John Kass, Columnist, Chicago Tribune
John Kass, a columnist at the Chicago Tribune, delivered a pre-election discussion at the Niagara Foundation about the upcoming U.S Presidential elections. Mr. Kass stresses the importance of dialogue and that individuals should be able to analyze politics without allowing it to become personal by developing their own framework for analysis. As a expert on local politics, he highlights the political corruption that is present and the lack of leadership from the Republican Party. He confidently announces his disappointment in Illinois House Speaker Mike Madigan’s constant lowering of taxes for Republican land owners and how Mayor Rahm Emmanuel faces a problem because of massive borrowing and spending. More importantly, Mr. Kass brings to light this idea of belonging to a political party—Democrat or Republican— and how Americans want to be part of a group as a senses of comfort—something he labels “tribalism.” His discussion also touches upon broad topics of international affairs and local politics, but invites audience members to become their own experts. Mr. Kass also makes the bold statement that the American people have elected a president with very little experience—President Obama is not a bad man, but he climbed up the political ladder unchallenged. The newly elected president will face many challenges—the Storm of Benghazi, Hurricane Sandy, and the economic crisis.