From the Far East to the Fairgrounds
I am writing this from Taiwan of all places, where I have been meeting as part of a delegation of Midwestern legislators (not at taxpayer expense) with Taiwanese government officials to discuss topics ranging from trade to education to mass transit. I will write about aspects of the trip next week, for now let me just say that it has been fascinating.
Until then, and on the eve of Democrat Day at the Fair (although since I am 13 hours ahead, it's Wednesday night as I'm writing this), and in response to several requests for this topic, I want to throw open a subject that I discussed about a year ago, but this time, in a somewhat different context.
Namely, just what does it mean to be a Democrat? Or a Republican for that matter?
The question has recently come to me in a couple of different ways. One is the reaction that people have had, pro and con, about Democratic elected officials who are presently not willing to endorse the Governor.
The second, and related, manner in which has come up is as a result of the lack of communication between the Speaker and Alexi Gianoullias, the Democratic nominee for State Treasurer.
The question raised is - where is the line, or where should it be, when there is not an alignment between party loyalty and substantive differences or concerns between individuals? Should one trump the other, and if so, in which direction?
When does one take a deep breath and take one for the team, or when is it appropriate to move from the party line? I could elaborate but I think that you get the idea of where I'm trying to go with this discussion.
I wish I had the time and energy to really go into this right now, but I just don't. I will briefly say that I think that our Party, any Party, needs to have some guiding principles around which it can unify in order to reach common goals. And to the extent that certain sacrifices need to be made for the greater good, then they should be made. At the same time, however, I believe that each candidate needs to be evaluated on their own merits, and that nobody should just get a pass based solely on a party label.
Since I obviously won't be at the Fair, you can feel free to tie this subject into whatever may (or may not) occur during the day there.
Because of the time change and my sporadic access to my laptop, it may take a while for your comments to get posted. (I am leaving comment moderation on because history has shown that it just needs to be left on.) So early morning (Illinois time) comments should get on relatively quickly, but the rest of them may not get posted until early evening (Illinois time), which will be when I am getting started with my Thursday. But rest assured that, as usual, all comments that are not inappropriate will get posted.