I live in the River North district of Chicago, a vibrant area full of professionals, high rise buildings, and a large service economy. We are adjacent to the Loop (and many of the people who live here chose this area so that they could walk to work) which employs many of these residents in an internationally competitive group of companies, both public and privately held.
In my interactions with these residents, few are political, and I would say that most Illinois citizens I’ve met over the year could be considered middle-of-the-road. However, due to factors unique to the state of Illinois, the state is dominated by Democrats who control most of the levers of power at the state, city, county and local levels. As such, a state of mostly moderate individuals is set up, governed, and managed as if it was the most left-leaning state in the country.
Ken Dunkin is our Illinois State representative for the 5th District, and he helpfully sent me this brochure that outlines his goals and accomplishments as a state legislator. This update provides a great window into the mindset of an Illinois Democrat.
Ken Dunkin is famous for being the only Illinois legislator to skip Gov Rod Blagojevich’s impeachment hearing, and thus being a de-facto loyalist to the bitter end. It is really hard to add anything more to that sort of fact; even his fellow Democrats finally came to the conclusion that Blago had to go, but not Ken.
It appears that Ken has learned a little bit. He starts by saying that he is for “cutting legislators’ pay”, possibly recognizing that there likely is no less popular group of individuals than Illinois state representatives. The fact that even Ken has come to this conclusion is astonishing.
When you read the priorities in his brochure, you can fully understand the mindset of Democrats. His sole concerns are how to divvy up the tax revenues provided by productive citizens among the residents of his district. These are “vital” programs that provide financial support to his constituents.
A typical legislator would understand that government cannot be funded unless there are vibrant private sector businesses generating wealth to pay the taxes that his constituents rely on for their sustenance, and would “crow” about items like 1) new companies coming into the district 2) laws to make the companies in his district more successful 3) new buildings and improvements added in his district.
The fact that none of these issues are mentioned nor even contemplated anywhere in his brochure SHOULD be astonishing, but they represent the “end state” of Democratic thinking and the full embrasure of the welfare state, so I would expect nothing else. The private sector only exists in how you can squeeze money from them and redistribute it to your constituents, so why even mention it?
Also interesting are the “gun” comments he chooses to make. In a district wracked by unimaginable gun violence, he focuses on military-style assault weapons bans and also FOID card violations, mainly designed to make it harder for law-abiding citizens to exercise their court-mandated rights to be able to defend themselves. There are so many topics that he could mention to reduce violence including 1) fighting gangs 2) putting those who commit gun related crimes into jail 3) demanding that the citizens cooperate with the police to reduce violence. He is merely following the party lines.
The Fifth District
The fifth district must be seen to be believed. The Illinois Democrats have gerrymandered this state to an astonishing degree. Rather than make districts that are compact and reflect geographic reality and common citizenry, the Democrats went to great pains to create districts that are majority Democratic to disenfranchise the Republicans.
The district is so long and distorted that the web site even comes with an “expand” button so that you can navigate your way through the diagram!
When you want to see the end-state of the Democratic dreams, come to Illinois. In a middle-of-the-road state they work tirelessly to marginalize the citizenry and will stoop to no ends to ensure that they remain in power indefinitely. The cost of this is that sensible, middle of the road people who provide the income and ideas necessary to keep the state running won’t indefinitely remain somewhere where they are powerless pawns when other states, especially adjacent ones, provide fine alternatives.
Cross posted at LITGM
14 thoughts on “Illinois and the Perfect Democrat”
Every time I hear a Donk bitching about gerrymandering I just mention the word “chicago” (the federal districts are a hoot too) and that is typically the end of the conversation. The only good news here is that it works both ways. Here in Wisconsin, the Republicans have just gerrymandered the Assembly districts so that house will be safely in their hands for at least one and perhaps more generations.
Thought experiment. Why don’t or can’t the citizens you know who are nothing like Durkin elect someone who reflects their own values and interests?
Mentally sound people are averse to the lying and chicanery which is mandatory for career politicians. I think most career pols are sociopaths to a greater or lesser degree, above all, members of the DemonRAT party.
Good question on how it got to be this way. The Republican party in Illinois made a bunch of giant mistakes, including bringing up a stone crook (Ryan) and drumming out Senator Fitzgerald for bringing in the other Fitgerald who sent everyone to jail. And Mark Kirk is barely a Republican at all.
As the Republican party fell to pieces (let’s not forget “Republican” Thompson defending Ryan for free, until the end) then the Dems came in to sweep up all the debris.
Since the Republicans here were just electing Dems in disguise, there became little enthusiasm for change.
The fact that the Republicans can’t find someone to knock off Pat Quinn for governor just shows how bad its gotten.
“Mentally sound people are averse to the lying and chicanery which is mandatory for career politicians.”
Too true, largely because of low diligence political participation by most eligible voters. Until those hardworking but low information potential voters are energized to vote and vote based on informed decisions, it will not change.
Schools and parents used to teach that informed voting participation based on the common good was a duty of citizenship, not a privilege. This seemed believable because government was limited so voting for personal benefit was generally not common. If hardworking but low information potential or actual voters perceive that their informed participation will make no difference either individually or collectively, they won’t. Even if they do vote they will probably continue to vote based on appealing hype, sound bites, unsubstantiated claims and subjective criteria. A significant emotional event is probably required to cause the sort of thinking that is required. Given the number of folks who need to be transformed, it is hard to imagine what could do that without bringing the political or economic system down.
The Democrats only think they they have the formula for perpetual rule. In fact, they will inevitably create such a catastrophe that they will be an abomination for many generations. Sadly, the rest of us will have to live with the catastrophe too. Walter Russell Mead has described the magnitude of Illinois problems in recent months:
Blue Model’s Nerve Center Feeling the Pinch–http://blogs.the-american-interest.com/wrm/2013/10/30/blue-models-nerve-center-feeling-the-pinch/
Illinois Continues Its Sad, Slow Slide–http://blogs.the-american-interest.com/wrm/2013/06/07/illinois-continues-its-sad-slow-slide/
Bills Come Due in Illinois: $22 Billion–http://blogs.the-american-interest.com/wrm/2013/02/26/bills-come-due-in-illinois-22-billion/
Illinois Pension Crisis Turns Criminal–http://blogs.the-american-interest.com/wrm/2013/03/12/illinois-pension-crisis-turns-criminal/
Illinois Digs Pension Hole Deeper–http://blogs.the-american-interest.com/wrm/2013/05/31/illinois-digs-pension-hole-deeper/
This is Chicago.
However many resonable like minded voters there are in his district will be outnumbered by dead voters, multiple voters, or people bussed in posing as someone on the swelled and inaccurate voter rolls. Even if there were alternative candidates to vote for, they were likely just placed there to syphon a few votes to give the appearance of a contest.
Even if he and his friends got together and found a grass roots candidate, the campaign would be immediately targeted. Their political signs would be torn down, debates would be disallowed, door to door canvassing would identify their supporters so they could be targets for harrassment and intimidation. The voting booths on the bottom of that map are going to be a lot more accommodating than at the top.
That district is shaped like an assault rifle. Perhaps it should be banned.
Another bulletin from WRM:
“Illinois Wins Gold in Can-Kicking Competition”
“In an astounding feat of government sclerosis, the legislature facing the deepest deficit and lowest credit rating of any US state is set to punt yet again on the source of its misery: public pensions. Governor Pat Quinn began the year with a demand that the legislature do something, anything, about the state’s $173 billion pension liability. Every legislative session since has ended the same way. Fail. Fail. Fail.”
City of Chicago sitting on a mountain of cancerous debt
Anyone want to buy a 2300 sq ft house, large barn on ~6 acres in the Minooka-Channahon area?
I’m ready to bail out of Illinoisy.
Before the shit hits the fan…..
More from WRM:
November 11, 2013
Second City Earns Its Name With Latest Downgrade
Chicago has been corrupt for so long that residents think it will go on forever. Detroit s proof that it doesn’t. I grew up there and it never occurred to me that politicians or policemen are honest. I never met an honest cop until I moved to Los Angeles in 1956 to go to college. That, unfortunately, is only a memory here. How many remember Joe Friday ?
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