Days after April Fools Day, we still look over our shoulders, and one political prank breathing down our necks is the “new” GOP.
President Obama’s 5-million vote victory over Republican Mitt Romney showed the country’s shifting demographics – more voters who are younger, better educated, more likely to be women, and more diverse in religion and race. That supposedly signaled to some GOP leaders that they should be less extremist and more open to the actual makeup of the nation.
As a history professor, I often look for ways in which the past can inform the present. One belief that led me to my profession is that history imparts crucial lessons that can help us make sense of events unfolding in the here-and-now.
Most Illinois House members recently backed a measure to limit the salary on which public employees’ retirement benefits could be based. One of a few proposals to address the state’s $96 billion pension shortfall, it was seen as a test vote as lawmakers grapple with some way to make good on years of the legislature failing to make its payments.