October 18, 2017
A number of years ago
, after some sort of nationally tragic shooting -- a political assassination...a crazed gunman on the loose... I can't
remember which -- I had this thought: If I were a government strategist working for America's Cold War adversary, the Soviet Union, and my mission was
to create instability in the United States, I would do everything I could to encourage an indiscriminate proliferation of guns across our nation. The distrust, divisiveness and fear this would generate would be an inexpensive "battlefield" victory.
Back then, whenever anyone questioned the presence of so
many guns in civilian hands,
The National Rifle Association
defended those millions of weapons as America's insurance against a Soviet invasion. It was a kind of Hollywood scenario, like in the movie "Red Dawn." (Today, ironically, the "patriotic" NRA's rationale is that guns might someday protect us from our own government.)
The NRA's Soviet invasion rationale was clearly bogus. It's highly doubtful that Soviet intelligence ever believed that the best strategy to weaken the United States as a world power would be to physically invade our huge nation. But if other less costly methods had been found, they might have been worth trying.
Anyway... the Soviet Union is now long gone. And until recently I hadn't thought much more about my musings on how a foreign power
could weaken the fabric of our society by simply encouraging a potentially dangerous American peculiarity. But
recently, I've realized I was on to something.
Over the past year as we've learned of Russia's meddling in our election I now see clearly how a shrewd adversary can weaken a nation's internal cohesion and its position in the world without setting foot in that country or firing a single shot.
Of course this isn't a new concept. It's been a "realpolitik" tactic for centuries. Our own intelligence agencies, to our shame, have played this game to remove foreign opposition numerous times. To name three, think of government disruptions in Chile, Iran, Indonesia. And now we've seen that game being played on us -- and not just during the 2016 election.
Russia, for its size, is actually a relatively poor country but it longs to regain its former influence.
What a bargain it's been to simply use the Internet to damage the strength of its biggest rival -- us.
, the "Perspective" pages included a story about
the "Heart of Texas" Facebook page
and the @itstimetosecede Twitter feed. It turns out that both of
these online activities, spreading fear of and hostility among American citizens toward our government were created in Russia.
It certainly seems likely that Russia has tried subversive activities like this before. (I suspect today the KGB enthusiastically blesses the success of our NRA.) And no doubt there will be meddling in the future. It's so cheap and easy to do. Sadly, the homegrown division that has been battering our country for years has made us especially vulnerable to such international espionage. Our long history of racism adds to that vulnerability.
Now, we all know that a successful democracy depends on a well-informed public. But
the Internet with all of its promise for the spread of information is also a potent conduit for misinformation and propaganda. Perhaps the most potent ever. Democracy has a tough enough task just dealing with fear, ignorance and greed.
Not to mention our societal inequities and the economic desperation of many. But a democracy when it's at its best should be able to work through these difficulties to find approaches that are as fair as possible for the general populace.
So how do we combat international foes that use the Internet to subversively weaken our national resolve?
It will never be easy. There will be new techniques used in the future, less ham-handed than the ones we've detected. Perhaps other countries will also attempt such things (if some haven't already). But now that we are alerted to this danger, I expect our national security agencies and our Internet businesses will create much stronger barriers to such meddling.
In this brave new cyber world, is there anything we as individuals can actually do to fight such powerful dangers? Well, nothing new.
Each of us just needs to keep using the weapons that our democracy has always provided - weapons people in Russia or China or North Korea don't have. We have the freedom to stay informed, to question what we're told, to seek out and compare ideas. This means turning to more than one TV channel, radio station, newspaper or website. The better informed we all are with facts that are actually real, the smarter our choices will be on Election Day. -- And by the way, that approach works in Texas too.
NTDO member since 1973
P.S. In last week's newsletter I recapped the events at the Annual NTDO Dinner. However, I neglected to mention two things that happened. The NTDO Volunteer of the Year Award was presented to Flip Corboy, longtime New Trier Dem and steadfast member of our Executive Committee. Also, the room observed a moment of silence for our dearly missed Office Manager Sharon Pietrzak Suzda who passed away earlier this year.
Here's a list of local and statewide Democratic candidates seeking your vote in the 2018 Primary Election.
At this point, we don't have Internet addresses for every candidate. Click on the underscored names to visit those candidates that do have Internet information. Get acquainted with them now.
Illinois Attorney General:
Jesse Ruiz, Board of Commisioners, Park District
Illinois State Representative - 17th District:
Cook County Assessor:
Are your NTD annual dues up to date? You can only vote at endorsement meetings if you're paid up.
Check with the NTD office if you're not sure when your "annual dues date" is.
To renew your NTD membership or to become an official member of the New Trier Dems for the first time,
. You'll see information on all your membership options.
Other events of interest:
Sunday afternoon, Oct. 22 in Northbrook -
See "The Pajama Game" - A Tenth Dems event.
Sunday, October 22, at 2:00pm
Northbrook Theater, 3323 Walters Ave., Northbrook
Join Tenth Dems at the Highland Park Players' production of The Pajama Game, winner of Tony awards for Best Musical and, 50 years later, Best Musical Revival. Set in the 1950s, The Pajama Game depicts the battle between a pajama factory's management and the employees and their union over a 7 1/2 cent raise. Classic Broadway songs include "Steam Heat," "Hey There," and "Hernando's Hideaway."
Ticket price in honor of next year's election: $20.18, (less than the box office price.) There will be a moderated conversation after the show.
Saturday, Oct. 28 in Glenview -
The Democrats of Northfield Township Fundraiser Luncheon
with U.S. Reps. Schakowsky and Schneider.
Saturday, October 28, from 12:00 noon - 2:00pm
The Glen Club, 2901 W. Lake Ave., Glenview
The Democrats of Northfield Township hold their annual Fundraiser Luncheon featuring remarks from Congressional Representatives Jan Schakowsky and Brad Schneider; and Resistance Recognition Honorees Action for a Better Tomorrow - Northern Suburbs, Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, United Advocacy, and Northbrook Working Families Coalition.
Luncheon proceeds support field efforts to keep Northfield Township blue and our primary and general election Township mailings.
Sunday, November 5 in Skokie - The Indo-American Democratic Organization Annual Banquet
When: Sunday, November 5, at 5:30pm
Where: Holiday Inn Chicago North Shore, 5300 Touhy Ave., Skokie
: Indo-American Democratic Organization Annual Banquet "This Is What Democracy Looks Like!"
More information to follow.
Monday, November 6 in Chicago -
The EMILY'S List Ignite Change Chicago Luncheon
When: Monday, November 6,
10:00am Political Briefing;
11:00am Host & Sponsor Reception;
12:00pm Luncheon & Panel Discussion
: JW Marriott Chicago, 151 W. Adams St., Chicago
: EMILY's List, the nation's largest resource for women in politics, holds its Chicago luncheon, Incite Change. Featured guests include President Stephanie Schriock; Congresswoman Jacky Rosen (D-NV), candidate for U.S. Senate; Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams; Cook County State's Attorney Kim Foxx; Philadelphia City Councilwoman Helen Gym, and Colorado gubernatorial candidate Cary Kennedy.
Carpools may be available from the North Shore - call Lauren Beth Gash at 847-266-VOTE (8683).
Have you visited Senator Biss' website "The Road Back" --
click on the link to his video -- then, throughout the summer follow his plan's development on the website.
Daniel explains a lot about how Illinois got where it is today and how we can begin the journey on the road back toward achieving our state's tremendous economic potential.
who represent New Trier Township in
Washington, Springfield and Cook County
You'll be hearing a lot from these exceptional public servants. --
And they want to be hearing a lot from you.
The fact is, they need to hear from you and want to hear from you in order to represent you most effectively. So, the first thing you can do is get to know who these people are. The links below to their campaign websites are a good place to start.
, 9th U.S. Congressional District Representative
and Chief Deputy House Democratic Whip. The new Ninth District boundaries include all of New Trier except for Glencoe.
, 10th U.S. Congressional District Representative which includes a number of precincts in Glencoe.
Julie Morrison, State Senator for Illinois' 29th State Senate District
State Senator for Illinois' 9th State Senate Distric
t.The Ninth District includes all of New Trier Township.
. The district includes New Trier's northernmost precincts.
IL 18th District State Representative
. The 18th District includes much of New Trier up to Hazel Avenue and Dundee Road.
, IL 17th District State Representative.
The 17th District includes the East Glenview and West Wilmette areas of New Trier Township.
IL 58th District State Representative.
The 58th District includes the northernmost precincts in Glencoe.
Larry Suffredin, Cook County 13th District Commissioner. The 13th District includes all of New Trier, Evanston and Niles Townships.
Dear Fellow Democrats,
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Click on the "Join/Contribute" button
Find the link for "contribute with ActBlue"
or go directly to ActBlue by clicking here.
|Still not a member of the New Trier Dems? Your participation in grassroots political action will make a difference. -- Come join us.
When you're a member of the New Trier Democratic Organization, you have an active role in affecting the political process; participating in grassroots campaigns, staying in touch with elected officials, playing a role in deciding which candidates are endorsed. You'll also gain free admission to select forums and events throughout the year.
Come be a part of New Trier's grassroots political community.
The New Trier Democratic Organization is made up of hundreds of grassroots volunteers dedicated to advancing progressive ideals through the political process. We welcome your participation.
Dean T. Maragos, Committeeman New Trier Township
We are located at 800 Oak Street, Suite 112, in Winnetka, IL. Ph: 847-446-8030
*This Internet communication paid for by the New Trier Democratic Organization and not authorized by any federal or state candidate or campaign committee. A copy of our report filed with the State Board of Elections is available for purchase from the State Board of Elections in Springfield, Illinois.