So What’re You Gonna Do About It?

Welcome to 2018 – and wasn’t last year interesting? Virtually from start to finish, 2017 gave us daily reasons to fear for the future of our country.

Okay, I know there have been years in our nation’s past that have been more urgently perilous than the one we just lived through. But still it felt very unhealthy having a Senate ruled by a man only beholden to big donors and corporate interests, a House led by a man who worships the egoisitc philosophy of Ayn Rand and a White House occupied by a man who is not only psychologically damaged in countless ways but also just plain dumb.

And as the year progressed their arrogance grew. It was like dealing with a bully who keeps doing whatever they want to, no matter how wrong, despite your objections. They’ll give you a challenging look, thrust out their chin (a problem for Mitch McConnell) and say, “What’re you gonna do about it!”

And what can you say?

“Hey, Congress! You have a responsibility to make sure millions of Americans aren’t sick or dying because they can’t get healthcare.” – “Oh yeah? Who says so?”

“You know when a U.S. President nominates a person to fill a vacant Supreme Court seat they traditionally get a hearing in Congress.” – “Nah. I don’t think so.”

“It’s wrong for you to finance lower taxes for America’s wealthiest few by taking away funds that help Americans most in need.” — “Talk to the hand!”

To be honest, that frustration with the arrogance of power carried over into our own party too. After our party’s leadership fatally bungled the tactics of the 2016 Presidential race, we expected them to spend a few months reflecting on their mistakes. Then we hoped they’d introduce the public to a proactive approach with clear, compelling positions aimed at recapturing voters whose interests should have them voting Democratic in every election. — Maybe the DNC is doing just that but I haven’t seen much evidence.

In 2018, pushing back against destructive Republican policies and taking back both houses of Congress is certainly our driving priority, but how our Democratic Party handles their campaigns also deserves our attention.

With all that in mind, you can get your first taste of this year’s New Trier Dems political activity just a few days from now. This Sunday, January 7, our Democratic Committeeman, Dean Maragos, is having his annual “Thank You Pizza Party” at JP’s Pizza and Grill in Wilmette.

Then a week later on Sunday, January 14, the NTD will hold our 2018 Democratic Primary Endorsement Session at the Winnetka Community House. Honestly, I can’t ever remember an Endorsement Session with such a large selection of impressive Democratic candidates contending for key offices. It’s going to be an inspiring afternoon.

And as I mentioned in the last NTD News, in February there will be a rally at a site to be announced that will lay out the action leading up to Mid-Term Election Day in November. The goal – I believe achievable – will be to take back both houses of Congress, the Governorship of Illinois and the election of all of our Democratic nominees for other state and county offices. — We can talk more about all of that this Sunday in Wilmette over Pizza.

Thankfully, the first year of Trump’s reign is history. But the GOP has managed to do considerable damage in that brief time. And you can be sure they believe they’re just getting started.

In the coming months you’ll be seeing Republican leaders and their candidates push agendas that are at least as destructive to our democracy as what they pushed in 2017. And when you hear them speak about their grand plans for American as they continue to shred the social safety net and tear apart civil discourse so necessary for a functioning democracy, remember what they’re basically saying to people like you and me is: “So what’re you gonna do about it?”

I have a good feeling they’ll get our answer this year.

Nels Howard
NTDO member since 1973