Typically, a midterm election is one of low general interest and the only real activation is within the voters registered to the party that lost the Presidential election two years prior. Another standard midterm election trope is the elevation of extremely far out candidates with beliefs way outside the mainstream, and a tendency to make bizarre gaffes that make them overnight viral video sensations.
The “macaca” guy in Virginia is one example. The former practitioner of witchcraft (happy belated Halloween everybody) who ran on the Tea Party ticket is another. Despite the current political climate being so degenerated to the point that anybody can run regardless of their background (see the Oval Office) and no one drops out of a race regardless of flaws and transgressions (see Alabama), we still have some egregious outliers.
“Patriotism is the last refuge of the scoundrel.” - Samuel Johnson, 1775
While historians are unsure what the exact context was of Johnson's quote was, and who his verbal dagger was pointed towards, the idea holds true more today than ever.
In 2018 America, patriotism is being hijacked by those who want to use the flag as a cover over their racism, hatred and bigotry. They chant slogans like #AmericaFirst #MAGA (Make America Great Again) and #BuildThatWall...
After the Parkland, Florida massacre on St. Valentine’s Day, we saw a true sea change in America regarding the issue of gun violence. Our nation became very activated, and the message conveyed was loud and clear- we as citizens WANT REAL COMMON SENSE GUN LAWS NOW
Unfortunately, Congress in Washington D.C. did not listen to act, and between the Parkland massacre and the Santa Fe, Texas school shooting last week, the federal government still didn’t move on what is truly the biggest public health crisis facing our country. It’s clear that the only way real policy change regarding gun violence comes is at the polls, and that’s still six months away...
Today is May Day, or International Workers Day, and with that we remember the Haymarket Affair on the evening of May 4 1886. May 1 is the date on the calendar that honors and remembers labor, so thus the Haymarket martyrs, who died in the cause of eventually giving us an eight hour workday, are top of mind.
"The day will come when our silence is more powerful than the voices you are throttling today.”...
Saturday brings the March for Our Lives, a show of solidarity against the epidemic of gun violence that plagues our country. It's also a call to action for the implementation of common sense guns laws, and to thus hold the NRA, the politicians that support them, and the arms manufacturers and dealers accountable.
The main event, much like all the other marches that have been held since January 2017, will be held in Washington D.C. but the motto of the local event is this:
In Chicago We March for Our Lives Everyday.
It’s right there in the text of the second amendment: “a well-regulated militia.”
What vision of “well-regulated” did the founding fathers have? Was it gun show loopholes? The ability of a suspected terrorist who’s on the no-fly list being able to purchase a gun? What about Donald Trump rolling back President Obama’s executive order restricting the mentally ill from purchasing firearms?
How about the fact that those who committed domestic abuse can obtain guns? Or the fact that purchasing sinus medication is more closely monitored than weapons of war? How is this all “well-regulated?”
Since an overwhelming majority of Americans want common sense gun laws, and our politicians in power (allegedly) work for the people, what stands in our way of finally bringing gun sense? The general answer comes to two parts, with every detail adhering to one of the two categories.
Today we look at the cultural or macro level obstacles that stand in the way. Later, in part two, we’ll explore the policy or micro level issues that halt change for the better.
Traditionally, there has always been a very wide enthusiasm gap between the gun fetishists and gun sense groups of people. The National Rifle Association leadership, not the everyday members of the group, but the people running the NRA have done an astounding job of redefining what the second amendment and gun ownership really means.
Gun control is the most important issue of the day, and the topic that’s dominating political talk shows these days. Coincidentally, a man whose childhood was rocked by gun violence, Chris Kennedy, is now emerging in the Illinois gubernatorial race.
Kennedy was just five when his father, Senator Robert F. Kennedy, was assassinated in 1968. Bobby Kennedy was likely on his way to winning the Democratic Party nomination and perhaps also the presidency when he was gunned down. Congressman Joseph Kennedy III (D-MA, 4th District) is Chris Kennedy’s nephew, and a rising star in American politics. He was chosen to give the Democratic Party response to the Presidential State of the Union address earlier this month.
Since the adults in the room, in every single room it seems, will do nothing but dawdle, the younger generation will step up and take the lead in the fight for gun control. In the wake of the tragedy at Stoneman Douglas High School in south Florida, American youth are shattering the widely held stereotypes of millenials in the political arena.
Yesterday Emma Gonzalez just completely destroyed every tired cliche endlessly regurgitated by Ted Cruz, Paul Ryan and every other politician in the pocket of the Gun lobby.
You know the drill after every mass shooting- “it’s too early to have a gun control discussion.” That’s what we always hear from the NRA bought GOP congressional leadership in the wake of all mass shootings. Guess what guys?
It’s NOT up to you. It’s up to the survivors, and they tell us when it’s time to talk sensible gun legislation. Gonzalez, and the rest of the Parkland survivors say that it's right now.
Tom Steyer is a hedge fund manager, philanthropist, environmentalist, progressive activist, and fundraiser with a net worth of $1.6 billion. You know him as the man who appears in that "Need to Impeach" President Donald Trump ad campaign that runs on television quite frequently.
Tom Steyer was also the highlight of the speaking program at yesterday's Women's March Chicago: March to the Polls
, as he delivered a powerful call to action...