Just days after Illinois voters survived the months long battle of the billionaires, which featured two billionaire Governor wannabe's who spent close to a quarter of a billion dollars of their own money trashing and bashing each other for weeks on end, Chicago will now get it's turn. Thank you sir may I have another. So far 15 candidates have announced their attention to run for Mayor of Chicago. Some well known, others not so much, some already holding elected offices, others hoping to maybe catch lightening in a bottle.
One thing is for sure, before the election in February the Rauner/ Pritzker race for Governor will seem like beanbag compared to what's coming. The Mayoral throne in Chicago without question is the ultimate coveted political prize in Illinois or any City or State for that matter. The speeches, the promises, the chest thumping, the demeaning of all the other candidates will reach an all time LOW right before the eyes of a beleaguered, bewildered City, in dire need of much needed leadership.
They will tell us how they intend to stop Chicago's horrific epidemic of violence that has some Chicagoans afraid to leave their homes and neighborhoods. We will hear how they will supposedly, magically, reverse billions of dollars of debt, they will be bellowing and gassing how to reverse a Public School system that is so fraught with problems to name them would fill an entire box of Kindles. Soaring property taxes, the highest sales taxes in America, bag taxes, water taxes, garbage taxes, phone taxes, enormous rates paid to a foreign company to park on the City streets, all will be largely ignored, along with the colossal Mayoral blunder that will ultimately cost the tax payers billions of dollars for another 70 years. All these things will be discussed by the candidates, and of course blame will be properly doled out and the howls of seconding guessing will be deafening, woulda, coulda, shoulda, yada, yada. It's coming, you know it is.
Through all of this shrieking most certainly will come promises to the people of providing a better life. Back in 1928 the Republican party under Herbert Hoover caught the peoples imagination with a slick slogan that still seems to work today "If elected there will be a chicken in every pot and a car in every garage." Damn, it worked, but of course they copied the slogan from Good King Henry IV of France, who in 1602 said "I want there to be no peasant in my realm so poor that he will not have a chicken in his pot on Sunday." Listen closely as the candidates battle back and forth and maybe ask yourself what happens when we run out of pots and Chickens?
Another French Guy best know for his works "Democracy In America" Alexi de Tocqueville, seemed to have hit the nail on the head when he famously stated over 200 years ago"Democracy in America will endure until the day Congress discovers that it can bribe the people with the peoples money." Chicago's next leader better realize that the bribe money is scarce at best.People are leaving the State and the City at alarming rates. The raging and bellowing and screeching will be loud and relentless but somehow this City needs to see through it all and look long and hard for a leader to emerge and make a hard choice, a strong leader or the same old crap for the last sixty years of policy's and decisions that has brought this once great City to the critical situations it is mired in. It's not extreme to heed George Orwell's words, "People that elect corrupt (and incompetent) politicians are not victims they are accomplices. The city of big shoulders needs to keep it's head.
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