By Nancy Thorner -
Jim Lakely, Director of Communications at The Heartland Institute, welcomed guests to the European Crystal Banquet, 519 W. Algonquin Rd., Arlington Heights, commenting that it was the kind of venue Donald Trump would appreciate being at. A brief history followed of the move The Heartland Institute made in the summer 2015 to its headquarters at 39 Arlington Heights where freedom and liberty are respected, having been located in the corrupt City of Chicago prior to the move for 32 years. Lakely further stated that The Heartland Institute is a non-partisan, non-profit, free-market think tank that doesn't support political candidates.
With the introduction behind him, Mr. Lakely signaled the beginning of what he said would be an "amazing positive and happy program" which would delve into the "an earthquake of an election." In Lakely's words: "We are here tonight to talk about the earthquake of an election on Nov. 8th."
Lakely invited each panelist one by one to join him on the stage, introducing each panel member until all four were lined up on stage.
Heartland's All-Star Panel:
JOE WALSH, radio host at AM560 The Answer, president of Walsh Freedom
DAN PROFT, radio host at AM560, senior fellow at Illinois Policy Institute
KATHLEEN MURPHY, communication director at Illinois Opportunity Project
PATRICK HUGHES, co-founder of Illinois Opportunity Project
JIM LAKELY (moderator), director of communications, The Heartland Institute
When seated on the stage, Jim Lakely proceeded to direct each question to a specific panel member, after which the other panels members were invited to jump in at will to add their thoughts.
Jim Lakely's first question was directed to Dan Proft. In doing so, Mr. Lakely referred to how Dennis Preager, a radio talk show host on WLS AM, spoke about the two presidential choices available to American voters. It was a choice between two candidate. On one door was Man Eating Lion. On the other door was Maybe Man Eating Lion. The people choose Trump, the Maybe Man Eating Lion. In jest Lakely referred to Trump's maim of hair.
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?
Dan Proft believes that we have, to some extent, halted the onslaught of the Left. Proft, in a light-hearted way, questioned the nature of Lakely's question: "How did we go from low expectations to talking about saving Western civilization?" Proft credited Victor David Hanson of National Reviewas recognizing early on Trump's winning message, how the elites, wherever they may function in society, are worse than you think they are. A plus is that Trump comes into office without owing the establishment anything.
Joe Walsh was quick to add his opinion about the Trump victory: "This election was about the uprising of us, regular Americans, against a broken political establishment. It had zero to do with the Republican Party. It was against the elites.” In agreement with Proft, Walsh doesn't believe Trump owes the Republican Party a thing as an outsider. Walsh spoke of going to Washington, D.C. with the same spirit of an outsider to serve in the House.
Patrick Hughes spoke about the Supreme Court and what a Hillary win would have meant had she been able to fill the vacancy created by the death of Justice Alito and possible other retirements. Presently under attack is free speech, abortion rights, the 2nd amendment, etc. With good, solid Supreme Court appointments our Constitutional principles can be reset, as justices now up in their 80's, and who ascribe to a Living Constitution, choose retirement during a Trump presidency.
Dan Proft, ever the scholar, warned that the election of Trump was only the beginning, as elections are but the means to policy ends. It was a big election for Trump. Not even Trump could stop Trump. He did try and couldn't. Proft was not charitable to House Speaker Ryan and other Republicans legislators who did nothing to help Trump. As such, Republican legislators in both the House and Senate must have their feet held to the fire, for there will be policy fights. There must be no doubt that Trump is the new sheriff in town.
Joe Walsh likewise harbored strong feeling about holding Republican feet to the fire. Paul Ryan was scorned by Joe in Ryan's refusal to help Trump in his election bid, which held true of the Republican Party as a whole. It was because of Trump that Ryan could resume as speaker. As Walsh warned: "We won a battle, but the war continues. We still have a long way to go." As many conservatives realize, "We are losing the battle over American values." As Walsh related, "Had it not been for 12,000 votes in 3 states -- Michigan, PA, and Wisconsin -- Trump would have lost."
It's crazy out there. What happening on the streets of America right now?
Directed to Kathleen Murphy, Kathleen wasn't about to blame the entire millennial generation. Not all are protesting and not all are protestors. Those who are are being fueled by the mainstream media, college professors, social media, etc. Millennials came of age during this century's Great Depression. They have not experienced market-made success, but instead see government as a way to improve life. 46% believe their future will not be as good as their parents. Only 16% feel their lives will be better. 1/3 of Millennials live at home with their parents; only one in three are unemployed. But the protestors are hypocrites. All would have been fine had Hillary won, but anger attributed to shock over how people could possibly have voted for Trump has fueled the protestors. Trump, as president elect, is not acceptable to the protestors, and anyone who voted for Trump is labeled a racist. It is, however, the protestors who are the intolerant ones. For the protestors, Trump's win gives them the license to disregard the rule of law and reality. In regard to those who were shocked that women voted for Trump, Murphy had this to say, "Why would many women choose not to vote for a criminal?
Pat Hughes spoke about his16-year old daughter and how selecting a college is close at hand. In light of what has been happening at colleges in the aftermath of Trump's victory, more and more colleges have been crossed off by Hughes because they have given in to students who have seemingly been traumatized beyond the ability to function over the election of Trump. The University of Michigan has brought in puppies for students to pet. Hillsdale College was mentioned as an exception, but not all college-age students can attend Hillsdale. Hughes predicted that the protestors will look back on this time in their lives and regret their actions. Accordingly, Hughes believe the radicals of today will grow up. Hughes is more worried about radical feminists Noted was how difficult it is for a woman to be a conservative, and how they are shamed for being so.
Dan Proft spoke about what is happening to young people today in college situations and equated the problem to a "lack of self-awareness." Students believe they have a Constitutional right not to be offended and to be shielded from words that they do not wish to hear. Such opinions must he recognized and combated. In regard to Hillary, the firewall for Hillary's win was supposed to be college educated women and Rust Belt states. In the end Hillary only won 51% of women.
Joe Walsh chimed in to explain how a Trump victory was possible in what is a divided country. Trump won because of 112,000 votes in three states. Hillary couldn't bring out the young, single women, or the blacks she needed in her camp to win; however, they are still out there. Walsh admitted that he completely under estimated how bad a candidate Hillary was. No one likes her, not even Bill! She was an extremely flawed candidate. This election was a wake-up call for Democrats. Walsh believes such a mistake won't happen again
Dan Proft, in expanding upon the comments by Walsh, reiterated how the Democratic Party has now become a Coastal Party and Illinois. The election of Donald Trump ushered in a schismatic shift in power. Republican now hold two-thirds of state legislative bodies, along with 33 state governorships. Proft hopes that some of the good working state models will be adopted by Trump at the federal level.
Pat Hughes sees positive momentum going into 2020, if polices are enacted that provide positive results for the American people. It is essential that we start now to build our coalition so the momentum is there in 2020 to continue and expand Republican control.
An article to follow will feature Question 3: How important milestone was it by breaking the Democratic Super House majority. Will it be more of the same or is there some chance for needed reforms to be enacted? and Question 4: What is the Alt-Right and should we be afraid of it?