Two days after Easter Chicago voters march to the polls. It is hoped more numbers march than in February.
This mayoral election is the most important in the history of Chicago. Chicago's finances are structurally unsound. On the verge of collapse.
In February, Mayor Emanuel fell short of the 50% plus votes to retain his office. A challenger came out of the wilderness. Jesus Garcia.
Because of their names, the election is taking on epic religious proportions.
Will the Emanuel rise again? Will Jesus be the savior? Which will rebuild the temple on LaSalle?
After two decades of political malpractice and fiscal malfeasance, Mayor Rahm Emanuel was able to hold things together with bubble gum and baling wire. He hoped to start rebuilding during his second term.
There was a hitch. A winter of discontent that turned into the Chicago Spring.
Besides the usual gadfly suspects, popular and populist candidates challenged the mayor. More challenged alderman he supported and relied on for votes. In the end, the mayor was forced into a run off election.
Emanuel has a well oiled campaign operation. His geeks, nerds, and dweebs are crunching data and spitting it out.
Jesus is building an army of disciples. A large army who proclaim the only reason Jesus does not walk on water is because he does not want to get his shoes wet. Garcia is becoming beloved by his people and the news media.
Chicago's news media even warned Emanuel and themselves to go easy on this decent, honorable, humble man. They willingly and blissfully ignore the fact that, like Emanuel, Garcia is a polished, practiced, tough career politician. He can roll, wallow, or fight in the gutter with anyone.
Emanuel is being financed by the temples of commerce, trade, and industry that built Chicago and made it great.
Jesus is relying on the Pharisees.
Who will be the true savior? Who will be the false god? Who will perform the miracles needed to get Chicago out of the abyss?
Except for his temperament and roughshod ways, the mayor is unapologetic for the decisions he made to hold things together. Emanuel is promising bigger and better things if he is resurrected.
Garcia offers a seat at the table to everyone. His disciples claim he can take a few loaves of Gonnella and a few pounds of fried shrimp from Lawrence's to feed the masses. The temple on LaSalle will be torn down and rebuilt within three days.
All liars are not politicians. All politicians are liars. Politicians give liars a bad name.
Chuy Garcia told a whopper of a lie. A fish tale of Melville proportions.
"I’m not going to walk into the office with any quid pro quos for anybody.” (Chuy Garcia/Chicago Sun-Times)
Jesus forgot what city he lives in. This is Chicago. Quid pro quo is the law of the land. The motto of the city is, "Ubi Est Mea,". "Where's mine?" (Mike Royko)
Quid pro quo is the fragrant grease, the lubricant that glides policies and contracts through the temple on LaSalle. It makes foul things smell and taste good.
Emanuel told a few fish tales himself. You had to dig to find them. They were couched in political speak.
There is one big lie Emanuel and Garcia are allowing. It is a lie of omission. A lie of silence. A lie of political omerta.
The prevarication lies there like a dark cloud over the city.
For some strange and curious reason, neither man brings up this plague. During the debates, Springfield and Downtown were mentioned, Rahm is blamed, and other forces are laid bare. Yet, the lie of silence hangs heavy in the air.
The unspoken lie has a name. The unspoken lie ruined Chicago for the benefit of his pals. The unspoken lie left the city's finances in a shambles.
The unspoken lie is He Who Shall Not Be Named. Both men, and maybe the citizenry, are in fear of that name. Richard M. Daley.
It is comical that Daley is treated by the candidates, along with most of the news media, as if he never existed. He was never almost mayor for life. He and his legacy have been wiped clean from the collective memory.
You cannot promise to fix something broken without admitting how it broke. Daley broke the city. Yet, Jesus and Emanuel elide around that fact. They evade the fact that no one man can fix in a few years or ten years what took two decades to destroy.
They dance around it because they know it is true. So they lie by omission. Why? What strange power does the name Daley have? Why is Daley, He Who Shall Not Be Named?
By letting the unspoken lie sit, they can promise big things. They can hope people forgot. They can promise to make things better, or in Emanuel's case, keep things on a better road.
Emanuel or Garcia. Who ever is elected owes Daley his due. A monument should be named after Richard M. Daley. It should be something big. This should be done on first day, after being sworn in.
The Circle Interchange, a placed cursed by drivers during rush hour, is named after former mayor, Jane Byrne. Daley is owed something just as impressive.
The largest junk yard in Chicago should be named after Daley.
"The Richard M. Daley Junk Yard and Wreckers" has a nice ring. It sings.
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