Miller’s Fruit of Nostalgia Plain

Mary Miller is kicking the marbles out of Rodney Davis in this primary. She is flicking Davis with a 1/3 of the money, and 1/10 of the experience while he looks like he’s gasping for air half the time he’s in front of a microphone. (Maybe, he’s suffering from long-Covid.)

Both Mary and state senator Darren Bailey have done about as well as anyone could have with this ‘do nothing, propose nothing, blame anyone else for what’s going wrong’ mentality. Simply add sprinkles of Psalms and healthy dashes of ashes from their latest ‘Sodom and Gomorrah’ targets, forget the Gospel, and it’s a Republican party. The Republican mentality, now a rural cultural touchtone, is more an indictment of the minimal local awareness paired perfectly with zero accountability about and for actions and inactions of their own communities, county boards, city councils, and economic sectors. It is unlikely that anyone or even any organization will be able to utilize what community awareness remains due to ever diminishing resources, ever waning influences, and a self-limiting strategic vision that disincentivizes working in tandem with others in the region. The thought to break the political logjam and state of inertia that set in long ago never crosses the threshold to action, even at the ballot box.

People don’t need to know anything because the entire political strategy is built upon the narrative, or mythology, that someone else, somewhere else is making our lives here in rural America hell on earth. As if we’re so weak, powerless, and without any agency. We are led to believe we have had no role whatsoever in our own decline. Simultaneously while Republicans point to cities and suburban areas as to the source of all of our problems, those same more populous, more dense areas of our state have taxpayers living and working, providing more of the funding for how we subsidize our ever more expensive and less populated rural lives, where the tax base rarely if ever expands in the business sector, either.

How could it expand when we have an ever less educated and less skilled workforce? It is what Republicans have ushered in through their priorities and demands, after all. Demands for tax cuts and more tax breaks have topped the needs of active military and their families, struggling veterans and gaps in their healthcare system, maintaining and upgrading our infrastructure from outmoded last century concepts, and the list of dead investments in our present and future, our children and grandchildren, our nation’s very security and existence did not make the cut. The Republican tax and don’t invest in America approach should have run its course, and would likely have if it were not for the rural Democratic vacuum that Republicans filled with nothing.

All we hear is how the worst, most dangerous, and unhealthy jobs must be maintained, and at the lowest wages with the fewest benefits, all to protect the wealthiest people in the community. Most likely, the companies are all owned by someone who was handed the keys to the company and large swaths of land by previous generations. No wonder Republicans want to eliminate the estate tax. They want to keep their top donor class intact so they don’t have to learn any new bloodlines, faces, or names, except it has left no room for anyone else at the inn. They used to give a place for people that have no home the loft in the barn, especially if they were about to give birth. However, that’s not even likely in America with forced childbirth right around the corner. That’s why America has a tent city problem that soon will have a crisis pregnancy problem. I’m certain that won’t be Mary Miller or Darren Bailey’s fault either. 

Enough of that, considering it’s nearly the second week in June, and I started writing this article about Mary Miller’s interview with the Iranian Americans for Liberty in April. Since then, Miller’s press availability has been negligible. On WCIA-3’s Capitol Connection this last weekend, three different reporters in the 15th Congressional District remarked that they had never been allowed to sit down for a one-on-one interview or even ask a question with the incumbent first-year representative, despite attending many of her events. 

Here, one details a specific and recent event in Menard County.  

“After the event itself, we were there the whole time. We had a photographer there as well. So clearly, she knew there were reporters who were in the vicinity. Right after she took photos with the paramedics. She and her husband got out of there very quickly, went through the ambulance bay. We were directly behind her, tried to ask her questions; and, she just kept walking away really fast, and just avoided it.”

Jeremy Gorner, Chicago Tribune & Brenden Moore, Lee Enterprises. 

Life takes us on so many adventures when our awareness is actively open and our intention is to pay attention. If an official doesn’t want to answer questions with the press, they are shown covertly or overtly who the reporters are in the room by their faces and notebooks, you know where all the exits are in the venue before you enter, and you have an exit planned before you walk in the building. 

It’s not like the unfortunate incident I witnessed in my hometown where a Republican state senate candidate that is living and working with disabilities, requiring the use of a motorized wheelchair, was accosted by a Democratic local who was furious about his lockstep support of Trump and the MAGA movement. I still don’t understand how anyone could attack someone in this way in public. Of course, I’ve had this happen to me repeatedly, even years after running my last campaign. Even if it is just a verbal attack, it is uncalled for to lash out at a candidate like this, and not because they are living with disabilities— that simply adds another layer to the insensitivity. When a person in our society has placed their lives on hold to run for office, they are doing so as a sacrifice for their community, for their family, and mostly, one would hope, for people they have and probably never will meet. 

Keep in mind, most candidates never are elected to office. Somehow, our society has lost touch with the heart of what it means to be a representative democracy. Nowhere is this insanity more pronounced than how we behave towards those who lose elections. Similar to the way in which Trump supporters sharpened their teeth for Democrats, it appears this Biden supporter had it out for that candidate who was a huge supporter of the former president simply because he showed up to answer questions in front of the community. Most local candidates didn’t show up to that forum at all. Only one judicial candidate, Judge Barry Vaughan, made an appearance. I was thrilled to have a one-on-one with him about a few specific issues, especially since he sits on the appellate court in Mt. Vernon.

State representative Chris Miller was the biggest surprise of the evening. He’s the husband of Rep. Mary Miller. It was a shock to nearly everyone in the audience when they announced his presence.. No one expected him to be there. And, when someone actually does show up and surprise you like that, you take notice. What you don’t do is accost them because you don’t agree with their answers. That’s the opposite of a democracy. You can debate them on the issues. That would be great. But, to call them evil? Hell no. 

Back to Mary, who apparently wouldn’t show up for a debate with Rodney Davis, or even return phone calls with the media. I don’t blame her, really, for not wanting to deal with this media directly. First, they don’t really know much about the district, but the media does say Rep. Rodney Davis knows the district. Not sure what that opinion is based upon. At least their questions and commentary don’t often expose much knowledge regarding the district.

Second, the media has been gobbling up Miller’s opponent’s attack points against her, which isn’t a surprise since he has sent them copies to the media attacking Miller for months. These have basically gone unanswered. Davis’ facts were basically wrong to begin with ,or taken out of context entirely. And, if anyone has corrected him on the record, it has yet to dissuade Rodney into stopping the wide dissemination of this disinformation.

Whomever is advising the Millers has probably advised the campaign to not engage on any of these issues, as nothing much would be gained from messing in the mud. Miller really doesn’t have a truly antagonistic media market against her campaign, either. She would be served by a fight with the media.

Oh, the nostalgia is thick in 2022, rather like Bailey tangled with and failed at winning with Mark Maxwell. Thankfully for Bailey’s sake, Maxwell moved to the St. Louis market. It could also be that, with regards to Mary, her campaign ran through some trial confrontations to see how she managed situations, comebacks, and follow-up questions she might not anticipate. If that didn’t go so well between her and her campaign staff stepping in to play the part of the “media” for practice, if something was detrimental, or more than likely would be so, the risk would outweigh the potential reward.

It might be a different calculus if Davis was out punching these attack lines against her in press gaggles months ago, but he really hasn’t been, or at least in any way that the media has been willing to air. And, likely, if he had tried to attack her in public, it wouldn’t have landed right. The media might even have been shielding him from those missteps as well. Mary, on the other hand, has some devastating lines against Davis, that are just undeniable in how they send shockwaves across a room full of activist Republicans. Here is Miller, speaking after Davis went on for about 12 minutes in Quincy recently. Watch the entire video if you have the opportunity. It will inform your opinion regarding the state of these two campaigns in the June 28th primary.

Quincy Tea Party

What Mary has done is pick and choose the “media” she knows is friendly. Which can and should have landed her in hot water, but Republicans have sowed distrust in media for so many decades, facts no longer matter. You can make up your own reality. Maybe, if I had reported on her interview with Leib back in April, somebody in Davisland would have picked it up and ran with it, but it’s not likely to create as big of a wave and splash now as it might have then. 

Mary sat down with the Iranian Americans for Liberty back in March. And, the reason many of these politicians on both sides don’t sit down for long form interviews is that it really exposes who a person is and what they’re really about. However, not many voters will sit and watch a video, as it requires two senses being used at once, which, along with the time, is asking a great deal. For instance, this Quincy Tea Party video had 47 views before I watched it for the first time. People aren’t watching any of these videos, and the candidates aren’t promoting it either. The IAL interview had barely a handful of views. I give anyone credit for sitting down like Mary did with Bryan Leib, who is a fascinating character. He was recently on Newsmax with the title, ‘Newsmax Columnist.’ He should have disclosed that he had also ran for Congress out in Pennsylvania’s 3rd District as a Republican. He received 6.6% of the vote in 2018, but this was after the Pennsylvania supreme court forced the state to fairly redraw the congressional map in 2018.  

Who does Bryan Leib represent? Who are the Iranian Americans for Liberty? We’re not going to find any answers today. I do have some basic guidelines about group names. Unless people might fear you because of prejudice, it’s best to not brand yourself too obviously. Here, I’d say it might be a good idea. And, it is working because it’s a group that more Republicans are certainly embracing more tightly over the last two years. As with most groups that have to label themselves what they need others to believe they are, actions are powerful. So are words. What are the intentions behind it all? That is more important than just about any one person or object. 

I have to also credit Mary Miller with being fairly consistent with all of these horrible policies and divisive messages. That sounds terrible, but consistency is reliable, and that’s a principle that feels familiar to folks.

It might mostly be a platform that is truly terrible for our district.

  • It’s not going to protect any jobs.
  • It’s not going to grow any wages.
  • It’s not going to lower healthcare costs.
  • Nor will it lower the cost of gas.
  • It’s not going to incentivize anyone to startup a new business here.
  • And, it’s not going to lure a whole new industry to our rural district, which would be a game changer.

Hopefully, some people will watch the interview, and then tell others to watch it. If someone hears just a fraction of this, it is not going to setup the best ending 3 weeks for her primary campaign. Frankly, we’ve seen these anti-individual policies in places across the nation. It’s anti-tourism, anti-business, and anti-human. This interview is an indicator of the far out there positions, from the person that represents a full 1/3 of the state of Illinois, and it would make me take a pause before investing any more money or time in this region.

Others agree, because they’re moving out of here in record numbers- that is if you believe Republicans’ “hate America, hate Illinois” mantra. Republicans do control nearly every county board, city council, and anything else in rural Illinois. They’re spending millions in ARPA Covid19 funds. They’re ending tax breaks and incentives to build and maintain low income housing. Ask any voter in any of these counties that is rightly concerned about inflation and the price of gas what their county board has spent their county Covid ARPA funds on thus far. Miller voted against investments in jobs and our communities, as did her primary opponent Rodney Davis. Most voters aren’t paying attention to millions of dollars being spent, or wasted, or pocketed by friends of the board. They’re just too busy being distracted by their anger directed by Republicans at Chicago, Springfield, and D.C.

During this interview, the most shocking statement Mary made was her claim that Democrats and President Biden are letting terrorists in across the border, with the express purpose that they can get money, so that we know where they are, and that they then can be given the nuclear codes. She then dances this narrative into a zinger about Democrats and Biden hating our country and being evil. 

If you pause the video right after she says that, the guy doing the interview is looking pretty concerned that the person he just finished saying is one of his new friends might need serious help more than serious medication. She just stares at him not understanding the body language. 

Next, he decides to go into the old Axis of Evil grab bag with a big show ’n tell of the new Axis of Power. He calls out Russia, China, and Iran. Saying that together they have more resources, troops, and nukes, and that it all magically happened on Biden’s watch. Then, he goes back to when it all started back in 1979, acknowledging that he just lied. Miller waxes about the old times with Obama propping up the terrorist regime in Iran, and, somehow, Obama is responsible for it all. I don’t know how, because they never get around to explaining nor proving any of these outlandish points.

Peace through strength, repeated again and again and again. “We need to be strong about it,” is how she would handle Iranian nuclear program negotiations. It’s very interesting to hear the host of this show make the same claim their Twitter feed was railing against for months.

Politicians are known by their fruit. “Politicians are known by their votes and the policies that they promote, ” Miller went on to say. We know how she started her career on Capitol Hill. We know what she has voted to bring home to our district: Nothing at all. She’s the farmer that brings nothing to the farmer’s market but takes the biggest subsidy check home to cash anyways. She’s got to pay the nanny to homeschool her kids that yours are all going to hell.

We deserve so much more. Our country wasn’t a race to see how difficult life could be. It was supposed to be a pursuit of happiness. Being this pursuit of happiness is the dream of every child, why is Mary Miller and every other out of touch Republican demanding to tell those children what to believe, and not just spiritually but about who they are as individuals? That’s no American Dream. That’s when the American Dream is silenced. 

And, then, we won’t have it.

Not for one of us. Not for any of us.

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