC invites you to listen to American adventure next Thursday evening for the story of a pioneer family who migrated from South Carolina to Alabama in the early days of the American frontier. This evening's program came to you through the facilities of W. PTF and Raleigh North Carolina.
American adventure
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University of North Carolina
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University of Maryland (College Park, Maryland)
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Episode Description
Unlike other programs in this series, "The Demagogue." is purely fiction. It tells the story of a mudslinging political campaign, replete with aspersions of Communist sympathies.
Series Description
This series studies the values and characteristics of notable figures from America's early years. It is written by John M. Ehle and directed by John S. Clayton.
Radio Theater
Political campaigns.
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Actor: Kuralt, Charles, 1934-1997
Director: Clayton, John S.
Host: Mast, Ben
Producing Organization: University of North Carolina
Writer: Ehle, John, 1925-
AAPB Contributor Holdings
University of Maryland
Identifier: 54-12-15 (National Association of Educational Broadcasters)
Format: 1/4 inch audio tape
Duration: 00:30:00?
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Chicago: “American adventure; Demagogue,” 1955-01-19, University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed March 2, 2024,
MLA: “American adventure; Demagogue.” 1955-01-19. University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. March 2, 2024. <>.
APA: American adventure; Demagogue. Boston, MA: University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from