Windy City Media Group Frontpage News


home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor



VIEWPOINT The art of citizenship 2022, or night sweats of a classical humanist get worse …
by Nick Patricca

This article shared 802 times since Thu Sep 8, 2022
facebook twitter google +1 reddit email

Ten years ago this September, I published my first op-ed for Windy City Times: The art of citizenship 2012, or night sweats of a classical humanist. I wrote this op-ed because of the serious damage being done to our political system by the influx of unregulated monies caused by the Supreme Court's 2010 affirmation of the principle in the Citizens United case that money is a form of speech and cannot be regulated by the Federal Election Commission.

Under the false flag of free speech, billions of unregulated monies had distorted the parameters of political discourse to silence independent, non-partisan voices.

In 2012, I wrote: "In a society that requires obscene amounts of money to run for public office, and in a society in which attack ads destroy candidates regardless of their worth or the worth of their ideas, it is small wonder that 40 percent of our voting age population fails to vote in presidential elections. Many thoughtful, good citizens make the decision to not vote because they understand the forces that render active citizenship almost impossible."

Today: As one of my friends keeps pointing out to me, "You've spilt a lot of ink on the importance of literacy and tolerance and finding common ground but things have only gotten worse—much worse." He's right.

Conspiracy theories, cancel culture and the rise of Christian nationalism into a powerful political movement claiming to know and do God's will have driven out the good currency of rational dialogue and artful compromise in our body politic. The Trump presidency tore away any functional center of our republic and gave permission to ugly destructive forces to demonize the "different." The self-righteous don't want to understand or talk to the "Other." They only want to condemn and eliminate those who disagree with them.

Sadly, the advent of social media did not provide us with decentralized independent sources of accurate information and informed perspectives. Just the opposite occurred: the explosion of false data, unsupported conspiracy theories, and vicious attacks on public servants.

Putin INC taught us how social media can be used to destroy our political system by destroying people's trust in the process and in the basic institutions of our society.

The Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection did not happen spontaneously. It was a conflagration systematically ignited and fed by poisonous fuels of disinformation and hate.

Too often, the poor and those who feel threatened ally themselves with destructive forces as a means of venting their frustrations and legitimate complaints. When lies are rewarded, when truth is persecuted, when hard work is not properly compensated, when fear overwhelms common sense, the cracks in the society become fissures, the fissures become chasms, the chasms become unbridgeable abysses.

The disenchantment with liberalism which failed economically to include vast swaths of the world's hard working poor and which failed to develop a healthy sense of community has led to the formation of reactionary populist movements.

Ideologues from left and right have joined hands to shut down freedom of speech. Academia, once the bastion of free speech, struggles to keep its public spaces open for public discourse, open for freedom of inquiry, open for freedom of research and publication, and open for responsible debate in and outside of the classroom without prior censorship or shutting down speech that makes some people feel vulnerable.

Just take a look at the list of books banned from our public education systems: .

According to recent YouGov and Economist polling, more than two out of five Americans believe there will be a civil war in the United States in the next 10 years; more than 50% of self-identified Republicans want Trump to run for president again; and more than 69% of Republicans think that the Democrats are destroying democracy and our republic. The same percentage of Democrats believe that the Republicans are destroying democracy and our republic.

Gallup 2022 political polls demonstrate the extreme erosion of trust in our basic institutions such as the Department of Justice, the Supreme Court of the United States, the Media. Trust in the U.S. Supreme Court has waned by 25%; trust in the presidency, 23%; trust in newspapers, 16%; trust in the criminal justice system, 14%; trust in big business, 14%; trust in television news, 11%; and trust in Congress, 7%.

Without trust, our institutions cannot function. Our democracy cannot function.

Our religious, political and civil leaders should be working together to create common ground on which we can converse with one another with respect and dignity, learning to listen again as well as speak wisely and act prudently for the good of all.

As a writer, I have faith in you, the reader, that you will give what I have to say a fair hearing. As a reader, you trust that I do the work necessary to present to you important information for your reflection. The reader and the writer need each other to understand our mutual responsibilities as citizens in a free society.

Without trust, we cannot discover the best future for our republic.

Thank you for your 10 years of readership.

September 2022 © Windy City Times

Nick Patricca is professor emeritus at Loyola University Chicago, president of Chicago Network JP, an officer at the San Miguel PEN Centre and a member of the TOSOS Theatre Ensemble, NYC.

This article shared 802 times since Thu Sep 8, 2022
facebook twitter google +1 reddit email


Gay News

VIEWPOINT What are the most banned books: take a guess 2022-11-18
- The Latin word for book is liber. It is also the Latin word for "free," as in not a slave but a person who enjoys freedom (liberty). The word library means a home for books, a place of liberation, a sacred ...

Gay News

VIEWPOINT The geopolitics of being Brittney Griner 2022-11-18
- WNBA All-Star Brittney Griner was arrested a week before Russia invaded Ukraine. On Feb. 17, the Russian Federal Customs Service detained Griner at Sheremetyevo International Airport for allegedly transporting cannabis-derived ...

Gay News

GUEST EDITORIAL The Workers' Rights Amendment is a vote for equality 2022-11-01
- It is the American Dream: Work hard and you can achieve a middle-class life. This narrative is a broken bargain for too many in today's workforce. A far worse bargain exists for the LGBTQ+ community, especially ...

Gay News

VIEWPOINT The cults of Jesus, Putin and Trump 2022-10-21
- Originalist Christian nationalism. They say politics makes strange bedfellows. There is none stranger than the curious linking of Jesus to the cults of Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump in the faith and politics of an alarming ...

Gay News

LETTER A concerning change at the Art Institute 2022-09-28
- I have a fond, reverent remembrance of the first time I encountered Felix Gonzalez-Torres' "Untitled" (Portrait of Ross in L.A.) at the Art Institute nearly a decade ago. I was encouraged by a nearby guide to ...

Gay News

LETTER Vote 'yes' for the environment 2022-09-21
- Concerned about climate change? Interested in protecting our precious resources of breathable air, drinkable water, and native habitat? Want to create jobs while mitigating local flooding? Here's a way: in the upcoming midterm election, vote YES ...

Gay News

Vallas speaks at event of group known for anti-LGBTQ+ views [UPDATE] 2022-08-01
- Former Chicago Public Schools CEO and current mayoral candidate Paul Vallas spoke at a fundraiser for Awake Illinois—a group that has been criticized for its transphobic and homophobic rhetoric, The Chicago Reader reported. The group hosted ...

Gay News

VIEWS Can gay men dial back sex until our monkeypox vaccinations? 2022-07-28
- Years from now, there will be gay men who made it through a case of monkeypox who will have the scars up and down the shaft of their penis to prove it. Let me repeat that. Scars. On their cock. For ...

Gay News

VIEWPOINT Now, they're gunning to take away our vote 2022-07-20
- It took them 50 years to get the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn Roe. It might take them only two years to get the court to take your vote from you. In addition to all the efforts to make voting difficult ...

Gay News

VIEWPOINT Nothing is more American than a 4th of July parade 2022-07-07
- Nothing is more American than a 4th of July parade. And tragically, nothing is more American than a mass shooting with a high-powered rifle. Our hearts go out to the families of the seven victims of ...

Gay News

VIEWS How same-sex couples can ensure parenting rights if Supreme Court reverses Obergefell 2022-06-30
By Jeffery M. Leving - After the U.S. Supreme Court reversed Roe v. Wade last week, many are now wondering if the court would go after same-sex marriage next. Justice Samuel Alito, in his majority decision, wrote that nothing in its ...

Gay News

Survey: Americans hold complex views on gender identity and trans+ Issues 2022-06-29
-- From a press release - WASHINGTON, D.C. (June 28, 2022) — As the United States addresses issues of transgender rights and the broader landscape around gender identity continues to shift, the American public holds a complex set of views around these ...

Gay News

VIEWS Workers' rights are LGBTQ+ rights 2022-06-27
- June usually marks a joyous month for the LGBTQ+ community and our allies as we reflect on the decades of hard work that our community and movement have put into securing and promoting our civil rights. ...

Gay News

WORLD Japanese ruling, Pride events, Colombia election, Boris Johnson 2022-06-26
- A Japanese court ruled that the country's ban on same-sex marriage does not violate the constitution, and rejected demands for compensation by three couples who said their right to free union and equality has been violated, ...

Gay News

How Coming Out in the 1970s Helped Me Make Brave, Life-changing Decisions 2022-06-25
By Edith Forbes, author of Tracking A Shadow: My Lived Experiment With MS - As a child growing up in Wyoming in the 1960's, I did not know any actual person who was gay. I knew exactly one fact about gay people, a fact universally accepted but never talked about: Gay people were strange. Even ...


Copyright © 2022 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.







About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Advanced Search     
Windy City Queercast      Queercast Archives     
Press  Releases      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast      Blogs     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam     
Privacy Policy     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.