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I have been back from our summer home in Wisconsin for 10 days. I’ve been driving around Jacksonville and walking closer to home. Here is what I see.

There are some, not many, political signs, and most of them are for Biden and Harris. I see big Trump signs along the highway, but few in this Republican town. What does that mean? The Democrats got their signs ready first? Is Trump in trouble among local Republicans? I don’t know.

The crushing of the leisure economy doesn’t seem to have affected the real estate market in any significant way.

Lots of houses are for sale and others have been sold. The crushing of the leisure economy doesn’t seem to have affected the real estate market in any significant way. Some aspects of the economy are doing well.

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The college across the street, Illinois College, my former employer, is in the midst of a busy fall. There are some unusual scenes on campus: everybody with masks; outdoor classes under big tents; signs marking doors as only entrances or only exits in efforts to guide foot traffic towards less interaction.

A major project to lay fiber optic cable will give Jacksonville broadband services, a significant upgrade in the town’s technological capacity. That project is mostly due to one Democratic member of the City Council, the youngest, serving in his first term. Brandon Adams has pushed for some city investment in better communication since he was elected last year, and finally won a majority on the Council.

Few of the local Republicans would ever have gone beyond paving the roads, fixing the sidewalks, and maintaining basic infrastructure. Adams could not persuade them to support the model he urged Jacksonville to adopt, a municipally owned network run by the city, providing high-speed Internet connections to every residence and business in Jacksonville. Nor could he persuade his fellow Council members to bring in an outside expert to offer advice. Instead the city is paying twice as much to rent a small portion of the fiber optic cables. Republican ideology avoids expert knowledge, costs more money, and provides less.

steve hochstadt

But nobody here says our lives are threatened by Democratic candidates or left-wing hit squads. That’s something to be thankful for.

Steve Hochstadt
Taking Back Our Lives