Republicans For Fair Media

Guest Commentary  February 2002

"What may seem extreme to some, makes common sense to others"

by Robert S. Redfern, Chairman, Illinois Forum

I am the Chairman of an organization called Illinois Forum. Though we have members who cover the entire political spectrum, there are still those in the  press who depict the Illinois Forum as ultra-conservative or radical right-wing extremists.

But if groups and individuals are given this label by the media, perhaps we need to look at what political philosophies can earn such monikers.

The Illinois Forum, as an organization, believes in smaller government. We feel the American government has turned into a money gobbling, self-sustaining bureaucratic monster which grows ever larger year by year.

The Illinois Forum also feels Americans are overtaxed. As proof of this, the working public pays more for taxes than they do for food, clothing and shelter combined.

Concerning social issues, like abortion, the Illinois Forum has members who are on both sides of the debate. But it's safe to say, a vast majority of our members do not believe the public should be forced to pay for the abortions of others with their own tax dollars--whether they are for or against the practice.

For the most part, the Illinois Forum supports school choice as a way to improve education in the United States and break the bonds of poverty which steal thedreams of inner city families.

The organization also stands by the Second Amendment and the rights provided to legal owners in the U.S. Constitution. And the Illinois Forum believes there is great waste in government. Soon we will be advancing an initiative that would have the Illinois General Assembly meet just once every two years to take care of state business. This would break up the idea of professional politicians and bring the Illinois House and Senate back in line with what the Founding Fathers had in mind concerning citizen legislators.

Now, to the liberally dominated press, some of these ideas run afoul with their political agenda. Therefore, in order to discredit those with opposing views, they ascribe negative labels, painting those with opposing views with a broad brush. The only problem is, polling indicates a vast majority of Illinois citizens agree with the Illinois Forum. I think it would be difficult to find many hard working individuals, who want to pay higher taxes and believe government should have more power over their lives--that is unless, you run with the liberal elite who can afford to be so generous with the money of others.

The Illinois Forum represents the values shared by a vast majority of Illinois citizens. We will continue to fight for those ideals, even though it makes some members of the media uncomfortable.

Perhaps it's the press, and the views of some members of that profession, who are out of touch with mainstream America.

Robert S. Redfern

Chairman, Illinois Forum
Fairfield, Illinois


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