Well, another election cycle is just about here. How you feeling about your choices? Are you thinking about voting for the incumbent candidate who promised the world, was elected, and then disappeared into swampy Washington DC? Or, are you thinking about the challenger who can tell us very little about what he will do for us, but has a mountain of dirt on his opponent? You know that because of the hundreds of nauseating television commercials you’ve been inundated with.
Perhaps you’re one of those dogmatists who votes ONLY for one party, regardless of the attributes of the other candidate? Maybe your father, union, peeps, tribe, or favorite starlet told you how to vote. I voted that way in my first national election all the way back in 1976. I voted one party because, well that’s what was expected of me by my grandfather. After all, he was so wise and worldly, he had to know who would be the right candidate. So, I voted for Jimmy Carter over Gerald Ford. I don’t often admit that to people, so I’d appreciate it if you didn’t tell anybody.
I recall feeling pretty bad about that at the time. Not knowing anything about most of the individuals on the ballot, I just looked for the "D" after their name. It gave me a hollow feeling afterwards, as if maybe I missed something. I did it the next election, only this time looking for "R" and that didn't feel any better either.
Speaking of a hollow feeling, consider the voting options in the State of Illinois, what’s left of it.
For governor we have a choice between two gazillionaire’s - and a bunch of other people you never heard of nor will again - that surely should have better things to do than to polish Mike Madigan's shoes. Yet, we have Bruce Rauner on the right (an oxymoron of a word in Illinois) and JB Pritzker on the Left.
I have this feeling the 61-year-old chairman of a private equity firm, Bruce Rauner, is probably a nice guy. Not very effective at being governor, but still, a nice guy. I truly think he means well. Unfortunately, he has a liberal wife that has his ear, and evidently, no idea how to put Madigan back in the jar. This futility is kind of surprising from a self-made ultra-successful guy. He comes cheap, as his Governor's salary is only $1 per year with no benefits.
Then there is the 53-year-old JB Pritzker, heir to the Hyatt Hotel chain. Why would a member of one of the wealthiest families in America want to be Madigan’s errand boy? Why did he grovel to former governor Rod Blogojevich for a state job? Why would he buy a multi-million-dollar mansion next door to his multi-million-dollar mansion and rip the toilets out just to save three-hundred thousand dollars in taxes? Why’s he spending more than $50 million of his own money for a job that pays $177,412 per year? Why’s he so anxious to inflict more taxes on the dwindling residents of Illinois? Why, JB, why?
Both of these men have received multiple awards for their philanthropy, so they know how to help people. Neither though has a clue how to fix this state. Rauner has already proved it and JB's motives really deserve serious questioning.
Since the two men have this insatiable urge to be part of the mess that is Illinois, I have a proposal. We should make Cook County its own state - call it the “State of Chicago.” JB can be governor. Rauner can then have the governorship for the rest of Illinois.
Since I’m throwing out proposals, here’s another to consider. What if nobody across the entire country voted in the next election? Due to the gaping hole the country has with leadership, we show our dissatisfaction by staying home on the couch. In a blink of an eye, we wipe out a third of the Senate, half of the House, and many more state-wide across the country. Thirty-six states will have no governor. Do you think then we will get their attention? Do you think they might become a little more willing to impose term limits?
No blue wave or red wave. Just a middle finger wave.
Well, one can dream, but you know someone might not get the message, and show up to vote for the wrong person. That’s why it’s more important than ever that everyone votes.
Your vote counts.