Typically, a midterm election is one of low general interest and the only real activation is within the voters registered to the party that lost the Presidential election two years prior. Another standard midterm election trope is the elevation of extremely far out candidates with beliefs way outside the mainstream, and a tendency to make bizarre gaffes that make them overnight viral video sensations.
The “macaca” guy in Virginia is one example. The former practitioner of witchcraft (happy belated Halloween everybody) who ran on the Tea Party ticket is another. Despite the current political climate being so degenerated to the point that anybody can run regardless of their background (see the Oval Office) and no one drops out of a race regardless of flaws and transgressions (see Alabama), we still have some egregious outliers.
Yes, even though the current field of candidates running for office provides an abundance of awful, some candidates still manage out to stand as terrible.
We have three right here in Illinois: Attorney General candidate Erika Harold, Governor Bruce Rauner and Republican candidate for the Illinois 3rd Congressional District Arthur Jones.
We’ll start with Harold, the candidate who stands the best chances of winning among this unholy trinity.
Like the author of this post, Erika Harold is a University of Illinois alumnus. Because of many an annoying alumni publication going out of their way to promote her as obnoxiously as possible, I became aware of who she was and what she was about long before Harold became a household name in local politics.
In short, she’s a bigger embarrassment to my alma mater than the football team. No, wait, that’s unfair. She’s a bigger embarrassment to the University of Illinois than current state of the revenue sports (football and men's basketball) programs.
As Miss America 2003, she is a pageant system product and if you work in a field, as I do, littered with pageant system products (they’re known as sideline reporters or morning show anchors in their vocational life) then you know why the transition to politics is perfectly natural — and that’s not a compliment.
It’s what Erika Harold said during a pageant Q&A that is perhaps the biggest red flag surrounding her candidacy.
The question was: Would you rather place a child in an abusive home with a heterosexual couple, or in a non-abusive home with a homosexual couple? Harold let her anti-gay bigotry shine through with her response, and it’s clear that ultimately, a vote for Erika Harold is a vote for the direction of theocracy.
Additionally, Harold is one of your typical Republicans that is out to gut, if not abolish, the affordable care act and make it so that insurance companies don’t have to cover pre-existing conditions. While her opponent, Kwame Raoul, is a little too close to the Madigan machine for my tastes, the choice here could not be any clearer.
Jones is a real life, black-hearted, dyed-in-the-wool Nazi. The Republicans didn’t even bother to field an opponent against him in the primary, and thus he’s on the ballot now in my hometown district! *vomits on keyboard, sorry*
The GOP has denounced him, and the reason they didn’t field a real candidate is because this district, the third, is gerry-mandered so well (see map below) that no Republican truly stands a chance here.
We’ve already covered Jones in gruesome detail over at this link, but he’s not an anomaly in America.
There are seriously nine avowed white nationalists on the ballot all across the country this midterms, and they include this racist idiot and neo-confederate in Virginia that I destroyed in a Twitter row last year.
You also had a candidate in California, who literally praised Hitler, and still got 90,000 votes. That’s what’s happening in America right now and this must read piece from The Daily Beast will fill you in on everything you need to know about this deplorable trend.
I had high hopes that he would win the Democratic nomination. I’m not a huge fan of J.B. Pritzker, and given how many important and influential buildings in this state already have the Pritzker name on it, do we really need to give this family any more power than they already have?
The Illinois gubernatorial race is certainly one that will be bought, as it’s a battle of two billionaires with unprecedented campaign war chests.
Campaign spending records have long been shattered, but please don’t push the, predictable tired “better the devil you know” idea. The devil you know is still the devil and what we’ve seen from Rauner is devilish enough.
His views about common sense gun legislation are reason enough to vote him out, but the laundry list against this guy is very long, and could potentially turn this piece into a 3,000 word posting.
Rauner has never been able to bring any real business man sense to the state budget, and the inability of his office to handle Legionnaires' Disease was extremely troubling. Under his watch, Illinois has regressed into one of the weakest state economies in the nation, and seen labor-force participation drop.
Manufacturing sector job losses continue to mount while we still have one of the worst tax burdens in the nation. Not to mention a credit rating that is just above junk-bond status and the highest level of unfunded pension liabilities. In short, there has been no real business sense applied to the state economy under his reign.
As they commonly say in Chicago: “vote early, vote often.”
Well, at least you can vote early, and if that option fits your schedule, please do so. Because this midterms, every vote definitely counts.
Paul M. Banks runs The Sports Bank.net, which is partnered with News Now. Banks, a former writer for NBC Chicago.com and Chicago Tribune.com, regularly appears as a guest pundit on WGN CLTV and co-hosts the "Let's Get Weird, Sports" podcast on SB Nation.
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