By Nancy Thorner –
Discussed by the All-star Heartland panel in regard to the Nov. 8th “earthquake” election were these two questions posed by moderator James Lakely, Communications Director at The Heartland Institute, as set forth in my article of Monday, November 28, 2016, at Illinois Review:
- Did American voters in the Midwest and Rust Belt just save the American experiment — dodge the bullet — from forces on the Left to save Western civilization?
- How important was the milestone of breaking the Democratic Super House majority. Will it be more of the same or is there some chance for needed reforms to be enacted?
How important was the milestone in breaking the Democratic Super House majority? Will it be more of the same or is there some chance for needed reforms to be enacted?
Before turning the question over to Pat Hughes, Jim Lakely related how 69 of 99 state legislatures now have one chamber controlled by Republicans. In 32 states both chambers are controlled by Republican. Republican governors are installed in 33 states, which account for 60% of the population. Only four states have both a Democratic legislature and a Democratic governor: CA, Oregon, Rhode Island, and Hawaii. Democrats have lost 958 seats in state legislatures since Obama became president. All in all, Republicans added to their historic 2014 gains, while Democratic control was reduced to levels not seen since the Civil War.
Pat Hughes spoke well of Illinois’ Republican governor, Bruce Rauner, and his willingness to hold the line with House Speaker Mike Madigan. Five House seats were picked up by Republicans. One was lost in down state Illinois, which shouldn’t have happened. The Illinois Senate picked up two Republican seats. Illinois did lose U.S. Senator Mark Kirk, but Kirk was described as a terrible top of ticket candidate. Hughes spoke of the bleakness of election night in 2012 when Democrats won super majorities in both Illinois chambers with the re-election of Obama. Now, only four years later, Democrats have lost their Super House majority. Mr. Hughes believes we have an unbelievable opportunity in 2018 to pick up more legislative seats, but we must start now, as increasing Republican numbers will not happen by itself. Good policies enacted must be the driving force to help Illinois become a better place for its citizens to work and to live
Dan Proft was more sanguine in his evaluation of Illinois. Although Proft does believe Illinois has made some progress, he feels there are still real challenges to face. Proft questioned why Illinois is blue in a sea of red states? Also, whether Illinois is really all that different from other states and their suburban families? Unlike the red states around Illinois, there was a 25 point gap in Illinois of the number of white men voting for Trump as compared to those who selected Hillary. This same gap occurred in college educated women. It is no surprise that Chicago voted for Hillary, but so did four collar counties. Most of the legislative seats Illinois did pick up should not have been won by Democrats in the first place. Proft firmly believes the Republican Party must become the Party of the suburbs to win. The Republican brand needs to be addressed. It’s a conversation that must happen.
Joe Walsh likewise hedged his bets on Illinois. Walsh found unacceptable that Hillary carried Illinois and Cook County with the same numbers as did Obama in 2012. Continuing on, Walsh reported that Illinois hasn’t had a good Republican Party in many decades. John Kass of theChicago Tribune was cited as writing about the “combine” that exists here in IL, where even if a Republican wins, the winner works in collusion with state Democrats. Walsh described Illinois as “a little blueberry in the Midwest in the middle of tomato soup.” A competitive ideology and philosophy must be brought to the suburbs. For Walsh, it’s also important to go into the city of Chicago. Expressed with conviction is that the Republican Party in Illinois will be left with no compelling political ideology or philosophy if Governor Rauner loses in 2020.
Kathleen Murphy did have some positive remarks to say about Illinois. She believes Illinois is moving in the right direction. Having worked for Congressman Jeanie Ives, she saw Ives stand up against Democrat opposition. Murphy did admit that Illinois would be more difficult to win over because of the Cook County Machine.
Lastly, Joe Walsh addressed this question to Dan Proft: What should Governor Rauner do to make the Republican Party viable in the state? Proft’s response:
- Policy leaders are needed, not place holders. Although not many numbers were moved in either the Illinois House or the Senate, the talent of those elected is better. Principled Republicans are in now in place to advance policies and program.
- Rauner should have a Stop-Walker type of movement. With the Labor Relations Board declaring an impasse with federal workers, this decision could open the door for Governor Rauner to declare an end to contract talks and impose his last, best, and final offer upon AFSCME members, who are already the highest paid workers in the county. If AFSCME members did not accept Rauner’s offer (his offer would save State taxpayers $3 billion over a four-year period), Rauner could ask the public whether they wanted the $3 billion to go to them or to you?
What is the Alt-Right and should we be afraid of it?
Directed to Joe Walsh, Joe quickly rose from his chair, passionately invoking that it was difficult for him to remain seated because of how infuriated he felt about what the media had created. The alt-right narrative is that everyone who voted for Trump is a racist. The alt-right objective is therefore to demean everything that Trump does, which is not unlike the playbook adopted by those on the Left. There is no such thing as a good Trump voter Walsh cautioned that we cannot spend all our time declaring that we are not a racist or an anti-Semite. An alt-Left response is necessary to confront those on the Alt-right. Consider this hypocrisy: Under consideration by the Democrats as Chairman of the Democratic Party is Keith Ellison. Ellison is a Muslim and a Socialist, whose religion calls for the killing of Jews.
Patrick Hughes doesn’t believe the Alt-Right is working. He further feels there are good people on both the Left and the Right. Although the narrative is being pushed that all people who voted for Trump are racist, those who cry wolf all the time will soon be ignored as more and more people come to perceive what the alt-right is all about. Consider the number of women who voted for Trump despite remarks heard time and again that were portrayed as being deeply offensive to all women. In the end policy mattered more than rhetoric. In that Trump received more of the black and Hispanic vote than Romney did in 2012, is indication that the racist accusation ploy is not working.
Murphy chose to address her concerns to Dan Proft. They had to do with negative posts received on Facebook and the display of Nazi signs which connect the receiver of the offensive material with those responsible for the hate-filled messages.
Proft’s answer to Murphy was that the tactic being used was “guilt by association”. It is how the Left works. You don’t even have to know the individual to be guilty the offense directed at you, even if just one loon happened to hold up a Nazi sign at a Trump rally. Steve Bannon, Trump’s pick as chief strategist for his administration, is being called an anti-Semite and not suited for the position, a claim that Alan Derowitz, a lawyer, a Democrat and a Jew himself, has disputed. Trump’s daughter is married to a Jew and has converted to the Jewish religion, so how could Trump be considered anti-Semite? Proft believes that many voters in the suburbs of Chicago believed the “isms” that were lobbied against pro-Trump individuals.
Joe Walsh, never to disappoint, spoke again with passion, asking where the media was in reporting the racism that existed when 93% of black voters opted for Hillary. Whites who voted for 58% for Trump were not afforded the same silence from the press. Walsh believes we could learn from Trump, as Trump was on the offense so much of the time during his presidential campaign.
Dan Proft described present day Democrats as “Slow Walking Socialists.” It was incredulous that the New York Times, a day after Trump was elected, entertained the idea of doing honest reporting. Proft described the Left’s playbook accordingly:
- Democrats cobble together populations that are marginalized in society and then exploit victim hood within their marginalized society.
- Democrats, by promoting themselves as the aggrieved political party, are in position to make claims on others.
Joe Walsh had yet more to say. Be on the defense. We have truth on our side. Democrats don’t believe that poor people are smart enough to choose good school for their children or smart enough to take care of themselves. It is also racism for Democrats to oppose Voter ID and to make Blacks and Hispanics dependent on government. Concerning Israel, because the Black Caucus has no liking for Israel, it is in the Democratic Party that anti-Semitism exists.
While audience members were lining up to address questions to the panel, Jim Lakely asked each panel member to list the three things Trump should do first?
Dan Proft: 1) Set forth governing principles, 2) dissolve power away from central government to the states, and 3) provide block grants for “Opportunity Scholarships”.
Joe Walsh: Most important for Walsh was to get rid of the Title 9 Executive Order that provided for gender-neutral bathrooms.
Kathleen Murphy: 1) Scrap the Iran deal and then indicate what will replace it, 2) address China’s claim of a major trade route and lay out terms of negotiation, and 3) put forth policy to deal with war on radical Islam.
Pat Hughes: 1) Appoint a pro-life Supreme Court Justice, 2) repeal and replace Obamacare, and 3) tackle major tax reform.
Questions from audience members followed. Lennie Jarrett was in charge of moving the line of questioners along so that questions would be kept short and not evolve into statements. To listen to the entire panel discussion and the questions and their responses, view this link.