“I want you to do me a favor, though.” Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and Donald Trump at the UN, Sept. 25, 2019. (Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP/GETTY IMAGES)

It was a big Monday starting off the week here in DuPage County, where the clerk’s office expanded polling locations for in-person early voting while the area experiences a spike in covid cases to the point where the neighboring Kane County Health Department investigated a September 27 rally with “thousands” of Trump supporters, starring Turning Point USA’s Charlie Kirk, at the Kane County Fairgrounds as a potential superspreader event. The county’s infection rate at the beginning of this week was 9.2%, up from 4.8% on the day of the fairgrounds Trump rally.

Much in lockstep with their national organization, our local Republican leaders have had an inclination to betray their self-branded image as the party of personal responsibility lately and so recently displayed by DuPage County Board Member and now former chairman of the county’s Health and Human Services Committee Pete DiCianni. Cellphone video made social media rounds when DiCianni attended a Blue Lives Matter rally on June 27 in Elmhurst where he used to be mayor and shook things up with some Black Lives Matter counterprotesters, yelling without a mask into the face of one counterprotester who was leading chants with a bullhorn. These self-styled Republican grown-ups around here live for shakin’ things up.

“Clearly, any sudden increase ought to be investigated in order to determine what the cause is,” Kane County Republican Central Committee Chairman Ken Shepro told the Kane County Chronicle. “But while I believe that political rallies should not be exempt from common sense adherence to social distancing and mask wearing, it seems unlikely that one rally could have contributed to the substantial jump.” A fair point but they sure as hell can’t argue that it helped!

Meanwhile, Trump and his All American fascist death cult tries to divert attention from the arrest and federal prosecution of MAGA militiamen for plotting to kidnap Democratic governors from Michigan and Virginia and the mayor of Wichita, Kansas, and put them on “trial” for their pandemic response policies, by claiming that a sticker reading “86 45” in the vicinity of Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer is a signal to assassinate Trump, of course, instead of just voting him out in this election. And once proud news outlets like Newsweek are taking it seriously, as if there was any actual evidence of any actionable plan to support such a theory, like those the FBI bothered to include in their charges against the Wolverine Watchmen. The death cult leading this country gets dumber by the minute.

If you are a Netflix subscriber, there is an opportunity to watch Aaron Sorkin’s dramatization of The Trial of the Chicago 7, portraying the attempt by Richard Nixon and John Mitchell’s Department of Justice to convict leaders of the Youth International Party (Yippie!), Students for a Democratic Society (SDS), the Black Panther Party (initially) and the National Mobilization to End the War in Vietnam (MOBE) of a conspiracy to cross state lines to incite a riot at the 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago despite the Walker Commission’s determination that the violence during the Chicago convention was a “police riot.”

We need to put an end to the American political cliché of “the most important election of our lifetimes.” We did not get here overnight. In fact, every election is always most important because, as the Chicago 7 defendant and American patriot Abbie Hoffman said, “Democracy is not something that you believe in, or something that you hang your hat on. It’s something that you do, you participate. Without participation, democracy crumbles and fails. If you participate, you win, and the future is yours.”

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