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Guest Column: A republic, if you think you can keep it-The grate debate

July 1, 1993

Guest Column: A republic, if you think you can keep it-The grate debate

By Tim Huwe

Most of the political junkies were in attendance. Many of those who were absent were glued to their televisions, viewing the proceedings from the Coronado Theatre. Those who were unable to watch due to prior engagements were able to follow the reviews from any of a various number of stateline and statewide media outlets. And the reviews are in. Neither Rod Blagojevich nor Jim Ryan impressed many people. Some partisan mouthpieces did a nice enough job of defending their suit of choice. But in reality, State Senator Dave Syverson phrased it best when he said, he was underwhelmwed by both candidates.

Can you imagine if, in today’s world, you were limited to ABC, CBS, and NBC for your national news coverage? No Bill O’Reilly. No Chris Matthews, Crossfire, or MacLaughlin Group? No Newsmax.com or Worldnetdaily.com Not even Jon Stewart’s Daily Show. Oh, the horror. Being sentenced to a lifetime of Peter Jennings, Tom Brokaw, and Dan Rather. Many people can’t recall having so few national news outlets. But a bit over 20 years ago, there were but three.

With the onset of cable television and later the Internet, the masses began to realize that many voices were able to spout off opinions. And many of those ideas had merit. Rush Limbaugh, for better and worse, became an industry. Individuals who never had someone to agree with on national issues had media members speaking in terms they understood. This has brought some discord, but there has always been discord. Some people had just been too aloof to notice it before.

While cable television and the Internet have bought many grating products and promoters to us, one man’s menace is another man’s spokesperson. If we can all take responsibility for our own actions, we can allow dissenting opinions to have their moment. Those without roots will fade into history like pet rocks. Those with merit will stand the test of time, like saving for hard times. I’m willing to support having many available viewpoints, as none of us have all the answers. Certainly, not Jennings, Rather, and Brokaw.

Speaking of the governor’s race and opposing viewpoints, Cal Skinner will be holding a fundraiser at Altamore’s Ristorante on October 20th, from 1 to 4 p.m. Tickets are $30 for an individual, $50 for a couple. I’m not sure if Alberto’s wife will be serving her chocolate confections. I’ve eaten there before. If she does, they’re almost worth the price of admission alone. Call 874-6345 for further details. Also, I’m not sure if two-headed chicken will be on the menu. But “JimRod the Chicken” will be a topic of discussion.

Will somebody please tell Kris Cohn to get over Bob Kinnison? Yeah, it isn’t perfect that in re-apportionment time, he’s out of his district. He’ll be back in his district soon, and he’s running unopposed. Shouldn’t you be more worried about the Puriville extension, Jesse White tumbling all over you in the polls, or even getting to those Carbondale and Edwardsville Secretary of State branches? Maybe if you put first things first, though, you would have listened when civic activists told you a swamp wasn’t a good place to build a road.

Tim Huwe is the secretary of the Rockford Libertarians.

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