4 Great Incentives to Stay Involved

This week, there’s so much going on that I’ve decided to not focus on any one issue. Instead I will just continue urging you all to stay involved. In a democracy, votes are power and it’s up to politically engaged folks like us to help make sure every Democratic voter uses that power. So, here are four incentives for you to stay involved:

The Kavanaugh Senate Judiciary Committee sham

The arrogance being displayed by the Republican controlled Senate Judiciary Committee should fire all of us up. Their hypocrisy can be our incentive to keep pushing back against right wing efforts to erase every progressive path taken by America over the past seven decades.

Right now, the Republican controlled Judiciary Committee is only interested in ramming a Brett Kavanaugh SCOTUS confirmation through the Senate. They want nothing to get in the way.

An FBI investigation of the most recent allegations concerning Judge Kavanaugh’s past could discover that he did participate in some of the misogynistic bacchanals he claims he never attended. I guess Kavanaugh would then also be guilty of perjury. — Republicans can’t let that situation happen.

So, unless the Judiciary Committee allows a deeper investigation, or a few senators surprise everyone and vote against Kavanaugh’s SCOTUS appointment, looks like we’re going to have a sitting Supreme Court Justice who, for the rest of his life, will be suspected of having been a sexual predator and a perjurer.

The Right may soon control the U.S. Supreme Court – but not forever. A public outcry for progressive policies, and more legislators elected to support those policies, will make it less likely that SCOTUS will be eager to reverse the will of America’s majority.

President Trump’s dangerous worldview 

This week, Donald Trump’s speech to the United Nations revealed where his mind has now settled concerning international relations. President Trump is apparently set on establishing an American doctrine that disavows the structures of international relations that were laboriously pieced together after 1945.

That was the year the world’s governments took a desperately needed look a how their century’s nationalism led to two world wars and the deaths of more than 100 million human beings. For hundreds of years, such slaughter, although not on such a huge scale, had been a regular occurrence in the “civilized world.” It was hoped that a United Nations organization as well as regional agreements and international economic interdependence would, in general, avoid another world conflict. The U.N. was followed by the creation of NATO. And later, the gradual growth of the European Union added more reasons to avoid international conflicts. Trump wants to walk away from such wishy-washy policies.

No doubt his most hawkish advisors have influenced his ideas, but I suspect the stance Trump has now taken feels natural to him. He is a Commander in Chief with the most powerful weapons in the world and he has the wealth and resources of a nation of 325 million people at his disposal. Naturally, he assumes he should able to bully the world’s nations into accepting him as the top dog.

This huge shift in our national policy may lead to the isolation of the United States from our longtime military and economic allies. It may also encourage the rise of nationalistic movements in a growing list of presently struggling democracies.

America needs more Democrats in Congress and in our state and city governments speaking out against such dangerous isolationism.

Bruce Rauner’s heartless approach to governing

Despite the national turmoil that is Trump’s preferred environment, we can’t let it distract us from important political contests right here at home. There’s an Illinois governor to be elected in November. Now we should remind ourselves what happened in 2014 when too few Democrats grasped the importance of not allowing right wing ideology to take over our state’s direction.

A majority of voters elected Bruce Rauner Governor “to shake things up” and they got their wish. Things got so shaken up that our state’s too large but trending down $6 billion-plus budget deficit grew into a monster $14 billion-plus debt. The new Governor Rauner backed away from tax revenue that was beginning to repair the deficit situation. To compensate for that revenue loss his budgets froze, reduced or eliminated programs that our state’s most vulnerable residents depended on.

Bruce Rauner made his fortune using the hard-eyed tactics of the vulture investment world. But when you’re attempting to run a state government, such tactics are unacceptable.

Governor Rauner would like a second chance. He must not get it.

Our region’s Democratic candidates for the U.S. Congress and for the Illinois Legislature

The “down ticket” names on the November ballot are the women and men we’re counting on to help redirect the trajectory of our nation and of our state into a better future.

We can be proud that our region of Illinois keeps sending outstanding Democratic legislators to Washington and to Springfield. Jan Schakowsky, Brad Schneider, Raja Krishnamoorthi and Bill Foster each represent a part of our region in the U.S. House and each is up for reelection. It is imperative that they win.

Also, two other congressional districts in our area, the 6th and 14th, Sean Castencould play a national role in winning control of Congress. These seats, presently held by Republicans Peter Roskam and Randy Hultgren, are being challenged by Democratic candidates Sean Casten and Lauren Underwood in tight contests. Sean and Lauren are both exceptional people who will be great in office.

In the Illinois legislature, State Rep. Robyn Gabel is running for reelection, State Rep. Laura Fine is running for the State Senate, Jennifer Gong Gershowitz is running for Laura Fine’s vacated seat, State Senator Julie Morrison is running for reelection and Bob Morgan is running for the vacant 58th State Rep. seat. — Visit their websites and you’ll see why Illinois needs them all working for us in Springfield.

Well, that’s all for now. Hope you’re feeling a bit more incentivized.

Nels Howard
NTDO member since 1973

P.S. Check out our Take Action – 2018 Election GOTV page to see some of the ways you can help some of our exceptional Democratic candidates.