2022 Lincoln Day dinner is now completed.  Large crowd attended to hear many gubernatorial candidates speak, as well as others throughout the night.  Recent events have demonstrated how far we can deviate from a healthy course when left with inadequate leadership…. you only need to look at the following two examples.  I am NOT going to comment on the Madigan indictment, as that event merits a post of its own – due to the breadth and depth of its importance in state politics.

Locally, in the past month the Governor, when not filming and airing self-admirational commercials, was forced by circumstances beyond his control to back track on his nearly two-year executive orders and mandates.  This culminated with the one-two punch of the CDC relaxing guidelines on masking and the defeat in our state courts concerning mandates in schools.

The Guv was first stymied by a Springfield circuit judge, who issued a restraining order against the mandates involving named schools on behalf of certain plaintiffs… but that started a groundswell of further challenges throughout the state.  He took his case to the appellate court, but in the interim the legislature (well, not THE legislature, but a small group who sit on a rules committee – JCAR) chose NOT to extend the rules allowing a basis for further mandates.  The appellate court denied the appeal, finding that, since JCAR did not extend the rules, there are no rules left to enforce requiring mandates.  The state Supreme Court ruled, in essence, the same thing.

HOWEVER, the CDC also came out with restrictions, so Pritkzer was given “political cover” to claim his reversal was due to the science and not the court losses.  Of course, had the state legislature done 1% of its job in the past two years dealing with these unilateral and over-broad executive orders, there would have been many changes and fewer restrictions a lot sooner.  Can you imagine how the legislature would have reacted had a Republican governor issued these edicts?

Speaking of the science, isn’t it surprising that mask mandates were revised JUST BEFORE the State of the Union address by Biden?  While we are noting abrupt changes since the last column, where has Dr. Fauci gone?  Perhaps the combination of “continued masking will MANDATE Dem failures in November” and the gain of function revelations involving virus research and the NIH was enough to cause continued publicity with him to be a liability?

On the national front, we have seen what Putin will do when faced with vacillation and weakness in US foreign policy.  Some would note Biden has a bad track record in US/Russia relations – Crimea when he was VP, now Ukraine.  Others would wonder whether limitations in the Ukraine conflict are related to the issues involving Biden (and his family) and Ukraine that were mentioned (but ignored by most mainstream media) in the 2020 election.

One thing is certain – it is quite likely a Trump second term would have altered our course of history on this topic.  First, many think it unlikely Putin would have risked a Trump (ie not perfectly predictable) response to the invasion.  Second, our nation was energy independent under Trump, and continued status in that regard would have minimized the energy price surges we are experiencing here – and those that are threatened by Putin in Europe (although our gas prices increased by over 60% during Biden’s first term BEFORE February of 2022 and the Ukraine invasion!).  Third, given #1, it is quite likely communications between Trump and Putin might have been so different that Putin would have never crossed the border.  But, as my time machine is in the shop, we will never know.

In the interim, remember that we must unite as one party to be successful in November.  There are a number of primaries – some divisive, others with “Republican” candidates who are quite new to the party.  Regardless of the outcomes, in order to rid Springfield and DC of the socialists, we have to focus on the 80% on which we agree to make significant change in the legislature and Illinois executive offices – before it is TOO LATE!

Finally, this is my last post for awhile.  After nearly nine years leading the WCRCC (and nine Lincoln Days), I chose not to seek re-election in 2020 – choosing to cut back on the countless hours contributed to that position.  I agreed to continue in my support through writing periodic messages, with the understanding and expectation others would join in writing so that I would serve more as a facilitator of comments.  Despite requests for other participants, over the past 18 months there have been only a few repeat authors – and most months have been me solo.  Perhaps the absence of one who has continued to volunteer time and effort as the “reliable” author will spur others to contribute to our communication efforts … perhaps such opportunities following that absence will just be ignored?  I continue to maintain my political email at countygopchair@gmail.com.