2020 Is Already Here

Last night, the New Trier Dems’ Executive Committee held its monthly meeting. Although it wasn’t officially designated as the kickoff meeting of the 2020 Campaign year, the September date made it just that. Summer vacations are now behind us, the kids (and grandkids) are back in school and the weather is starting to remind us that autumn will soon be here.  

Politically speaking, this means the season for focusing on grassroots political activity has arrived. Local office holders and office seekers have started passing petitions to get themselves on next year’s primary ballots. U.S. congressional Democrats in several nearby Illinois districts are preparing to do battle with heavily funded challengers, already beginning their attacks. “Boots on the ground” actions are being organized to add new Democratic voters in neighboring battle ground states – particularly Wisconsin. Periodically, there may even be volunteer activities in our area to help Democrats in more distant states where vulnerable Republicans can be thrown out of office. (These days that’s always a good thing.) 

So with all that said, what’s happening right now in New Trier? Well, I suppose I should first mention that a larger NTD kickoff for the 2020 campaign year will occur in 10 days, on Saturday, September 14, in Wilmette’s Gillson Park. It’s our Annual NTD Membership Meeting followed by a lakeside picnic open to everyone. (Details are in “events” below.) It’s an afternoon that will give everybody a chance to get psychologically energized for the fourteen months between now and Election Day, 2020. — That’s right, folks. Fourteen months is all the time we have to halt the disastrous spiral our nation is in. 

Along those lines, last night the Exec Committee had a special guest. We were visited by Nancy Bruski, an activist from Evanston who has been working on an extremely valuable project just across our northern border. It’s a project that could actually win Wisconsin for the Democratic Party’s presidential candidate in 2020. — No doubt you remember how, in 2016, Donald Trump became President of the United States because of a 27,000-vote margin when too many Wisconsin Democrats either stayed home or stayed unregistered. 

Wisconsin still has a Republican controlled legislature that continues to maintain voting barriers against unregistered Wisconsin residents who have profiles that make them likely Democratic voters. Wisconsin residents can register at polling places on Election Day but they most possess a Wisconsin voter ID. For some voters, the process of getting that ID can be confusing or a hassle. We know that many potential Democrats in that state still haven’t acquired their IDs. Ms. Bruski, working with Evanston’s Indivisible organization, has been having success changing that. – We’ll have more detailed info on all this at the Annual Meeting and Picnic on the 14th. 

I know this litany of volunteer possibilities may sound intimidating. But it’s not a matter of doing all of them – just some of them — or perhaps just one of them, whatever your time allows. And by the way, there will certainly be more volunteer opportunities you might choose as 2020 heats up. Stay tuned. 

One last thought: Why are we talking about grassroots volunteer efforts when actual elections are still many months away? – It’s because we have a man in the White House who is quite possibly the worst president in the history of the United States. He is ill equipped to be president in many, many ways. He is mentally and morally flawed — deeply. He increasingly shows the symptoms of a malignant narcissist; a sociopath in arguably the most powerful position on earth.  

Beyond all that, in the years since Trump’s election it has become quite clear that nearly all Republicans in office, for reasons that are difficult to fathom, are willing to go along with whatever this dangerous man desires, no matter how much damage this may be doing to our country. 

Next year is not just about making sure Donald Trump does not return to the White House in 2021. It’s also about working to remove his Republican enablers and apologists from the positions of power they have disgraced.

Nels Howard, NTD Member Since 1973

P.S. You may notice that Indivisible’s Wisconsin Voter ID initiative is listed below among the Upcoming Events. Unfortunately, the scheduling of the NTD Annual Meeting and Picnic at Gillson Park is on the same day as the next Wisconsin Voter ID canvass. But don’t worry, there is another foray into Wisconsin in early October that we can all join. 

So, for all of you reading this who are members and friends of the New Trier Democrats, we hope you’ll join us on the lake at Gillson on September 14, and then make plans to travel to Wisconsin a few weeks later. And if you’re a reader who is already part of Indivisible’s Wisconsin project, have a great, successful trip.