In Illinois, governor Bruce Rauner can be a touchy subject. His popularity in Chicago and its surrounding suburbs is strikingly low and for good reason. Recently, Salon’s Sophia Tesfaye wrote that the governor’s actions could provide a roadmap for fellow Republicans to gain back respect. The author continually painted a picture of Rauner as a noble man leading the resistance against President Donald Trump. While it’s true that the governor has, at times, counteracted the wishes of the president, Rauner is anything but a good guy. By painting him as this hero, a tremendous danger is created.
Those that follow Illinois politics know that Rauner’s tenure as governor has been an absolute disaster. He was ultimately responsible for the budget crisis which was only fixed due to the state senate’s override of his veto. His entire time in office has proved that he’s a stubborn man so dedicated to his political party that he’ll hurt his constituents. For over two years, the top leader of the state refused to take the blame for a situation that will negatively affect Illinois for years to come. Of course, it would be unwise to lay the blame squarely on Governor Rauner and the Republicans, but his status as governor should have compelled him to act with more dignity given the gravitas of the budget crisis. Instead, he acted without dignity and proved he only cares about his own power and voice. He does not work for the people, but rather for himself and his own deliberately misguided interests.
The school funding bill is yet another example of why the governor should never be considered a leader. He was yet again impossible to work with caring only to serve his own party. Democratic leaders such as Andy Manar were the true heroes in this legislation though that won’t stop the governor from taking undeserved credit.
— Lauren Grimaldi (@LaurenGrimaldi1) September 3, 2017
Of course, the Salon article didn’t mention these crucial issues, focusing mainly on Rauner’s response to the decisions being made in Washington. While Rauner hasn’t been particularly fond of the president, he’s done the bare minimum with the power he has within the party. His moves to protect Illinois’ immigrant community are appreciated, but it certainly does not mean that Rauner is a resistor to Trump by any means. He’s nothing more than another elected official that does not speak for the people that voted for him. If Republicans follow the governor’s blueprint, they’ll continue to only support their own interests. Rauner is absolutely not different from his Trump enabling cohorts and his low polling numbers in the state prove that there’s no reason to ever consider him a potential savior to his party. We can applaud his efforts to stop the president’s decisions from affecting Illinois residents, but the truth remains that he is the one hurting the state itself in the first place.