The Party of NO!

Until recently, it was easy to distinguish conservatives from liberals. Conservatives told us how to run our lives. They promoted self-dependence and self-sufficiency. They urged virtuous behavior and regulated vice. They told us that good things would come to us if only we worked hard. A characteristic saying might have been, “God helps those who help themselves.” Unfortunately, that wasn’t a popular message, and the number of conservatives began to shrink, as would be expected. (Click on the title above if necessary to continue.)

Liberals, on the other hand, told the government and everybody else that they should mind their business and allow individuals the personal space to do as they wished. They believed in self-determination. They would be among the first to agree with the statement, “The government that governs least governs best.” Besides, they argued that the government should assist everyone in achieving their goals and knows best about matters of importance. That was a very popular message. The number of liberals grew.   

Then something curious happened…  

It now appears that liberals have changed to the point that they have become progressives (a.k.a. Democrats) and have stolen a few pages from the playbook of conservatives (a.k.a. Republicans). Nowadays, when it comes to specific issues, Democrats feel that everyone should tow their party line, so much so that they are doing everything they can to force certain actions on our citizenry by government mandate. What has the Democrat Party become?  

This revolutionary change within the Democrat Party began in the 1970s when Congress started to investigate the effects of smoking under Democrat Congressman Henry Waxman. Since that time, the Democrat Party’s interest in our personal lives has ballooned, and this has led to unwanted, unwarranted, and unnecessary government intrusion in our lives. 

Consider the favorite topics of today’s progressive Democrats who want to rule every aspect of American lives: 

Wokeism: This contemporary movement is rewriting American history, not for the better. For instance, many were deeply saddened when they heard that the image of Aunt Jemima (a real flesh-and-blood spokesperson for Pearl Milling Company) would be removed from their famous pancake mix label. Progressive said the use of such caricatures was racist. Even the descendants of Aunt Jemima decried this change. They claimed (and rightfully so) that she was a shining example of the success that hard work and ingenuity could obtain, even when the cards were stacked against people of color. Now, progressives have silenced her voice across the ages. Across our nation, Wokeism is leading to the removal of statues of American war heroes and their names from our public buildings. Mascots of our favorite sports teams are being removed and deprecated. Who will ever forget how this happened at the University of Illinois, where their symbol was Chief Illiniwek? Rather than eliminating these individuals and symbols from history, we should tell their stories more fully to learn from historical mistakes.  

Cancel culture: Progressives don’t want to hear voices opposing their own. They do everything they can to suppress dissenting voices. This can be seen beginning from the top with former President Trump, whom progressives accuse of being fascist and the perpetrator of hate crimes. It extends all the way down to the Citizens for a Better Normal, who tried to seek a referendum on the ballot last year to get better representation across the Town of Normal. The left-leaning Town Council led by the mayor used the community’s resources to silence the people by showing that the Town was an incorporated body, according to McLean County Associate Judge Scott Kording. This ruling freed the Town from dealing with Citizens’ efforts to place a referendum on the ballot. Later, the Town was found non-compliant with the State Municipal Code, which requires all incorporated bodies to have four additional duly elected officials. When Citizens put forward four candidates for election to fill these vacancies, State District 17 Rep. Sharon Chung (D-Normal) pushed a bill through the Democrat-controlled state legislature that exempted the Town from the requirements of the Municipal Code, thereby usurping again the citizen’s rights of representation. Citizens for a Better Normal was effectively canceled! Progressives had, for a second time, suppressed the people’s voice, this time using the power of state government. 

School choice: Many private, parochial, and magnet schools outperform public schools, and parents elect to move their schools from failing public institutions to those that can provide their children with superior educations. For a brief time, up until the fall 2023 veto session, the Illinois legislature permitted money to be set aside for approximately 70,000 students whose parents use public tax dollars (to which they contribute) to obtain better educations. That program was set to expire unless it was called for renewal. It was not. Democrat legislators in our government bowed the public school teacher unions, allowing the program to expire, disenfranchising 70,000 high-needs students.  

COVID-19: Shutting down our schools and forcing school children to wear masks when schools were re-opened when there was unmistakable evidence that children were nearly immune to the debilitating effects of COVID-19. This was nothing short of educational malfeasance. Shutting down our churches and forcing congregations to meet under the open sky when casinos and big box stores remained open, and Antifa-Black Lives Matter street riots took place with impunity was nothing short of religious tyranny! Progressive government officials bear responsibility for the loss of education and drop in church attendance from which many congregations have yet to recover. Locally, Holy Trinity Catholic Church in Bloomington is facing possible closure due to a significant drop in weekend Mass attendance following mandated closures for COVID-19. 

Gun control: You have a right to keep and bear arms because the Second Amendment permits it, but only they are the rifles or handguns progressives permit you to have. Banned are so-called assault rifles and magazines holding ten or more rounds of ammunition. Due to progressive legislative dictate, Illinois citizens who possess a so-called assault rifle are required to register it with the State Police by January 1st or face considerable legal penalties. Because of the progressive-sponsored legislation passed unilaterally by Democrats in a middle-of-the-night autumn veto session, gun owners who chose to do nothing are being criminalized. This Democrat-dominated assembly is the same as that which mandated the ineffective (if not entirely useless) FOID card requirement.  

Abortion: Progressives believe that citizens should all have freedom of choice when it comes to abortion (“My body, my choice!”), but demand that everyone pay for abortions even if they believe that abortions are nothing short of taking a human life. How hypocritical! As abhorrent and offensive an act of abortion is for many, if not most, Illinoisans, our Democrat governor and progressive legislature insist on doing their level best to turn Illinois into an abortion destination.  

Crime: Conservatives believe criminals should be held individually accountable for transgressions against the law. (“Do the crime, do the time.”) Progressives, on the other hand, believe in collective responsibility. If someone commits a crime, it’s not entirely their fault – it’s largely society’s fault. Poor education, poverty, drugs, broken families, abusive parents, homelessness, and the like are all somewhat responsible for this person’s actions. As a result, progressives are soft on crime. Nowhere is this more evident in Illinois than in the recent passage of the SAFE-T Act, which permits no-cost bail yet provides no financial means to arrest those who fail to make the required court appearances after arrest and release based on nothing more than “personal recognizance.” Certainty of punishment is the greatest deterrent for crime. As a result of the misguided SAFE-T Act, watch as crime in Illinois begins to grow as it has in New York and California, where their progressive enclaves are also soft on crime.   

So, what’s the point of this message? It used to be that Democrats called the Republicans the Party of No. Today, Democrats bear that moniker.

Today, it is the Republicans who say that citizens have every right to do what they want to while refraining from those behaviors that we all find offensive. That’s true freedom of choice. The truth of the matter is that the progressive Democrat Party that is today’s Party of NO!  

Democrats are saying “NO!” to concerned parents of underserved school children. They are speaking “No!” to citizens whose opinions they don’t want to hear. They are saying “NO!” to those who would defend life from the moment of conception to the point of natural death. They are saying “NO!” to gun owners, telling them how and if they are to defend themselves. They are saying “NO!” to common-sense measures to protect ourselves. Democrats tell us they are the party of choice, but that’s a lie, and lying makes a difference!  

Progressive Democrats, like Hillary Clinton, might ask, “What difference does it make?” First, it makes a difference because a lie distorts the truth. Telling the truth is virtuous, and telling a lie is a vice. Second, if progressive Democrats keep lying to the American people, the people will begin to seriously question anything Democrats say and perceive their statements as self-serving lies. And third, leading this country through its struggles requires not just honest and free voices but also clarity. Americans need to be clear on the issues. They need to know where each party stands so they can make the best decisions going forward.

If you stand for faith, family, and freedom, then be sure to vote Republican in the upcoming elections. A failure to vote is equivalent to voting to support progressive Democrats. They’ve already done enough damage. It’s time for the political pendulum to swing in the opposite direction.  

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