Why aren't you?

Opinion: Ken Trainor

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By Ken Trainor

Staff writer

Based on previous columns, some readers are under the mistaken impression that I dislike Republicans — and conservatives in general. Not true. I enjoy a good give-and-take with open-minded conservatives very much. It's ideologues I dislike, regardless of whether they're on the right or left — or even the middle — of the political spectrum.

In my experience, ideologues are rigid, close-minded, shallow thinkers for whom a questionable end justifies pretty much any means. They suffer from an affliction known as "excessive certainty," which renders them incapable of compromise or genuine dialogue.

I'm also aware that some readers get very annoyed when I write about this topic and can't understand why I won't let it go. They think a local columnist has no business (or competence) weighing in on such lofty matters, that the national pundits are so much better qualified (and they do it so well, don't you know). Yes, I phrased that in the full flower of their condescension.

I continue to write about this — in spite of the fact that many readers screen what I'm saying through their own biases — because the pundits are (with notable exceptions) basically purveyors of outdated conventional wisdom and because this is too important to remain silent about.

Also because there are times when being "bipartisan" or "non-partisan" is worse than taking sides. As Graham Greene put it in The Quiet American, "Sooner or later one has to take sides — if one is simply to remain human."

This is one of those times.

You can't tell ideologues anything, counter-dependency being their defining character trait, so dialogue, sadly, is not possible. In addition, too many middle-of-the-roaders actually perpetuate the problem by promoting the "false equivalency myth" — that there are an equal number of hard-headed ideologues on both sides of the aisle, so both sides are equally at fault. That has become, in effect, the "centrist ideology."

But it's simply not true. 

The Obama administration and Democrats in Congress aren't perfect by any stretch, but at least they have legitimate proposals they'd like to try out. They might work or they might not, but Republicans prevent all of us from finding out — probably because they have no valid ideas of their own.

What they do have is an ideology: Less government + more free market means everything will be fine. That overly simplistic notion was proved oh-so-wrong when a dangerously unregulated free market caused a near collapse of the international financial system back in 2008. Too much deregulation led to greed and reckless behavior in the private sector, which inevitably led to economic catastrophe. It always does.

Yet Republicans are still preaching that government can do no right and the free market can do no wrong. They're anti-government, anti-taxes, anti-living wage, anti-health care reform, anti-food stamps, anti-immigration reform, anti-marriage equality, anti-campaign finance reform, anti-gun regulation, anti-environmental protection, and anti-birth control, just to name a few. They're pretty much anti-American — at least anything that makes life better for the average American. 

But they are slavishly devoted to the welfare of the 1%.

An ideology is very different from an idea, and the two produce very different results. Ideologues try to squeeze reality into an inadequately small container, but life is far too complex to be covered by any ideology — right, left or center.

So it's not Republicans per se I dislike. Unfortunately, the Tea Party and a large percentage of elected Republicans are ideologues, which may explain the confusion.

Someone, of course, will accuse me of being an ideologue, but I don't fit the profile. I don't have all the answers and freely admit it. I don't believe either government, or the free market, is the answer to all our problems. I've rarely been absolutely certain about anything. My friends tell me I do way too much compromising for my own good. Also, I've spent many years inviting and attempting dialogue with conservatives, which is more than most of those who preach "civility" and "bipartisanship" can claim (I will happily catalog the columns if you need proof).

Furthermore, I value what rational conservatism brings to our national conversation (if we were actually having one). When conservatives do their job, the country is better off. Unfortunately, they're not.

The strength of conservatives is their "rear-view vision," while progressives have better "forward vision." That doesn't mean conservatives don't also have some forward vision and progressives some rear-view vision. It's a matter of proportion. I happen to be a progressive with a fairly strong conservative streak — probably because I was raised by conservative non-ideologues who taught me to value the past. 

We need both conservatives and progressives. As we move forward (inevitable, I'm afraid), conservatives demonstrate their value by identifying what needs to be preserved from the past and brought along on our journey into the future. When something essential is in danger of being lost, they may occasionally be forced to put up a fight, but when they resist all progress, as they have been, the conservative movement loses credibility and devolves into nihilism, which is where they're stuck right now. 

When conservatives are doing their job, they have our back. At the moment they're just backstabbing.

Reasonable conservatives still exist (read David Brooks in the New York Times if you want to find out what one sounds like), but they generally don't speak out in public because they're so out of step with the extremists, whose resistance to virtually all change prevents any real progress on so many of our pressing problems.

If the electorate is a "market," then voters need to deliver a very clear message in the only terms free-marketeers can understand: a severe market "correction." The sooner voters deliver that correction (several may be required), the better for all of us —  conservatives included. This November would be an ideal time.

I wish dialogue and civility were possible, but they're not — not with ideologues. So I'll state the obvious for anyone in the political middle who might still be listening: Going nowhere is killing this country. If you can't stomach voting for Democrats, at the very least stop voting for Republicans. You're enabling Republican obstructionism and that's screwing things up for everybody.

The question, then, is not why am I so hard on Republicans. The real question is:

Why the hell aren't you?

Email: ktrainor@wjinc.com

Reader Comments

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Ray Simpson from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: August 16th, 2014 9:52 PM

On Oct 29,2008 Ken wrote a column "Vote for Obama and put country first" This column, as I remember was almost the same as the current work with high expectations tempered by an evisceration of the W43 administration. Seems as though the 2008 column has been scrubbed from the archive. After the election ,November 11,2008, I wrote a viewpoints letter inquiring if things turn out poorly for Obama will Ken Trainor be "Man Enough" to admit his error. As you may know the editorial staff writes column headlines and Ken titled mine "Change' frightens me" My question of 5 years ago was answered 2 weeks ago.

In Glen Ellyn formerly from OP  

Posted: August 16th, 2014 7:21 PM

What is so special about being progressive anyway? Isn't this term becoming outdated anyway? Who DOESN'T want to make progress? Don't conservatives like new ideas to capitalize on just as much as liberals like new ways to give away everything? Nothing wrong with progress toward a more stable and predictable future, is there? Let's not use "progressive" synonymously with changing for change's sake. Hope and Change are not definitely progressive. "Fool me once..." 2 terms of this, twice bad.

Ray Simpson from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: August 16th, 2014 1:21 PM

@ Progressive - it seems that you spend a whole lot of time anguishing over what bothers me. Go ahead and live your life and let me live mine. I have not lost a seconds sleep over your inner demons.

Proudly Progressive  

Posted: August 13th, 2014 2:50 PM

Goodbye to you, members of the Tea Party and local private militias. I leave you to cradle your firearms as you stand watch each night at your doorsteps ready to ward off any possible home invaders -- gangs from Chicago, al Qaeda/Taliban/ISIS terrorists, jack-booted US marshals, gay/Greenpeace/abortion rights/anti-gun-nuke-food additive activists, or your next door neighbor who threw snow on your driveway last winter. I cede this forum to you as I leave to buy organic Kix at Whole Foods.

Proudly Progressive  

Posted: August 13th, 2014 2:35 PM

Boy, did you nail me! All Progressives are glossy-eyed dreamers in a world where the sun always shines, everything is free and fruit smoothies pour from fountains. We plan to surrender our sovereignty by listing it on ebay Europe and Craigslist Asia. Get ready to meet plenty of new neighbors when we dismantle the US Immigration Service and open up all borders & ports (passports and visas are optional). Have to go. I'm off to an anti-capitalist rally where we do yoga and then burn $100 bills.


Posted: August 13th, 2014 12:51 PM

@Uncommon-I disagree. Progressives tend to see the big picture quite clearly. That picture is a large, beautiful abstract masterpiece they wish to display over their personal fireplace mantle, but expect everyone else to pay for it.

Uncommon Sense  

Posted: August 13th, 2014 12:09 PM

People like Proudly can never see the big picture / slippery slope of their Utopian ideals. "Common good" usually means poverty and misery for the masses while the few elites get to exempt themselves. Of course, by the time Proudly realizes he won't be part of the elite, it will be too late. Typical low info progressive telling everyone else how great the world is going to be...

OP Res 253  

Posted: August 13th, 2014 12:05 PM

@Proudly, again you generalize and demonize. I believe in and act with compassion, abhor war and the evil that necessitate it. However, the constitution articulated the rights of the individual, and they are not trumped by the "common good". If that were the case, the middle class would certainly be denied abortions-our population is skewing old. Jim Crow would still be in effect (majority 'good'). Union bosses should not run our elections. And I don't believe Am. people serve our leaders.


Posted: August 13th, 2014 11:40 AM

@Proudly- One doesn't need a gun to be clearly dangerous. Your willingness to surrender this country's sovereignty, one's individual freedoms-our God given natural rights in favor of 'common good' is why you & the like minded brainwashed are a clear & present danger. Your feeble utopian view of the world history has proven failed & has never accommodated the 'common good' but only the elite few. Sorry to say but history has designated you & your kind in the useful idiot category.

Proudly Progressive  

Posted: August 13th, 2014 10:22 AM

rj, I'm sorry we're on polar opposite sides of many issues. Please know that Progressives aren't trying to bust your doors down...because we don't have guns! We believe that climate change is real, abortion should remain available & legal, let's treat people w/ compassion, war is a last resort, corporations are NOT people, healthcare is a right, taxes should be fair and spent wisely, the common good generally trumps the individual, states must conform to the nation & we live in a global society.


Posted: August 12th, 2014 7:08 PM

@ Proudly presidents don't propose Bills-just Congress. Again the Tea Party is against over taxation while realizing the federal govt has a small role set by the Constitution. Many states are unable to meet the needs of infrastructure, police & fire & social needs as the obligations to the bloated entitlements & public unions supporting your party strip the budget & for decades to come with no solution in sight but to create two parallel societies where the parasite collects more than the host.

Proudly Progressive  

Posted: August 12th, 2014 5:27 PM

rj, If McCain or Mitt were in the White House today and the Democrats stymied every single bill the president proposed, your side with Fox News would literally storm the gates to dismantle the government and rewrite the Constitution. Your "Tea Party" simply hates to govern, but I like the FAA checking airliners, the FTC regulating commerce, the FDA inspecting food; that we have roads and sewers; police, fire & social services for sick, poor & elderly. It's what makes for a working society.


Posted: August 12th, 2014 3:33 PM

@Proudly - pretty inane statement - obviously the House majority has a different world view than the Senate dems. The Republicans also were voted in to satisfy their constituents. This is not a monarchy. We have a two party system - gridlock was built into the system so the big G would have as little involvement in our lives as possible not the nanny state from womb to tomb. Obviously it's your party that refuses to compromise. It's pathetic!


Posted: August 12th, 2014 3:03 PM

@Proudly - the world is more dangerous than before 9/11. Isis considers itself a nation with financial backing & weapons exterminating Christians as they drive them out of their homes in Iraq. Are you aware they're seeking a world caliphate? Open borders, illegal aliens - the horrendous list goes on! In your world all is well.


Posted: August 12th, 2014 2:52 PM

Should say "Democratic President." That's just the definition of stupid is thinking you're doing your job when 2/3 of the govt is controlled by the other party. It's the Repubs who need to come around and compromise. POTUS has done enough waiting.


Posted: August 12th, 2014 2:50 PM

Why would the House pass 356 bills it knows a Democratic Senate and Democratic Senate won't do anything with? I blame the House. PS Single payer sounds good to me.


Posted: August 12th, 2014 2:42 PM

@Proudly - re ineligibility look up Bettina Viviano/Barack Obama. The House passed more than 356 Bills that sit piled high on Harry Reid's desk. The obstruction lives in the Senate. OCare was structured to collapse the private insurance companies as single payer is the desired end result such as the VA. I'm not surprised how uninformed some of you 'progressives' are.

OP Transplant  

Posted: August 12th, 2014 2:13 PM

Proudly-Again, you're implying that the president couldn't have seen this coming. The opposing party opposes; no matter who's president. Effective presidents still get work done. I thought he was too tentative in his first term, but understood the need to get reelected. Second term-still little progress. He ran on a "hope and change" platform, but hasn't done much but continue to perpetuate the endless two-party pi**ing contest. I'm not the only supporter who is disappointed in his performance.

Proudly Progressive  

Posted: August 12th, 2014 12:05 PM

OPT-Obama could float a bill that the sky is blue and it wouldn't make it out of committee in the House. Growing up, my wife's best friend as a kid was overweight. One day at the beach, the other girl's grandmother turned to my wife's mother as the two girls were playing in the sand and said, "I would think that as the mother of my granddaughter's best friend, YOU could do something about her weight problem." To say my mother-in-law was stunned and speechless would be an understatement.

so... from Oak Park  

Posted: August 12th, 2014 11:22 AM

wouldnt a severe market correction for the city of Chicago be the inverse of the party responsible for the current situation? the answer being republican?

OP Transplant  

Posted: August 12th, 2014 11:21 AM

Proudly-You act as though it never occurred to the president that the opposition might oppose him. Effective presidents work to bridge differences and build consensus. It may be the most important part of the job. Dems control the presidency and the Senate and are still unable to do jobs that most Americans appear to want done. That is not the sign of an effective administration.

Bridgett from Oak Park  

Posted: August 12th, 2014 11:05 AM

Ken, how about we take it to the local level, which has far greater impact on your readers, and talk about what's happening here in Illinois? Elections are coming up in November. I feel like this article is meant to distract people from the shape our county (not country) and state are in. Do you have an opinion about how our elected officials in Cook County and the state of Illinois are doing? That would be more helpful.

Josh from Oak Park  

Posted: August 12th, 2014 10:32 AM

Aye, Ken, an article filled with hypocrisy in what I assume is your best attempt to get hits? Although I consider myself bi-partisan with a slight right lean, I find it humorous that this irks you. Both parties have their faults and which ever you choose is IMHO the lesser of two evils. Repubs feel the govt should do their job and get out of the way. Dems feel the govt should do their job but then stick around to provide support/care if needed. All this ra-ra stuff is funny though, Proudly.

Proudly Progressive  

Posted: August 12th, 2014 10:23 AM

OPT-Last year the House blocked Obama's plans to close Gitmo. Obama had us virtually extracted from Iraq and Afghanistan. McCain, Graham and others want us back in that fight and everywhere else in the Mideast. Obamacare is much better than what we had, which was nothing, and insures millions more people. We should've had a public/single payer option. Obama isn't perfect, but he does not pass legislation. That's Congress's job, and the House will never give him a single inch no matter what.


Posted: August 12th, 2014 10:16 AM

@OPT-Spot on! Obama has fallen short of my expectations as well. The stock market recovery is propped up artificially by QE where the Feds keep printing money. Now there's news that the U.S. has regained the 8.7M jobs lost in the recession, but the average wage has dropped 23%! I expected Obama to be more transparent, but he has used the same double-speak tactics as his predecessors. Nothing has really changed. I wanted a reformer, but I didn't get one.


Posted: August 12th, 2014 10:04 AM

While you folks argue semantics of the President's collegiate activities and what can and cannot still be blamed on Bush, IL sinks further and further into the financial abyss. And while you continue these tired old arguments that go nowhere, our local pols continue to find ways to raise our taxes and block any meaningful attempts at reform (term limits, independent maps, pensions).

OP Transplant  

Posted: August 12th, 2014 9:54 AM

Proudly-Most people in OP would agree with you that Bush left a catastrophe, and that Obama inherited a difficult job. It is, however, the job he ran for. I supported the president, but I'm not happy with his job so far. Continued involvement in Middle East wars, Guantanamo remains open, Obamacare...I had hoped for much better. His has not been an effective presidency, certainly not compared to what we were led to expect.

Proudly Progressive  

Posted: August 12th, 2014 9:28 AM

The birther nonsense started in '04 in IL and was picked up briefly by a splinter group of Hillary supporters, not by Hillary. It was then relentlessly flogged by countless blowhard righties so millions of people actually believed it. And "death panels?" Really? You know that the ACA is private insurance with subsidies for low income, right? The VA issues are completely separate. Yes, Bush is responsible for the huge economic hole and 2 wars. You blame Obama because he can't fix it fast enough.


Posted: August 11th, 2014 11:22 PM

@Proudly Progressive perhaps you should know & realize that the whack nut birther who first claimed Obama was not eligible to be President was Hillary Clinton & her supporters during the primary when delegates were claiming Obama & the Democratic National Committtee were stealing the nomination from her. Death panels - ask the families of the dead Vets who purposely were denied crucial medical treatment needed when healthcare is govt sponsored. You need to research more & parrot less.

OP Res 253  

Posted: August 11th, 2014 8:16 PM

@progressive, you articulated what you considered to be the President's successes. I pointed out reasons why I disagree. I believe his presidency and leadership have been very bad indeed, and stated some reasons why. You, of courses, blamed Bush, which is your prerogative, however hackneyed. I have issues with his policies and actions, you have an issue with me having issues. You don't want me to love the dude, you just want to demonize folks who do not. What cult?

In Glen Ellyn Formerly from OP   

Posted: August 11th, 2014 6:42 PM

Proudly Progressive- you don't need to campaign for Obama here; he couldn't change the two term limit. When you recapped his achievements below, it's hilarious and wise when done tongue-in-cheek. Then you went too far and described the perpetual campaigner's political career as actual experience. My recent Egyptian housemate told me how proud muslims were that the guy they watched since his first elected position became "one of them" in the White House. And I used to think repubs went too far.

Proudly Progressive  

Posted: August 11th, 2014 5:46 PM

A quick note to "OP 253" on your last entry about Obama ensuring "that our borders are awash in tragic souls...bringing only broken hearts and disease...terror and crime...weaponized federal agencies...against our citizens...That the constitution can be ignored and separation of power breached. That is what a true progressive seeks." This is your own hallucinogenic fantasy with absolutely no connection to fact or reality. Have to go now. There's an armed IRS agent kicking down my front door.

Proudly Progressive  

Posted: August 11th, 2014 5:29 PM

You're right. He was President of the Law Review...which is the highest student position at Harvard Law School. See -- http://www.nytimes.com/1990/02/06/us/first-black-elected-to-head-harvard-s-law-review.html. He was not a full-time tenured professor, but was a lecturer and senior lecturer for the 12 years while in the state senate. He was offered a full-time position and turned it down. During that time he taught constitutional law and was widely considered to be an excellent instructor.

Uncommon Sense  

Posted: August 11th, 2014 4:50 PM

@Proudly, Obama was "President" of law review, not the editor. He was a "lecturer" at UofC, not a professor. We don't know his grades in college or law school because he has sealed records. Finally, can you explain how he has no published writings? Being published as an academic is job #1. Most law review students have a published article/opinion or two yet all we have is his Bill Ayers authored book. He barely has a voting record. Being "present" doesn't count.

Proudly Progressive  

Posted: August 11th, 2014 4:30 PM

In reading your diatribe, I'm reminded of the level of paranoia and delusion fueled by fear, hatred & misinformation that runs rampant on the right. Obama inherited the biggest financial collapse since '29; we were fighting two no-end-in-sight wars that had nothing to do with getting Bin Laden or 9/11 -- two wars that Bush kept "off the books," but were great for Haliburton; tax rates for the rich were lower than ever; and Obama has spent 5 years cleaning up the slop. But somehow it's his fault.

Proudly Progressive  

Posted: August 11th, 2014 4:14 PM

Oh, and re: Obama's "on-the-job training," let's remember he was a graduate of Columbia University; earned his JD (magna cum laude) from Harvard and edited the law review; taught constitutional law at U of C for 12 years; worked in private law practice; was an Illinois State Senator from '97-'04 where he championed many bills & causes w/bi-partisan support; then elected to the U.S. Senate in '04 where he served for 4 years. And he wasn't the son of a president or funded by Texas oil like W.

OP Res 253  

Posted: August 11th, 2014 4:08 PM

@Progressive, I'll help you. He has ensured that our borders are awash in tragic souls. Most bringing only broken hearts and disease, many bringing terror and crime. He has weaponized federal agencies, including the IRS, against our citizens. He has cut precipitously the number who contribute to the tax rolls and increased those that receive payment from them. He has demonstrated that the constitution can be ignored and separation of power breached. That is what a true progressive seeks.

OP Res 253  

Posted: August 11th, 2014 4:02 PM

@Proudly, I do not believe that at present you think rolling up the hoses and distributing the lighter fluid an matches is an "atta boy" moment. Being able to golf while Libya, Syria, Ukraine, Iraq and Iran all descend into genocidal psychosis is NOT admirable presidential pathology. Doubling the debt and flushing the country with loose QE cash, and only getting the weakest recovery and the highest level of non-working adults in history is also not getting a whoop whoop. What else you got?

Proudly Progressive  

Posted: August 11th, 2014 3:47 PM

To quickly recap what Obama has done. He wrapped up the two Bush wars that cost thousands of lives & $4-$6 trillion (oddly, no WMDs were found); saved the US economy from total collapse; launched the Dole/Romney model to get US a step closer to the rest of developed world in healthcare; reclaimed millions of lost jobs; presided over biggest stock market recovery ever; kept a cool head in multiple foreign crises (Libya, Syria, Ukraine, Iraq, Iran); and don't forget the two Blackhawks titles.

OP Res 253  

Posted: August 11th, 2014 3:14 PM

@ Glen Ellyn. Many workers require on the job training during their first job. It is beyond unfortunate when a body politic makes the presidency anyone's first job. But, it has been insanely rewarding for the President and the anointed 1% that constitute his majesty's ruling class. Super PAC money since Citizen United has gone 2:1 to BO and company. And there has been ZERO bi-partisanship modeled by he or Reid. They are all about the spoils, and bring on the war.

Hillary 2016  

Posted: August 11th, 2014 3:06 PM

Don't worry, Glen Ellyn, Hillary has nobody within 10 points of her in either party so you'll get plenty of her soon!

In Glen Ellyn formerly from OP  

Posted: August 11th, 2014 2:36 PM

In defense of Obama, his on-the-job training for the last 6 years has gone better than expected. We're not all dead, (more) fiscally bankrupt, or facing riots for an impeachment or assassination attempt on the pres.. He is king. Just ask him. Thanks Pelosi, the federal HBIC, for railroading Hilary out of the running. We now know having too much experience and too many vital international connections can disqualify a candidate, not just too little/few. With none, you can lead the free world.

David Hammond from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: August 11th, 2014 1:16 PM

"Teabag" is a gay slur? Actually, the movement originally did have that name until they decided to change it to one without sexual connotations.

Proudly Progressive  

Posted: August 11th, 2014 1:14 PM

Oops. Sorry for using the original Teabag phrase that they used themselves for their patriotic movement. (I still call the Green Line the Lake Street L, BTW.) I know that "Tea Partiers" (and boy can that group party!) are equally sensitive to the countless racist comments, posts, images and assorted dog-whistle names they have thrown at President Obama. Also sorry to inform the fact-challenged "Tea Party" that federal taxes did not originate in January 2009 when Obama was sworn into office.

Friar Tuck from OP  

Posted: August 11th, 2014 1:00 PM

@Proudly, no. We all live in the same universe and 253 is absolutely correct. We'll agree to disagree on issues, but I will not let allow you to use the gay slur "Teabag" to label a group of citizens. What makes that OK?

Proudly Progressive  

Posted: August 11th, 2014 12:26 PM

OP Res 253, you and I are living in parallel universes. Obama has repeatedly sought to work with Republicans and has been rebuffed every time. From the day he was elected, their sole objective was to derail his presidency at all costs and to make him a one-termer. Well, that last part didn't work out, but they have fought him at every turn while playing to the Teabag faction of the party -- led by people like Rick Perry who want to pay no taxes and actually talk about seceding from the Union!

OP Res 253  

Posted: August 11th, 2014 11:55 AM

@Proudly, I very much disagree with your assertion that Obama has asked for debate. EVER. He began his presidency with "elections have consequences" attitude of arrogance. Every step of the way has refused to debate or compromise, the essence of governing in a democracy. He states that he wants the House to "pass bills I want", Period. The president's behavior has been petulant, immature and harmful to the country. He is not alone in blame, but, as president, is most responsible.

Proudly Progressive  

Posted: August 11th, 2014 11:41 AM

The evil lies thrown at this president have been absolutely unprecedented in US history. It started with the whack-nut 'birthers,' then the 'death panels,' and the war hawks who want us to send troops into almost every country in the Mideast and go to war with Russia, plus the gun-crazies who want white suburbanites to arm themselves with as many guns as they can fit in their survival shelters. Obama has only asked for a reasoned, intelligent debate. Sadly, it's been a one-sided conversation.

RF Dan  

Posted: August 7th, 2014 10:40 PM

MSNBC will calling any day now..Forward Vision w/ Ken Trainor, slotted between other great american idologues Al Sharpton and ed Shultz spitting out rants to your mindless progressive followers, we'll miss you in the WJ. ps - tell Rev Al to gain some weight, he doesn't look well


Posted: August 7th, 2014 6:15 PM

You know the Fed has been tapering since December, right?

In Glen Ellyn formerly from OP  

Posted: August 7th, 2014 5:24 PM

cont'd. the auther has shown in just one long column the evolution some people experience through decades of frustration and self-riteousness. Genius. Seriously though, to answer his rhetorical question: "When conservatives do their job, the country is better off." So right. They are currently the minority in federal government and they are doing their best to prevent your desired "severe market "correction" aka, revolution, aka instability- more chaos than we ever need.

In Glen Ellyn formerly from OP  

Posted: August 7th, 2014 5:13 PM

Not having read any other columns by this author I had the privilege of having no bias with or against him at first reading and so upon concluding a second reading after my previous post I see the genius behind it. After patronizing himself, feigning his civil compassion for the ideologically opposed, describing and recognizing what he despises, his following intolerant rant of disdain for half the population and conclusion of disbelief for their inexplicable stupidity... cont'd

Ray Simpson from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: August 7th, 2014 3:05 PM

@ Mr Middle - I have not argued that it is the Republicans fault. Wording may have been awkward but I fault the Senate for not passing anything. Our president has not led on anything and finds endless reasons to blame others. Trainor et-al defend him to the death by blaming us for being the loyal opposition. I thought that was what made our system work.


Posted: August 7th, 2014 2:40 PM

@Proudly-"and the market has gone crazy." That's due to the current QE policy (ie money printing) that has kept interest rates artificially low. Expect the bottom to fall out of the market when QE is eventually tapered. And even with no where else to put your money, stock ownership is at mid 90's levels, leading to lower trading volumes.

Mr. Middle  

Posted: August 7th, 2014 2:16 PM

@Ray...Then your comment below at 2:51pm is confusing. If the Senate refuses to debate 300+ bills its the House Republican's fault? Upon closer inspection of each bill I think fair minded people can see Harry Reid is trying to protect vulnerable D from taking certain votes. That strategy is pure ideological politics. If I where Rs though I would not dance around. They defend 23 seats in 2016 and 3-5 will probably go D. So their Senate control will be short lived unless the govern well.


Posted: August 7th, 2014 1:47 PM

@Ray Simpson - that's funny! It's now called 'economic patriotism' when you're too gullible to figure out any of this! Covers just about everything - fundraising, taxes of all kinds healthcare & anything else they invent along the way!

Ray Simpson from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: August 7th, 2014 1:46 PM

@Mr Middle - I pointed out that the House has passed over 300 bills. None of those bills have been brought to the Senate floor. Several of the presidents own bills are stuck there as well. Just a quick glance at who has moved bills will punch a great big hole in the presidents endless blame of House Republicans.


Posted: August 7th, 2014 1:31 PM

@JBM - Maybe some of us need to the job of the 'free' press that no longer does its job! It's supposed to freely point fingers at everything - exposť the truth. You have no problem pointing fingers at the Tea Party that believes we're Taxed Enough Already & just wants our country to uphold the Constitution. Very easy to understand if you want to.

Mr. Middle  

Posted: August 7th, 2014 1:15 PM

@ Ray...a little fact checking. If you are implying the house is totally at fault this article does an excellent job of disproving your article. It would be worth a read since it accurately describes the failures on both sides you disagree with. http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/2014/aug/06/lynn-jenkins/rep-lynn-jenkins-blames-harry-reid-do-nothing-sena/

John Butch Murtagh from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: August 7th, 2014 1:14 PM

RJ - You did not add much balance to the debate. I think you forgot to mention the Tea Party Shift. Problems don't get resolved by pointing fingers in only one direction.


Posted: August 7th, 2014 1:03 PM

@Proudly Progressive-you may think your progressive but your party has gone so far left it's regressive as it implements policies that history has already proven to be failed. We're all in favor of progress but it can't be achieved by pitting one group of people against the other- the Alinsky way. To be specific- mostly part time jobs & soon to be Vet like health care for all if at all- slow, substandard & for some nonexistent. If this unfolds as planned private insurance will not exist.

Ray Simpson from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: August 7th, 2014 12:55 PM

@rj - interesting thing about those fundraisers. You can go alone for $15,000 or as a couple for $35,000. It must be assumed that we are too stupid to know we can save $5,000 by taking separate cars!

Ray Simpson from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: August 7th, 2014 12:51 PM

@Uncommon - be afraid - be very afraid! Ken Trainor takes umbrage when you trivialize his life's beliefs by calling it DRIVEL! I used that word a year ago and he still holds it against me.

John Butch Murtagh from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: August 7th, 2014 12:44 PM

ProudlyProgressive The first post in the Ken String was mine. Re Ken, "It must be challenging to be responsible for evaluating and judging everyone and making an objective assessment of their value to you." Please guess whether I am progressive, Tea Party, or sick of blah, blah writing.


Posted: August 7th, 2014 12:24 PM

Ken, w/excessive certainty you should know that the community organizer turned campaign raiser extraordinaire celebrates that 1% when they wine & dine at $35K+ a plate in the hopes that he keeps this artificial Wall St party going for them. I'm sure it's not a problem for you as long as they're democrats. Instead you should be concerned with the 49% who collect some type of govt entitlement each month. This debauchery at our expense will come to an ugly end certainly for our children or sooner.

Uncommon Sense  

Posted: August 7th, 2014 12:04 PM

@Proudly, unfortunately it would take more than a few sentences to pick apart all the drivel in Ken's piece. There are so many falsehoods, one would have to post five or six times just to even touch on them all.


Posted: August 7th, 2014 11:48 AM

Note that none of the negative comments on Ken's column talk to the specifics that he mentions. They only want to slam him along with Obama & the Democrats with meaningless putdowns. I can't imagine why Republicans think that the House voting to repeal the ACA (which supports freemarket private health insurance) 40 times is effective government or why more guns in more hands with no restrictions makes us safer. BTW, we're gaining 200K jobs a month, and the market has gone crazy. Thanks, Obama!

In Glen Ellyn formerly from OP  

Posted: August 7th, 2014 11:18 AM

I don't know which warrants more criticism, the column or the author. The blatant hypocrisy and self-important divisiveness from such a mature individual repeatedly declaring open-mindedness is embarrassing.. to me for having attempted a 2nd reading. This Ken dude has serious conflicted issues, or he's disingenuously just baiting the readers, which is irresponsible. That he can say "love" and mean hate is not so unusual since Obama took office. Get help, dude.

Ray Simpson from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: August 7th, 2014 9:49 AM

So many words - so little reason!


Posted: August 7th, 2014 7:32 AM

As a reasonable conservative as you put it I think you have it backwards, the reason we don't speak up in Oak park is not for Tea party folk as you think but more because of the ideology of the extreme left in Oak Park that have zero tolerance for any opposing view!

Ray Simpson from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: August 6th, 2014 7:33 AM

Please re-read your Gun Responsibilities columns! That ideological nonsense makes this statement laughable. "In my experience, ideologues are rigid, close-minded, shallow thinkers for whom a questionable end justifies pretty much any means. They suffer from an affliction known as "excessive certainty," which renders them incapable of compromise or genuine dialogue." Ken if the shoe fits wear it!

Ray Simpson from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: August 5th, 2014 9:57 PM

@ JSMill -Ken Trainor is no conservative !!!

John Butch Murtagh from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: August 5th, 2014 6:40 PM

MagPie - Thanks for the comment. I re-read the post and was a bit shocked how well it held together. We all get lucky once in a while.

Patricia O'Shea from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: August 5th, 2014 6:11 PM

Goodness. I can't help but believe that Mr Trainor the appointed click getter/outrage generator for the paper. The alternative of "he actually believes in his self-righteous rants" is too far-fetched to imagine.

OP Resident # 545 from OP  

Posted: August 5th, 2014 4:54 PM

@253, I'm afraid Ken is truly of shallow intellect, and I say it with love and respect for him. He, like our President and other "progressives", have some intelligence, but unfortunately have no wisdom. There is a difference.

OP Res 253  

Posted: August 5th, 2014 4:44 PM

Typical Trainor. I hate ideologues who are "rigid, closed-minded shallow thinkers" with "excessive certainty" rendering them "incapable of genuine dialogue". Now, let me tell why I am excessively certain that my mind should be rigidly closed to all who disagree with my ideology. And go on a nice "they are this and they are that" rant. I never can tell whether you are truly of shallow intellect, or you are just playing a caricature of the liberal loon.

John Stuart Mill  

Posted: August 5th, 2014 3:37 PM

"I did not mean that conservatives are generally stupid; I meant, that stupid persons are generally conservative."

Ray Simpson from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: August 5th, 2014 2:51 PM

The effort of a year of house legislation (300 + bills) sit on the Majority leaders desk. He has no problem refusing votes, amendments or discussion and it is the house republicans who are doing nothing. Blind ideology if I ever saw it.


Posted: August 5th, 2014 2:34 PM

@JBM (Facebook Verified) Elegant. Pithy. Followed all the rules of engagement. Kudos.


Posted: August 5th, 2014 2:20 PM

Wouldn't a severe market correction in IL, especially Chicago and Cook County, require voting Republican or Anything else besides Democrat? While I'll admit the federal-level Republicans are getting us nowhere, the IL Dems are a much bigger roadblock for OP'ers. The Dems offer no solutions to our problems other than taxation and are so embolden to public unions that they fail to represent their non-union constituents. I will trade a fed Dem majority for a local Dem minority anytime.

Uncommon Sense  

Posted: August 5th, 2014 2:00 PM

"In my experience, ideologues are rigid, close-minded, shallow thinkers for whom a questionable end justifies pretty much any means. They suffer from an affliction known as "excessive certainty," which renders them incapable of compromise or genuine dialogue... Ironic. I could have said the same thing about those on the left.

John Butch Murtagh from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: August 5th, 2014 1:50 PM

It must be challenging to be responsible for evaluating and judging everyone and making an objective assessment of their value to you.

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