A Slow Day For News

On most Wednesdays, I begin my day reading a couple newspapers, checking out NPR stories and mulling over what I might write about in this weekly commentary. Of course there are some Wednesdays when I already know the direction I want to take because, during the week between the Wednesdays, something major captured everyone’s attention. On those occasions I start writing down thoughts earlier. 

Then there are those Wednesdays when our president has done something so outrageous or foolish or just plain buffoonish during the past week that I can’t resist talking about it, even though being talked about, whatever the reason, is what Trump loves. (Frankly, if I wrote a commentary every time Trump did or said something asinine, I could probably start a daily column. – And how depressing that would be, especially for me.)  

It’s also true that every day, every week, every month there are ongoing issues that deserve our attention: Climate Change…gun violence…the corrosive effects of racism…of sexism…It’s a list of heavy subjects that all justifiably demand action. But to talk about them in general terms, week after week, would get more than a bit preachy. 

So, each Wednesday I look for a specific incident, policy or point of view that inspires me to present my personal take on it. — And this week, nothing really grabbed me. Yes, our nation’s leader did propose that we buy Greenland from Denmark. But when Denmark’s Prime Minister called Donald Trump’s proposal “absurd,” the president cancelled his planned visit to Denmark and responded that Prime Minister Frederiksen’s words were “nasty.” He’s such a sensitive human being. Hearing such blunt language from those foul mouthed Danes shocks him.  

And then there was today’s report on Mike Madigan’s fired Chief of Staff, Tim Mapes. It sounds like he was one of those bosses you hope never crosses your path in a job, an insecure guy who resorted to bullying and threats to “manage” his subordinates. (I wonder where he learned that?) And now an investigator’s report has advised Mapes’ boss, Mike Madigan, that he should be less trusting in delegating power to just one person. Gosh! I would not have thought House Speaker Madigan was such a naïve, trusting guy. — You learn something new every day. 

Other than those two colorful stories, I was reluctant to comment on the other news items I noticed. They were either too early in development, such as the shifting language used by Democratic Candidates to describe their proposed healthcare plans, or the news stories required a lot more research than my time allowed (or that I was willing to invest).  

However, I don’t want to wrap up this week’s comments without offering something substantive to consider. It’s not a new idea. In fact, it’s been the underlying purpose of this New Trier Democrats’ newsletter since its beginning.  

When you scroll down below this commentary, you’ll find ways to make use of services provide by elected officials such as County Commissioner Suffredin and State Representative Robyn Gabel. And you’ll read about several social gatherings, including two big ones with the New Trier Dems. You’ll also be offered a chance to learn about a fight for immigrant and economic justice going on right here in our own area. And you’ll see some fundraisers too.  

Accessing services, building social relationships, gaining political knowledge, flexing financial muscle are important facets of our New Trier Democrats’ organization. And they all help us win elections. But…

The power behind our success at turning the North Shore blue continues to be our grass roots volunteers. I’m guessing that includes many of you. Offering you ways to volunteer has been a defining purpose of this newsletter. 

Just a few days from now, on August 24, you can train to be a Deputy Voter Registrar, a valuable volunteer service that can affect the outcome of next year’s elections. There’s also information on canvassing potential Democratic voters in Wisconsin next month — and as you know, the importance of winning Wisconsin in 2020 can’t be underestimated. There’s even an intriguing opportunity to have an impact on a state house race in Virginia. 

These opportunities are all explained below. The month of August marks the end of our vacation season. Now it’s time to start thinking about the work ahead of us. We cannot, we must not allow Republicans to prevail in 2020.

Nels Howard, NTD Member Since 1973