Yesterday and today in the Chicago Tribune's Perspective Section I enriched my own perspective in an interesting way. I learned how certain conservatives view me, and quite likely you. I would say up front that I don't believe every person who considers themselves conservative shares the views of the two Tribune essayists I read. But, I did find it interesting how these two intelligent men shared a willful blindness to some obvious truths that would, if they admitted they existed, puncture their premises.
In one essay, written by Marc Thiessen of the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) I read this conservative's assertion that we Democrats "are
so blinded by hate that (we) cannot bring (ourselves) to work with Trump even on the areas where (we) could forge agreement."
I admit that I never cared for Donald Trump's campaign language, such as when he encouraged audience members to punch a non-follower in the face. And his penchant for repeating bald-faced lies and turning virtually every statement he makes into a brag about himself remains truly obnoxious. So I do have reasons to dislike Donald Trump. But blind hatred? That's kind of a heavy accusation.
Mr. Thiessen went on to express his disappointment that "
Since Trump took office, Democrats have adopted a single theme: Resist!"
He advised President Trump that as he works to improve the lives of the "forgotten Americans" he should "
challenge the seething Democrats" (please warn me if you ever see me start to seeth) "to join him in that effort...(but) not out of some gauzy, false hope of reconciliation. Democrats are not interested in reconciliation."
It's interesting how he can speak for all of us Democrats.
It seems hard for him to understand our reluctance to buy into the Trump agenda. Why can't we Dems be more like the patriotic, selfless Republicans who for eight years bent over backwards to find ways to work in a bipartisan way with President Obama. It's probably my failing memory, but I don't recollect Mitch McConnell, John Boehner or Paul Ryan making a strong effort to strengthen the Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare) to best serve the public. This was always puzzling since the ACA was modeled on a plan originally proposed in a monograph by Stuart M. Butler Ph.D. presented in 1989 as a Heritage Foundation Lecture. It was titled "Assuring Affordable Health Care for Americans." (you can read it here.)
So this is the perspective I gained from Marc Thiessen's "learned" comments: Conservative ideologues, no matter how smart they may appear to be, are quite comfortable painting you and me and every one of the millions of Democrats across the United States as all blinded by hatred. And they don't hesitate to claim it is our irrational hatred that is apparently the only barrier to achieving a wonderful new era for the USA. They have become so hungry to finally implement their decades-long dream of small government and a permanent "trickle down" economy that they are the ones who are, in fact, blind -- blind to the blatant hypocrisy of their claims. What a crock!
The other Trib Perspective essay that enlightened me was by Corey B. Brooks the pastor of the New Beginnings Church in Chicago's Woodlawn neighborhood. Over the past weeks you may have seen or heard his name championed by those parents opposed to what they assumed to be the hidden purpose of Seminar Day at NTHS.
Here's my take on the Rev. Brooks' comments. I'm guessing he believes in the bootstraps approach to reversing America's racial inequities, giving a high priority for personal responsibility. That's all good. And he shows a strong belief in building pride and self-sufficiency as a way to overcome hardships. That's good too. But this makes him very defensive against anything that, in his mind, might undermine that objective. As he said in his essay, "
Educating children about race history is commendable as long as we are not building a perception of blacks as weak and incapable of self-reliance."
But the Reverend's passion for his perspective has led him to proclaim a stereotyped view of all of us north shore liberals. The Reverend wrote, "
Discrimination is alive and well, but it is economic discrimination. It is an all too convenient excuse for those cosseted in comfortable surroundings to cry racism as the basis for the inequality in society." "The fact is that the poor do not have equal opportunities in our society." But, "Racial characteristics have nothing to do with it."
At that point in my reading, I said "Really?! Racial characteristics have had nothing to do with the fewer opportunities and resultant poverty that many people of color have faced right up until today?" For the Reverend, it appears that talking about racism in any form gets in the way of his personal philosophy. He apparently feels that the first step to "solving" the monstrously huge and ages-long problem of racial inequity in America is simply to find economic solutions. Nels Howard
However, it seems to me that actually the very first and most necessary step in opening up opportunities should be to do a lot more of what occurred at Seminar Day. Our country needs an honest attempt by every American to do everything they can to become less ignorant about the endemic racism in our American society that is with us every day. Quite often it's unspoken, or even unrealized, but it is with us. And it gets in the way of what Reverend Brooks advocates - big time!
The Reverend says, "It is the social liberal, living a privileged life, interacting only with others who share his or her affluence, who is all too happy to ascribe the problems caused by poverty to racism.
It is far easier to blame the racist of 200 years ago than to face in the mirror the indifferent hypocrite of toda
"Indifferent!?" Does that include the many New Trier High School teachers, students and administrators who spent months developing the programs for Seminar Day to broaden understanding? Or the over 5000 New Trier Township residents who went out of their way to sign a petition supporting the Seminar? Or the "comfortable" Americans up here who are purposefully creating color blind opportunities.
And what's with this blaming "racist of 200 years ago?" We "social liberals" are concerned about the unaware racists of today - which in one way or another may include ourselves. Wouldn't it be a good idea to seek more ways to enlighten that large group of Americans in hopes that a clearer understanding of racism will lead to a fairer society for every American?
Let me be clear, I would not compare the self-serving comments of a spokesperson for the AEI with the sincere perceptions of the Rev. Brooks. Mr. Thiessen's words displayed pure hypocrisy. The Rev. Brooks represented his honest faith in enlightened economics as the answer to the plight of minorities. Both got plenty of the Tribune's ink. And both, blinded by their zeal, used that ink to paint a very distorted picture of you and me. -- But as long as we maintain our perspective, we'll be okay.
NTDO member since 1973
A few words in memoriam for Nancie Blatt, a Tenth Dems founder
On February 23, Nancie Blatt passed away. Here is an excerpt from a tribute to Nancie from fellow Tenth Dems founder and leader Lauren Beth Gash:
I first met Nancie when I was walking door-to-door in one of my early campaigns. The next day, she started to work with us, and quickly became one of our best volunteers. She later worked in my State Rep office and was a very valued member of my staff, as well as a very cherished friend. A few of us talked about starting a group like Tenth Dems, and we consider our "formal" beginning to be on October 14, 2003, when ten of us met in a living room in Highland Park. That living room was Nancie Blatt's. We sure have grown from that time -- into a "real group," as some of us have said -- and Nancie was a critical part of that growth. Because Tenth Dems was such an important part of Nancie's life, her daughters have asked that contributions in her memory be made to the Tenth Dems Nancie Blatt Memorial Fund." Nancie and I were were very close, and I loved and will miss her very much. --- Lauren Beth Gash
Pro-choice Action Alert!
-- Governor Rauner's office is receiving hundreds of calls from pro-life folks saying that if the Governor does not veto H.B. 40, they will not vote for him in 2018. If you are pro choice, please call his office to support HB 40. The Governor's number is 312-814-2121
Don't Forget -- April 4 is
New Trier Township Election Day!
This Saturday, March 4 in Evanston -
A State of the State Meeting sponsored by Action for a Better Tomorrow and featuring State Senator Daniel Biss.
Policy in 60 minutes -- state of the state
Saturday, March 4, 1pm
Unitarian Church of Evanston, 1330 Ridge Avenue
A message from Senator Biss:
"The Trump presidency is more than a month old, and, amazingly, things are even worse than we expected. Civil rights are under assault and the administration appears to be in chaos. Meanwhile, the state is now in its 21st month without a budget, and the damage to social service agencies, our higher education system, and the very functioning of government gets worse by the minute.
At both levels of government, decisions are being controlled by a small group of people who simply aren't thinking about our best interests.
That's why I'm so pleased that Action for a Better Tomorrow, one of the largest and best-organized groups that formed after the presidential election, has asked me to talk about the State of the State at a meeting they're having having this Saturday. We can only solve the terrible problems coming from Washington if we act in concert on the federal, state and local levels.
I hope you'll join us! The invitation is here."
State Rep. Laura Fine wants to hear from you about HB40, the bill to protect a woman's right to choose in Illinois.
Rep. Fine has said: She wants constituents to contact her by phone or email to express concerns about issues. -- Even if you feel sure that Rep. Fine supports your views, the number of people contacting her on issues is factual ammunition as she argues for support of legislation.
HB40 is a bill that was written to abolish Illinois' so-called "trigger law" that, if Roe v. Wade is overturned, abortion would become illegal in Illinois, as would several forms of birth control.
Under a Trump Supreme Court this is a real possibility.
HB40 amends the State Employees Group Insurance Act of 1971. Removes a provision prohibiting the non-contributory portion of a program of health-benefits from including the expenses of obtaining an abortion. Amends the Illinois Public Aid Code. Removes a provision excluding abortions or induced miscarriages or premature births from the list of services provided under the State's medical assistance program. Removes language providing for the adoption of rules to prohibit a physician from providing medical assistance to anyone eligible for medical assistance benefits if the physician has been found guilty of wilfully and wantonly performing an abortion procedure upon a woman who was not pregnant at the time of the procedure. Removes other provisions concerning abortion restrictions. Amends the Problem Pregnancy Health Services and Care Act. Removes language prohibiting the Department of Human Services from making grants to nonprofit agencies and organizations that use such grants to refer or counsel for, or perform, abortions. Amends the Illinois Abortion Law of 1975. Provides that it is the intention of the Gen
eral Assembly to reasonably regulate abortion in conformance with the legal standards set forth in the decisions of the United States Supreme Court of January 22, 1973. Removes language concerning the General Assembly's declaration that the unborn child is a human being from the time of conception and is, therefore, a legal person for purposes of the unborn child's right to life. Makes other changes.
Call Laura at 847-998-1717 or for more contact information click here.
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.
Mark you Calendar now for March 18
the New Trier Township Candidate Forum --
sponsored by the League of Women Voters of Wilmette.
Saturday, March 18,
Wilmette Village Hall
1200 Wilmette Avenue, Wilmette
Off year elections traditionally draw an embarrassingly low voter turnout. This situation has the potential to produce results that we sometimes come to regret. This election year it is more important than ever that you participate in the voting process. You can learn more about the candidates at this valuable forum. This is especially important in the contested races such as for District 39 and for the N.T. Township Board.
9:00am Village of Wilmette Board of Trustees
10:00am Wilmette Park District Board of Commissioners
11:00am Wilmette School District 39 Board of Education
12:00pm Wilmette School District 37 Board of Education
1:00pm New Trier Township Board of Trustees*
The League of Women Voters of Wilmette
*In cooperation with LWV Winnetka/Northfield/Kenilworth
Other upcoming events and news items:
Sunday, March 8 in Chicago --
The International Women's Day Fair and Luncheon.
Wednesday, March 8, 10:30am: International Fair, 12:00 noon: Luncheon
Union League Club, 65 W. Jackson Blvd., Chicago
WorldChicago holds its 16th Annual Chicago Celebrates International Women's Day Fair and Luncheon, "Around the World and Back: Women's Education and Empowerment in Pakistan, the U.S., and Beyond." Keynote speaker: Iram Shah, Senior Vice President, Customer Transformation, Schneider Electric, and Chairman, Sonia Shah Foundation. She will reflect on how her journey is intertwined with the status of women in different places she has called "home."
Thursday, March 9 in Deerfield -- The PFLAG Monthly Meeting
Thursday, March 9, at 7:15pm
BJBE Synagogue, 1201 Lake Cook Rd., Deerfield, IL
Monthly meeting of Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG). This month's topic will be LGBTQ activism from the Age of AIDS to the Age of Trump - how to cope and how to persevere. Featured guests are attorney Mike Bauer and his husband, Roger Simon.
PFLAG meets at 7:15pm the second Thursday of each month at BJBE Synagogue, Deerfield.
For additional information, visit the PFLAG website here or email here
Tuesday, March 14 in Washington, D.C. -- NARAL Pro-Choice America's The Power of Roe Event.
When: March 14, 6:30 - 9:00pm
The Hamilton, 600 14th St. NW, Washington, DC
NARAL Pro-Choice America's The Power of Roe event. Featured speakers: Senators Tammy Duckworth and Maggie Hassan.
Friday morning, March 17 in Chicago - Breakfast with U.S. Senator Dick Durbin.
Friday, March 17, from 8:00 - 9:30am
Where: Ema, 66 W. Illinois, Chicago
(valet parking is available)
lunch and program: 12:00 - 1:30pm
Friday, March 17, Registration/reception: 11:00am;
Friday, March 17 in Chicago -- ACLU Lunch: Fighting for a More Perfect Union.
go. 720 S. Michigan Ave., Chicago
The ACLU Lunch with guest speaker Jelani Cobb, author and journalist who writes about injustice and the complexity of race in America for The New Yorker. To sit with Tenth Dems, Reserve your seat now-register here, email email@example.com or call (847) 266-8683.
Purchase your tickets quickly: this event will likely sell out.
Start making plans now for
the Peoples Climate March on April 29 in Washington D.C.
On Saturday, April 29 in our nation's capital and across the country, marchers will stand together to demand that Donald Trump act in a meaningful way to address the climate crisis and stop attacking the hard-won protections for all our communities, especially people of color, indigenous people, women, and more. Together, we can show the world that we demand climate action. To sign up for the Washington march click here. -- (More details for events across the country to follow.)
When: Saturday, April 29, 9:00 AM -3:00 PM
Where: Washington D.C.
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,
If you are not already an NTDO member, and enjoy our Newsletter, we hope you consider joining us as a dues-paying member. NTDO is a not-for-profit political action organization. We depend on our membership dues to support our Democratic causes and candidates.
There are two options for dues payments: by check or credit card.
By Check: Make check payable to NTDO and mail to our office:
800 Oak St., Suite 112
Winnetka, IL 60093
By Credit Card: visit our website by clicking here
Click on the "Get Involved" tab
Find the link for "contribute with ActBlue"
or go directly there 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 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.