Voting Simplified

Voting Simplified

By Patrick F. Cannon

Because of the pandemic, last November many people chose to vote by mail, if that choice were offered in their state. Because of this, the former president cried foul and said this resulted in the election being swiped from him. No substantial evidence has been found to support his claims (yet numerous goofballs in Congress and some of their constituents continue to rail on).

            Absent a good reason – and the pandemic was certainly one – I personally believe people should vote in person. In Illinois, where I vote, it has always been possible to cast an absentee ballot if needed for health or when out of state on election day. I doubt the state is very strict on investigating ones reasons for requesting such a ballot, other than requiring you be registered to vote, which you can do in person or online.

As far as I can recall, I have been registered to vote in Illinois since 1960, except for stints in the Army and in Minnesota. My registration has been continuous since 1970, and I have voted in every election since then. As I understand it, you only need to prove citizenship and residence to register in Illinois. It can even be done on election day. Actually showing up in person is symbolic and insures that you are casting a secret ballot – a hallmark of real democracies. It’s also possible to vote in-person early, also in a private booth.

Proof of citizenship is strangely not required in some local elections, but is required by Federal law. Illinois requires presentation of a valid driver’s license or a Social Security number. Absent one of these, I suppose you could supply a birth certificate or a valid passpoort. On election day, you need only sign your name.  

No state should require more, particularly if their intent is to restrict certain kinds of voters (i.e., members of the other party). But in this, as in so many things, states can go their own merry way. The pandemic is only one example of “state’s rights” run amok.

In case you think otherwise, it’s not really possible to eliminate election fraud completely. But it’s also naïve to think it’s the province of only one of our political parties. In  this regard, let me tell you a story.

I once had a couple of years of interesting employment as director of public information for Chicago’s Department of Public Works. I left after discovering that Mayor Richard J. Daley wasn’t particularly interested in the public getting too much information. One of my associates was an old campaigner who had worked many elections for the Democratic party. He told me they used to buy cases of half pints of cheap whiskey to pass out to the denizens of Skid Row in exchange for their (Democratic) votes. It was also well known that cash also changed hands to insure a high turnout.

When I questioned the legality of this, he pooh poohed my concerns by saying these tactics were only necessary because they knew that downstate Republicans were stealing an equal number of votes! In his mind, it was only good defense!

Anyway, going to the polling place – usually within walking distance – is the best way to both exercise your democratic rights and of getting your vote properly counted.

Copyright 2021, Patrick F. Cannon

Does it Really Always Get Through?

Does it Really Always Get Through?

By Patrick F. Cannon

In 1775, Benjamin Franklin became our hopeful republic’s first Postmaster General. He was a logical choice, since he had held essentially the same job for the former colonies. In those days, most mail within the colonies and the young country moved by horsepower – either by horseback or coaches. As I recall, you could count on a letter from Boston to New York taking just a few days. Transatlantic mail – there was much between America and England – was subject to the vagaries of wind and weather. Air mail was unknown, since it hadn’t yet occurred to anyone to train pigeons.

Until 1950, American homes got two deliveries a day; businesses as many as four. Now, if we’re lucky, we get one, and Saturday deliveries may soon go away. Many of you will recall going days without getting mail during the last winter. In 1999, the Postal Service had 787,538 employees; in 2020, 495,941. Mr. Louis De Joy, the current Postmaster General and CEO, is not a fan of overtime, so is unconcerned if the mail sits around for an extra day or two. And I don’t imagine he spends much time in line at his local Post Office, waiting to be served by the single clerk on duty. He did rouse himself when it became clear that he would be blamed if mail-in ballots didn’t arrive in time for last November’s election.

The Postmaster General was once appointed by the president, and the Postal Service was a government department, just like the State and Defense departments. This changed in 1971, when it became a quasi-government “business,” expected to be run as such and even turn a profit. Vain hope. More often than not, it loses money. Its package business now has stiff competition from the likes of UPS and Fed-Ex, whose stockholders expect them to turn a profit, which  they do. With the possible exception of Christmas and other holiday cards, few people use the mails to correspond with relatives and friends. Like most other folks, I use e-mail and the occasional text to keep in touch.  The Postal Services only response to this is to raise the cost of First Class Mail, which might just further discourage its use.

I think it was a mistake to “privatize” the mail. It should be a service government provides to its citizens. Is the Department of Agriculture expected to make a profit? The Defense Department? The Department of State? While we might think we spend too much money on them, we don’t suggest they be run as businesses. Why the Post Office?

After World War II, many governments – notably the British Labor party – decided to nationalize important industries (steel, rail, coal, power, etc.). The total failure of this trend caused later governments to reverse it, as the government-run industries not only lost money, but market share and reputation. This trend toward privatization no doubt caught the Postal Service in its tide.

Most Americans frankly don’t care what happens. But as someone who still pays a few bills by mail, I do. A case in point: a couple of months ago, I sent a mortgage payment about two weeks before it was due, and three weeks before a late fee could be charged. The check arrived a day after the late fee became effective. So, it took three weeks and a day for a First-Class letter to travel from Chicago to Iowa, which you may know is right next to Illinois.

And just a couple of weeks ago, my wife got a card that was postmarked more than a month before we received it. And finally, let me mention that law-abiding citizens who live in high-crime areas in many cities are forced to go the post office to pick up their mail because letter carriers refuse to deliver it. Would any of this happen if the Postmaster General had to report directly to the president instead of some commission? Hell, the taxpayers are on the hook for deficits anyway!

Copyright 2021, Patrick F. Cannon

Soak the Rich?

Soak the Rich?

By Patrick F. Cannon

Unless you’ve stopped keeping up with national politics (and who could blame you?), you may have noticed that President Biden wants to return the top income tax rate to 39.60% to help pay for his six trillion dollar budget. Even with this tax increase on folks making $400,000 a year or more, deficits are still going to be about $1.2 trillion a year. Yikes! Of course, if projections hold true (!!!), the budget will be in balance sometime around 2035.

            For the record, the last year we had a budget surplus was 2001, the year Bill Clinton left office. Good old Bill; for all his many faults, he even produced some surpluses! The top tax rate during his entire term was the same 39.60%. When the first income tax was levied in 1913, the top rate was a staggering 7.00%! When we entered World War I in 1917, it jumped to 67.00%. It settled in the 25.00% range for most of the 1920s. It jumped to 63.00% and higher during the Depression, then peaked at 94.00% in 1944-45 to help pay for World War II. As late as 1963, it was still at 91.00%. (Of course, because of deductions and loopholes, no one really paid the top rate, nor does now.)

            Reganomics reduced it to a low of 28.00% by 1988; since then it’s been in the 30s. If you look at the history of the top rate since 1913, it has mostly been higher than today’s 37.00%, which was lowered by the Republican Congress to please what’s his name, and their donors. In addition, the top corporate tax rate, which had been between 45 and 50% since World War II, was reduced in 2018 to 21%.  President Biden wants to increase the top individual rate to 39.60 (i.e., roll it back) and the corporate rate to 28%. This would please some of his “progressive” voters who are always happy to soak the rich.

            The problem is that it won’t make much of a dent in actually paying for his proposed budget. For that, he would do what both Democratic and Republican administrations have done for far too long: borrow the money. As people who have bought a home in recent years know, interest rates are very low – not much more than 2.5% for a 30-year mortgage. The Federal government is paying even less interest for the dough it borrows, currently about 1.5%. From what I could find, it seems the Biden plan projects interest payments might slowly rise to 3.2% by 2030. Rose colored glasses? Since 1988, interest rates have been higher than 6% more than they have been lower. What would happen to the president’s projections if the rate rose to 6% rather than three?

            Everyone knows, or should know, that the national debt now exceeds the nation’s gross domestic product (GDP). It is now 129% of GDP, even higher than it was in the last years of World War II. You can find economists who think this is hunky dory, but is it really?

            If we had two rational political parties, we might find a way out of this growing dilemma, but we don’t. One wants to redistribute the country’s wealth, but doesn’t have the guts to go all the way, while the other just says “no.”  At my age, I may not live to see the comeuppance. You know, when we turn into Greece.

Copyright 2021, Patrick F. Cannon

My Trip to Washington

My Trip to Washington

By Patrick F. Cannon

Some of my friends and I decided to take a trip to our nation’s capital. I had never been, and thought it would be a good chance to see the sights. At the same time, we would be able to hear our beloved president, who would be giving another of his eloquent speeches. As everyone knows, the election was stolen from him by turncoat Republican traitors, who must have been paid off by those rich Hollywood commies.

            Anyway, we boarded our bus in Columbus, and after a long day on the road, we arrived at the Motel Six in Bethesda. After a hearty meal at a Chick-fil-A, we had a few brewskis at a local biker bar, and turned in so we would be ready for a full day on January 6.

            Bright and early the next day, we boarded our bus for the trip into DC. We had a little time before hearing the president who made America great again, so the bus driver took us around the city a bit. Everything looked pretty much the same – white with columns like the capital in Columbus – but the driver said one building was the Lincoln Memorial, but I forgot to take a picture. Darn phone never works when you want it too.

            We had to park the bus a ways from where the rally would take place, an area they called the Ellipse. Not sure what that means, but we made sure we were early enough to hear our great leader. I won’t tell you what our noble president had to say – you’ve probably memorized it by now anyway. At the end, he suggested we might want to visit our representatives to express our opinions as patriotic Americans about the recent election, which, as everyone knows, was stolen by the oligarchs who run the country of behalf of old guys like Joe Biden.

            I had made a nice sign that said “Trump Won!”, which I had attached to a sturdy steel pole. I didn’t know it, but it later came in handy. I wasn’t right up front, but apparently some of my fellow patriots had to remove some barriers from in front of the Capital, which must have been put there by mistake. When I finally got to the Capital building, I was shocked to find the doors locked! It must have been a mistake, so I decided to use my steel pole to break a window, kinda like when you lock your keys in the pickup. I guess some other folks had the same idea, as it was pretty crowded inside. For some reason, there were some cops trying to stop us, but I guess they didn’t know we were entitled as citizens to visit our property.

            Some of us decided to stop by to visit our hero, Congressman Jim Jordan, but were surprised to find that all the congressmen had left the building (some folks said they “escaped”). One fellow patriot suggested we go to Nancy Pelosi’s office and arrest her for treason. But she was gone too. Since we were there, we decided to take some souvenirs, as mementos of our visit. I snagged me a nice desk set; it looks great on a shelf next to my Moose antlers. Funnily, there was a guy in her office dressed like a Viking, horns and all. Must have been a Swede from Minnesota!

            Eventually, we left, escorted by some soldiers. We got back to Ohio later in the day, and I had a lot of stories to tell my buddies! You can just imagine my surprise when I got arrested by the FBI.  It turned out I had posed for a few pictures, including when I broke the window. I’m sure the jury will take my side. If not, I wonder if former presidents can issue pardons?

Copyright 2021, Patrick F. Cannon

More for Your Money?

More for Your Money?

By Patrick F, Cannon

In 2020, the average Major League baseball game sucked three hours and 6 minutes out of a fan’s life. In 1915, the game was also nine innings long, but the average game took one hour and fifty three minutes. The average time has been increasing relentlessly – in 1940, two hours and 7 minutes; in 1970, it was two hours and 34 minutes; in 1990, two hours and fifty one.

If you go to a game, you can expect to devote most of the day to watching pitching changes; and batters who hitch, scratch and adjust their hitting gloves between each pitch. If you watch the game on television, you might have written the great American novel in the same time. Pitching changes are frequent and annoying. Here’s a statistic for you. In 1910, Walter Johnson pitched 36 complete games; in 2020, two pitchers shared the major league lead with two. And as if the pitchers have become too delicate, it has become common for position players to pitch in late innings when the game seems out of reach.

In football, the average NFL game consumes three hours and 10 minutes. Actual playing time remains at one hour. Teams can take three minutes of timeouts per game (injury timeouts are only charged if within two minutes of the half and end of game). The rest is taken up by official timeouts (read “commercials), challenges and other stuff. When I played high school football, games didn’t last more than two hours, including half time.

Then we have golf. In my experience, the average foursome of duffers will take four hours or less  to navigate 18 holes. On  the PGA tour, two golfers who would need far fewer strokes for those 18 holes, will often take 4-1/2 to over five hours to do the same. Here’s a typical scenario. After hitting a drive into the fairway, the golfer and his caddy will walk up to the ball and stare at it for several seconds.  Then the golfer will reach into his back pocket and retrieve a notebook, which will contain notes on that hole and its characteristics.

At the same time, the caddy will do the same thing, presumably with his own notes. Each, lost in his own thoughts, will look from the book to the remainder of the hole, then repeat this ritual another two or three times. Finally, they will look at each other and begin to compare notes. How many yards is it to this? How many to that? What is the state of the wind? What of the barometric pressure? What is the best club? Then, of course, we have the practice swings before deigning to actually hit the ball. When the ball finds the green, the process is repeated.

Of course, there are rules governing how long all this should take. Every once in a while, the commentators will inform the audience that this or that group has “been put on the clock.” I believe, humans being a perverse species, that the offending players then take even longer! Baseball also has rules about time. Since games get longer instead of shorter, they obviously aren’t enforced.  I am reminded of a friend of mine who was leading a group of French tourists. His words in English were relayed to the group through an interpreter. When he was giving the ground rules, he noticed that the interpreter wasn’t relaying them. He brought this to her attention, and was told: “You don’t tell adults what to do!”

Apparently, the same holds true for the modern athlete. What was once considered “bush” is now celebrated. Woe betide the coach or manager who can’t “relate” to the modern player. After all, it takes time to preen and hot dog.

Copyright 2021, Patrick F. Cannon

Failing the Test

Failing the Test

By Patrick F. Cannon

When this country was forced to go to war on December 7, 1941, not only was much of our Navy destroyed that Sunday morning in Hawaii,  but our Army would be unable to put any meaningful number of troops in the field for nearly a year. But the American people were aroused, and together did whatever was necessary to win the war.

            I was only three years and nine months old that day, but clearly remember the things we and other families did to support the war effort. There was food rationing of course. I remember – when I got a bit older – being sent to the nearby grocery store with a written list and a ration book. If you made bacon or other fat producing meats, you saved the fat in a container; when it was full, it went back to the butcher to be turned in to the Army to provide glycerin for explosive production.

             Tin foil was saved, as were scrap metals of all kinds. People turned in their aluminum pots and pans, which were needed for aircraft production. My father, although he had three children, tried to enlist, but had flat feet and was turned down. But because he was a city councilman, he did get a bit more rationed gasoline, so occasionally we would go for a Sunday drive. I remember being awed by the recently-opened Pennsylvania Turnpike, the first of its kind in the country.

            In 1940, there were 132 million Americans. Sixteen million of them – mostly men – served in one of the armed services. There were over a million casualties, including 407,000 killed in action. Almost everyone else was somehow involved in the war effort. As an example, Americans produced 300,000 airplanes, 50,000 tanks and 1,150 warships of all types; oh, and 34 million tons of merchant ships. Of course, there were some draft dodgers, profiteers and black marketeers, but the vast majority our citizens were behind the war effort.

            Contrast this national effort with today’s response to the pandemic and practically every other challenge we face. As of Monday, 580,000 Americans have died of the virus, yet only some 35 percent of the population has been fully vaccinated, and there remain significant numbers of our fellow citizens who refuse to be vaccinated because they claim it impinges on some vague principal of “personal freedom.” In fact, this refusal is basically a political statement. When the public health  becomes political, when ones “freedom” is more important than ones neighbor’s health and even his life, we have gone far from the kind of unity that won the war.

            Frankly, I don’t see much immediate hope for a country that is so profoundly divided. The far left and right are too entrenched in their equally radical ideas. The center no longer holds. Until it becomes strong enough to actually influence events, we’re stuck, really, really stuck.

Copyright 2021, Patrick F. Cannon

How Many? Good Grief!

How Many? Good Grief!

By Patrick F. Cannon

This will be the 284th week in a row that I have tried your patience by posting an article on Cannonade. I can’t imagine that anyone has read all of them, but if they did, they plowed through something like 155,000 words. During roughly the same period, I have written two books on Chicago architecture – The Space Within: Inside Great Chicago Buildings, published in 2016; and At Home in Chicago: A Living History of Domestic Architecture, which should be out in the Fall. The text for each runs to about 40,000 words. But most people think the best part of the books (and there are four others) has been the beautiful images provided by my partner, Jim Caulfield.

            By the way, I do know how to spell, sort of. The blog is titled Cannonnade because “Cannonade” was already taken. There has been no dominant subject for those 284 pieces, although quite a few have suggested that we have not been well served by our elected public servants, and a high percentage of the people they hire to do the actual work. Those of you who cook have been favored by my many unique recipes. It is my special hope that you would have tried my recipe for kidney stew. Once you get past the smell…

            You have also been plagued by the finished chapters of my ongoing History of the World. I am currently working on the American and French Revolutions. Next will come The Age of Napoleon, but it could be tricky as he was known to lie about his age. But I will persevere. I’m not sure when I’m going to stop, as I’m not sure I will be able to find much in the 20th Century to make fun of. Charlie Chaplin made fun of Hitler in The Dictator, but that was before World War II, and the Holocaust.

            I have also retold some classic jokes. My favorite is the one about the Académie Francais wrestling with the definition of “savoir faire.” Called “The Immortals,”  the search feature on the Word Press site might help you to find it, or I’d be happy to e-mail a copy to you.

            The animal kingdom has not been forgotten. I have written about the joys of owning dogs, and the pain of their passing. On a couple of occasions, I have shared my passion for Thoroughbred horse racing, which seems to be thriving everywhere but Chicago.

            Many of my readers have occasionally taken issue with my opinions. Thank goodness, because arrogance and pomposity often creep into my opinions. To tell you the truth, the longer I live, the less sure I am that I have found ultimate wisdom. Although I often wished it didn’t, the world stubbornly continues to change. And it’s just possible that most folks don’t really care what I think.

            Finally, sometimes I just can’t think of anything important or amusing to write about. This is obviously one of those weeks!

Copyright 2021, Patrick F. Cannon

Show Me the Money!

Show Me the Money!

By Patrick F. Cannon

European fans of the sport they call “the beautiful game,” and we call soccer, were up in arms recently when a dozen of its richest and most famous teams announced they were forming a super league that would make one and all really big bucks, and relegate the rest of the teams to scrambling for the leftovers.

            For those of you who know only the American brand of football, the one played by men and women running around in shorts has a unique peculiarity. Say you’re in the British “Premier” league. If you’re consistently at the bottom of the standings, you can be relegated to one of the lesser leagues, an indignity that our own professional teams cannot suffer. What if the Cubs and White Sox teams of the late 1940s had been punished for their mediocrity by being relegated to a Triple AAA league, and the Toledo Mud Hens and Hollywood Stars had taken their place?

            The new soccer league would have exempted its members from this possible indignity. But the real reason was bigger TV and sponsor contracts. In short, more income for the owners, some of whom are Americans who already own baseball and football franchises here. Not that the players are exploited. Both Christian Ronoldo and Lionel Messi pull down more than $100 million a year. Greed now oozes from the pores of owners and players alike.

            While the players and owners are fighting over their shares of the swag, fans here are contributing mightily to the pot. A quick check tells me that Cubs single tickets range from $27 to $53, depending on the day and opponent. A family of four can easily drop about $200 for a day at the ballpark. For those who like a brisker experience, a single ticket to a Bears game can run from $108 to $193. For that investment, you can watch the latest quarterback experiment fail.

            Going to a major league game – whether baseball, football, basketball or hockey – is no longer a spur of the moment decision, unless you are firmly in the top 10 percent of earners. Even then, you might hesitate. While some avid – and prosperous – fans might have season tickets, many are owned by corporations  and doled out to favored clients and customers.

            When we were kids, my brother and I would be given $2.00 to go to Comiskey Park to watch the hapless White Sox. This was in 1948, and that 2 bucks would cover the streetcar ride both ways, admission to the game and a hot dog and Coke. Inflation would make that $21.98 today. Good luck getting even a hot dog and beer for that today.

            As a result, most avid fans rarely see a game in person. And most don’t realize that even on television, they are enriching not only the cable and streaming broadcasters, but the team owners who sell the rights. And the cost of those rights keep going up, hidden in that expensive cable bill. I remember when fans used to rail against big player contracts. One rarely hears that today. Our ire is instead directed against the salaries of corporate executives, even though most of them don’t make as much as starting pitcher or quarterback (or midfielder, or whatever they call soccer players).   

            So, want to take in a Cub’s game today? Check with your banker first.

Copyright 2021, Patrick F. Cannon

Frankly, I Don’t Give a Damn

Frankly, I Don’t Give a Damn

By Patrick F. Cannon

At the end of Gone with the Wind, Rhett’s final words to Scarlett – who begs him to stay – is the classic: “Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn.” It’s hard to believe now, but that was pretty racy stuff for 1939.

            I know how old Rhett felt. At my age, I find that there’s a lot I don’t give a damn about anymore. There’s music, for example. Much of contemporary music, both popular and serious, doesn’t make sense to my ears. There are exceptions, but I find most rock, hip hop and rap vulgar and sometimes incomprehensible. I understand it takes talent to do complicated guitar riffs, but must they always sound the same in the end? Is a lyric a lyric if it’s not lyrical?

            Modern “Folk” music sounds as if it were composed and sung by the same person. Both the male and female performers play and sing as if real melody and poetic lyrics had been banned upon the death of Woody Guthrie. Listen to “Folk Stage” any Saturday evening on Chicago’s WFMT and you’ll see (and hear) what I mean. I’m not a fan, but Country music at least seems understandable and melodic. Finally, so-called serious composers have been indoctrinated by their teachers to believe that any sound is actually music, and that beautiful melody and regular rhythm are passe. Much of jazz has fallen into the same rut.

            The visual arts seem caught in a market-driven quandary. What is selling? What might be selling tomorrow? I kept up with the art scene until people like Andy Warhol and later Jeff Koons were taken seriously. Art as a factory; art as repetition. And while I can admire some its practitioners and their work, hasn’t abstract art run its course? Isn’t much of it just design, rather than fine art? By the way, if you want to read mostly incomprehensible prose, try art criticism. Thank God the museums haven’t taken down the work of those old white men (yet).

            As to the movies, I went more or less regularly before they closed. They still make movies about human beings and their struggles, but the real money comes from blockbusters based on comic book super heroes, and even super heroines. I stopped reading comic books when I was about 12, and see no reason to start again. But I am thankful that some directors are still concerned with the struggles of actual humans, so I will continue to seek these movies out.

            I know good and serious works of fiction are being published, but I no longer feel obligated to read them. I tend to read non-fiction, or reread favorites from my younger days. There is a tendency to devalue even great works of fiction because attitudes and beliefs in them don’t square with the so-called “woke” culture of today. Not to read Hemingway, Steinbeck and Faulkner – Nobel Prize winners all – because they sometimes expressed beliefs and attitudes we might now find distasteful, is to deprive oneself of some of the high points of American literary achievement.

            Which brings me back to Gone with the Wind. Apparently, when it is shown on television in the future, it will be preceded by a preface explaining that its depiction of African-Americans was an unfortunate reflection of a more racist time. I think it was the 1960s when I saw it for the first time. Amazingly, nobody had to tell me that it had been condescending to its black characters. I was educated enough by then to figure it out for myself. But if most people need to be protected against their historical ignorance, well, frankly, I don’t give a damn.

Copyright 2021, Patrick F. Cannon 

The “Hated” Opposition

The “Hated” Opposition

By Patrick F. Cannon

If you know your British history, you will know that the political party out of power is known as “Her Majesty’s Loyal Opposition.” They and the party in power will debate vigorously in the House of Commons, and even trade the occasional insult. Afterwards, they will often repair to the strangely named “Stranger’s Bar” for a convivial nip.

            While our own Congress never had a bar as such, it was once common for senators of both parties, for example, to gather in the Senate Cloakroom for a similar nip. Friendships across the aisle in both houses were once common, as was compromise. Now, if two sides were to meet in the Cloakroom, they might have to pass through a metal detector. We’re now told that Democrats and Republicans alike not only don’t talk to each other, but actually see the others as part of an evil plot to destroy the country.

            Alas, this animosity seems to have filtered down to more personal levels. Based on my reading of the “Dear Amy” advice column, it appears that many people feel under siege by the contrary political opinions of relatives and friends. Families have been torn asunder; kind of like the Civil War, or the White Sox vs. Cubs.

            Now, I admit there are some goof balls on both sides that I’d rather not associate with. But the fact is that I know and am related to people who voted for Trump, not because he was a noble human being, but because they agreed with his policies. Because he proved to be a liar and bully, a few decided not to vote at all the second time around. Some did, but were later appalled by his election denial antics. Just as they are appalled by President Biden’s spending spree (which gave me money I didn’t need).

            Regardless of their political persuasion, my friends are still my friends. The things that brought us together are more important than politics. They are inclined to help their fellow man; donate to good causes; and are often active in community organizations. They have reasons why they support conservative candidates. In most cases, religion is important to them. I also have friends on the other end of the political spectrum. Ditto for them. The lunatic fringe exists on both the left and right and must be ignored.

            This country works best when we try to understand the reasons why people choose one political philosophy over another, then seek to find  the common ground that makes progress possible. Drawing lines in the sand is pointless. In time, the wind always blows it away.

Copyright 2021, Patrick F. Cannon