Every Wednesday, I look for a timely subject to talk about. Then I try to look at it from an angle that hasn't already been hashed over by the media. Sometimes this works. Sometimes it doesn't. But in these Trump times it's really becoming difficult to come up with any kind of fresh perspective on our national leader and his approach to important events.
Week after week it feels like we're being hit by some new crises, then we start wondering, "what will Trump do this time?" For the millions of Americans paying attention, this is becoming exhausting. In fact, soon after Trump's inauguration, Time Magazine reported on an American Psychological Association Stress in America study that, among other things, revealed two-thirds of the people surveyed said they were stressed about the future of the country, including nearly 60% of Republicans and 76% of Democrats. (Who knows where those numbers are now after 7 months of Trump?)
To paraphrase an old radio D.J. line, "The crises just keep on comin'!" Political standoffs, foreign threats, hate group violence, natural disasters. Yet through it all, President Trump has been remarkably, some would say frighteningly, consistent in his behavior.
No matter how critical the situation might be, Donald Trump somehow manages to turn it into an opportunity to in some way talk about himself. He'll comment on the crowd he's drawn, or take a shot at a reporter from the "fake news" or make a pointed comment meant to slap down all Americans not aligned with his voter base. He continues to act like he's still the adored hero on the campaign trail and not the person elected to lead all of the country as President. It is bizarre. Unnerving. It's the behavior of a man with some serious psychological defects.
In saying this about Trump's mind, I admit that I'm biased because the man disgusts me. But I'm not alone in my concern for his mental state. I haven't seen such an open discussion of a president's sanity since Richard Nixon had access to the nuclear codes. With Trump, no matter how grave the situation or how much suffering is right in front of him, he reveals he possesses no empathy. When it comes to that critically important personal quality, it is like Donald Trump was born blind.
If the stakes weren't so high and Mr. Trump didn't hold his present job, I could almost feel sorry for him. The fact is, when I watched his unscripted second attempt to explain his initial comments on Charlottesville - when he appeared in the Trump Tower lobby while his Chief of Staff, John Kelly, stood nearby looking very unhappy - I did feel a twinge of sympathy. He was flailing away trying to explain why his "many sides" quote was justified. He seemed to have no idea why so many people were critical of him.
Watching Trump's desperate behavior reminded me of someone I'd seen somewhere in the past but I couldn't put my finger on who. Then I read a column by someone (I apologize I can't remember the name) and he mentioned Captain Queeg of the "Caine Mutiny." Exactly! Captain Queeg testifying at his court-martial, desperately explaining the imagined plots against him.
Of course there is a difference between the fictional Queeg character and the real President Trump. Before his breakdown, Queeg had a past that included commendable wartime service to his country. Our President missed his opportunity to serve due to five draft deferrals for heel bone spurs.
As I thought about Queeg on the bridge of his ship I realized that President Trump, in his Oval Office, is also surrounded by military men. His Chief of Staff John Kelly and his Secretary of Defense, James Mattis, are both retired Marine generals. His National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster is a retired Army general. This is unusual. But from what I've read, Trump seems more inclined to listen to these advisors with their high-ranking military backgrounds.
Is this good? If we had a President who was less capricious, then having a more conventional lineup of key advisors would seem safer. However in the President's case, there is a lot to be said for having advisors that Trump actually listens to - especially if they are more informed and rational than he is. (A good bet.)
I can only hope these retired generals appreciate the costly errors that kept us in Vietnam and led us into a full-scale and unnecessary Iraq Invasion. If that is the case, perhaps Trump's deferral to their advice will mean that, at least on international issues, they will guard against the President going off in some crazy direction.
And Domestically? Trump may still be prone to saying and doing many outrageous things. We can also hope the advisors he listens will have the instincts to steer him away from the most destructive domestic actions.
What Captain Queeg needed and, at a critical time, didn't have on his minesweeper Caine was a cadre of officers ready to help him make rational decisions. It caused Queeg to lose his mind. -- Let's keep our fingers crossed Trump's advisors are better than that because the President can't afford to lose any more of his.
NTDO member since 1973
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Mark your calendars now!
Save the date:
Sunday, Sept. 10
The NTDO Annual Meeting and Picnic
Lake View Room and Beach Pavilion
1 pm - 4 pm
(More info to follow)
Upcoming Events of interest:
Tomorrow night Aug. 24 (in Evanston) and Aug. 31 (in Skokie) -
A Screening of the Documentary "Equal Means Equal"
: Thursday, August 24, from 6:30 - 8:30pm
the Century 12 Evanston, 1715 Maple Ave
Thursday, August 31, from 6:30 - 8:30pm
the AMC Village Crossing
, 18-7000 Carpenter Road, Skokie
What: Friends for ERA Illinois present a screening of "Equal Means Equal," a documentary supporting adoption of the Equal Rights Amendment to the U.S. Constitution guaranteeing equal rights for women.
For additional information or
to RSVP for Evanston click here.
(The Evanston event will only happen if enough tickets are reserved. )
For additional information or
to RSVP for Skokie click here
(The Skokie event will only happen if enough tickets are reserved. )
Saturday Aug. 26 in Milwaukee -
A Protest at the NRA Concealed Carry Gun Show.
When: Saturday, August 26, 2017
Where: Outside Wisconsin Center, 400 W. Wisconsin Ave., Milwaukee, WI
What: Peaceful Communities sponsors a demonstration protesting an NRA Concealed Carry Gun Show at the Wisconsin Center in Milwaukee to express their view that our country will be safer when fewer people are carrying guns. There will be a call for repeal of the Second Amendment so that needed laws can be enacted.
For additional information or to RSVP, email Lee Goodman at
or call 847-559-9525.
Tuesday, Aug. 29 in Chicago - A Reception for Commissioner Michael Cabonargi.
Tuesday, August 29, from 5:00 - 7:00pm
Where: Highline Bar + Lounge, 169 West Kinzie, Chicago
What: A fundraising reception supporting Michael Cabonargi, Commissioner, Cook County Board of Review.
For additional information or to RSVP, register online or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Thursday, August 31 in Chicago - Lisa Madigan's Birthday Bash - Cubs vs. Braves Baseball.
When: Thursday, August 31. Reception at 6:00pm, game starts at 7:05pm
Where: Wrigley Rooftops, 3609 North Sheffield, Chicago
What: Root for the Chicago Cubs at Lisa Madigan's annual Birthday Bash.
Tuesday Sept. 5 and Friday Sept. 8 in Glenview - Phone Bank for Congressman Brad Schneider
When: Tuesday, September 5, from 5:00 - 8:30pm
Friday, September 8, from 11:00am - 2:00pm
Where: The Democrats of Northfield Township, 1926 Waukegan Rd., Suite 310, Glenview
What: Join Team Brad to call volunteers and invite them to the campaign kickoff on September 9. Please bring a charged cell phone and laptop computer.
For additional information or to RSVP, register online or email
Saturday, Sept. 9 in Deerfield - The Campaign Kickoff to Reelect Brad Schneider.
: Saturday, September 9, at 10:00am
: Warehouse Eatery, 833 Deerfield Road, Deerfield, IL
: Official kickoff for 10th District Congressman Brad Schneider's 2018 reelection campaign. -- Democrats across the U.S. are fighting to recapture control of Congress. Help reelect Brad and keep the 10th District blue!
Saturday, Sept. 16 in Springfield - The Illinois Democratic Women
45th Annual Convention
When: Saturday,September 16
Where: IBEW Local 193, 3150 Wide Track Drive
Crowne Plaza, 3000 S Dirksen Parkway. Springfield, IL
Join Democratic Women from across our state to discuss the issues facing our state and nation and what can be done to turn things around.1 pm-5pm Workshop Sessions 6:00-9:00pm Dinner and
Keynote Speaker: Krystal Ball, author, activist and President of the People's House Project. To read her bio click here.
FYI: The NTDO Events Calendar
for the rest of 2017
June 23-24 GLENCOE SIDEWALK SALE
9 am-5 pm Downtown Glencoe
July 14 -15
WINNETKA SIDEWALK SALE
9 am-5 pm Downtown Winnetka
July 17 ANNUAL MEET AND GREET at AVLI ESTIATORIO
566 Chestnut, Winnetka, 5:30 pm - 7:30 pm
July 22 -23 WILMETTE SIDEWALK SALE
9am-5pm Downtown Wilmette
Sept. 10 NTDO ANNUAL MEETING AND PICNIC
Lake View Room and Beach Pavilion 1 pm - 4 pm
Oct. 8 2017 NTDO ANNUAL DINNER
Maggiano's Old Orchard, Skokie, 5 pm-9 pm
Nov. (Date & Place TBA)
"HEAD START FOR 2018" CONFERENCE
All North Shore Democrats Invited
The guest speaker for the October 8, 2017 NTD Annual Dinner has been confirmed.
It's Congressman Mike Quigley.
As a member of the House Intelligence Committee, Rep. Quigley will bring his perspective on the possible Russian meddling in our 2016 Election and the seriousness of such a threat to our democratic process. (Were any Trump operatives involved?) -- By October, who knows what our guest speaker may have to report?
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,
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 "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.