Sensitive President, Party Flails in Europe

Senator Lindsey Graham and President Donald Trump are upset by the remarks by President Macron of France Sunday to honor the fallen soldiers of World War I, which also marks America’s Veterans Day. I highly suggest watching the full speech, as it is an important perspective regarding global and our national security.

Considering the unfortunate state of our international relations with our longterm allies, the frayed nature of the alliances that have helped prevent a third World War continue to be stretched under the Republican Trump Administration. 

After World War I, nationalism persisted throughout Europe and around the world, despite efforts to counter it. This ultimately led to the rise of the Third Reich and World War II. These same nationalist energies are rising once again, and we must be vigilant and recognize what’s happening around us. The stakes are extremely high.

On one hand, you have the President demanding our NATO allies to step up to the plate with more money and forces. On the other hand you have both the President and Sen. Graham complaining about these same allies discussing setting up such an army while they increase funding to the alliance. It’s not easy to see through the hyperbole and double standards.


  1. We have a President that is quite sensitive with an extremely thin skin. He can’t even bear a light rain for Veterans Day events with world leaders commemorating our fallen soldiers in Europe. 
  1. We have a sensitive GOP that is bereft with double standards. Even when Europe steps up and makes enforcement and funding a priority, they elect to defend our weak President instead of holding him accountable for his words and deeds.
  1. We have a Political Party and a Political President that chooses to weaken our alliances and disregard our agreements that have helped to protect both our country and the world.

Instead of focusing on legislation and actions that will both protect our national security through both soft and hard power, the Trump Administration and the Republican-controlled Congress have increased military budget while slashing diplomatic efforts.


All of this will only increase our dependence on hard power, helping to fuel the military industrial complex, which both parties support. 

All of this will only increase the dependence on our young men and women in military interventions abroad. 

All of this will only increase our budget deficits and national debt, leading to higher interest rates, a drag on the economy, and diminishing capacity to make the investments necessary to rebuild our country, invest in education, and prepare for the future.


As a country and as Americans invested in our communities, our national security, and in our future, we must demand accountability and responsibility from our elected officials, regardless of party.

Subservience to a party over the people is a road paved in good intentions without checking in on the results.

When our national security is at stake, it’s crucial we get it right.

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U.S. Constitution Under Attack

When a sitting President of the United States is advocating that he can by Executive Order arbitrarily repeal any amendment of the U.S. Constitution, you’d think you’re watching a movie. However, you’d be watching current events in the current midterm election.


I would never stand for any President repealing the 2nd Amendment, so why would any Republican or Democratic voter stand for President Trump doing the same to the 14th Amendment?
There comes a time in every generation where we have to decide what our country stands for and against.
We have been a nation that has been governed by our Constitution. Our nation was built upon Native American cultures by immigrant populations. Are we going to deny our history and our inclusive culture to satisfy a divisive and derisive ploy that is both unconstitutional and against our American values?


We do have a choice in this election. Are we going to vote for rubber stamps and lemmings or for a voice of the people, for our district, for our constitutional rights, and for an economy that works for everyone, not just campaign donors?


We can protect our borders and honor our American Constitution and values without dividing the country along cultural and racial lines. It’s called working together to solve our problems.
We work best as a country and a community when we work together.
Our best days are ahead of us.

The Saudis, Arms and American Values

Any attack on the media is an attack on American values. Let’s be clear.

When someone resorts to bullying and killing their critics, you know there’s something wrong. America has a long history of standing up against such bully tactics. All of our American values and strategic interests are under threat.

Most information seems to point to Saudi Arabia killing an American journalist in their consulate in Turkey. We have strong strategic ties to the Saudis. What we do in response matters.

We should never condone the killing of any American, especially one that is working to report on actual news. The danger and threat to journalists abroad is real. Without them we would not know what’s happening inside war zones and brutal regimes.


What do we do?

We have a $110 billion arms deal on the table with Saudi Arabia. For the President to remove this deal from negotiations shows weakness and allows both allies and adversaries alike to move against our national security interests. That is simply unacceptable.

Oil per barrel is increasing. That hurts Americans who will also be hurt by the Trump Administration Trade War. OPEC currently wants to maintain their production level and most importantly will be meeting this December in Austria. That means we have leverage when we choose to use it for both our economic and national security objectives.

This arms deal is as crucial for American workers as it is for the Saudis. The proxy war between Saudi Arabia and Iran is brutal for civilians. Our American values and our national security interests are on the line.

Both Russia and Iran are dependent on the price of oil. As prices decrease, they’re less capable of working against our strategic interests abroad. We should press every bit of advantage and leverage we have to achieve a safer world and a stronger, more robust national security.


We have to stand up for our American values and our national security interests, making certain our brothers and sisters overseas have an all-in strategy that ensures their sacrifice and effort is focused on our longterm strategic objectives. 

When we have a government that doesn’t have their strategic eye on the ball, we’re shortchanging our military, diplomatic, and economic efforts. It is critical we utilize every bit of leverage we have on the global stage, especially when we have a Congress that abdicates their responsibility daily.

As your representative, I will fight to end the abdication of the Legislative Branch. We need stronger and more independent oversight of the Executive Branch that challenges and holds the President and his administration accountable, regardless of party.



9/11: Loss, Mourning, Solidarity

September 11th. A time of loss and mourning for our country. 

It was also one of the last times our country came together in solidarity. 

Shared pain and suffering has a way of bringing people together. How could we do anything but coalesce as a nation and a world after such an attack?

What has led us so far astray after that show of togetherness? 

So soon do too many forget our shared humanity, our common values, and what binds us as a nation. It’s far too easy to see our differences in the form of culture, race, policy, and political party. When an agenda is placed before progress for others, the nation falls behind.


When the first plane hit the World Trade Center, it was tragic. We knew people had died. When that second plane hit, that was something entirely different. This was no accident. Our nation’s capitol and the heart of our defense was next.

What stands as an American triumph on that tragic September day is Flight 93 where passengers thwarted the hijacking. Since then, an American on his way to Paris helped to thwart another terrorist attack on a train in 2015. 


Our nation and her people have a history of standing up to violence and injustice. Sometimes, we do lose our way. We always find our way back to those strong American values because that’s what our country was founded upon: standing up for others, especially those who are in harm’s way. 

To this day, our nation is at risk from threats, both foreign and domestic. We face many other challenges today, as well, and yet, we face them divided. As we do so, we have less of a chance of being successful over the short and long term. 

The opportunities for collaboration and coordination are endless.

When America decides to come together around common purpose, we shoot for the moon and succeed, we end world wars, and we end global pandemics.

Our American values are those that bring out the best in one another. We must focus on solving problems, not creating more. We stand up for our brothers and sisters, as well as our neighbors. These are the American values that make us stronger.

When we stand alone and divided, we’re not in solidarity. We’re definitely not as we were 17 years ago today, one nation with a common purpose.

I remember.

I take that memory and focus on what I can do to make our country and my community better.

That is the least I can do.

Representation Not Abdication

Illinois is mentioned in the recent indictments of 12 Russian intelligence agents. Meanwhile, our Republican House delegation remains silent on Russian interference in our elections, even though Illinois’ voters were targeted.
Rep. Shimkus continues to abdicate his constitutional responsibilities to protect and defend our country from external and internal threats.
He, along with the rest of Congress, are also abdicating their constitutional responsibilities of regulating trade with foreign Nations. This is threatening our downstate and southern Illinois economy. 
We need a pro-active representative that listens and interacts with their constituents, that engages with both workers and business owners, and that tackles the big issues instead of leaving problems for the next generation.
I will be the representative that listens, interacts, engages, and tackles.
We can’t wait any longer.
In 21 years Rep. Shimkus has held ZERO Town Halls. In only two months I’ve held two while answering questions and engaging voters from every background across the 15th District.
It’s about time that downstate rediscovered what representation is supposed to be.
It’s about you and our communities, not about your party. It certainly should not be about filling up the campaign war chest so a representative doesn’t bother with answering tough questions from voters.
I will be the representative that will show up, stand up, and speak out for you.
Waiting two decades is way too long to wait for real representation.

Separating Families: Broken Immigration

Separating children from their parents is not just a tragedy, it’s traumatizing. That isn’t just a belief, it’s backed up by research of millions of children. Sometimes, it is absolutely necessary to remove a child from an abusive or violent parent in order to protect the child. That’s not what is happening here.

When I examine what’s happening on our southern border, I’m concerned about many issues.

The top priority should be protecting these children from harm, especially harm created by the decisions made by our government. That includes the trauma created by our decision to separate them from their parents. 

If Mary and Joseph came across our Southern Border, we would have torn Jesus from their arms. Does that sound like an American value?

I’m also concerned about our broken immigration systems, as many Americans are. This has been a problem for decades and something that both parties have failed to address.

Many people aren’t aware that the majority of illegal immigration is not from border crossings but from visa overstays. Our current system isn’t able to track those visa overstays.

Does it make sense to focus all of the attention on the border, especially when we’re traumatizing children in order for some politicians to get their way?

And, finally, we have serious economic and budgetary issues in our country. Throughout our history, an influx of immigrants have become part of the rich fabric of our great nation, enriching it with their work ethic, their families, and their culture. No other country on earth assimilates immigrants better. Why should we stop now?

Many factories and industries aren’t able to fill the positions they have available. We need new workers to fill these jobs.

We should be welcoming hard working people into our country because they will be paying taxes, paying into Social Security and Medicare which helps to keep these vital programs secure for the next generations, and contributing to our communities.

Do we need to let just anyone into our country? No. 

But, we need to fix our broken immigration system so that people can come here legally, so that those seeking asylum can do so safely, and that we can grow as a nation and provide for hardworking Americans that have spent a lifetime working hard for their own families and communities.

Doing nothing has led us to where a few politicians decided it was better to traumatize children than to solve our broken immigration system problem. 

I’d say there is plenty of common ground, common sense, and common values on this issue.

  • Who wants to harm children?
  • Who wants to continue doing the same thing, which is nothing, and expecting the problem to simply go away?
  • Who wants to ask future generations to answer for our mistakes?

I certainly don’t, and I don’t believe most people do either.

Let’s come together and solve our nation’s problems.

Memorial Day: Sacrifice and Service

Each of us has something to offer our country. What we remember on Memorial Day are the sacrifices of our brothers and sisters. 

This sacrifice means everything to protecting our freedom, our liberty, and our capacity to be of service to our country and each other.

This sacrifice was given so that we can offer something significant and worthwhile to our community. 

So few on earth have what our democracy offers. And, fewer seem to relish the opportunities given from the sacrifices of these brave troops because of perceived differences.

Every single day I remember what has been lost. This is the motivation that leads me to do something more with what has been given by the sacrifices of others.

That is what Memorial Day means to me. It is with me every day.